The La Canada Flintridge Planning Commission voted 4 to 1 Tuesday to issue a conditional use permit for the proposed La Canada Village shopping center, which has drawn vocal and widespread opposition from residents. An appeal to the city council is expected.
Commissioner Judy Breitman, who cast the dissenting vote, said that the center, designed at 164,000 square feet, is too big. Breitman said the commission's vote to issue the permit does not respond to residents' objections.
The proposed shopping center would be located on 11.75 acres at Angeles Crest Highway and Foothill Boulevard. The $25-million development would house a Sport Chalet sporting goods store, a grocery store, a restaurant and other shops.
"I'm not against the Sport Chalet development," Breitman said, "and I'm not against change." But Breitman pointed out that 2,500 residents have signed a petition objecting to the size of the proposed development.
She proposed reducing the retail development by about 54,000 square feet.
The commission voted to require the developer, Sport Chalet, to add 5,000 square feet of landscaping around the stores.
Breitman, who is running for a seat on the La Canada City Council, said she thought the vote should have been put off until after the April election to avoid polarizing the candidates based on their position on growth issues.
"We will know after April 10 how the community feels about the growth issue," she said.
Breitman said developers are attempting to push through projects before the election because they fear that anti-growth candidates may win a majority on the council.