Please support the Overlay Zone for Congregational Land: Planning Commission Agenda item: 6. B.

26 May

May 27th, 2020

Dear Planning Commissioners,

             We are asking that the City consider adding an optional overlay zone to Pasadena’s city code that would allow congregational land to be used for the development of affordable housing. Essentially, we are asking that if 50% of the units are affordable, with an average affordability (for affordable units) at 50% of area median income, then church properties in commercial or public/semi-public zones would have residential permitted, and those in existing residential zones would be given the opportunity to have increased density.

We support the congregational Land Committee of MHCH. They have thoroughly researched what an appropriate density would be for Pasadena. Please consider the following: 

Base Density (du/ac) or Adjacent Density for PS ZonesAllowable Density (du/ac)
Less than or equal to 2032
32 (or any commercial zone with no residential permitted)64

We were in a severe housing crisis before COVID, and with this pandemic a 45% increase in homelessness is expected (approximately 250,000 new homeless people in the US). Many churches are willing to address this crisis by having affordable housing built on their property. Finding sites to build affordable housing can be one of the most challenging parts affordable housing development. This would not only provide sites, but sites with landowners already 100% in support of the housing with connection to their communities, minimizing concerns from neighbors. Additionally, with land that is already paid for, affordable housing developers would not be paying for land and carrying costs during the 2-3-year pre-development phase. This fact, and the zoning certainty, will help attract top-quality housing developers who will produce high-quality and sensitive developments. Housing developments will also be able to be constructed with less subsidy from the City.

             If that is not enough, another good reason to support an overlay zone, it will enable the city to go a long way in reaching their RHNA goals with the potential of thousands of additional affordable housing units. The Congregational Land Committee already has one church with an RFP of 48 units and another with a potential of 100 units. Yet, they need this overlay zone change so that they can move forward on their mission to bless the community with housing they can afford.



Please send to this letter by 9am May 27th, following the instruction on this link:

One Response to “Please support the Overlay Zone for Congregational Land: Planning Commission Agenda item: 6. B.

  1. Gloria Newton May 26, 2020 at 9:30 pm #

    If you want to copy/paste this into an email to the planning commission, or write your own letter, the address is:

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