Hotel approval will help Pasadena Police

Hotel approval will help Pasadena Police

A proposed hotel that will be the largest built in Pasadena in the past 20 years cleared some important legal hurdles this week but it remains to be seen how soon the 525-room travel stop will be built.

The Pasadena City Council voted unanimously on Monday night to approve an Environmental Impact Report for the site, which occupies two parcels on opposites sides of East Colorado at North Hill Avenue. The go-ahead came with conditions that could shrink the overall size of the project. T

he City Council decided that developer J & L Plus Investment group must apply for a conditional use permit before the southern parcel can have any hotel rooms. Otherwise, that parcel will remain as residential or commercial space.

Attorney Richard McDonald, who represented the developer, told members of the council that the proposed hotel will draw business from Pasadena City College and Caltech. McDonald said Caltech has committed to hosting conferences at the hotel if the necessary facilities are built.

The plan did draw opposition from residents. Charles Hong a trustee of Holliston United Methodist Church, in the same block as the planned development questioned Caltech’s commitment. He also expressed concerns about traffic and public safety.

“Holliston asks that this council take the time and meet with those who are seriously impacted, and deliberate from thereon,” Hong said.

McDonald said his client met all the concerned parties including the church.

As for safety concerns, Pasadena Police Association President Roger Roldan expressed his support for the project. He said Temporary Occupancy Tax (TOT) revenue generated by the seven-story hotel will make up an important part of police department funding.

“Instead of all those dollars being redirected to the Convention Center, those TOT dollars above expenses will go into the general fund,” Roldan said.

Members of the City Council had initial reservations about the size and scope of the project.

Councilwoman Margaret McAustin said at first she didn’t understand the need for a large hotel, but eventually came around after meetings with the architects.

“Going through with the applicant and architect, they explained to me the way the building is stepped down,” McAustin said. “I sort of began to understand how it makes sense.”

With the vote in its favor,the developer must now submit plans to the Design Commission, while an application for the conditional use permit required before hotel rooms can be added on the southern parcel will go to the Planning Commission.

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