Letter to Planning Commission re: Kensington Project from Chris Koerber

Posted 2/17/12
Planning Commission
City of Sierra Madre

RE: Proposed Kensington Assisted Living Development

Public comments – meeting of February 16, 2012

Dear Commissioners:

Good evening. When my wife, Halcyon, and I walk the dogs in town, and also when I speak to voter groups, the response we get most often is “I support the Assisted Living Facility. But why won’t the City put it up to a vote as required by Measure V?’

Well, I’m a fan on Measure V. And I also support this project, in principle. I wish to take a moment to thank the applicant for the decision to subject the project to the Measure V mandated vote this November.

A) I am puzzled and wish to request clarification in one area. In the Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) presented to the Planning Commission (PC) on January 19, 2012 staff stated that this would be an Institutional Use and that Measure V doesn’t apply.

However, the Applicant’s Conditional Use Permit (CUP) application received on May 23, 2011 (and presented to the PC at the January 19, 2012 meeting) clearly states on page 8: “Measure V (Voters empowerment): applies”

In my opinion, had staff proceeded to use the Measure V wording of the CUP application, and not gone down the “oh, Measure V doesn’t apply” route, the Measure V vote could well have been scheduled for the June, 2011 primary election and saved 5 months of waiting time.

In the interest of Clarity, for those who may not have the documents I’m mentioning, copies are available at my web site, www.ChrisForSierraMadre.com, click on ‘City Docs’ and look under Planning Commission dates of 01/19/2012 as well as 02/16/2012.

Even though this project will go to a Measure V vote, we must stay very attentive as it winds its way through the PC and City Council approval process. We need to know exactly what the proposed project will be. We don’t want a badly written project or ordinance to set a precedent that may weaken or circumvent Measure V.

B) I recommend that the Planning Commission (PC) make the following changes at the overall plan level:

1. The PC should not address Staff’s repeated insistence to clarify the term “dwelling unit”. This strikes me as asking for a solution to a problem that does not exist. It’s pretty obvious that there are 75 units here. Just read the application.

2. Delete all references to a proposed “Overlay Zone” (OZ) for this project. The project should stay as Commercial – approved use subject to CUP – WITHOUT CHANGE to a proposed Institutional Use referenced in the Mitigated Negative Declaration.

3. Approve a zone change to the R-3 portion of the project site (approx. 25,034 sq. ft. fronting Hermosa) to Commercial SUBJECT TO a lot tie with the existing commercial lot at the front of the project.

C) Lastly, for the Specific Plan / CUP / Planning Commission Resolution, make them include wording similar to: “Subject to Voter Approval under Voters Empowerment Ordinance.”

Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to your response.

Respectfully submitted,

Chris Koerber

1 Comment on "Letter to Planning Commission re: Kensington Project from Chris Koerber"

  1. All logical suggestions and ones we hope will happen before the project goes any further. By the way, I also approve of the Kensington Project but not as planned, it must have less density, or as one speaker proposed, commercial shops in front, Assisted Living Facility in back.

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