• A scientist in a lab

      Pasadena Bioscience (Photo – City of Pasadena)

      The City of Pasadena unveiled strategic zoning changes aimed at expanding and growing the City’s bioscience industry.

      By News Desk

      The revised zoning regulations, unanimously approved by the Pasadena City Council, encompass adjustments that streamline the process for establishing and expanding life science facilities in the City.

      With eased restrictions on parking and conditional use permit requirements and greater allowances for building heights and the use of roof space for equipment, these changes aim to facilitate the creation of state-of-the-art research centers, laboratories, and biotech facilities, fostering an environment for scientific breakthroughs and job creation.

      The changes also simplify the current definition of research and development (R&D) in the City’s zoning code, removing distinctions between office and non-office uses, which will be key to life science companies, whose facilities commonly combine labs, offices, and other research spaces together to fulfill their unique business needs.

      These changes come after months of collaboration with local industry leaders such as Xencor, Protomer, Huntington Medical Research Institutes and Doheny Eye Institute; nonprofit industry advocates, Biocom California; and architecture and real estate experts, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, JLL and Gensler. These latest approvals continue the City’s momentum in reviewing policies to support industry growth, like the October 2022 revision of the City’s stringent hazardous materials reporting requirements to bring them in line with California state requirements. The revamped regulations prioritize flexibility and efficiency, providing incentives for companies to set up research and development facilities, while ensuring compatibility with the city’s urban landscape and community needs.

      David Klug, Economic Development Director, expressed enthusiasm about the transformative potential of these adjustments:

      The adoption of these zoning changes underscores our commitment to fostering innovation and supporting the growth of the life science industry in Pasadena. We aim to attract top-tier talent and innovative companies, positioning Pasadena as a leader in life science in Southern California.”

      “Xencor recently relocated our laboratories and offices to Pasadena, in part because Pasadena has the necessary resources and capacity to support growing life science companies like us,” said Bassil Dahiyat, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Xencor. “A key ingredient to attracting and retaining companies that create leading technologies is to stay competitive with regard to regulations.”

      “This package of land use changes sends a message to the life science industry that Pasadena is a top destination for our companies to locate and grow. Making small changes to how we define research and development as well as rooftop and parking requirements can go a long way for biotech facilities that operate under tight regulatory guidelines,” said Dan Gober, Executive Director of Biocom California’s Los Angeles office. “Biocom California is proud to have worked on this legislation with city staff in Pasadena over the last year, and we appreciate the councilmembers’ affirmation that this will help create additional high paying jobs in Pasadena for people of all backgrounds.”

      The City anticipates new investments, job opportunities, and groundbreaking discoveries, propelling the life science industry to new heights while cementing Pasadena’s status as an innovation-driven city. The city hopes that these changes will take Pasadena to the next level, as a thriving hub for life science research and development.

      > If you’re looking to locate your life science business to Pasadena, contact the Economic Development Division at EconomicDevelopment@CityOfPasadena.net or (626) 744-4660.


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      1. Alison says:

        Would someone be so kind as to give me info or a link to the revisions adopted from our original zoning restrictions to the new zoning increased height, parking, and conditional use permits? I hope it will not change the easements, views, and vistas that have made Pasadena uniquely lovely, especially compared to other clutter-box-built cities around L.A. Will our environment be impacted due to the increase in our carbon footprint with an increased backup of auto traffic?

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