We in Pasadena like to think we’re not like the rest of Los Angeles. The truth is, we aren’t and we are. I offer two examples:
1) How we’re not like L.A. – We may think our mayor is boring, so middle-of-the-road as to appear spineless, and overly placating (read: avoiding conflict as a leadership style).*
Still, we have comfort, because we’ll never see him in a sake-fueled frenzy like this (lifted from L.A. Observed):
Density is a nice idea…for Manhattan. Development in Southern California has to take seriously how difficult it is to get people out of their cars.** Since it is a state law, SB 1818 can be misused in Pasadena as it has been in L.A. (Perhaps it already has been?)
The analogous story about Pasadena’s development is begging to be written (anyone? anyone?). Though some of the details may differ, the general impetus to build “taller, fatter buildings” is here.
UPDATE: Commenter Howey points out that density can be a good thing for affordable housing. In a place like Pasadena, where developers have been allowed to do the buy-out to avoid having to allot a portion of units to affordable housing, it’s not working. Yet. Maybe it will someday. Right now, residential development in Pasadena favors those with upper incomes.
Worse, it favors renters, not buyers. Who wants to plunk down $2,300 per month for rent (when one could be building equity, not to mention the write-off?). I am no expert on these matters, I’m just stating the obvious.
* Mayor Bill on Habitat for Humanity’s San Gabriel Valley branch looking for new office space (as quoted in the 6 March 2008 Pasadena Star-News) – The city will offer ‘moral support, at least, to help keep them in Pasadena.’ Bill also suggests that the current economic slowdown might help them find affordable office space. (See? There’s an up side to everything.)
**Note to Pasadena residents/visitors: If you driving, avoid Fair Oaks Avenue around California Blvd. from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. Especially avoid at 5:00 p.m., and do not make the mistake of going over to Raymond Avenue for respite.