High-Density Housing Proposed for Orangethorpe and Lemon Put on Brief Hold
Below are recent and upcoming housing developments discussed by the Fullerton Planning Commission:
Street Lights Fullerton: 329 units on 4.77 acres (74 dwelling units per acre). The developers of the proposed Street Lights Fullerton Project withdrew their application for a five to six story 329-unit development with 6,500 square feet of retail space on a 4.77-acre plot, north of the carwash at the northwest corner of Lemon and Orangethorpe. They are one of the first Fullerton commercial developers to offer to build five percent (17 units) of their complex at the “Very Low Income” level of affordable housing, which allows them a concession to build the primarily market-rate Project at a higher density and receive parking requirement reductions. Vice Chair Doug Cox asked for the project to be brought back without being tied to a General Plan revision that would allow all future Fullerton projects that request “Urban Center Mixed Use” as a land use type to be able to already have “consistency” built in with C-3 (Central Business District Commercial) zoning. The developer agreed to come back with a new application and the Commission approved what is expected to be a short delay with a 3-0 vote.
Everyone agreed that this was an excellent location for density and for affordable housing. This guest writer asked if the developer could fit in even more affordable units, above the five percent “Very Low” that they’d offered. Exaggerating just a bit, Vice Chair Cox mentioned that if housing projects only contribute five percent of their units as affordable, it would take 260,000 new units of housing for Fullerton to achieve the 13,000-plus units needed to meet the Regional Housing Needs Assessment requirements. (Fullerton currently has approximately 48,000 total housing units.)
Hub Fullerton: 420 units on 3.55 acres (118 dwelling units per acre): At its September 29 meeting, the Planning Commission passed the Hub Fullerton project with a recommendation of approval to the City Council. The student-oriented project consists of 420 units and 12,438 square feet of commercial on a 3.55-acre site. It’s leased by the bed, with 1,251 expected residents. No units are currently expected to formally contribute to affordable housing needs, but the project is asking for additional density and steep parking reductions. They are proposing only 376 parking spaces, which is almost 600 fewer than Fullerton normally requires. The developer is basing this request on standards for their other student-oriented projects throughout the country, and their “unbundled” parking methodology in which tenants, rather than automatically being entitled to a parking space, can choose whether to lease a parking space with their residence.
Pines at Sunrise Village: 164 units on 12.52 acres (13.1 dwelling units per acre). At the 6:30pm October 27 meeting, the Planning Commission will hear about the Pines at Sunrise Village project being proposed at the southwest corner of Euclid and Rosecrans, reaching south to Paseo Dorado and west to Camino Loma. The Del Taco, Coffee Code café, and bank building on Euclid will remain, but the tennis courts, Red Cross, and all other buildings and associated businesses, will be demolished in order to build 115 townhomes and 49 single family homes. The developer, Shopoff Realty Investments, maintains that the housing costs are “attainable” but there is no formal affordable housing being proposed. Local group Friends for A Livable Fullerton is encouraging the developer to include a component of affordable units within the project, and to work with the City and the Orange County Flood Control District to restore the small section of creek on the southeast corner of the property back to a natural riparian habitat. The current creek is bare of any vegetation, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wetlands Inventory recognizes it as a .21-acre riparian habitat and aerial photos from 1928 show the creek in its more natural state. The creek drains the Robert E. Ward Nature Preserve and the Laguna Lake area and is the main tributary to Bastanchury Creek.
To learn more about these development projects, the first two of which will soon be coming before City Council, search for “development activity” on the City’s website (below) and click on the first retrieved link.
In other Planning Commission news, Commission Chris Thompson has stepped down, and Mayor Pro-Tem Nick Dunlap appointed Peter Gambino as a new Commissioner.
To view agendas and information on how to participate visit https://fullerton.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx.
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