First published in the Sept. 8 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.
I have lived in La Cañada for 27 great years. I moved here for good schools and a larger home for my family.
Unfortunately, California is forcing draconian new zoning requirements on every city, pushing us to build massive numbers of apartments, despite the state’s dwindling population, unstable electrical grid and severe water shortages.
On Sept. 12, our City Council will vote on a revised Housing Plan, with zoning that will allow for some 900 apartments to be built in La Cañada, 57% more than the 612 mandated by California. The 47-unit apartment complex at 600 Foothill is back, but few know that St. George’s Rector Amy Pringle has formally written to the city to rezone their properties, allowing for as many as 50 apartments per acre. On their 2.1-acre lot, they could therefore build as many as 100 low-income apartments. I confirmed these possible numbers with two city officials.
The impact on nearby residents, who were not surprisingly never informed of St. George’s lobbying efforts, would be enormous. Commonwealth Avenue is already one of the busiest residential streets in the city. Low-income apartments are often allowed looser standards such as parking and building setbacks that can even override city requirements. If these apartments are built, LCF would certainly need to restrict street parking on nearby residential streets and spend more money on parking enforcement and other city services. Our schools will likely be impacted as well.
I’ve been told that there are no existing plans to actually build these apartments, but the Rev. Pringle’s three confirmed contacts with the city pushing high-density zoning, her conversations with developers and common sense tells us that rezoning St. George’s will lead to eventual, if not quick development.
We can still meet our state apartment requirement by adopting a lower rather than higher density zoning for St. George’s and 600 Foothill. I encourage all LCF residents to attend the City Council meeting on Monday, Sept. 12, at 6 p.m. and make their voices heard.
La Cañada Flintridge