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Council Approves Call for Review on West Pasadena Medical Office Project

Hearing officer denied parking variance opposed by local residents

Published on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 | 5:51 am
A view of the proposed project. (Image via City of Pasadena)

The City Council approved a call for review on a variance that would have allowed a development to proceed without onsite parking at 1388 W. Colorado Blvd., near Melrose Avenue in West Pasadena.

Developers at the site want to build a 675 square-foot, single-story medical office building.

A hearing officer rejected the variance on April 7.

Neighbors of the project said they were concerned that parking would spill into nearby businesses and on the street, increasing traffic in the neighborhood, which includes a nearby park.

But instead of questioning the Hearing Officer’s decision, the neighborhood associations in the area are hoping to see if they can collaborate with the owner.

“We’re kind of playing against type here,” said Councilman Steve Madison. “The Hearing Officer disapproved the project, but the neighbors want to see if they can work with the developer on an acceptable project.”

The item would come back to the City Council and would not go to the Board of Zoning Appeals.

San Rafael Neighborhoods Association President Robin Salzer said his group is pleased that iMadison filed a call for review.

“At issue are personal property rights to build versus neighborhood compatibility and a variance for no parking on the property,” Salzer told Pasadena Now. “Our neighbors in the San Rafael Park area are very concerned about the shortage of parking for the park visitors and the small businesses adjacent to the proposed project in addition to the possibility of losing the clock tower and green scape on Melrose Avenue.”

The SRNA encouraged the neighbors to team up and voice their opinions pro or con.

“Teamwork manages frustration by banding together and finding doable solutions that might not be accomplished alone,” Salzer said.

Salzer encouraged every neighbor and District 6 resident to get involved in this project by sending their comments to the City of Pasadena Planning Department.”

Area residents that opposed the variance said they worry that the lack of parking would impact nearby parking lots and street parking.

The San Rafael Neighborhoods Association put out a call for feedback on the project earlier this month, which led to letters from local residents calling on the hearing officer to deny the variance and protect the neighborhood.

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