• 415 Huntington Slated for Planning Commission Mtg.

    by Winston Chua and Mitch Lehman

    The San Marino Planning Commission is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, June 25 in City Hall at 7:00 p.m., where agenda Item #1 will be a an effort to properly determine the zoning status of a property located at 415 Huntington Drive.

    The area, which was formerly occupied by East West Bank and before that Avery Labels, is currently zoned R-1, but the developer, Robert Artura, seeks a change to C-1 in order to build nine single-family homes “condominium-style,” in the words of David Saldaña, Director of Planning and Bulding for the City of San Marino. Artura’s company is called Building Worx Development.

    “We are under the impression that the property is zoned residential,”said Saldaña. “If the Planning Commission approves the change, we can proceed with the tract map and the nine, two-story single-family units on the 49,000-square-foot lot.”

    Denying the zone change would mean fewer single family units can be built. In fact, just five lots would be the most that could be built on the land according to the code. In an R-1 zone a lot must be 9,000 square feet to satisfy lot coverage requirements, on which a 2,700 maximumsquare-foot home can be built.

    Neighbors reportedly are opposed to the potential density of the development should a zone change be allowed.

    “Residents are concerned it could be too tight and overwhelming,” said Senior Planner Aldo Cervantes, who said the intent of a nine-unit project would be like a condominium in nature, echoing Saldaña’s assessment.

    City staff has prepared and recommended a Negative Declaration be adopted by the Commission, determining that the project will not have a significant impact on the environment.

    Cervantes has discovered files which say the property was zoned R-1. The San Marino City Council in 1962 approved a variance for the property to allow for commercial use.

    “The Council at that time approved a commercial usage subject to restrictions: professional offices only and low-key businesses that would not disturb the residential structures,” added Saldaña.

    The public is invited to give their feedback and thoughts at the meeting.

    In other news, the Traffic Advisory Commission meeting is scheduled to take place Monday night at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall. The agenda is now available at City Hall and there will be a discussion of next steps regarding the Draft Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvement Plan.

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