Design Commission to Review Controversial Public Restroom Proposed for the Arroyo's Desiderio Park

Published : Monday, April 9, 2018 | 5:16 AM


One proposed design option for the planned restroom as seen in a City report.

Pasadena’s Design Commission on Tuesday will review plans to construct a new public bathroom and storage building in Desiderio Neighborhood Park at 10 North Arroyo Blvd.

The proposed restroom/storage building would be located at the northernmost portion of Desiderio Neighborhood Park on the western portion of the former Desiderio Army Reserve Center site. It will be built on a small sliver of land north of the Colorado Street Bridge, which crosses the park overhead.

Earlier community discussions at the City Council and at the Public Safety Committee about the Desiderio housing project explored public concerns about suicides and attempted suicides from the Colorado Street Bridge, as well as special considerations that may be necessary for the safety of incoming residents and of those who will be using a children’s park area between the new homes and the foot of the bridge.

Additionally, recent law enforcement remarks have indicated there is an active homeless encampment in the Arroyo near the park’s location.

For Tuesday’s meeting, City Councilmember Steve Madison sent out an email encouraging his constituents at District 6 to come to the Design Commission meeting to be informed about the latest project developments, and possibly contribute input for the consolidated design review.

On March 13, the Department of Planning and Community Development approved an application for Consolidated Design Review for the project, and added some minor changes to the design following comments during a Design Commission meeting on March 27.

The building is proposed to be 875 square feet in size, 12 feet nine inches high, rectangular in shape with a gabled roof with exposed extended beams and deep eaves, and designed to reference the Craftsman style. It will be a concrete block structure clad in painted fiber-cement lap siding in two shades of brown, with a recessed alcove providing access to the two restrooms and four pairs of flat hollow-metal doors on the side and rear entrances.

The Planning department said approval of the Consolidated Design Review is subject to the following conditions, which shall be adhered to before issuance of a building permit: the building’s fiber-cement siding shall be of a smooth texture rather the originally proposed false wood grain texture, the proponent shall provide manufacturer’s product literature and color specifications for the metal doors, and shall provide additional architectural details including eaves, door openings and siding corners.

Also on Tuesday, the Design Commission will undertake a Concept Design Review of a project to build a new four-to-six-story mixed-use building at 170-180 South Euclid Avenue in District 6, with 1,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, 42 residential units and at-grade and subterranean parking.

A report by the Planning and Community Development Department said the site is comprised of two adjoining lots 22,514 square feet on the east side of S. Euclid Avenue between Green Street and Cordova Street. A 5,201-square-foot building constructed in 1958 currently stands on the site and is proposed to be demolished. The historic Pinney House, built in 1908, which also stands on the site is proposed to be relocated to 840-842 N. Fair Oaks Avenue.

The Design Commission, composed of nine members, advises the Pasadena City Council on the establishment of design standards, criteria, concepts and policies for the implementation of public and private projects. It also reviews projects for the purpose of creating uniform design concepts and to ensure the maintenance of design excellence.

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

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