2004 – Joined forces with the Old Pasadena Management District, Pasadena Heritage and others to ensure that the new Central District Specific Plan would not “lead to bad development of the city’s historic downtown for the next decade, with too little park land and too much residential development.”
2012 – WPRA started monitoring City planning for Central District General Plan by advocating that change must be harmonized to preserve Pasadena’s historic character and environment.
2016 – The City presented its Draft Environmental Report for the rehabilitation of the YWCA and proposed Kimpton Hotel in the Civic Center. The majority of Pasadena residents and city planners advocated the smallest hotel foot print with the least story height and the deepest setback from Garfield Avenue. Kimpton pressed for the largest capacity of rooms it could get.
The WPRA strongly pressed the City Council to allow an adequate and early evening comment period for public debate regarding the Civic Center YWCA/Kimpton Hotel project.
WPRA’s research revealed the original Kimpton Hotel project had been converted in 2015 to a private equity investment instrument intended for resale within five to seven years. The WPRA opposed the selected project design for 185 rooms with a 30 to 40 foot setback from Garfield Avenue.
2017 – The WPRA contributed to the Pasadena Civic Center Coalition Legal Fund fighting the approved large scale, six-story Civic Center hotel project which would replace most of the open park-like space opposite City Hall.
The City Council voted unanimously to suspend the proposed YWCA/Kimpton Hotel project and instead, created a citizen task force to find a more acceptable solution for rehabilitating the YWCA and developing the Civic Center as an entire unit.
A WPRA Board Member became part of the Civic Center Task Force and conveyed the WPRA’s desired planning guidelines within the committee meetings. WPRA board members also submitted letters and spoke at these meetings within the comment periods.
2018 – The WPRA continued to work with the Civic Center Task Force and after its final meeting, the Task Force provided City Council with its recommendations. The City restarted the Civic Center development project with another round of request for proposals.
2020 – WPRA continues to monitor the City’s development for the YWCA and the Department of Water and Power lot, now designated for an affordable housing complex. WPRA still opposes the 45 setback from Garfield and continues to support the Civic Center Coalition’s CEQA suit against the City to maintain 107 foot setback of open space opposite City Hall.