South Pasadena City Council has thanked Sen.
Carol Liu (D-La Cañada Flintridge) for authoring a legislative bill Gov.
Jerry Brown signed into law earlier this month, paving the way for the “as is” sale
of some 500 properties that the California Department of Transportation owns
along the so-called “710 gap” in South Pasadena, Pasadena and Los Angeles,
where transportation officials are studying a 4.5-mile tunnel between the 710
and 210 freeways.
Liu, who represents about 930,000 people in the 25th Senate District, authored SB 416, which streamlines a process for Caltrans to sell as surplus property houses that it purchased more than 50 years ago in anticipation of constructing a surface extension route aimed at closing the gap between the 710 freeway and the 210 freeway.
The legislation, co-authored by Assemblymembers Mike Gatto (D-Burbank) and Chris Holden (D-Pasadena), was signed into law Oct. 1 by Brown, who reportedly vetoed a similar bill in 2012. The new law precludes the surface freeway route as an option in state environmental documents about the 710 project.
Dated Oct. 8, the South Pasadena City Council’s two-paragraph letter described the passage of SB 416 as “a remarkable achievement in the long history of the State Route 710” because the bill “begins the process of allowing the cities and communities of South Pasadena, Pasadena and Los Angeles to be whole,” according to the office of City Manager Sergio Gonzalez.
Here is the full copy of the council’s letter signed by Mayor Richard Schneider, Mayor Pro Tempore Marina Khubesrian, Councilmember Robert Joe, Councilmember Philip Putnam and Councilmember Michael Cacciotti:
Honorable Senator Liu:
The City of South Pasadena thanks you for authoring Senate Bill 416 and your leadership in helping the bill obtain passage. The passage of SB 416 is a remarkable achievement in the long history of the State Route 710; this bill begins the process of allowing the cities and communities of South Pasadena, Pasadena and Los Angeles to be whole. Cities will benefit from the return of properties on the tax rolls and residents will be able to achieve the dream of homeownership. This bill also starts the process of removing the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) from the property management business and back to focusing on building and maintaining our transportation network. Additionally, this bill puts the proverbial “final nail in the coffin” for the SR-710 surface route, which has loomed over the cities with the corridor for over fifty years.
The passage of SB 416 is a testament to your commitment and diligence in representing your constituency and a praiseworthy example of good governance. The South Pasadena City Council thanks you again for all your hard work on SB 416 and looks forward to the great things that will come from the sale of the Caltrans properties.