Protect the San Gabriel Mission District

The San Gabriel City Council must NOT Approve a Massive Development Project on April 21, 2009 (7:30 pm)

An oversized hotel/condominium/retail/restaurant development is proposed for a block-long section of south Mission Drive in the heart of the historic Mission District.
The San Gabriel Planning Commission approved the Mission 261 Village project on March 9, 2009.  The project, on the site of a Park-and-Ride lot and the Mission 261 restaurant, now requires the approval of the City Council.
Alarmed by the project's failure to address issues of size, density, traffic, air quality, noise, negative health effects (adjacent schools and residents are directly impacted) and preservation of historic and cultural resources, concerned residents are appealing the city's decision and investigating more than a dozen issues, including:
1)    The sale of city land (the Park-and-Ride lot) to a private developer without following government code requirements. Because the land valuation is significantly less than the fair market value, the proposed sale to the developer is an unconstitutional gift of public funds to a private person.
2)    The project, proposed for 257-261 S. Mission Drive, includes an underground parking lot that requires the City to give away a subterranean portion of Mission Drive. This gives this developer the privilege of City land at no cost, instead of requiring the developer to construct on-site parking. (The project also eliminates the public 101-space commuter lot with no replacement.)
3)    The project's failure to adequately resolve its environmental problems of traffic, air pollution, noise, etc. The project's Environmental Impact Report (EIR) fails to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and it does not adequately address project alternatives with fewer environmental impacts.
4)    The project's height violates the city's own Mission District Plan. Residents, businesses and experts worked for 3 years to develop this Plan as a guiding vision for future development to preserve the District's scale and beauty. But the developer ignores the Mission District Plan by asking the city's permission to build a four-story project with one tower that soars up to 63.5 feet. (The Plan limits buildings to three stories).
5)    The project's density also violates the Mission District Plan. The project exceeds the Plan's density requirements by at least 25%. As proposed, the project overwhelms the neighboring two-story residences and businesses.
We, the undersigned, request the San Gabriel City Council at its April 21, 2009 meeting to vote to deny approval of the current proposal for the Mission 261 Village project. We request the Council to direct the Developer and City planning staff to conduct an open and transparent process with the community to reach a consensus on an appropriate mix of uses, height and density for the project site.
We, the undersigned, are submitting this petition to you because we want to preserve the historic San Gabriel Mission District. As our elected officials, we want you, the Council, to respect and abide by the planning guidelines in the San Gabriel Mission District Specific Plan. We also want any development project that is proposed for this district to be presented in a transparent, fully public process that addresses all concerns - federal, tribal, state, city and local.
Thank you for reading our comments in the petition.
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