COUNCIL DISTRICT: 6
SNI: Greater Gardner
The Planning Commission voted 6-0-0 to recommend that the City Council adopt an ordinance to approve the subject rezoning.
On June 12, 2002, the Planning Commission held a public hearing to consider a Planned Development from CP Commercial Pedestrian to A(PD) Planned Development to allow up to 16 single-family attached residential units.
The applicant’s representative, Jerry Strangis, stated the site is difficult and constrained by an active railroad line and an arterial road. He thanked staff for their assistance and indicated to the Commission that the applicant’s consultant team was present to answer questions.
Commissioner Zamora requested clarification as to whether the two corner commercial properties were included in the rezoning and indicated that retention of neighborhood retail in communities is important.
Mr. Strangis stated that the two corner commercial properties were not included in the rezoning, but that the developer has a long-term interest in acquiring and redeveloping the properties with residential uses. At this time, the developer does not own or control the commercial properties.
Commissioner James confirmed that the proposed project was an improvement over the existing use on the site, which he indicated is an eyesore. He asked how the triangular Joint Powers Board parcel adjacent to West Virginia and the railroad line fit into the proposal.
Mr. Strangis clarified that the developer will improve and landscape the small Pennisula Corridor Joint Powers Board (JPB) parcel and the parcel will be maintained by the future Homeowners Association. He stated that the community identified this parcel as problematic early in the planning process and the developer, aided by Councilmember Yeager and the JPB, will enter into an agreement to improve the parcel.
Dan Ersig and Alison England of the North Willow Glen Neighborhood Association voiced their support for the project. They stated that the cab dispatch use was no longer appropriate for the area and that the corner is considered blighted by the neighborhood. Additionally, the community is not supportive of the retail uses at the corner because the buildings and properties are an eyesore and a source of crime. They indicated that they would like to see the corner properties redeveloped with residential uses. They also voiced their support of the development’s proposal to remove a billboard and improve the JPB parcel. The proposed fence along Bird Avenue concerned Mr. Ersig, and he requested details of the fence at the Planned Development Permit stage.
The Planning Commission then closed the public hearing and reviewed and considered the Negative Declaration adopted on June 10, 2002, and found it in conformance with CEQA.
A notice of the public hearing was distributed to the owners and tenants of all properties located within 1,000 feet of the project site. A community meeting was held on August 13, 2001 at the Gardner Commuity Center. Approximately 25 people attended. A number of residents voiced support for the project and indicated an eagerness to see the site develop with residenital uses. Opposition to the townhome project was also voiced by community members who suggested that single-family detached homes would be more appropriate. Members of the community expressed concern regarding the poor condition of the existing commercial properties at the corner of Bird Avenue and West Virginia Street.
This project was coordinated with the Department of Public Works, Fire Department, Police Department, Environmental Services Department and the City Attorney.
STEPHEN M. HAASE
Secretary, Planning Commission