New Form Based Code Presented at Board of Education Meeting

The representatives currently estimate that the plan would allow for a maximum of 500 housing units.

PHOTO: Matt Wakumoto |

The city of South Pasadena presented its new form based code master plan for Mission St. and Fair Oaks Ave. in the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, June 26. The plan, which aims to improve two of South Pasadena’s busiest streets, was displayed in order to show the board what their options are for the district property if the code is implemented.

Overall, the main implication of the plan involves expansion of South Pasadena’s height ordinances that restrict buildings to 40 or 45 feet. The new code being displayed allows for creative options that the city hopes will improve choices and value for property owners. This code also seeks to improve frontages by allowing for greater design choices and improved bases to buildings.

The options that the code gives do come at an exchange, however. City representative Kiser Ringwala, who gave the presentation, noted that to expand upwards land owners must provide community benefits like affordable housing or public parking. For those who choose to give back with cheaper housing, at least 10% of new housing must be deemed affordable.

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In terms of land use, the new code will allow for more flexibility. In particular, the plan will allow for more intermingling of residential and commercial space. It would also allow for a hotel near the metro station.

The representatives currently estimate that the plan would allow for a maximum of 500 housing units. The number of families that would fit into these units was not specified.

For parking ratios, the standards are remaining similar. However there will be options to compensate for parking, like providing train fares or bikes on site.  

With basic estimates and an EIR being done, the plan will be published for public review in 4-6 weeks. The city is hoping to meet with a planning commision to finalize the plan by February or March of 2019. After solidifying the plan, the new code would be sent to City Counsel for approval.