|McDonald: He'd hoped for a better outcome.|
Pasadena Star News: Sierra Madre developer turns to City Council for approval to build Hillside home (link): On the agenda at Sierra Madre City Council meeting Tuesday, January 13, 2015, is a recommendation to hold a public hearing about a property at 610 Baldwin Ct., where the developer, CETT, wants to build a 2-story 3,000+ sq. ft. home. The council will decide whether to approve or overturn the project approval granted by the Planning Commission.
The Sierra Madre City Council will make a final decision today about a key Hillside residential development project, putting an end to the years-long issue.
At the meeting, council members will decide whether to approve or deny a Hillside Development Permit and Conditional Use Permit for the property located at 610 Baldwin Court. Approval of the permits would allow the applicant, CETT Corporation, to construct a two-story, 3,125 square foot single-family residence on the lot, a development which some residents and council members say would change the aesthetics of the community.
“Our hillsides are very important to us and the development that goes into those hillsides is equally important to us,” City Manager Elaine Aguilar said.
There is a lot of history to this particular site, as it was established by the City’s founding father Nathaniel C. Carter. Formerly known as One Carter, Aguilar said houses built in the Stonegate subdivision have to abide by Hillside Management Zone guidelines, a set of unique regulations.
The property has changed hands a few times since the lot was sold and subdivided in 2007, and subsequently named Stonegate. Several developers have tried to build in the hillside community but have received strong opposition from residents.
The issue on today’s agenda dates back to 2013, when the Planning Commission denied the initial proposal. An appeal brought the issue before the City Council, which recommended a second Planning Commission hearing.
“We tried to work very cooperatively, and when the Planning Commission asked us, on three occasions, to make changes, we did,” said attorney Richard McDonald. “We comply with all zoning requirements.”
The Planning Commission unanimously approved the project in 2014 but the City Council wanted to review it before giving final approval.
At a Nov. 25 hearing, the council found that the “project does not meet architectural and site design standards because the design is not sensitive to the natural terrain.”
“Because it’s on the hillside, we recommended a smaller second story so the massing wouldn’t be so big as to block the hillside,” Councilwoman Denise Delmar said.
McDonald said he expects the council to deny the project.
“They just don’t want development up there,” McDonald said. “They want everything to just be one story as they’ve said many times before.”
Last week, city officials received nine applications for proposed homes in the Stonegate subdivision. The proposed homes range in size from 4,000 to 6,000 square feet, with eight of the lots located on Baldwin Court. The applications are pending city approval.
(Mod: Tonight's meeting begins at 6:30 sharp, and the 610 Baldwin Court showdown is item #2. You do not want to be late! Here is a link to the agenda.)