Important CalTrans Homes Hearing in South Pasadena: FRIDAY APRIL 26th at SPHS 5pm~8pm

Caltrans to Take Comment on Permanent Rules for 710 Corridor Properties Sales

CalTrans Homes Sales South Pasadena

As the curtain draws near on final acts in Caltrans’ ill-fated, 70-year attempt to build a freeway through South Pasadena—disposition of the properties it acquired to do so—final rules are being put into place.

Caltrans will hold a hearing Friday, April 26 to take comment on the permanent rules it’s proposed to guide sales of properties it owns in the former SR 710-Extension corridor. Effected properties are in El Sereno, Pasadena and South Pasadena and include 100 vacant single-family homes and multi-family units. The hearing, set for 5 to 8 pm at South Pasadena High School, coincides with the end of a 45-day written comment period.

The permanent rules are meant to take the place of emergency rules adopted late last year pursuant to three city-specific bills (SBs 51, 381 and 989) that amended the 1979 Roberti Act’s original mandate for how Caltrans should go about disposing of the properties in a manner benefiting people of low and moderate income. The amendments were intended “to clarify and make specific the sales procedures.”

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Caltrans said the permanent rules were also drafted to incorporate the “lessons learned” from its so-called “Phase 1” process–during which it sought to dispose of 42 other properties in the corridor– and which “exposed incorrect assumptions” that were incorporated into the Affordable Sale Program rules Caltrans used prior to passage of the three city-specific bills.

The bills further articulated hierarchies for each city with respect to who gets priority in the disposal of the properties.

CalTrans sale of homes chart south pasadena

United Caltrans Tenants, which argues the proposed permanent rules need to be completely rewritten, is encouraging its members to attend the meeting. In an alert, it said Caltrans has long viewed the Roberti Act as “an unconstitutional ‘gift of public funds’” when in fact its intent was to mitigate the harm done by the failed 710 extension project.

Caltrans’ attitude is reflected in the proposed rules, UCT said. “The regulations are replete with micro and macro anti-tenant aggressions.” UCT’s proposed changes include having the respective cities sign off on individual sales, utilization of an auditor to resolve various rent payment disputes, adjustments to resolve disputed inspections and appraisals, and terms to address “illicit debts,” problems stemming from deferred maintenance, and questions over “opaque and illegal bidding practices.”


Important Read: The last large city-wide CalTrans homes meeting Nov. 2022

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Ben Tansey
Ben Tansey is a journalist and author. He grew up in the South Bay and is a graduate of Evergreen State College. He worked in Washington State as a reporter in a rural timber community and for many years as an editor for a Western electric energy policy publication based in Seattle.