The La Cañada Flintridge City Council held final public hearings Monday on an amendment to the adopted housing element in its General Plan and the rezoning of several areas within the city limits to allow for multifamily housing and mixed-use development.

Combined, the plans will allow for the possible construction of 343 affordable housing units, as required by state law. Bill Trimble, a consultant with the urban planning firm Veronica Tam and Associates, gave a presentation on how the county’s housing needs were determined.

“By law, the Regional Housing Needs Assessment, by income, may look more like the county (at large) than numbers that strongly match a local community,” Trimble said, adding that the high cost of real estate in La Cañada would make actual low-income development unlikely.

Although discussion from the public was welcomed, city planner Fred Buss emphasized during his presentation on rezoning that any alterations now would result in non-compliance with state law and an overhaul of the General Plan.

“If the City Council wanted to not do that (rezoning) tonight, basically we’d have to stop the entire process. We would have to go back and relook at the entire General Plan,” he said.

Now that the public hearings have ended, the Council will vote on the adoption of the housing element amendment and zone changes at an adjourned meeting on Feb. 10 at 6 p.m. in Council chambers.

At Monday’s meeting, Mayor Laura Olhasso clarified that the changes must be made to maintain compliance with state mandates and are not harbingers of near-future development.

“These are not an obligation for construction,” Olhasso said. “They do result in the obligation for the capacity of that construction, but they are not an obligation for construction.”

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SARA CARDINE is a freelance writer. She can be reached at s_cardine09@yahoo.com.

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