Quality of Life Just Fine
As a La Cañada homeowner for over a decade, I know this city is an affluent bedroom community of private homes – and that most residents want to keep their property values high, their schools prestigious, businesses prosperous, and the community relatively crime-free. The recent La Cañada City Council action to red zone selected areas for low-income housing (as required by state law) seems to have panicked some of the more skittish town folk into thinking it’s the beginning of the end for our quality of life. This zoning change doesn’t ensure construction of any low-income housing absent economic (profit) incentives – which are lacking.
It’s the “N.I.M.B.Y.” attitude which bothers me. La Cañada is exclusive enough already without excluding everyone who isn’t well heeled enough to buy a house here (or to continue to afford to live in it). I’ve often marveled that our businesses offer many shopping, services and dining opportunities, also sports and cultural programs at the high schools – and a world class arboretum (Descanso Gardens) – but come bedtime, there is no place to stay. If you entertain out-of-town guests and you don’t have enough bedrooms, they are referred to Pasadena, Glendale, Burbank and Los Angeles where there are accommodations. We don’t have a hotel, motel, or even a “bed and breakfast.” Why?
There’s a [perception] in La Cañada that all residents are prosperous and always free of need for public or private assistance. We have charities through our churches and organizations which mostly help people who don’t live here. Residents who outlive their savings and can’t care for themselves often have to leave La Cañada for institutional housing in other cities. Even our former congressman found living out his days in his home city challenging.
La Cañada contracts out essential services (police, fire, flood control, etc.) to the county so that it doesn’t have to pay the full cost. It also shifts the bureau for social needs; hence, the situation with low income housing – available in all surrounding cities but not in La Cañada. If those cities didn’t provide housing for people who can’t afford to live in La Cañada, they might try to live here. But don’t worry, La Cañada, because not only do we have “No room in the inn,” we don’t even have an inn!
La Cañada Flintridge