Committee Will Review Plans for New Development on Longtime Empty Lot

Published : Monday, September 10, 2018 | 4:58 AM

Pasadena’s Design Commission will conduct the Concept Design Review for a proposal to build a new five-story mixed-use building on a vacant lot at 233 North Hudson Avenue/737 East Walnut Street in the City’s District 3 when the Commission meets Tuesday.

What the applicant intends to build is a new building with 42 residential units and 5,729 square feet of commercial space, with three levels of subterranean parking on a corner lot that has long been vacant.

A staff report from the Department of Planning and Community Development shows the project is rectangular in shape and is approximately 16,300 square feet in size. Some of the significant properties surrounding the site include five-story residential buildings to its north and east, a two-to-five-story mixed-used and general commercial building to the south, and a two-story general commercial building to the west.

Lukens House, the closest historic resource to the project site, is at 267 North El Molino Avenue. The former JW Robinson Pasadena at 777 East Colorado Blvd., now a Target store, is an eligible historic resource and is two blocks to the south of the project site.

According to the staff report, the proposed building will be generally L-shaped and would occupy almost the entirely of the vacant space. A small rectangular courtyard will be located near the northeast corner facing North Hudson Avenue and adjacent to a vehicular access ramp at the northeast corner of the site which leads to the subterranean parking.

The report added the project applicant was granted an Affordable Housing Concession Permit (AHCP) and a density bonus to be allowed 42 residential units – including three “very low-income” units – instead of only the 33 units allowed for the site.

After a public hearing on the AHCP application in February, and the Hearing Officer’s approval, neighboring residential property owners to the north of the site belonging to the Hudson Locust Inc. homeowners association filed an appeal to the Board of Zoning Appeals, and later with the City Council. Both appeals were denied, although the City Council requested the Design Commission to consider design features that would address privacy concerns expressed by the association.

Tuesday’s meeting of the Design Commission will start at 6:30 p.m. at the City Council chamber, Room S249 at the Pasadena City Hall.

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