Developer’s Condo Proposal a Textbook Example of How Bonus, Concessions System Works

Published : Sunday, September 24, 2017 | 10:52 AM

A Predevelopment Plan Review (PPR) application to construct a 72-unit mixed-use density bonus project on the subject property located at the northeast corner of Green Street and Oak Knoll Avenue has been submitted to Pasadena.

[Updated]  A seven-story 80,000 square-foot mixed-use building with 72 residential units will likely soon replace the 22,776-square-foot surface parking lot at the northeast corner of Green Street and Oak Knoll Avenue in downtown Pasadena, and the development could serve as a textbook case for how the city’s inclusionary housing system works.

The addition of low-income units within the project has entitled the developer to a number of bonuses and concessions.

According to the Zoning Code’s residential density provision, the developer, a developer represented by Pasadena-based Odyssey Development Services, owned by Burke Farrar, could only build 53 condominium units. But by offering to build 11 percent of the units (equivalent to six units) as “very low-income,” bonuses and concessions permit Odyssey to build up to 72 residential units, effectively earning the project a 35-percent density bonus.

The affordable housing density bonus provisions are under Section 17.43.040 of the Zoning Code, which says the maximum allowable residential density on the site, part of Pasadena’s Central District, is 62 units per acre. The project site is 0.81 acres.

By setting aside the six units for very low-income home buyers, the developer will have 13 more units saleable at full price, or a total of 66 full-priced units in the building.

The project will still require Design Review since it is new construction in excess of 5,000 square feet. The City’s Design Commission will be the reviewing authority.

Because the proposed is located within the Central District Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Area, the developer is required to provide one residential parking space for units 650 square feet or less, and 1.5 to 1.75 parking spaces for units greater than 650 square feet.

Additionally, one guest parking space must be provided for every ten units. Because of this, the minimum required parking for the residential component of the proposed project is 96 parking spaces and the maximum allowed parking is 104 parking spaces.

With the proposed 5,401 square feet of retail space in the building, the developer will also be required to provide 16 parking spaces (3 parking spaces per 1,000 square feet). But since the proposed project is within the Central District TOD Area, the parking requirement for this use must be reduced by no less than 10 percent to 14 parking spaces and no more than 20 percent to 13 parking spaces.

The project should also have a minimum of 14,040 square feet of community space, based on the minimum requirement of 150 square feet per dwelling unit.

Community space includes both indoor or interior space and outdoor open space and can be in the form of private open space, like balconies, or common open space, as pool or side or rear setback areas.

The developer’s plans indicate that a total of 14,470 square feet will be allocated for community space, including 4,341 square feet of private open space.

The building is currently planned to feature 5,401 square feet of ground floor commercial space, and a total of 173 parking spaces within three levels of subterranean parking and one ground-level parking.

The project is now on the predevelopment plan review phase and was heard as an information-only item in the City Council’s meeting last Monday, on September 18.


[Editor's Note: This story originally misidentified the developer as Pasadena-based Odyssey Development Services, owned by Burke Farrar. In fact, Odyssey Development Services is a consultancy firm representing the developer.]