CalTrans Properties | South Pasadena Preservation Foundation, City Open Dialogue

SPPF advocates a “parallel strategy” which involves encouraging non-legislative options by having the City of South Pasadena join together with Senator Anthony Portantino

Caltrans homes South Pasadena
FILE PHOTO: Esteban Lopez | News | South Pasadena homes controlled by Caltrans for decades. House located on Valley View in South Pasadena


The South Pasadena Preservation Foundation (SPPF) and the City of South Pasadena began a constructive dialog about the Caltrans surplus properties left over from the former route of the State Route 710 freeway extension on Wednesday during a three-hour Zoom meeting that was viewable by the general public.

In the meeting, SPPF presented its position statement on how it best believes the acquisition and disposition of the properties can be achieved. SPPF advocates a “parallel strategy” which involves encouraging non-legislative options by having the City of South Pasadena join together with Senator Anthony Portantino in negotiations with the California Transportation Commission and CalTrans to transfer managing control of the 710 property sales program to the local level while simultaneously suggesting amendments to strengthen Senate Bill 381, authored by Senator Portantino.

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SPPF’s plan was modeled on examples of collaboration that have worked successfully in the past, such as the expedited sales process that was done in the mid-1990’s in which Caltrans sold six historic houses and SPPF administered preservation covenants for them, the side-by-side escrow used in 2000 on Berkshire Avenue and recent sale of a parcel to the owners of the historic Garfield House.

The statement included ten proposed amendments to SB 381 that were developed by SPPF’s subcommittee on the CalTrans properties. SPPF believes that no bill is better than a flawed bill, and thus developed amendments that if felt would improve the legislation by addressing issues of concern to residents in the affected neighborhoods. A panel made up of representatives from SPPF, the community and the City discussed each amendment in some detail, seeking to identify areas of consensus.

“I felt it was a productive meeting and showed the potential for problem solving when all stakeholders are represented and active listening takes place”, said Mark Gallatin, SPPF President. “I want to thank the City for convening the meeting and I hope all interested members of the community will attend the April 21 City Council meeting and participate when the Council again takes up this issue.”


Back on March 25th, 2021

March 25, 2021: South Pasadena is poised to move forward with a special legislative decision that directly effects the future of our CalTrans housing.

Questions and comments to S.P.P.F.:

The forum will feature a panel with years of experience with the freeway fight and the CalTrans properties, and a plan to move forward presented by the S.P.P.F. Special thanks to Senator Portantino & Staff, City Manager Sean Joyce, & South Pasadena City Staff, the experts panel, and the Board of Directors of the South Pasadena Preservation Foundation, with this complex and special matter regarding about 80 CalTrans/State owned properties in town. Their return the the community is of deep concern that spans generations of residents.