New Arts Program Expected to Receive Green Light

The development for the creation of public art, establishing a five-member Public Arts Commission, and declaring South Pasadena a “creative and innovative City are among a variety of items on next Wednesday’s City Council agenda

PHOTO: City of South Pasadena | News | A new art gallery is scheduled to open at South Pasadena City Hall.

South Pasadena City Council members on Wednesday, Oct. 17, will be asked to give final approval of a new arts program.

Earlier this month, council members gave preliminary approval to an initiative that would set fees on development for the creation of public art, establish a five-member Public Arts Commission, and declare South Pasadena a “creative and innovative City.”

At its Oct. 3 meeting, the council unanimously supported a plan that will require developers to devote 1% of a project’s value for public art within that development, or pay 1.5% of the value to a fund that would be used for public art projects citywide. The fees would apply to new construction of residential (four units or greater) and commercial projects valued at $500,000 or more, or remodeling projects valued at $250,000 or more.

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Councilmembers said that the program will build on a foundation set by community-based arts groups, whose efforts have gained traction in recent years with events such as the quarterly South Pasadena Arts Crawls sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.

A second reading and adoption of an ordinance to establish a public Art Development Fee Program and second reading and adoption of an ordinance to create a Public Art Commission will come before the City Council on Wednesday night.

The meeting at City Hall gets underway at 7:30 p.m.

In other council action:

New City Art Gallery

The City Hall Art Gallery is a partnership with the South Pasadena Arts Council (SPARC) that will bring rotating exhibits to the lobby and a sculpture area in the courtyard that will also be changed periodically. City staff will discuss how its going to work, how often the exhibits will rotate along with other information.

Wilson Wellhead Treatment Update

The Wilson wellhead treatment update will cover the most recent developments, including that new temporary treatment filters are in place (four large filtration tanks) and the testing is being conducted soon with the state Department of Drinking Water. City staff hopes to have the Wilson Wellhead online and delivering water by sometime next week. It’s expected to eliminate the discoloration of water because the city can return to the former mixture of mostly groundwater.

New Lease for San Pascual Stables

The South Pasadena City Council will be asked to approve a concession lease agreement with San Pascual Stables that will begin on November 1.

City officials say the stables have shown it can continue to build on past successes and conduct a financially successful equestrian center that expands the equestrian recreation opportunities in the community.

If approved, the City of South Pasadena will receive about $66,310 annually for 10 years in concession lease fees, which is equivalent to 6% of the estimated annual gross income.  City staff recommends that the council to enter into a lease agreement with the stables.

The City Council established a subcommittee, of current commissioners, to evaluate the lease for the stables.

Asked to Approve Letter

The City Council will be asked to approve of a letter in opposition to a provision in House Resolution 2 (H.R. 2), the Agricultural Act of 2018, which could block the important right of local governments across the country to enact pesticide ordinances intended to safeguard children’s health,  communities and the environment.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates pesticides under the

Federal Fungicide, Insecticide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), Under FIFRA, there is no express federal prohibition on local governments establishing more restrictive regulations of pesticides.

In 1991, the Supreme Court held in Wisconsin Public Intervenor vs.Mortier that FIFRA does not preempt local governmental regulation of pesticide use. Pesticides pose serious health risks, particularly to children, For example, chlorpyrifos is a potent neurotoxin that harms children’s brain development. Other pesticides have been linked to cancer, reproductive issues, environmental harms, and acute health effects like nausea, dizziness and vomiting. Some pesticides, such as atrazine, which is linked to reproductive harm, routinely contaminate drinking water systems.

Arroyo Verdugo Communities Update

City Council members will be asked to approve the City of South Pasadena’s Arroyo Verdugo Communities Joint Powers Authority (AVCJPA) Draft Measure Multiyear Sub-regional Program (MSP) project list.

Last month, a public forum was held in the Council Chambers to solicit feedback from the public regarding the City’s proposed project list. The Arroyo Verdugo Communities Joint Powers Authority hired a public outreach consultant to assist with the public participation plan.

