Monday, August 1, 2011

The Pasadena Open Space & Conservation Element Update Points to a Sustainable Future

While local activists debate sediment removal in the Hahamongna at tonight's City Council meeting, another meeting will be taking place with a Pasadena City-appointed committee of citizens who have quietly been working for the past year and a half on the updating of the Open Space & Conservation Element to the City of Pasadena General Plan.

Under current State law, all California cities must periodically update their general plans, addressing such elements as housing, transportation, and health. The current committee has been working diligently with City staff and community stakeholders to both update the current Open Space & Conservation Element and integrate these general plan elements with the Green Space Element approved by the City in 2007 as well as the City's Green City Action Plan for sustainability (air quality, water quality/conservation and energy/greenhouse gas reductions).

After months of fact-finding, deliberation, community outreach meetings, walkabouts, and review of numerous plans and studies, the draft document for the Open Space & Conservation Element has been completed and will now be circulated to other City Commissions, including the Environmental Advisory Commission and the Recreation and Parks Commission, for review before reaching the Pasadena City Council for final approval.

The 63 page document, which can be accessed by clicking this blog's headline, provides a comprehensive overview of current City natural elements, conservation partners, sustainability issues, and urban nature needs within a framework to guide the City for future open space acquisitions and current open space stewardship. It was particularly gratifying to see in this report the extensive attention placed on the role that open space and conservation plays relative to water conservation and sustainable building practices.

The Open Space & Conservation Element Committee meets tonight at 6:45pm in the Grand Conference Room in the Basement of Pasadena City Hall. The meeting is open to the public and will be a fascinating update on a visionary future for Pasadena's urban nature culture with an eye towards an integrated approach to sustainability.
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