The County Planning Department will likely hold a permit hearing on a proposed high school on East Palm Street some time in March, according to Dr. Sandra Thomas, the chair of the Altadena Town Council.
Thomas announced the hearing schedule at Tuesday's Altadena Town Council meeting, and said that the Council's Land Use Committee would hold a final hearing with a vote on whether to recommend the project or not some time in February.
That committee held an informational hearing earlier this month to hear details of a modified proposal of the school, would be a satellite branch of the existing Arroyo Pacific Academy in Arcadia. The Town Council and the committee also held hearings on the school in September, at which point both voted not to recommend the project to the county.
For about a year, since he bought the property that used to house Bienvenidos and then the controversial Sahag Mesrob Armenian Christian School, Arroyo Pacific Academy president Philip Clarke has tried to win over the nearby residents to accept and support his plan to turn the site at 183 E. Palm Street into a school.
Despite the recent changes Clarke and his attorney have made to their plan, the majority of the residents who live directly next to the site have repeatedly said they believe traffic, noise and other neighborhood concerns mean they would not support ever having a school there.
At December's meeting Clarke offered the following changes to plan:
- Decreased maximum enrollment from 250 students
to 200 students.
- Limited enrollment during the 1st year of operation to 80 students.
- Limited enrollment during the 2nd year of operation to 150 students.
- Required annual traffic monitoring for the first
three years to ensure that traffic does not overflow onto Palm.
- Implementation of a traffic plan designed to limit the number of cars on the street
- The offer of $10,000 scholarships to Altadena residents who want to attend.
Land Use Committee chair Mark Goldschmidt noted at Tuesday's meeting that around 40 people spoke at the meeting earlier this month and they were about evenly split between supporters and opponents of the school proposal.