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.