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Council Moves to Put Kensington on Ballot

If the proposed assisted living facility on Sierra Madre Blvd. passes Planning Commission and City Council reviews, it will be put on the November ballot.

The Sierra Madre City Council approved Tuesday a request by Fountain Square Development West to put their proposed assisted living facility, the Kensington Project, before voters in November.

However, voters won’t be voting specifically on whether to approve Kensington, which would be built at 225-245 W Sierra Madre Blvd. Rather, they will be voting on changes to city laws that Kensington currently violates.

This could be a General Plan amendment, zoning text amendment, a change to Measure V or some combination of these. Voters won’t know exactly what they’ll be voting on until the Kensington Project is fully reviewed by the Planning Commission and the City Council. Wording likely won’t be finalized until September.

Plans for the Kensington Project currently violate Measure V and cannot be approved without changes to current city laws.

Mayor John Buchanan cautioned that the ballot measure should “get worded correctly and precisely,” and urged the next City Council to “invest the time and money to get the ballot proposition right.” Buchanan also spoke of the legislative changes as an opportunity for the community to “move past things that have unnecessarily divided us.”

Pat Alcorn March 15, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Changes in the municipal code, zoning codes and general plan should not be made for this project, (or any project at the site) rather an amendment taking the two parcels out of the Measure V zone by way of a city-wide vote would be appropriate, and I would favor that.
Tom Brady May 10, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Pat, Thank you for your thoughtful comment. There are several reasons why the proposed project should be allowed to seek an amendment to Measure V. If you look at the original use of the property, it was a skilled nursing facility. Land use attorneys could argue the intended use is consistent with the purpose of the current site plan. Six years as an abandoned property does more harm to property values and this vacancy has created a blighted area. Civic leadership, sound financial and aesthetic city planning and are required here. The proposed project is aesthetically superior and this business of providing care creates a sound fiscal annual tax base in a city with declining state tax revenues. The aging Sierra Madre population has indicated this is a welcome and necessary improvement. Since the 75 unit density issue arises in this communal living situation, an amendment to Measure V zone could be an appropriate remedy. The developer is sensitive to abiding by the law and is working hand in hand with the City, merchants and residents.When you look at the completed projects in their portfolio, the Kensignton Assisted Living group has delivered on their promises and met the needs of the communities they serve. See http://www.kensingtonal.com Sincerely, Tom Brady Resident, Business owner, 220 South Canon Ave S.M. 91024

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