Guest Opinion | Stop the Ill-Fated Kimpton Hotel Project That Will Ruin Our Civic Center

Published : Saturday, May 20, 2017 | 6:02 AM

A recent artist's vision of the proposed Kimpton Hotel beside Pasadena's Centennial Square

Honorable Mayor Tornek and Councilmember Masuda:

I am writing today to urge you to stop the ill-fated Kimpton Hotel project that will destroy our civic center. Taking over public park land, destroying the integrity of the Jackie Robinson Memorial and ruining the views of our iconic city hall doesn’t seem to be a very logical or desireable way to bring a boutique hotel to Pasadena.

I can’t believe you and the Kimpton development team haven’t come up with a more obvious and better solution when there are empty store fronts and blighted business areas all over Pasadena that would benefit from a new development like this.

That’s why I’ve joined the Pasadena Civic Center Coalition to stop this momentous disaster. You have had to pause the project and are trying to give the developer money to stay on board, while a group of concerned citizens is banding together and are donating their hard-earned money to try to stop you in court. Hello. Alarm bells should be ringing in your heads telling you something isn’t quite right with this picture.

The Kimpton Hotel is just one example of new and proposed development that is ruining the character of our city. From the prison-like fortress Trio Apartments in the Playhouse district to multiple box-like apartments being strewn across town, you are turning our streets into cement canyons, causing our traffic to come to a halt, and overwhelming our overtaxed infrastructure.

Then there’s news of an effort to bring a Home Depot to the former Avon distribution property. Really? This isn’t a joke? Already it’s almost impossible to travel down Foothill during most of the day. You risk your life trying to get in and out of Hasting Ranch commercial areas. Gridlock Boulevard is a better name for this street. Meanwhile, east of Lake, Colorado Boulevard is littered with blighted commercial strips, empty storefronts and prostitution. South Lake is littered with empty store fronts, and nothing can seem to make it here very long. Ill-fated traffic and parking “plans” and neglect are ruining these areas of the city.

While you are making sweetheart deals with developers, the basics of running a city are falling down the priority list. For instance, where I live, you can’t drive down Paloma or Mountain without huge chunks of the road coming up. One chunk almost hit me this morning as I was walking in my neighborhood.

So I join with those who say no to more runaway development. Stop strangling our city streets with ugly development and ruining our civic character. If I wanted dancing fountains, I would live in Las Vegas. If I wanted anything goes development and gridlock, I would have moved to the San Fernando Valley.

I hope you will start doing more for the citizens that live here and love Pasadena, and stop letting greedy, out-of-town developers have their way with our great city.

Sincerely,

Ken Perry

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