The Pasadena City Council on Monday will receive an overview and implementation update on the city’s general plan, described on the city’s website as “a blueprint to guide the future.”
The plan is made up of six elements: land use, mobility, housing, open space and conservation, noise, and safety.
All California cities and counties are required to develop and adopt a general plan, which, according to a staff report in Monday’s agenda, “is a comprehensive set of policy documents that provide the overall framework for translating broad community values and expectations into specific strategies for how a city or county should evolve.”
The general plan “establishes land use designations and policies that inform future land use decisions and assist decision-makers as they review planning approvals for a new project or consider a proposed ordinance or policy,” the report states.
“It has become clear to us that some changes do need to be made to the general plan,” said Pasadena Heritage in a letter signed by Executive Director Sue Mossman and Preservation Director Andrew Salimian.
“Though the 2015 General Plan is still a strong guide today, there are some realities that could not have been conceived of even five years ago, COVID-19 accelerating the work-from-home transition, housing costs that have continued to rise significantly,” the letter states.
According to Pasadena Heritage, the markets for office and retail space were struggling pre-COVID and have since continued to trend downward.
“There is simply much less need for commercial space than we could have predicted in 2015,” the letter states
The land use element is focused on new housing and employment opportunities with a mix of uses in the city’s specific plan areas and former redevelopment areas.
It further supports development within these focused areas by continuing to protect single-family residential neighborhoods and historic districts.
The mobility element is focused on enhancing livability, encouraging alternatives to motor vehicles, including biking, and creating a supportive climate for economic viability. The city lists several active programs the Planning Department is working on in this area.
The agenda report lists current efforts to curb mansionization, possible revisions to the Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance, the city’s Climate Action Plan (CAP), the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, the Historic Preservation Ordinance, and a housing element update.