City Hall Scoop

South Pasadena News and Updates

Welcome to the City Hall Scoop, a blog from South Pasadena City Hall. Our intention is to provide short daily bursts on hyper-local topics of interest to our residents.  The site has been redesigned both technically and graphically to be easier to find and easier to read. We hope you will find this site particularly useful during these unprecedented times.  Please send suggestions for articles to: CityHallScoop@southpasadenaca.gov.

4/13/2020

When planning your Halloween activities, think about your and your family’s level of risk and remember where COVID-19 spreads more easily: 

• Closed spaces with poor air flow  

• Crowded places with many people nearby 

• Close contact settings especially where people are talking, laughing, screaming, or breathing heavily close together.  

If there are unvaccinated persons in your household, choose the safer Halloween options. This is especially important for unvaccinated older adults or people with certain medical conditions, or vaccinated persons with weakened immune systems. Visit theReducing Risk website to learn more about staying safe and preventing the spread of COVID-19. 

SAFER HALLOWEEN OPTIONS  

Safer Halloween options are situations where it is easier to keep a distance from others, wear a face mask correctly, and avoid mixing with a lot of different people, especially if you don’t know their vaccination status and recent risks. Ideas for Safer Activities Include:  

• A scavenger hunt – give your kids a list of Halloween-themed things to look for outdoors, like different types of decorations. Keep a distance from people outside your household.  

• Hold a virtual costume party online.  

• Exchange candy with families you know. Drop off a Halloween treat at the doorstep to surprise the kids.  

• Trick-or-treat inside your home with your family by hiding candy for your kids to find. For a fun surprise, hide yourself, too! 

• Have a spooky movie night or a Halloween craft or pumpkin carving party with the family. 

• Organize a neighborhood costume parade outdoors. Don’t forget to physically distance. Bring and wear a face mask in case it gets crowded. 

Trick-Or-Treaters  

•  Keep your group small. Limit your group to your immediate household or to a small group that you know well. Avoid mixing with many different families. Don’t be afraid to ask about people’s vaccination status and recent risks before deciding who is safe to trick-or-treat with.

•  Wear a face mask. Be creative and make your face mask part of your costume. A costume mask is NOT a substitute for a face mask that protects against COVID-19. Do not wear a costume mask over a face mask. It can make breathing more difficult. Wear a face mask if you are in a crowded outdoor place and if you must be indoors with others. Make sure that everyone in your group wears a face mask consistently and correctly if your group includes different households, especially if there are people who are not fully vaccinated.  

•  Keep your distance from other groups of trick-or-treaters. Wait on the sidewalk at least 6 feet from other groups. Don’t gather with other groups on porches and at front doors. 

•  Keep hands clean. Carry hand sanitizer so that kids can clean their hands while trick-or-treating. Remind kids to not eat or touch their face with unclean hands.   •  Be flexible. If a house or street is crowded, come back later or go to another less crowded street.  

•  Avoid indoor spaces. Wear masks at all times when you are indoors with people from other households. 

HALLOWEEN TIPS FOR ALL AGES  

Halloween is not just a holiday for kids, so here are some tips for teen werewolves and adult ghosts and ghouls:  

• Keep gatherings small and outdoors. If it must be indoors, improve the air flow by opening windows and doors if it is safe to do so.  

• Avoid indoor haunted houses where people may crowd together and scream. People spray tiny droplets when they yell or scream. The droplets can build up indoors, increasing the risk of spreading COVID-19 if someone is infected.  

• Avoid crowded places. Being in crowds, especially indoors, puts you at a higher risk. 

• Wear a face mask. Incorporate a face mask that covers your nose and mouth snugly into your costume. A costume mask is NOT a substitute for a face mask that protects against COVID-19. Wear the mask whenever you are inside with other people or in crowded outdoor spaces.  

• Be flexible. Be willing to change your plans or leave if you feel uncomfortable or find yourself in a place where COVID-19 can spread more easily. For example, indoors in a loud crowded bar or restaurant with a lot of people who are not wearing face masks. Thank you for helping to reduce the risk of COVID-19 for neighbors, children, and everyone in the community.  

Have a happy and safe Halloween! 

On October 20, 2021 from 4:30-6:00 p.m., teens in grades 9-12 are invited to participate in a creative writing prose workshop with South Pasadena’s Poet Laureate, Ron Koertge. The program is being presented by South Pasadena Public Library’s Teen Advisory Board (TAB) and is sponsored by the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library. The workshop will be held in the Library Community Room at 1115 El Centro Street, South Pasadena, 91030. Pre-registration for the program is required. Click here to register. For questions or more information about the workshop, please contact TAB Librarian, Anne Armacost, at aarmacost@southpasadenaca.gov or at (626) 403-7358.

10/18/2021

The Library’s Citywide reading program, One City One Story, winds up with two librarian-led discussions of our 2021 title, Parable of the Sower, by Octavia Butler. Borrow the ebook, eaudiobook, or a hard copy from the Library. This Thursday, October 21 at 7PM, join us for the in-person book discussion in the Library Community Room at 1115 El Centro Street.  A virtual discussion over Zoom will take place on November 10. Register on our Eventbrite page. Masks are required.

10/18/2021

The City of South Pasadena Community Development Department has released the Public Review Draft of the 2021-2029 General Plan Housing Element. The housing element is an eight-year plan that will serve as the City’s roadmap to provide its fair share of housing for the community, as required in the City’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA). 

