To: City Council
From: Former Mayors and Councilmembers, 1990-2020
The undersigned appreciate the current council’s efforts to bring the situation at 626 Prospect Avenue to an agreeable conclusion. We acknowledge the fine legal work done necessary to initiate the lawsuit stopping Caltrans from ignoring the City’s pre-eminent position and wishes. The City has had to sue Caltrans several times since 1973 to uphold our sovereignty and has never lost.
We encourage you to retain special counsel to assist with the litigation. The value of this specialized expertise was proven by the pivotal role Antonio Rossmann played in the successful freeway fight. Let’s hope the current lawsuit will be successful. Below is a brief summary of how the City’s proposal came to be.
In 2019, District 3 Councilmember Dr. Richard Schneider met with residents of 626 Prospect Avenue and Heritage Housing Partners concerning a proposal to transfer the property away from Caltrans. The proposal described who would be able to purchase or rent the units. Charles Loveman, the Abajians and current tenants had worked out the financing and many of the details. The City of South Pasadena submitted the proposal to Caltrans with high hopes that this proposal would be accepted graciously and solve an ongoing problem.
We sincerely hope you will persevere in the lawsuit. Of course, the funds from the Slater lawsuit settlement are available to help resolve problems, in this case housing, resulting from the happily deceased and ill-conceived 710 freeway extension.
Yours very truly,
Richard Schneider, MD