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Monday Morning Bullpen: Oversight Here, But Not There?

Published on Monday, May 23, 2022 | 5:00 am
 

Looks like a packed City Council agenda on Monday.

The biggest item is easily the zoning code amendments that would allow housing on church property “by right.”

Under the by right stipulation, “By right” projects are only subject to a review by the Design Commission — no hearing officer or Planning Commission bearings are required for a Conditional Use Permit or other discretionary entitlements.

The funny part is some of the same people who scream for oversight are calling for zoning code amendments that would lead to less oversight on these projects.

Some of them also screaming for campaign financing limits so they could put chains on those evil housing developers.

This however, loosens restrictions.

Either you want oversight or you don’t.

You can’t call oversight good government over here and say let’s get rid of it over there.

I’m just not down for that.

In nearby Altadena, residents expressed concerns about a five-story affordable housing project at 2439-2445 Lincoln Ave., just north of the Pasadena border.

The site once housed a gas station. It’s still unclear how much clean up has been done or if an environmental impact report has been completed regarding the site.

Local residents also claimed there is insufficient parking. With about 30 spaces located at grade, and no underground parking for the 96 to 120 residents and staff, there will be additional traffic and congestion in the area, according to the petition.

The developer was kind enough to reduce the size of the project after Supervisor Kathryn Barger requested it. But had the developer decided against the request, he could have told her to kick sand and there would have been nothing she could do about it.

I get it, we’re in a housing crisis.

But I don’t think taking away public hearings, committee scrutiny and other key components to the city’s process is the answer to that process.

I expect it to pass though.

The housing folks have been talking about this for the better part of two years and now the agenda item carries political weight.

The other item that should be interesting to watch is the city’s military use policy.

Under a new law the city has to develop a policy requiring the police to disclose and seek approval before purchasing “military” equipment.

The quotes are there to highlight that the equipment doesn’t have to be military-level gear.

The only thing the city has purchased from the military is three helicopters.

The policy has been posted for 90 days and now the council will have a full discussion before the first reading of the ordinance.

It’s gone through the police oversight commission.

The city has to comply with the law, but also this is good and proper oversight which is what the housing people call for the police, but then … well, see above.

Pass it.

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