By Jason KUROSU
A proposal to construct three detached condominium units on Cross Street in La Crescenta produced a set of hearings to determine whether the project should remain as originally proposed. The project calls for constructing the units in an R-1, or single-family, residence zone. The Crescenta Valley Town Council contested this at the first hearing officer meeting saying that a detached condo, which is owned by more than just the residents of a condominium, should therefore not be considered a single-family residence.
This was discussed further at a meeting of the L.A. County Regional Planning Commission as the project planner, Carolina Blengini, requested to build the three detached condominiums, as well as a permit to remove an oak tree in order to accommodate the project.
Blengini stated that the main concern of residents was building detached condominiums in an area dominated by single-family residences on individual lots. Blengini presented some modifications to the original proposal in order to address some of the residents’ concerns. These include reducing the floor area for two of the three units and eliminating the driveway for the existing single-family residence.
Blengini also compared the proposed development to other existing houses throughout La Crescenta, especially single-family residences with flag lots or long flagpole-shaped driveways accessible to multiple residents.
Robbyn Battles, representing the Crescenta Valley Town Council, argued that the condominiums should not apply to an R-1 zone because the units are not separate single-family residences, which need to be a minimum of 7,500 square feet. Battles also argued that such a project would increase the density of the surrounding neighborhood, allotting less land for other homes.
Ultimately, the Regional Planning Commission agreed that the proposed development might “challenge the integrity of an R-1 zone,” according to Commissioner Pat Modugno. The commission issued a continuance, in which the homeowner would have to revise the plans and the commission will review the revised plans in March 2013.