Lower Hastings Ranch Association

LHRA History

Lower Hastings Hastings Ranch History:

In 1882, Charles Cook Hastings purchased 1,100 acres of land between Pasadena and Sierra Madre for $7 per acre. He named his ranch "Mesa Alta Rancho" and began planting 300 acres with grape vines and constructed a mansion. Soon after he died, his son, Charles Houston Hastings, assumed responsibility for the land. He imported unusual specimens of plants and trees and populated the ranch with peacocks, pheasants, cats, dogs (32 collies) and champion horses. In 1928, the Hastings mansion caught fire and burned to the ground. The ranch fell into a state of disrepair and its operation was left to managers.

Following the death of Charles Houston Hastings in 1942, the ranch was sold by the Hastings Foundation to a syndicate for over $1 million. The land was subdivided into luxury housing tracts. In the late 1940s, about 600 homes were built in the lower Hastings tract; in the early 1950s, 800 houses were constructed by Coronet Homes, Inc.; and in the early 1960s, the upper portion of the ranch was developed.

With the post war growth of the 1950s, an drive-in theater was established at the lowest point of the neighborhood between Rosemead and Foothill Boulevards by the name of Hastings Drive-In Theater. It fell to heavy commercial development in the 1960s. The drive-in was replaced by the Hastings Theater, one of the first multi-screen cinema theaters to be built in Pasadena. The Hastings Theater became part of the Pacific Theater chain, but closed in 2008 and was replaced by LA Fitness. Mann Theaters also had a theater in Lower Hastings Ranch; it closed in 2002 and was replaced by Trader Joe's. 

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hastings_Ranch,_Pasadena,_California

The Lower Hastings Ranch Homeowners Association is an incorporated non-profit corporation 501 (c). The title of the corporation is Lower Hastings Ranch Corporation.It was IRS approved as a non-profit on Sept. 30, 1991. Lower Hastings Ranch Homeowners Association was organized as a community help organization. All homeowners of residential properties in the area located between Rosemead Boulevard, Hastings Ranch Road, Sears Way, Michillinda Avenue, Sierra Madre Avenue, and Rim Road are considered members. All contributions are voluntary.

Brief History:

In the years after 1949 through the 1950’s the area was developed with primarily single family homes. There was a need for the new homeowners to get acquainted with one another
and to see that the city of Pasadena was enforcing zoning regulations and residential inspections. The association at that time was a neighborhood help, social and city watchdog
organization. Programs were initiated such as the Neighborhood Watch Program with block captains for crime and surveillance with the police department’s help. The association
had meetings in which members of the fire and police departments distributed emergency information such as earthquake preparedness, area crime information and home safety information.

As the greater area developed, there was a need to have a strong voice heard to represent the residential owners at the City Planning Department and City Council if needed. In 1989,
the State of California Department of Parole proposed placing a Parole office on Rosemead Blvd. or Foothill Blvd. At the time Rosemead Blvd. was an entertainment destination area with a large theater and bowling alley. Parolees would have come to the office for drug test and/or monthly reporting. The association organized a public meeting with the California Parole Department, the residents of east Pasadena, and elected officials such as a State Senator, State Assembly Representatives, and City Director Jess Hughston. The meeting was held at the Pasadena Church of the Nazarene and was well attended by the community.

From 1993 through 1994, members of the Association worked with the City Planning Department and the developer of the Hastings Village shopping center to work out the details of the development at the corner of Halstead and Foothill. The site was previously owned by Kodak and was larger than 9 acres. Many meetings were required in order to come to an agreeable
plan for the development of the shopping center. Later in the development process, the developer tried to substantially increase the allowable building height in order to build a stadium seating theater. We objected to this height increase and the Planning Commission agreed with us; no stadium seating theater was built. 

Cities in California are required to update their General Plan every ten years. The association has been able to voice some of its concerns on development for the East Pasadena
Area. Mansionization has been a concern for the entire city of Pasadena. East Pasadena is in the forefront of this battle and is the first chosen by the city to work with the City Planning Department to formulate and implement zoning restrictions. 

Gerald Wright
Treasurer LHRA

(edited/updated by Brenda Jones, LHRA Board Member)

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