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Condominium Developers to Revise Plans


Developers of a controversial 93-unit condominium project on North Rosemead Boulevard will get more time to revise their project, the City Council decided Tuesday.

Many east Pasadena residents have objected to the project, but the decision to give the Ronald Levine Construction Corp. three months to revise plans did not completely please anyone.

"We're still digesting it," said Jeff Levine, chief operating officer of the company that has proposed the six-level condominium at 500 N. Rosemead Blvd., at the bottom of a bluff.

"It's not what we hoped for," said Cliff Benedict, president of the Lower Hastings Ranch Assn., a homeowners group. The association had sought to require an environmental impact report on the project, for which two levels of underground parking are planned.

Association members maintained that the project would be too large, would cut into a dangerously unstable hillside, and would create noise and traffic congestion. The group appealed to the City Council after the Planning Commission approved the project in May. Because of rules imposed by the 1989 Growth Management Initiative, a challenge to any project means that all other projects under consideration must also be reviewed--in this case, 11 of them.

The initiative limits residential development to 250 units yearly. To help decide which ones may be built, projects are given points based on 13 criteria, such as suitability of design, preservation of historic structures and conservation.

Developers of the Rosemead project emphasized that their project ranked second among the 12 being considered Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the council had little trouble approving seven of the 12 projects, for a total of 55 units. It also dealt relatively swiftly with three other projects. Those projects--two on North Sierra Bonita Avenue and one in the 400 block of Hudson Avenue--had been turned down by the Planning Commission because of poor design and because the developers had not taken conservation measures nor paid to upgrade city streets or sewers.

Developers of the three projects received two months to revise their plans for them. Meanwhile, approval of a 10-unit project at 53 S. Daisy Ave. was delayed two weeks while Councilman William Thomson checked into objections raised by some residents.

But the Rosemead project took up most of the council's time. Kathryn Nack appeared to be the council's sole supporter. Other council members were concerned about hillside stability, the size and design of the project, and the small size of the eight units set aside for low-income buyers.

Those units, containing 620 square feet each, will be sold for $41,000, while the asking price on other units in the project, up to 1,400 square feet, will be higher. The exact price is not yet decided, the developer said.

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