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San Gabriel Valley Digest

Pasadena

March 14, 1985

Three months of negotiations between Caltech and its residential neighbors have ended amicably with the Board of City Directors' unanimous approval of a modified conditional use permit that will allow Caltech to build a research facility on campus.

The decision Tuesday overturned a denial of the project last year by the city's Zoning Appeals Board. Caltech administrators and neighboring residents, who had protested the college's original application for a use permit, met over a period of three months at the request of the city Board of Directors and worked out the compromise approved this week.

Construction of the 17,600-square-foot facility, which will research data from infrared photographs taken from a space satellite, is expected to begin in June, said Robert Fort, director of Caltech's physical plant.

Caltech's original plan called for a research facility near Tournament Park on the south boundary of the campus. The plan was approved by a zoning committee in July, but was later rejected by the zoning board after complaints from property owners in the adjacent neighborhood.

Residents' concerns centered around the lack of an adequate buffer between the facility and residences and the traffic and noise that would be generated by the research facility, said City Zoning Administrator E. J. Remsen.

The compromise creates two buffer zones that will remain undeveloped for 50 and 25 years, respectively, and allows the college to build the facility 120 feet north of the location originally proposed and 180 feet from the nearest home on Arden Road. To lessen traffic problems, the entrance to the building and the parking lot were relocated from the south side of the facility to the north side.

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