The state of California requires California cities to provide for the construction and availability of low income housing. This almost always means apartments, townhouses and condominiums because of the cost. A recent trend is the construction of so-called “mixed use” development: commercial space on the ground floor with apartments and condos above.
Acting at an early Friday morning “study session” in May, attended by virtually no one from the community, the San Marino city council approved sending a “draft” plan to address low income housing to the state. The plan was forwarded the day after all candidates for city council withdrew, excepting only the incumbents. The result was the cancellation of the city council election.
The City of San Marino’s draft housing plan appears to call for mixed use development with multi-family housing to line Huntington Drive. The report, prepared by an outside consultant, claims that the community supports this kind of multi-family development. The report identifies each vacant lot in San Marino as well as vacant commercial space along Huntington Drive. In many other areas of Los Angeles County, developers are converting commercial space into residential housing.
The Tribune broke this story three weeks ago. At almost the exact same time, the La Canada Outlook newspaper appeared in San Marino labeled “San Marino.” The La Canada Outlook was founded by business interests in La Canada Flintridge who supported the development of what is now the large strip mall shopping center on Foothill Boulevard in La Canada Flintridge. “Mixed use” development is popular in San Gabriel and Alhambra. A number of San Marino residents have been active in mixed use developments elsewhere.
The Tribune has called upon members of the San Marino city council to consult with previous council members to learn how they dealt with this state issue in the past. To date, the Tribune is not able to confirm that this advice has been followed.
Please use this link to read the City’s draft housing plan to draw your own conclusions.
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