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:

City: Keep cars off Hahamongna

Subtitle:

Date:

2005-03-12

Author:

Robert Chacon

Publication:

Glendale News-Press and Leader

Content:

LA CAŅADA FLINTRIDGE -- In a last-ditch effort to keep 30 acres of open space bordering their city from being sold, La Caņada Flintridge officials will try to determine if any portion of that space is within the city's boundaries.

City Council members asked staff members to look into it at a study session Monday when discussing Metropolitan Water District's proposed sale of 30 acres inside Hahamongna Watershed Park to Pasadena.

La Caņada Flintridge leaders would like to purchase the land and preserve it as open space, and they worry that if Pasadena buys the area, a parking structure could be erected there. The land is zoned for open space.

"This is not something we are just worrying about without any basis," Councilman Greg Brown said. "There was, not long ago, a proposal to build a 1,200-space parking structure there."

Pasadena officials have said that they want to keep the area as open space, but Brown worries that that might change if the city succeeds in attracting an NFL team to the Rose Bowl, he said.

Pasadena is the most likely of local players to buy the land because it sits within the city's boundaries, and Pasadena made the first offer when Metropolitan announced its intentions to sell in January. Pasadena officials did not return phone calls seeking comment.

La Caņada Flintridge's latest plan is just an effort to ensure that the sale of the 30 acres is conducted legally, Brown said.

If even a sliver of the acreage is within La Caņada Flintridge borders -- Hahamongna is surrounded on three sides by the city -- then it might be on equal standing with Pasadena for negotiations.

"But our border really meanders down in that area, so we have to take a closer look," Brown said.

Planning Department staff members are researching the city's boundaries with the county's Local Formation Agency, which houses historical records of city borders.

"Checking with them will give us a legal description of our boundaries," Planning Director Robert Stanley said.

Regardless of what Pasadena officials say about keeping the land as open space, local groups that use the land, including the Rose Bowl Riders and the Trails Council, would like to see some controls placed on the land before it is sold.

"Administrations change; new people get voted in," Trails Council member Mary Barrie said. "In the future, will they kick out the Rose Bowl Riders so they can build a parking lot?"

County Supervisor Michael Antonovich has also chimed in, asking Metropolitan in a letter if it would consider a number of issues before selling the land, including ensuring that local users continue to have access, notifying buyers of hiking-trail easements, and making it a condition of the sale that those trails are preserved.

"Supervisor Antonovich wants to ensure that equestrian and other recreational opportunities are preserved in the area and that the trails are preserved for our community," spokesman Tony Bell said.

Because the land was appraised as open space, keeping it that way should be enforced, Brown said, adding that city officials want Metropolitan to place a conservation easement on the land before selling it to Pasadena.

"We are exploring some deed-restriction options and language that would address the concerns that are being raised, and that would point out that the land could only be used for open space," Metropolitan spokesman Bob Muir said.

It would take a final action by the Metropolitan Board of Directors to make that happen, he said.

"If Metropolitan and Pasadena agree to that, everyone should be fine," he said. "If that doesn't happen, you might wonder what the intentions are."

* ROBERT CHACON covers La Caņada Flintridge and La Crescenta. He may be reached at (818) 637-3239 or by e-mail at robert.chacon@latimes.com.