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Council to Consider Call for Review on West Pasadena Medical Office Project

Hearing officer denied parking variance opposed by local residents

Published on Monday, April 26, 2021 | 5:00 am

The City Council on Monday is expected to consider 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.

Area business owners also opposed the variance and claimed that, if granted, it would lead to customers at the medical center occupying parking spaces reserved for other businesses, leading to more chaos.

“Granting the application is not in conformance with the goals, policies and objectives of the General Plan, and the purpose and intent of any specific plan and the purpose of the zoning code and would constitute a grant of a special privilege inconsistent with limitations on other properties in the vicinity and in the same zone district,” wrote Hearing Officer Paul Novak.

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.

City Councilmember Steve Madison submitted the call for review on April 19.

The project came before the hearing officer in September when a similar project was scheduled to be considered, but the project was never heard.

At that time, city staff members received 17 letters in opposition, expressing concerns regarding pedestrian and vehicular visibility at the intersection, loss of landscaped open space, and loss of the existing clock building and/or visibility of the building onsite.

“There are two very popular businesses that are in the direct vicinity of the building now and they serve the neighborhood community and more, using all the parking available to those businesses now,” wrote Kathleen Goodwin.

“Coupled with the very popular San Rafael Park across the street from these businesses, the area is already highly impacted with cars and traffic, creating a very unsafe situation if the medical offices take away parking and force people using the park and businesses already there to park on streets around the area,” Goodwin wrote.

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