After almost a year of studies, hearings and public debate, a request for a zoning change by a developer seeking to replace the main building of the historic Huntington Hotel finally reached the Pasadena Board of City Directors this week.
The board heard five hours of testimony in a crowded hearing room at the Pasadena Center, then tabled the matter for two weeks. About 200 residents attended the meeting, which board members had expected to be sparsely attended because of a conflict with the seventh game of the World Series.
Arguments at the hearing for and against the proposal by developer Lary Mielke to "replicate" the 280-room structure, which has been declared vulnerable to earthquake damage, were similar to earlier position statements.
Mielke, who with two others formed Huntington Hotel Associates to redevelop the closed hotel, described a pattern of "substandard" materials and design that would make the cost of rehabilitating the existing structure prohibitive. Representatives of Pasadena Heritage, a preservation group, and Defenders of the Huntington called for more studies. The board will consider the matter again on Nov. 11.