By SHEL SEGAL
A developer has been chosen by the Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center in late May to build homes on an undeveloped portion of the monastery grounds, officials for the center said on Monday.
Beacon Media Inc. published on Saturday at sierramadreweekly.com that no developer had been selected after an interview on Friday with a spokesman for the passionists.
The developer is Santa Monica-based New Urban West Inc., officials said, adding 50 houses are expected to be built on the site.
“Any project that is built must and will be compatible with what is around us,” said spokesman Cameron Thornton is a press statement. “For lot sizes to be similar to those of our neighbors there must be fewer than 50 homes. The size of these homes will not be ‘massive’ either. The homes will be approximately 3,800 square feet in size.”
Thornton added New West Urban was chosen as the company has said it will do its best to work with the residents in building the project.
“… they share our commitment to a very intensive, long-term, one-on-one type of outreach with the community,” he said. “That is the best way to hear what is on people’s minds. There has been a ‘get to know you’ meeting with city staff and we have reached out to current and former city leaders, so New Urban West can hear their thoughts and concerns. These are merely introductory meetings, where no decisions are made or actions taken.”
In addition, Thornton said during Friday’s interview that there are many rumors circulating about the passionists’ plans, and as most are not truthful it just isn’t helpful to the process.
“I think the biggest challenge right now is we have to have one statement of facts,” he said. “We only have what we’re announcing at this time. There’s a tremendous amount of speculation. Everybody is certainly welcome to their opinion, but people are creating their own statement of facts and there’s only one statement of facts.”
When a strategy is finally set up, the community will be an integral part of the planning process, Thornton said in that interview.
“The bottom line is – I promise – we will be as transparent in the process that is humanly possible,” he said. “We are going to reach out to the community and there will be as many one-on-one meetings or small group meetings as necessary.”
(Shel Segal can be reached at email@example.com. He can be followed via Twitter @segallanded.)
New Urban West hopes to build 50 homes on Monastery
By SHEL SEGAL