EPA was selected by the City of Pasadena for the third time to prepare the EIR for the most recent development proposal involving the former West Campus of Ambassador College. The EIR was certified and the project approved in April 2007, capping six years of analysis that encompassed two other development proposals for the site (five public hearings/meetings were held on the Ambassador West EIR and included presentations from the EPA team on several occasions). EPA’s selection reflected the depth of knowledge and expertise acquired through the two previous EIRs for a landmark property of great community value and interest. Since the previous proposal by the Worldwide Church of God to develop their entire 43 acre ownership in 2003, the Church subsequently elected to sell off individual parcels for development and reuse.
The former West Campus property includes the Ambassador Auditorium and many of the institutional buildings used by the college. These structures have since been acquired and now operate as a church and a high school, respectively. The remainder of the property includes significant historic structures and landscape that serve as the backbone for the West Gateway Specific Plan. That part of the property is proposed for development that integrates and rehabilitates historic structures and landscape, and develops other areas with 248 senior living units and 70 condominiums. The project will also provide public use easements to ensure access to the site’s historic interiors and lush grounds. Given community interest in previous development proposals, and the sensitivity of the project site, the EIR process was closely watched with respect to the treatment of historic structures, compliance with the City’s Tree Protection Ordinance and traffic, as well as many other areas of potential impact.