Planning staff recommends denial on mixed-use condos

October 05, 2007
Santa Paula News

The Planning Commission will be considering a one-acre-plus mixed-use project that includes 24 condominiums that has been recommended for denial by staff.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesThe Planning Commission will be considering a one-acre-plus mixed-use project that includes 24 condominiums that has been recommended for denial by staff.The October 9 hearing will start at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall Council Chambers, 970 E. Ventura St.Unlike City Council hearings the Planning Commission session is not televised on Time Warner Cable Channel 10.The proposed project to be developed by Zahid Shah, which would include four condominium/commercial units, is located at15866-15880 West Telegraph Road on property that is zoned general commercial. The property is 1.03 acres after the deletion of a 20-foot space for setback.There are five existing residences on the property that would be demolished to make way for the new development, which would afford a portion of units for low- and very-low income households.The staff reports cites several reasons for the recommended denial including the concerns stemming from a May 6, 2006 conceptual review including density, increasing the front yard setbacks, providing more parking, open space and landscaping.“No meaningful changes to reflect the Commissioners’ concerns were made to the proposed Project after concept review,” according to the staff report.
The Contemporary Mediterranean designed proposed development would have three, 3-story condominium buildings with covered parking provided within the first floor of each building...uncovered parking is located on both sides of one building and more is provided in another location.The useable common open space is located at the rear of the property adjacent to the railroad right-of-way.Each unit would have individual laundry facilities and private storage and condominiums would have 1 to 3 bedrooms.Lot coverage is a sticking point with the Planning Department whose report notes that landscaping is 10.9 percent less than code guidelines.The staff report notes that the “proposed project’s large scale, massing and density is incompatible with the General Plan policies dealing with urban design and neighborhood scale,” and does preserve and enhance the “small town atmosphere of Santa Paula.The buildings in the proposed development “cover virtually the entire frontage of Telegraph Road.” Adding to the project’s incompatibility, notes the report, is front yard setbacks.The applicant is requesting that the Commission allows increased lot coverage from the maximum percentage of 60% to 76.5% and a reduction in the minimum required landscaping from 40% to 29.1%.Other requests by the applicant include reducing the front yard setback from 10 feet to 6 inches, lower the number of required covered parking spaces from two spaces to one space and to lower the number of affordable housing units from the required minimum of 10 units to 4 units.

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