Community Voices

There is Still Time to Save Sunrise Village

The 164-unit housing development proposal that would replace the neighborhood Sunrise Village Shopping Center on Euclid and Rosecrans was sent back to the Planning Commission after the Dec. 2021 City Council public hearing. Council provided the applicant with a list of recommendations–including reducing the density of the residential portion, preserving as much commercial space as possible, and presenting a design more in sync with the neighborhood.

The development proposal [with 7% less density] returned to the Planning Commission on April 13 where it was again recommended for approval in a 3 to 2 vote (Cox and Gambino, no) despite public commenters presenting evidence that developers had failed to accomplish those goals.

Sam He, a local resident said, “The density of this project is not compatible with the neighborhood. Municipal Code 15.20.130 gives general guidelines on density for this type of development, which states it should reflect the majority surrounding neighborhood density. The zoning map shows the majority surrounding neighborhood is zoned for R1-15. The number 15 stands for 15000 sq. ft. minimum lot size for each dwelling unit (du). This translates to 2.97 du/acre,” said He.

“Now, let’s look at lot 1 of the proposed project, which is for 49 single family homes. The average lot size is 2340 sq. ft. This translates to 18.6 du/acre. That is more than six times the density of the surrounding neighborhood. Lot 2 is for 104 townhomes sitting on about the same acreage as lot 1. I estimate the density to be about 12 times the majority of the surrounding neighborhood,” said He.

He continued, “There are 49 detached single-dwelling homes. Twenty-three of those homes have zero available street parking in front because they are situated on internal/alley-like streets. Five of those homes have no parking because they are simply on a curve on the road and would block visibility. There are, it appears, only four handicap parking places throughout the entire project. Due to the density of the project and homes built on very small lot sizes, driveways are essentially non-existent…This is the case throughout the development for any of the 153 units, especially single- dwelling homes.”

Neighborhood group leader Carol Edmondston said, “We were utterly dismayed with the number of misrepresentations made by the developer. One important instance centered around the developer’s statement, numerous times, that ‘all rooftop decks having been removed,’ which is NOT the case.”

“After hearing strong public opposition from those of us who invested a great deal of time and research dissecting the actual proposal submitted to the City the commissioners were unfazed and voted in favor of the developer,” said Edmondston. “We did our homework and presented our side with integrity and decorum—we told the truth and made a strong case.”

Edmondston continued, “We are also supported by our community, which includes the 1,905 petition signers (on-line and hard copy) submitted to the City. We realize the Planning Commission members must feel a great deal of pressure from developers to push through their projects. Yet, we would also like to make known how frustrating it is for us, the public, to listen to misrepresentations and not to be afforded any rebuttal time to set the record straight.”

“Please join us and help us revitalize this much-needed commercial site. It will come up again before the City Council in the near future, so keep checking the agenda,” Cathy Yang said. Please sign the petition at change.org click and join the email list at savesunrisevillage@yahoo.com.

Some businesses in the Sunrise Village Shopping Center. Photo by Saskia Kennedy

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