Third public meeting on Mission Place Project addresses concerns from citizens

By Isabel Barbera

Assoc. Opinion Editor


Dismayed residents gathered at the South Pasadena Unified School District Board Room Tuesday night, February 16 for the third public meeting concerning the controversial Mission Place project.

The meeting was held by request of the public to further voice concerns and questions about the potential development on the SPUSD parking lot. Development architects Lisa Pendleton and Don Getman explained the project’s progression since 2008 and gave a brief overview of the current plan for the 91-unit space. In addition, the three-story development would boast designated retail space along Mission Street, three levels of underground parking, and a central public courtyard.

Representative Tim O’Brien, from development firm Legacy Partners, explained that the complex is designed to attract young professionals, empty nesters, and active seniors, all of who will ideally patronize local shops. The leasing of the SPUSD parking lot will also provide a source of annual revenue for the South Pasadena School Board.

Attendees of the public meeting Tuesday, however, were largely opposed to the development in its current state. After the presentation, the floor was opened to questions and prepared comments.  

Many citizens expressed concern about the scale of the project, and questioned the necessity of 91 units. Some speakers pointed to two recent developments in South Pasadena as signs of the rapidly-changing character of the neighborhood. The parking congestion the project could create and the lack of affordable housing involved were also discussed at length. The feedback received about the development was overwhelmingly negative, prompting meeting attendees to speculate about potential consequences for the School Board in approving such an unpopular plan. Many worry that the decision to do so would jeopardize future support from voters in passing legislation like Measure S to fund student programs.