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Pasadena In Focus
July - August 2009

Hahamongna Watershed Park is Growing

 Hahamongna Watershed Park is made up of about 1,300 acres, between Devil’s Gate Dam and the Arroyo Seco Canyon on the northwestern edge of Pasadena.

In November 2005 the city of Pasadena purchased some land from Metropolitan Water District, which added 30 acres of beautiful, oak-filled open space to the park. This additional acreage is known as the Hahamongna Annex.

The annex has been incorporated into the Hahamongna Watershed Park Master Plan (HMP), which establishes a framework for recreation, water resources, flood management, land use, habitat restoration and cultural resources in the area.
 
Every master plan is required by law to include a master environmental report about potential environmental impacts that may be associated with a project – traffic, air quality, noise and others – and determines which ones are significant and how they could be mitigated (reduced) if necessary. Such a report was adopted by city council in 2003 for the HMP.

The annex is considered a new project because it came into being after the adoption of the original park master plan, and its environmental impacts must be evaluated. Therefore, an environmental report, called an initial study (IS), has been prepared to determine whether the proposed HMP annex activities may cause any additional impacts that were not analyzed in the Arroyo Seco Master Environmental Impact Report (EIR); the IS also identifies the mitigation measures from the master EIR that are applicable to the HMP annex.

Sometimes these environmental reports include references to previously proposed components of a project that were never approved and therefore are not included in the final plan. This is the case with two potential impacts that are included in the EIR for the HMP but are not included in the plan itself: a large parking structure and a new, paved road through the park.

Several options were considered for a parking structure within the park, but such a structure was never recommended and therefore is not in the plan; the possibility of extending the existing park road was evaluated as well, but after strong opposition from the public and the Hahamongna Watershed Park Advisory Committee, the option of the road extension was not included in the plan.

The final draft of the annex plan, the IS and a schedule for the project can be found at www.cityofpasadena.net (click on Hahamongna Annex under “Hot Topics”). The plan has been going through review by various commissions and committees and will go to the city council in September.

For more information call 744-4321.