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Council Receives Pre-Development Plan on Micro Unit Project

Published on Monday, May 9, 2022 | 7:44 pm

On Monday, the City Council heard a pre-development plan about an 81-unit single-room occupancy project at 1501-1525 E. Walnut St. The presentation was for information only and not subject to a vote.

Four existing buildings will be demolished to make way for a four-story, 45-foot tall, 81-unit single-room occupancy building. The rent for 30 of the units would be at an affordable rate (very-low-income, low-income, or moderate-income). In total, 50 would be rented at a market rate, according to a city staff report.

These micro units offer variety and affordability,” said Vice-Mayor Andy Wilson. “Hopefully we will see more of these.”

The ground floor will be occupied by a combination of two driveways, covered parking, the caretaker’s unit, and lobby and amenity spaces. Subterranean parking is not proposed.

The project will go directly to design review.

Another micro unit project is under construction on Oakland Avenue.

Surrounding properties are developed with a number of one- and two-story buildings, where the majority are vehicle repair businesses, including those on the project site. To the north of the project site is a multi-family zoned neighborhood with a variety of lower density residential properties.

The purpose of the PPR is to achieve better projects through early consultation between City staff and applicants. The intent is to coordinate the review of projects among City staff and City departments, familiarize applicants with regulations and procedures that apply to the project, and avoid significant investment in the design of a project without preliminary input from City staff. In addition, the purpose is to identify issues that may arise during review of the project and provide opportunities for discussion about the project and an exchange of information on potential issues between the City staff and applicants.

Further, projects that qualify as a ‘project of community-wide significance’ are presented to the City Council in order to inform the public of the proposed development. A project is categorized as a project of communitywide significance if it consists of: 1) more than 50,000 square feet of gross floor area with one discretionary action; or 2) 50 or more housing units; or 3) any project determined by the Planning Director to be of major importance to the City.

Projects of communitywide significance are presented to the City Council for informational purposes.

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