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City Council Tables Talk on Two Proposed New Developments

Predevelopment plans were up for review

Published on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 | 2:18 pm

Discussion on two pending developments were put on temporary hold when the City Council tabled both projects at its Monday meeting.

The council was scheduled to hear predevelopment plan reviews (PPRs) on projects at 270-282 N. Los Robles Ave. and 50 Alessandro Drive, according to City Clerk Mark Jomsky, who said both projects were tabled for future discussion.

That was done primarily because the meeting was dominated by the issue of police oversight and an update on the COVID-19 crisis. Combined, those two important topics pushed the 2 p.m. meeting past 9 p.m.

According to a staff report, COB Investments LP has submitted a PPR application to build 105 units, including eight for very low income tenants, on contiguous properties at 270 and 282 N. Los Robles Ave., a parking lot once owned by Fuller Theological Seminary.

But that process cannot advance because one of the contiguous properties was previously owned by Fuller in 2006 and is under the purview of the Fuller Theological Seminary master plan, as well as a related development agreement. The agreement stipulates that any new housing units in the Fuller master plan must be affordable and used exclusively by Fuller students and faculty.

Fuller is currently amending its master plan and development agreement, a process that began in March.

“Therefore, in order to construct the proposed project, the restrictions on the site by the Fuller Master Plan and Development Agreement would need to removed, either by removing the site from the Fuller Master Plan and Development Agreement or amending both documents to allow non-Fuller market rate housing at this site,” according to the city staff report.

PPRs are part of the city’s zoning code, designed to help produce better projects through early communication between staff and applicants.

Under this process, projects that meet the threshold of “community-wide significance,” are greater than 50,000 square-feet in size, contain 50 or more housing units, or any project that is deemed by the director of planning and community development department to be of major importance to the city, are presented to the council as a way to inform the board’s members and the public.

The process also helps familiarize applicants with the regulations and procedures that apply to the projects and avoids significant investment and time in the design of a project without preliminary input from city staff.

It also helps to identify potential issues that may arise during the application process, such as community concerns and inconsistencies with city regulations and policies.

The council also postponed a pre-development plan review of a revision to a planned development that includes a 60,000 square-foot medical office building at 50 Alessandro Place, near Huntington Hospital.

The site is currently occupied by a 62,300 square-foot, four-story medical office building with 437 parking spaces located above ground and in a partially subterranean garage.

“The proposed project consists of the retention of the existing medical office building and the partially subterranean parking garage, and a revision to the development standards of planned development to facilitate the construction of a 60,000 square-foot, three-story, medical office building and a five-level, above-grade parking garage with 321 parking spaces,” according to a city staff report.

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