Members of the Planning Commission have rejected the Huntington Memorial Hospital’s request to facilitate the construction of a medical office building in the South Fair Oaks neighborhood, which has increasingly aroused the community’s ire.
With a 5-2 vote, commissioners on Wednesday rejected Huntington’s request for a conditional and minor conditional use permit that would have allowed the construction of a 100,285 square foot medical office building at 758 and 766. South Fair Oaks Ave.
Commissioners Steven Olivas and Jason Lyon were absent from the meeting.
The proposed development included a four-story, three-level underground parking building with 251 on-site parking spaces and 45 shared off-site parking spaces.
Huntington Hospital President and CEO Dr Lori Morgan said the development would ensure the long-term viability of Huntington in Pasadena.
“Our mission is to provide high quality compassionate health care to our community and this project keeps that mission in mind,” Morgan said. “For better access to health care, we need to shift more of our care to the outpatient arena and this building is essential to that effort. “
Neighborhood associations and concerned citizens who spoke at the public hearing expressed their opposition to the development.
The majority of them asked the applicant to continue the dialogue with the community as they raised concerns about the design of the project, the potential increase in traffic in the neighborhood and the increase in noise and traffic. air pollution, among other concerns.
Dan Beal, president of the West Pasadena Residents Association stressed the need to continue raising community awareness for the project.
Beal also expressed the need for development to be in line with the updated South Fair Oaks specific plan, which is currently under development.
Erika Foy of the Madison Heights Neighborhood Association agreed with Beal.
“I know the Huntington Hospital is disappointed by the community’s backsliding on their project. For many of us, it’s not easy because we love the hospital, ”said Foy.
“Those of us who have worked diligently on these plans and the future of the region have just put so much time and energy into them that we are sure this project could better align with the ongoing vision. creation, ”added Foy.
“It would be great to have continuity because we want to help solve this problem. Organizations like Huntington Hospital should not be faced with such roadblocks, ”she continued.
Commissioner Mic Hansen agreed with the public, in particular on the need to address design issues to comply with the specific plan and to conduct a more in-depth study on the impact of the project on traffic.
“I am baffled by the traffic study. I have a lot of concerns and I regret that the applicant is not willing to have a continuation so that all these neighborhood associations and various stakeholders can sit down with them and come to a good resolution because we revere the Huntington Hospital. He is an extremely important member of the community.
“It’s a shame that a dialogue cannot be continued with neighbors and organizations so that we give ourselves another month to have a very good project,” said Hansen.
Commissioner Lambert Giessinger agreed that more community awareness is needed.
“To have somehow this friction at this point seems strange to me that it seems like this kind of project, properly designed with everyone on board, will navigate through the system, there wouldn’t be people there. oppose at this stage to treat it. “
The commissioners who voted against the motion to reject the project are commissioners Julianna Delgado and Tim Wendler. Both voted no as they felt that most of the issues raised can be refined during the design review process.
The five Commissioners who voted yes to the refusal are Commissioners Hansen, Giessinger, David Coher, Carol Hunt Hernandez and Andrea Rawlings.