A 236-unit apartment complex narrowly approved by the Planning Commission has been challenged and will now be presented to Vacaville City Council at Tuesday’s meeting.
The staff recommend that the council reject both appeals over the Southtown Apartments project at Leisure Town Road and Redstone Parkway.
The project is the third phase of a 2004 multi-phase plan to build housing on land owned by the Moody family, who once ran a ranch in the area. It would have two main components: 84-unit townhouse-style apartments and 152-unit traditional apartment buildings distributed in 14 three-story buildings with an 8,500-square-foot clubhouse and swimming pool and 35,600 square feet of common open space. The site would have 468 parking spaces and be accessible from Leisure Town and Burgundy Street. The entire property would face Vanden Ranch.
At its Aug. 16 meeting, the commission held a public hearing to consider the proposal, resulting in a nearly full council chamber of residents opposed to the project. Issues raised included concerns that the project would increase traffic, reduce property values, create parking problems, increase existing capacity problems at Cambridge Elementary School and the taller buildings would create privacy issues for local residents.
However, the Commissioners believed that the owner should have the right to sell their property and voted 4 to 3 to approve the project, with Chairman Brandon Kline and Commissioners Amanda Rudeen and Noel Vargas voting against.
Initially, the lawsuit was considered final unless an appeal was lodged with the city within 10 days, which it did. Community Development Director Erin Morris wrote in an employee report that the city received two appeals during this time: one from the applicant, TA Leisure Town LLC, on August 25, and another from resident Alicia Minyen and a neighborhood group called Friends of Southtown on August 28 Aug.
TA Leisure Town’s complaint alleged that the Commission could not lawfully enforce the seventh permit condition of the development agreement, which required the project to be incorporated into Community Facility District 11, because “there was no city standard requiring the project to be CFD #11 is joining at the time her SB330 application was submitted,” the report reads. TA Leisure Town recommended the City Council lift the condition entirely.
In response, city officials wrote in the staff report that the obligation to join CFD 11 has existed since the creation of the Southtown Plan in 2004, and the Environmental Impact Report was certified by TA Leisure Town 18 years before Senate Bill 330 was submitted.
Morris wrote that the objective of the condition was to ensure that the project mitigated the impact on police and fire services in accordance with the EIR as well as the General Plan.
“Any proposal to remove condition #7 would result in a project that is inconsistent with the master plan and would fail the necessary determinations for approval,” she wrote. “Furthermore, removing the condition would require a separate environmental analysis to confirm that the new housing project would have no impact on the fire and police departments.”
Minyen’s appeal claimed the commission “abused its discretion” in approving the project. Among the reasons given by the applicants for the council to reverse the decision were that the applicant could not conduct business in California, the public notice was flawed, Housing Element limited development on the site to no more than 198 units ; the project would create traffic, parking and school capacity problems; the project’s inconsistency with the original EIR and the expiration of the Southtown development agreement.
In response, the staff wrote that even if forfeited by the California Franchise Task Force, property owners could still apply for development, the Housing Element does not rule out the project exceeding 198 units, the project would meet on- and off-street parking requirements, the analyzed While the original EIR reduced traffic and the cumulative impact of the project, state law only requires school impact fees to be paid to mitigate the impact on school facilities, and the expiration of the Southtown Development Agreement would not prevent the property owner from “proposing a project.” , that with the general plan and building regulations.”
“In reviewing the appeal, the staff determined that both claims were without merit,” Morris wrote. “The project submitted to the planning commission has been determined to be consistent with the guidelines of the master plan and zoning requirements, and the commission’s decision is supported by state statute (HAA/SB330), town planning guidelines, development permitting processes and requirements for the Development as included supported in regulatory documentation. Therefore, the staff recommends that the city council deny the appeals and confirm the planning commission’s decision.”
On other matters, the council will consider a conditional occupancy permit for a 2,500-square-foot drive-thru restaurant and the removal of a photo kiosk and parking lot at Fairmont Square on Peabody Road.
The council meets Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall, 650 Merchant St. The meeting can also be viewed online at Ci.vacaville.ca.us/government/agendas-and-minutes and Youtube.com/user/ will. CityVacaville.
Comments on agenda items can be emailed to City Clerk Michelle Thornbrugh at [email protected] until 4:30 p.m.