In a story printed on the 21st in the Pasadena Star News, staff writer Janette Williams describes these happenings thusly:
Pasadena group sues city over scope of retail/office development - Pasadenans for a Livable City - a newly formed group that includes former City Councilman Sid Tyler and Planning Commissioner Richard Norton - filed suit Monday against the city to stop the $75 million Playhouse Plaza project the City Council approved on Nov. 17.
The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, claims the city did not follow the California Environmental Quality Act, and violated its own rules on downtown development when it gave the go-ahead to the five-story, 159,000-square foot retail/office project at Colorado Boulevard and South El Molino Avenue.
According to the suit, the project's "mass and scale would overwhelm the Playhouse National Register District buildings," including the historic Pasadena Playhouse. It also claims that environmental reports failed to adequately study the impact on traffic on South El Molino between Colorado and Green Street.
Gosh, mercenary elected officials attempting to circumvent CEQA in order to allow a powerful development company to build some hideous goliath of a mixed use monstrosity right in the middle of one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in the city? Like that never happens. And don't those troublesome preservation people know that according to SB 375 when you build big mixed-use buildings in a downtown neighborhood people magically give up their automobiles and take the bus, thus saving the world from immolation by greenhouse gas?
Looks like Arnold and Darrell's very special Big Lie isn't working in Pasadena anymore.
This next bit is amusing. You can only wonder what Pasadena Mayor Bill "Build 'Em" Bogaard was doing when this project was approved by the City Council there.
Mayor Bill Bogaard said he learned about the lawsuit filing late Monday morning and was "anxious to read the complaint" in detail.
"One should remember that this is a project that was rejected unanimously by the (nine-member) Planning Commission, and that each of the commissioners had serious reservations about the EIR and other procedural and policy questions that were applicable to the proposal," Bogaard said.
It was "unusual" for the council to disregard the commissions views, he said.
Yeah sure, unusual. Except when there's a lot of money to be made, campaign contributions and other considerations to be pocketed, and patrons to be paid off.
As far as I can tell, Pasadena's downtown is filled with "unusual" these days. Oh, and traffic, too. You see, because Pasadena blindly gave in to "DSP-style" development around the time we dumped it, they now have a downtown very much in-line with what SCAG claims is the remedy to such things as traffic. Except that they now have more traffic than ever. The Rose City is rapidly becoming The Gridlock City.
It might not have been around when Pasadena fell for the redevelopment mirage. But whatever the sequence, the SB 375 concept clearly isn't working.