Claremont Insider: Claremont, Arteco: Bad Neighbors?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Claremont, Arteco: Bad Neighbors?

The Claremont Planning Commission meets tonight at 7pm in the City Council Chambers in Claremont's City Hall.

Item number two on the agenda is the Arteco Partners proposal for the Padua Theatre. City staff is recommending that the commission adopt a resolution stating that Arteco's requested uses for the theatre are consistent with the Claremont Hills Specific Plan.

The staff report on the Arteco item by the city's senior planning incompetent Lisa Prasse (a holdover from the Glenn Southard administration) cites the sections of the Specific Plan that are supposed to support the resolution.

Naturally, as a reader informs us, Prasse's staff report is completely wrong in its arguments. There's been no active Padua Theatre in over 30 years. In the meantime, residential areas - approved by past Claremont City Councils and Planning Commissions - have surrounded the location. The theatre is currently used only on weekends for weddings.

Further, when the theatre was active, it was dry - no alcohol. Arteco, however, anticipates a possible restaurant and daily events with alcohol served. Historically, contrary to the staff report, the activity was far different from the ones being planned.

Similarly, there was no bed-and-breakfast business at the theatre. This is an entirely new activity, and one is now planned to be placed there. So, the argument that there was a historical use for a B & B also fails.

Given those factors, the reader says what is required here is an amendment to the Specific Plan. Prasse and the City are trying to cut corners in order to please the Claremonsters and Arteco. Not very neighborly, the reader says, and possible grounds for litigation.

* * *

Item number four on the Planning Commission's agenda is a discussion of mansionization. Here is staff report by the city's Director of Community Development, Tony Witt, or T. Witt, as he is known in some circles.
Claremont Planning Commission Meeting - 7pm
Claremont City Council Chambers
225 W. 2nd St.