Pasadena City Council to Conduct Three Public Hearings Monday

Published : Saturday, December 9, 2017 | 6:09 PM

Three public hearings are on the Pasadena City Council’s agenda for Monday, December 11, two of them related to accessory dwelling units.

The first public hearing relates to the designation of 545 Westgate Street, the former residence of civil rights advocate Ruby McKnight Williams, as a landmark. The house is described as a distinctive example of a Folk Victorian house and retains most of its significant character-defining features, an agenda report from the Planning and Community Development Department for Monday’s meeting showed.

Williams, a locally significant figure in the civil rights movement in Pasadena, lived in the house from about 1954 to 1999, during the most productive years of her activity, qualifying the residence for designation as a landmark under Criteria B and C, the report said.

The house was constructed in 1892 as a single-family residence and sits on an 8,764 square foot rectangular lot in a flat single-family-residential neighborhood setting in northwestern Pasadena. The present owners, Aishwarya Nukala and Andrew Lewellen, applied for landmark designation on May 1, and evaluation by City staff determined that the house qualifies.

One of the two public hearings related to accessory dwelling units is intended to amend the Zoning Code, specifically Section 17.50.275. Among the more notable recommended amendments is setting the minimum lot size for a newly constructed accessory dwelling unit to 7,200 square feet, from a prior recommendation of 5,000 square feet. The changes also set a minimum rear yard setback for a newly constructed accessory dwelling unit at 10 feet, and the minimum side yard setback the same as primary dwelling, which is 10 percent of lot width, but not less than five feet.

The maximum size of a newly constructed accessory dwelling unit is being set to 800 square feet or 50 percent of the size of the primary dwelling, whichever is less, according to the amendments.

On the tree preservation requirement, the amendment would require a one-for-one replacement of mature trees in a protected zone. Currently, the requirement is to comply with the City’s Tree Protection Ordinance.

The proposed amendments were taken up by the Planning Commission in a meeting in May, resulting in some additional modifications.

Finally, the last public hearing will discuss Pasadena Municipal Code amendments on development impact fees applicable to accessory dwelling units.

The recommended amendments are a result of consultations by the Planning and Community Development Department with the public and with the Planning Commission. The suggestion was to reduce certain development impact fees, specifically the Residential Impact Fee, which will be reduced to $957.30 for new and legalized accessory dwelling units.

The Traffic Reduction and Transportation Improvement Fee would also be waived for new and legalized accessory dwelling units. For covenanted affordable Accessory Dwelling Units, both fees are suggested to be waived entirely.

Public hearings at the City Council meeting usually begin around 7 p.m.

The City Council meets at City Council Chambers, Room S249 at the Pasadena City Hall.


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