School District Asks City For Zoning Change To Facilitate Headquarters Property Swap

Published : Monday, June 3, 2019 | 5:00 AM

The City Council tonight will consider a request by the Pasadena Unified School District to change the zoning classification of the District’s longtime headquarters building on South Hudson Avenue in an effort to facilitate its sale or exchange.

In 2018, PUSD issued what is known as a request for qualifications (RFQ) from potential suitors interested in swapping their property with the District’s headquarters site.

The District has since approached the City, “to request assistance with facilitating the sale of PUSD’s headquarters, partially in order to improve PUSD’s financial stability,” according to the agenda report.

The District is looking for a qualified respondent willing to acquire its offices at 351 South Hudson Avenue in exchange for property owned by said respondent.

According to a District web page outlining the idea, the exchange process envisioned, “is structured to ensure that the District receives the best value” from its potential suitor.

The parcel is 4.3 acres in size. The potential swap could be for one or more properties.

Technically speaking, the District has asked the City to initiate a “Land Use Diagram Amendment” for the parcel, from institutional and medium-high density residential, to low-medium mixed use.

Practically speaking, the idea is to amend the site’s land use designation/zoning district from one limiting it to primarily institutional uses, to another allowing a wider variety of applications.

“This would thereby make the property more marketable and more financially valuable,” said the agenda report.

The majority of the site has a zoning designation of PS (Public,Semi-Public), while its southwestern portion is zoned for multi-family residential.

City staff are recommending a zoning map amendment to Planned to Development (PD).

They say such an amendment would “facilitate the crafting of a specific set of regulations to govern future development on the site; regulations that would detail the allowed uses, as well as building height, size and setbacks.”

For more about the proposed property exchange see here.

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