Foothill Housing Proposal Returns to Planning Commission Tonight

First published in the Sept. 2 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada Flintridge Planning Commission will continue its deliberation over a proposed three-story structure at 600 Foothill Blvd. in a special meeting tonight at 7.
The much-debated proposal that includes 47 senior housing units, 12 non-serviced hotel units and 7,600 square feet for office use was presented to the panel in a meeting on June 24, but open discussion about the project was delayed until July 29. The commission ruminated at length five weeks ago about the city’s General Plan and Zoning Code and how such a structure would fit into it.
The development plan for the 1.29-acre parcel, the former site of the Christian Science church, does not meet the city’s current Zoning Code and would require a modification to the Downtown Village Specific Plan by changing the site from an institutional zone to a new mixed-use 3 zone, a move that the city staff supports.
Such a structure could help the city accommodate the demands of the Regional Housing Needs Assessment, which projects how many new dwellings are needed throughout the state and tells cities how many it should be ready to provide.
However, not all LCF residents are on board with project, with some objecting to having such a large structure and others worried about traffic and parking on Woodleigh Lane and Foothill Boulevard.
Applicants Alexandra Hack and Garret Weyand of 600 Foothill Owner LP addressed some of those concerns by updating its proposal.
Hack told the Outlook Valley Sun on Wednesday that they are accommodating the community’s input by reducing the height of the structure so that it’s shorter than the neighboring Presbyterian church building, increasing parking from 107 spaces to 111 and including a proposal that would widen Foothill Boulevard to accommodate a drop-off zone on the main street and add a traffic signal at Woodleigh Lane.
The applicants favored having a drop-off zone on Woodleigh, but the local fire department was against the idea because it did not want drivers making a U-turn to get back onto Foothill, nor did it want them driving farther into the residential areas. The department also did not want to allow the fire lane to potentially be blocked.
Hack said she and Weyand, both LCF residents, have reached out to community members to address their concerns and “set the record straight” about the proposed development. She will be present to field any questions from the commission tonight.
“We feel good going into this meeting,” Hack said. “In the last meeting, we were really happy with the way the commission is handling the review of this package because it’s certainly substantial. They did a great job of assessing each development standard and put together a solid package that really makes sense.”