On October 4, 2017, the Arroyo Verdugo Steering Committee, comprised of the cities of Burbank, Glendale, La Canada Flintridge, Pasadena, and South Pasadena, and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor’s Office, established the AVCJPA to address regional transportation planning to facilitate the distribution of Measure M funds within the sub-region.

On November 8, 2016, Los Angeles County voters approved the passage of Measure M. In order to be eligible to receive Measure M funds the AVCJPA must develop a Multiyear Sub-regional Program MSP that is approved by Metro. Administrative guidelines were developed by Metro to help guide sub-regions in the development of their MSPs. The guidelines include a five-year project plan outlining the funding expenditures, public participation plan, and funding agreements between the member jurisdictions.

Commission Review and Recommendation

On September 18, 2018, a public forum was held in the Council Chambers to solicit feedback from the public regarding the City’s proposed project list. On October 10, 2018, the matter was reviewed by the Public Works Commission (PWC).

The Arroyo Verdugo Communities Joint Powers Authority hired a public outreach consultant to assist with the public participation plan. A notice regarding the upcoming public meetings was included in the September issue of the City of South Pasadena’s E-Neighbors newsletter; posted in the display case at City Hall, posted on the City’s website, and e-mailed to every current commissioner.

The AVCJPA, through a Technical Advisory Committee (T AC) comprised of representatives from each member agency, contracted with Cambridge Systematics to develop the draft MSP project prioritization list for the first five-years of funding for Measure M. Cambridge Systematics, in coordination with the TAC, established the following tasks to develop the MSP:

  1. Compile and screen proposed projects from individual jurisdictions for eligibility;
  2. Establish an equitable distribution of funds to the individual jurisdictions based on per capita; and prioritize projects.

The City Council will be asked to reconsider the City of South Pasadena’s default energy mix of fifty percent renewable energy option for the Clean Power Alliance (CPA) of Southern California (formerly known as Los Angeles Community Choice Energy).

The Renewable Energy Council (REC) and the Finance Commission reviewed an ordinance prior to its adoption by the City Council on July 19,2017, approving the Joint Powers Agreement for the Los Angeles Community Choice Energy (LACCE) and authorizing implementation of a Community Choice Aggregation Program.

The Commissions have not provided input on the default energy mix level of renewable energy option.

The public had an opportunity to provide input on the Community Choice Aggregation Program that was reviewed at the Renewable Energy Council , Finance Commission, and several City Council meetings.

In addition, the public had an opportunity to provide input on the default energy mix options at the February 21, 2018 City Council meeting.

On February 21, 2018, the City Council approved the City’s default energy mix of 50% renewable energy option. The City Council has the opportunity to reconsider the default energy mix selection before the October 31 deadline.

City staff recommends maintaining the default option of the 50% renewable energy and 50% greenhouse gas (GHG) free mix as it represents a substantial increase in renewable energy compared to Southern California Edison’s (SCE’s) energy mix of 34% for 2018, yet still provides an energy cost reduction compared to SCE rates.

Most CPA member agencies have selected this option as it meets the CPA program objective of offering higher levels of renewable energy content at lower rates.

Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), authorized in California under AB 117 (2002) and SB 790 (2011), allows local governments, including counties and cities, to purchase electricity in the wholesale power market and sell it to their residents and businesses at competitive rates as an alternative to electricity provided by an Investor-Owned-Utility (IOU).

CCA is not a municipal utility, however the IOU will continue to provide transmission and distribution electrical services, power line maintenance, and customer billing services. The goal of a CCA is to offer more energy choices to local costumers on where power is obtained. As a member of the CCA, electricity customers from each jurisdiction are automatically enrolled into the program, however the costumers have the right to opt out and continue to get power purchased by the IOU.

Honoring Olaf and Helga Weidekat

Olaf and Helga Weidekat, owners of Mission Framing, will be honored by the council in appreciation of more than 29 years of a franchise turned independent family-owned and operated business, which prides itself on excellence in customer service while offering quality custom craftsmanship and framing and adding value to the South Pasadena community.

City reports contributed to this article