by Timothy Rutt
Trees on Woodbury: The council voted to send a letter to Supv. Michael D. Antonovich, urging him to put up trees in the Woodbury Road corridor if funding can be found. The county is already spending $1.3 million improving the median and constructing bike lanes along western Woodbury Road, but residents (led by Altadena Heritage) have proposed adding street trees along the parkways, the areas between the sidewalks and the street.
Mark Goldschmidt, president of Altadena Heritage, told the council that Woodbury is a gateway to Altadena and generates 40,000 car trips per day. When Woodbury was widened in the 1960’s, many parkway trees were removed and never replaced. Altadena Heritage has been urging new planting along the corridor to make a tree-lined gateway to and from west Altadena.
According to council member Diane Marcussen, county public works has surveyed 70% of Woodbury Road and identified a number of locations where trees could go on the parkway. Placing some of these trees would involve lifting cement in certain places and the need to assure that there is no conflict with utility lines. In addition, for a tree to go in, there must be an agreement from the adjacent property owner to take care for the tree as it takes root.
Such a project would be separate from the $100,000 grant to plant replacement trees following the 2011 windstorm. The county is paying for 208 trees that have been removed from the county’s inventory over the years, not all of them because of wind damage. Altadena Heritage has expressed concerns that the replacement trees heavily favor locations in East Altadena, instead of the more tree-barren West Altadena.
The letter to Antonovich will also thank him for the tree grant and the landscaping along the Woodbury corridor.
Permit requests: The council approved two conditional use permit requests: The building on 2511 Washington Blvd. (Phoenix Pharmacy is the major retailer there) is looking to build a new façade on the building and give it a facelift. The request was to continue to authorize the permit for the building’s mixed use (commercial and residential).
The council also approved sending along a request for a CUP for the continued operation of the Weizmann School at the Pasadena Jewish Temple, 1424 N. Altadena Dr. Both requests are being sent on to the county planning commission and finally the board of supervisors, which will give final approval.
Education committee: The council also heard a report from Monica Hubbard of the town council education committee, looking at the goals and plans for the coming year. One of the particular issues identified in Altadena is the large number of group homes. Group home students place special demands on classrooms, and often school districts don’t provide adequate resources to meet their needs, Hubbard said. One of the goals of the committee is to make recommendations for additional support for such students.