• (Photo - Pasadena Heritage).

      (Photo – Pasadena Heritage).

      If you see new houses going up that are out of scale and character with your neighborhood, or watch “remodeling” projects become virtual demotions, and if you know of new homes that are good examples and contribute to the neighborhood, then you may want to get involved!

      Now is the time to raise your concerns and tell the City’s Planning Department what you think!

      Pasadena Heritage has witnessed new residential construction dramatically out of scale and out of character with surrounding older homes with the result that the feeling of a whole block or street is compromised. In a few cases, we were able to help stop illegal, unpermitted projects, but more often we learn that current zoning regulations allow what is being built.

      Our city has special design standards for new multi-family dwellings, hillside locations, and historic properties and districts, but not for new single-family homes.

      Those who don’t want the city to adopt any new design standards may argue that restrictions will impact property rights and therefore property values. However, incompatible construction also impacts property values as well as community integrity. By disrupting privacy and views, increasing energy consumption, introducing storm water run-off issues or unnecessary tree removal, the impacts of insensitive design can be damaging to the entire street in many ways. Furthermore, demolition is environmentally insensitive and should be strongly discouraged.

      Pasadena City Planning Department is taking steps to improve this situation, starting with a three-phase study to examine existing development standards and meet with the community before recommending possible changes to the zoning code.

      Four community meetings will be held around the city to hear from residents. Please try to attend one (or more) of these meetings and raise your questions, bring examples (bad and good), and express your thoughts.

      Our historic neighborhoods are a critical part of what makes our city so desirable. Let’s work for solutions that help new homes be good neighbors.


      Rescheduled! Thurs., April 30 Allendale Library

      Thurs., May 7 Pasadena City College

      6:00 – 8:00 p.m. 1570 E. Colorado Blvd. (Parking Lot 3 or 4, $2 per car).

      Tue., May 12 Madison Elementary Auditorium

      4:00 – 6:00 p.m. 515 Ashtabula St.

      Wed., May 20 Jefferson Elementary Auditorium

      6:00 – 8:00 p.m. 1600 E. Villa St.

      Thurs., May 21 Armenian General Benevolent Union

      6:00 – 8:00 p.m. 2495 E. Mountain St.

      Thurs., June 11 Westridge School Braun Center

      6:00 – 8:00 p.m. 324 Madeline Dr.

      ! From a Pasadena Heritage Advocacy Alert.

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      1. Carol Germain says:

        The presentation arranged by Pasadena Heritage last Thursday was the first positive thing I’ve heard about construction in Pasadena (although after the meeting I wasn’t clear on where Pasadena is in the process – I think it’s just at the stage of being presented at the general plan meetings). The speakers discussed “Form Based Coding,” which takes into consideration the size, style, goals, walkability, demographics, etc. of a particular area, and new construction must fit into the design, needs, and goals of that area, as opposed to just R1 or whatever, where you’re basically only limited (and then barely) by size and use. Of course, the primary example of design gone insane, to the detriment of the surrounding area, is that hideous concrete monster at 747 S. Los Robles. Form Based Coding would prevent such out of scale and out of sync designs, and stop the building of these ugly concrete monstrosities with huge columns, “parking lots” in front of the house, and shiny stuff everywhere.

      2. Alex says:

        As a matter of fact why don’t we return to the cave ages? 30 thousands years later they look very modern! Besides they blend into the landscape as if they were organic and “green” right off the bat.

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