City Working with Property Owner to Repair Collapsed Wall

Collapsed wall at 1854 Hanscom Drive could lead to a declaring the property a public nuisance.

South Pasadena officials are working with a property owner to repair a collapsed wall dangling on the side of a hill before having to proceed with a public nuisance declaration, according to city officials.

The Planning Commission had scheduled the issue for its April 23 meeting where it was recommended to move forward on a public hearing that could declare the property at 1854 Hanscom Drive in the Monterey Hills area of South Pasadena a public nuisance. That motion was continued, however, because city officials are still working with the property owner to rectify the problem.

“The city has been in the process of negotiating an agreement with the property owner’s representative to pay for the removal of the fallen block wall from the city’s right of way property – slope adjacent to the road – without the need to make public nuisance findings and impose a lien the property to recover these costs,” David G. Watkins, director of planning and building for South Pasadena, said in an email to the Review. The heavy collapsed block wall is dangling on the side of a small hill behind the Hanscom Drive property. The city has put up heavy cement rails to divert possible flooding, among other precautions.

Notice of Public Hearing regarding collapsed that has been continued. Photos by Steve Whitmore

Watkins went on to explain that if the city cannot reach an agreement, “the city will proceed with the public nuisance procedure, which requires a public hearing before the planning commission to consider approving (a) resolution recommending the failed wall condition be declared a public nuisance and abated as such.”

Patrick Cotter, who identified himself as the property owner, said he was unaware of the situation. Patrick J. Cotter is identified as the property owner at 1854 Hanscom Drive, according to public records.

“People can think what they want to think (about the collapsed wall),” he said before declining further comment.

The block wall collapsed in December 2016, according to Watkins. The city became aware of the situation after receiving reports of the collapsed wall from neighbors.

“The city has been working with the owner’s agent to resolve this condition without additional public nuisance abatement procedures,” Watkins said in the email. “Once this process has been finalized, or the abatement process is completed, the section of the fallen block wall will be removed, the slope will be repaired from the wall’s intrusion, and the k-rails will also be removed from the road.”

There have been no reports of injuries or damage connected to the collapsed wall. The city did put up the heavy cement k-rails to divert possible flooding that could occur because of the collapsed wall.

The South Pasadena Planning Commission meets the fourth Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at Amedee O. “Dick” Richards, Jr. council chambers at 1424 Mission St.

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Steve Whitmore is the editor for the South Pasadena Review. Steve has spent more than four decades as an award-winning print and broadcast journalist with a 16-year stint as the senior media advisor for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Steve comes to us from the Keene Sentinel in Keene, New Hampshire, where he covered politics and was a columnist.