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Legal Fund to Fight Freeway Extension


SOUTH PASADENA — In moves to bolster opposition to the extension of the Long Beach Freeway, the City Council last week set up a special account to accept contributions for its legal fight and agreed to quickly assess historical sites threatened by the proposal.

After receiving two checks totaling $150, city officials said they decided to establish a "freeway litigation fund" that will accept private donations. The special fund was suggested at a recent community forum.

Since 1988, the city has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in its legal and lobbying battle against state and federal plans for the 6.2-mile extension. Critics have complained about the money's being taken from local Community Redevelopment Agency funds.

As another way to fight the proposed 710 Freeway extension, the council agreed that an inventory of South Pasadena's historical resources should narrow its focus to the roughly 300 potential landmarks and districts situated along or within 300 feet of the proposed freeway.

The inventory, being prepared by Leslie Heumann & Associates of Los Angeles, identified about 2,400 potential historical landmarks and districts across the city in a preliminary study.

State transportation planners last week publicly released their own assessment of the project's effects on historical structures and locations as part of a voluminous environmental impact statement favoring the extension.

The two-volume environmental study can be read at libraries throughout the region, according to Caltrans officials. Among them: Alhambra, 410 W. Main St.; Eagle Rock, 5027 Caspar Ave.; El Sereno, 4990 S. Huntington Drive; Pasadena, 285 E. Walnut St.; South Pasadena, 1100 Oxley St., and San Marino, 1890 Huntington Drive.

In addition, copies can be viewed at city clerks' offices at city halls in Alhambra, Los Angeles, Pasadena and South Pasadena. The report can also be read at the Caltrans office, 120 S. Spring St., Los Angeles. Copies are available from Caltrans for $50.

Free-lance writer Steve Hirano contributed to this report.

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