What kind of city does the DPNA desire? What are our goals?
That’s still up for discussion. We’re still talking amongst ourselves, sharing our concerns, and listening to opinions. So far, a few common themes have emerged and are listed below, but these will change and be refined as we hear new voices.
Working General Principles
1. Downtown Pasadena will be a thriving destination community, offering residents and visitors the amenities of a regional metropolitan city center. Residents will be able to conveniently and affordably meet all of their ordinary needs within the district. Visitors will be attracted by the higher-quality goods, services, and entertainment options that are unavailable in their own communities. Downtown Pasadena’s shops and storefronts will be fully occupied, neat and well-maintained, busy and prosperous. Economic and Social Vitality will be maximized.
2. Downtown Pasadena will be walkable. Walking, Biking, and Public Transit will be the dominant modes of transportation. The zoning, architecture, streetscape, and landscape will be optimized to enhance the pedestrian experience, using “Smart Growth” strategies: compact, dense, mixed-use neighborhoods designed to eliminate dependence on personal autos. Visitors will arrive in Downtown Pasadena via public transit, or will park and leave their autos on the periphery.
3. Downtown Pasadena will be the urban expression of a gentle city, maintaining its’ well-loved beautiful landmarks, historic buildings, mature trees, and green lawns & shrubbery. It will be clean, safe, and leisurely. Downtown residents will be engaged in the community, actively supporting cultural and civic institutions.
4. Downtown Pasadena will preserve and maintain its existing historic landmark buildings, and will also support and encourage efforts to build NEW landmark buildings that will have enduring architectural value. “Inoffensive” shall not be not be sufficient to recommend a new project, nor is it desirable that new buildings be subordinate to old ones, merely blandly blending in with their historic neighbors. Pasadena shall continue to construct grand, bold civic structures in the tradition of the City Beautiful movement.
5. Downtown Pasadena will be a comfortable home to a wide variety of people of all ages, incomes, and family arrangements. Housing will be available to meet their various needs, from small, affordable units to spacious luxury condos and townhouses.
Specific Goals for Discussion
1. Economic vitality and pedestrian traffic along all sections of Colorado & South Lake Boulevards. Elimination of “dead zones” where empty storefronts, parking lots, undesirable tenants, or poor design are causing pedestrian traffic to cease.
2. Construction and operation by 2016 of a streetcar system extending from the Norton Simon to PCC, and from Lake/California to the Lake Ave Gold Line station.
3. Elimination of minimum parking ordinances that require residential and commercial developers to provide a specified number of parking spaces, which increases the cost of housing & commercial property, and encourages dependence on personal autos as the primary means of transportation, rather than walking, biking, and public transit.
4. Active support by the city council and staff for worthy, well-designed smart-growth projects.
5. Widened sidewalks along Colorado Blvd., and more shrubbery, trees, and potted plants.
6. Redevelopment of the block between Old Pasadena and Paseo Colorado currently occupied by the AT&T building and 150 E Colorado Blvd (the “Darth Vader” building) to uses that attract and welcome the general public and connect seamlessly Old Pasadena and Paseo Colorado.
7. Redevelopment of lots and buildings along Lake Ave from the 210 freeway to Colorado, to attractive, pedestrian friendly use. Installation of trees and shrubbery along sidewalks and in medians to counteract the sterility of the corporate office buildings.
8. Construction of parking garages that are immediately accessible from the 210 freeway, perhaps at the Parsons lot at Fair Oaks and the Lake Ave Church lot, in order to make visiting Pasadena convenient.
9. Replacement of strip-malls along Arroyo Parkway with “smart growth” mixed-used development, particularly near the Fillmore and Del Mar stations.