Planning Commission Scopes 525 New Hotel Rooms on a Single Corner

Published : Monday, November 18, 2013 | 6:24 AM

The Planning Commission held a scoping session last week for the Environmental Impact Report on the proposed hotel projects at Colorado Boulevard and Hill Avenue that would be a “Planned Development”–meaning a project with separate zoning ordinances.

The proposed hotel projects on Colorado and Hill would be the first planned development since 2002, joining the other 32 planned developments in the city’s history.

“If we change the zoning like this … there’s a specific reason to do so, but does that have any impact on changing the neighborhood?”  Commissioner Louisa Nelson asked.

The proposed project would build a 375-room hotel on the north parcel up to 90 feet or seven stories tall and a 150-room boutique hotel on the south parcel up to three stories tall with restaurants and retail on the ground floor. The total of the two parcels is 3.6 acres, with the north parcel being 2.94 acres and the sough parcel being .71 acres. The requirement for a planned development is a two-acre site.

At the first public scoping meeting the owners of the property adjacent to the north parcel came to voice their concerns over noise, vibrations, parking and traffic. Their concerns were included in the presentation to the Planning Commission and the couple also came to the meeting.

At the Planning Commission, several voiced additional insights for the Environmental Impact Report to explore.

“I would like to see the EIR analyze any impacts to the historic showroom. Regarding the traffic study, we need to have the most current list of projects in our analysis and be as broad as we can be. With respect to aesthetics the EIR should study potential views of the mountain being affected,” Commissioner Vince Farhat said along with several other comments.

Several suggestions were made about traffic, creating a massing model to avoid changing the mountain scenery, being very specific with viable alternatives, and look into how the material of the project might create a difference to the light in the neighborhood.

The areas that will definitely be studied in the Environmental Impact Report include aesthetics, air quality, cultural resources, greenhouse gas emissions, hazardous materials, hydrology and weather quality, land use and planning, noise, public services, transportation/traffic, utilities and service systems.

Public comment for the scoping period is open until November 18.

A draft Environmental Impact Report will be written with a 45-day public comment period to review the environmental impacts. The final Environmental Impact Report will then be drafted and submitted to City Council and by summer according to Colby will hopefully be a certified Environmental Impact Report. With that document finished and several additional approvals, the expected 18-month construction can begin.

For more information and to find the initial study document visit cityofpasadena.net/EkContent.aspx?theme+Navy&id=6442471252. The document is also available at City Hall, the Central Library and the Hill Branch Library. Send comments to City of Pasadena, Planning Department Attn: Jose D Jimenez, 175 N Garfield Avenue

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