On July 19, the Zoning Appeals Board of Pasadena voted 3-0 to allow construction of a "temporary" fire station across the street from our 107-unit condominium in one of the planned, most-dense, residential areas in Pasadena. The temporary fire station is to be at 1136 E. Del Mar Blvd., between Wilson and Michigan avenues on Caltech property.
The residents of our condominium have attended every meeting Caltech has held on their master plan, to keep informed of developments in the neighborhood. This site isn't zoned for public use, so we had no idea it was being considered for a fire station until May 11.
Although Mayor Thomson has told us the Fire Department has been thinking of relocating the South Oak Knoll location for eight years, it was only in February that the Oak Knoll station was determined to be unsafe in an earthquake. Caltech, sympathetic with the city needs, offered the site with no notice to the "good neighbors" it has been cultivating for years. Well, thanks a lot.
There are 23,900 cars passing that site each day. Del Mar Boulevard is a raceway. The state Traffic and Safety Code requires that the fire engine driver sound the siren under certain conditions. An emergency vehicle trying to exit onto busy Del Mar would have to use the hair-raising 110-decibel siren a fire truck is required to have to stop that traffic.