The Meaning of Hahamongna

The original settlers of the region were sometimes called the Hahamongna Indians. The word means "Flowing Waters, Fruitful Valley" in the native Tongva language.

Hahamongna News

Title:

Arroyo Seco Master Plan hits new snag

Subtitle:

Date:

2003-09-30

Author:

Gene Maddaus, Staff Writer

Publication:

Pasadena Star News

Content:

PASADENA -- Neighborhood groups and environmentalists joined forces Monday night to oppose the speedy adoption of portions of the Arroyo Seco Master Plan, saying the broad vision statement for the city's defining canyon, at least five years in the making, remains seriously flawed.

The City Council had not made a decision as of late Monday, but was leaning toward postponing the adoption of two portions of the plan: the Lower Arroyo Master Plan and the Hahamongna Watershed Park Master Plan.

"I think this should be a good job, not a quick job,' said Councilman Steve Madison.

Approval of the Arroyo Seco Master Plan would allow the city to move forward with spending millions of dollars on dozens of projects in the canyon, ranging from trail improvements to new parking lots to new artificial lakes.

With intense public scrutiny, approval of the plan has been delayed many times. The plan for the third portion of the master plan, the Central Arroyo, was not even brought forward for adoption Monday. The Central Arroyo is home to Brookside golf course and the Rose Bowl.

The council approved in April an environmental review for all three portions of the Arroyo Seco which did not factor in the potential environmental impacts of an NFL football team playing in the Rose Bowl. At the time, the city's bid for a team was thought too nebulous to be included in the Arroyo Seco Master Plan.

{BYLINE}By holding off on recommending the approval of the Central Arroyo plan, the city signaled Monday that it now believes the NFL proposal has become serious enough to warrant consideration in planning for the ecological future of the Arroyo. The city now apparently intends to wait until the environmental review for the NFL proposal is completed before approving the Central Arroyo plan.

"Everybody knows it's out there, so why take a plan forward that may be invalid in less a year from now?' asked Martin Pastucha, the city's public works director. "The city and the NFL are moving forward to some conclusion.'

The city does not plan to redo or amend its master environmental review, said Kathy Woods, the city's administrator for parks and resources. The NFL recently agreed to pay up to $600,000 for a new environmental impact report focused on the Rose Bowl proposal, which may take more than a year to complete.

Joan Hearst, who chairs the Coalition for the Protection of the Arroyo Seco, said the NFL proposal will have impacts beyond the Central Arroyo.

"We identified that early on as a problem,' said Hearst. "There are going to be impacts on the whole Arroyo.'

Tim Brick, managing director of the Arroyo Seco Foundation, had reservations about breaking the Arroyo Seco into groups and approving them one at a time.

"They've been approaching this as a unified master plan for the whole Arroyo Seco since 1998,' Brick said. "Is it one plan, or is it a bunch of little plans?'

Hearst said that there were too many errors in the Hahamongna and Lower Arroyo documents to approve them Monday night. For example, city staffers had earlier proposed creating bicycle trails in the Lower Arroyo, but dropped the idea in the face of community opposition.

But the version of the plan that came before the city Monday night included at least three references to "bicyclists' in the Lower Arroyo, evidently because city staffers did not search for the word while revising the document.

"This is a contract with the community for the Arroyo Seco,' Hearst said. "The language needs to be clear.'

The Hahamongna Watershed Park, the segment of the Arroyo north of Devil's Gate Dam, is the most controversial portion. Many spoke Monday night to oppose specific items in the Hahamongna Master Plan, such as soccer fields and the artificial lakes, which are viewed as environmentally unfriendly.

Most of the items were approved by the City Council more than three years ago, as part of a compromise between the needs of recreation, water management, and conservation.

"To the extent that people want to re-argue those issues, I feel somewhat compelled to go slowly, to resist that,' said Mayor Bill Bogaard.

Gene Maddaus can be reached at (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4444, or by e-mail at gene.maddaus@sgvn.com