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San Rafael Neighborhoods Association Calls for Comment on Development in West Pasadena

Developer of Medical Center project seeks a variance for no onsite parking

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

The San Rafael Neighborhoods Association (SRNA) is calling for comment on a proposed development scheduled to go before a city hearing officer at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 7.

The project calls for the construction of a 675 square-foot, single-story medical office building at 1388 W. Colorado Blvd., near Melrose Avenue.

The applicant is requesting several variances including one that would allow no onsite parking at the location and two minor variances to adjust setbacks.

“The SRNA is seeking feedback on the scope and scale of the commercial project at Melrose Avenue and Colorado Boulevard,” said SRNA President Robin Salzer in an email to Pasadena Now. “Private property rights and neighborhood conformity are the issues at stake and your comments are a vital component to the direction of the development process that city staff will ultimately decide on.”

Local residents say that the lack of parking at the new building would lead to more parking on nearby streets.

“My family and I live on Glen Summer (Road) and are extremely concerned about the variance application for the above property,” wrote Eric Goldreich. 

“In addition to the potential disruption caused by the construction to both residents and businesses, the area is already desperately short of parking spots,” Goldreich noted. “The popularity of Little Flower, The Kitchen and the San Rafael Park already make parking in the area a challenge and drive visitors to park in front of our homes on Glen Summer, or on Colorado, a very busy street already.”

According to Goldreich, San Rafael Park is regularly filled with children, and cars sometimes park 10 or more in a line on each side of Glen Summer Road, south of the park. 

“Adding a new structure while at the same time reducing parking would be unsafe as more and more pedestrians would be walking across Melrose from parking on Glen Summer [many frequently jaywalk with their coffees from Little Flower and the problem would only worsen]. Similarly, the neighbors on Glen Summer would be further inconvenienced and disrupted by more cars parked in front of their homes. We urge you to reject the Variance application,” Goldreich wrote. 

This is the second time the project has come before a hearing officer.

On Sept. 16, a similar project was scheduled to be considered.  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. 

In response to the community feedback, staff successfully requested that the hearing officer continue the item.

“Based on the feedback from the community, the applicant modified the original proposal,” according to a staff report. “In order to preserve the landscaped open space and maintain visibility to the existing clock building, the applicant relocated the new medical office building to the southeast corner of the site, within the existing surface parking lot.” 

According to one nearby business owner, if the variance is granted, customers at the medical center will park in her lot and infringe upon her business. 

“He has six spaces now and we are impacted by not enough parking,” Moore wrote. “If the current owner builds on his parking lot with zero parking required they will all park in my lot and we will have a bigger problem. Once again, I strongly oppose zero parking. A medical practice needs parking.”

The SRNA is requesting comments be sent by April 6. Comments can be sent to  jpaige@cityofpasadena.net  or jvanpatten@cityofpasadena.net

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