Planning for housing is a matter of great importance in South Pasadena and a major topic statewide. Over the past year, the City Council has taken definitive steps towards encouraging affordable housing and streamlining processes by adopting two significant ordinances – an update to the Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Ordinance and the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance.  The City launched a Virtual Planning Desk last summer to improve customer service, allowing applicants to access information about housing and improved application forms to expedite the approval process.  The Draft Housing Element builds on these efforts and incorporates new State pro-housing laws, including SB9 and SB10. The proposed policies and programs collectively aim to conserve existing housing, boost the housing supply and support lower-income households to stay in their homes or find affordable housing in the City.

The Housing Element has five goals, supported by 38 programs.  On an annual basis, staff will evaluate and report on the City’s progress in implementing these programs and issuing building permits to monitor RHNA compliance. 

Public Comment

Public opportunities to provide comments will include the November 9, 2021 Planning Commission meeting in person, by Zoom, or to send written comments or questions to staff at:  housingelement@southpasadenaca.gov.

All  public  comments  will  be  received  until December 6, 2021.

General Plan Update and Downtown Specific Plan and Program Environmental Impact Report

The City will also be releasing a revised draft of the General Plan Update and Draft Downtown Specific Plan with land use policies consistent with the housing element shortly. The Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) for the planning documents will be released at the same time.  A 45-day comment period will commence from its date of release.

The Public Review Draft Housing Element is posted on the Housing Element web page:

 (https://www.southpasadenaca.gov/government/departments/planning-and-building/housing-element-update-2021-2029)

Copies are available for viewing at the South Pasadena Public Library, 1100 Oxley Street, and at the Community Development Counter, 1414 Mission Street. 

On October 14, 2021, Southern California Edison (SCE) will perform nighttime construction work to replace a transmission pole at Grevelia Street and Stratford Avenue. The work will require a full street closure of Grevelia Street and Clark Place from Park Avenue to Garfield Avenue and will be performed from 9pm to 5am

10/18/2021

The recent high winds blowing through South Pasadena has caused many problems with power outages, bringing trees and power lines down, blocking streets, sidewalks and driveways (see attached photos for recent wind damage).  Strong winds can turn unsecured objects into dangerous projectiles.

Here are some important tips to remember:

  • Reduce your speed while driving!  Winds can make driving difficult, especially driving large vehicles.  Keep a safe distance from cars in adjacent lanes as winds can easily push a car outside of its lane. 
  • With power loss, traffic signals may be non-operational.   Remember that California Vehicle Code 21800(d)(1) states that non-functioning traffic signals should be treated as a four-way stop sign. 
  • Motorists should be cautious of pedestrians crossing streets, especially with non-functioning traffic signals to help pedestrians cross safely. 
  • Power may be lost at night, so be sure to have a portable radio and flashlight with fresh batteries nearby. 
  • Small lawn ornaments should be placed inside garages to help prevent them from flying away. 
  • Consider labeling trash cans with your address should the wind blow them to your neighbor’s yard. 
  • Don’t leave pets outside during strong winds. 
  • Strong winds can open unlocked windows and doors.  Be sure to close and lock all doors and windows to your home. 
  • Be sure batteries are replaced for smoke detectors, house alarms and other lifesaving equipment.
  • Call 9-1-1 to report any downed power line or tree blocking a roadway.  Never approach any downed power lines and don’t touch anything the power lines may be touching. 
  • Register on Nixle (https://www.nixle.com/) to receive emergency alerts from the South Pasadena Police Department.   
  • Register with Connect South Pasadena (https://connectsouthpasadena.bbcportal.com/) to receive emergency messages from the City of South Pasadena. 
  • Be sure all emergency contact numbers to family members are current.  

Now, is also a good time to review your family’s emergency plan and update your family’s emergency kit.  Consider getting trained in emergency preparedness skills by enrolling in the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).  The CERT program helps prepares residents in case of an emergency.  For information on the CERT program contact the South Pasadena Fire Department at 626-403-7300, or visit https://www.southpasadenaca.gov/residents/disaster-preparedness/cert-community-emergency-response-team

10/13/2021

City offices will be closed on Monday, October 11, 2021 in observance of a Federal holiday. We will resume service Tuesday, October 12, 2021.

Both the South Pasadena Police and Fire Departments will have staff available to assist the public. For non-emergency assistance, you may contact the Police Department at (626) 403-7270, while the Fire Department can be reached at (626) 403-7300

10/8/2021

Effective Oct 7, if you are attending a sports event, concert, or any outdoor mega event with 10,000+ people, and Indoor Portions of Bars, Lounges, Nightclubs, Breweries, Wineries, and Distilleries. You’ll be required to show proof of full vaccination or negative COVID test (taken within 72 hours).

For more info, visit http://ph.lacounty.gov/coronavirus

10/7/2021

The Library invites you to attend a virtual talk and Q&A with Barbara Eisenstein, author of Wild Suburbia: Learning to Garden with Native Plants, on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. Register on EventBrite (required). Eisenstein will discuss sustainability and the benefits of gardening with California native plants.

This fall the South Pasadena Public Library is celebrating nature, sustainability, and reading with its One City One Story (OCOS) citywide reading program. This year’s theme is “Navigating Nature” and the selected story is Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower. For more information about OCOS discussions and events visit the Library’s website.

The Library invites you to attend a virtual talk and Q&A with Barbara Eisenstein, author of Wild Suburbia: Learning to Garden with Native Plants, on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. Register on EventBrite (required). Eisenstein will discuss sustainability and the benefits of gardening with California native plants.

This fall the South Pasadena Public Library is celebrating nature, sustainability, and reading with its One City One Story (OCOS) citywide reading program. This year’s theme is “Navigating Nature” and the selected story is Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower. For more information about OCOS discussions and events visit the Library’s website.

10/05/2021