Save Sunrise Village (SSV) finally reached the end of a 15 month battle trying to save Sunrise Village as a commercial site. Even after Mayor Jung’s statement to our group that he’s a “hard NO,” the City Council voted 5-0 to support Shopoff’s revised proposal — a combination of 49 two and three story single family homes and 64 three story condos. In addition, they committed to adding a number of commercial sites along Rosecrans.
William Shopoff, the developer, made it abundantly clear if the revised proposal was not accepted by the Council they would resubmit new plans and build over 500 units in a six story building under the new state law AB2011. Unfortunately, the tactics and threats worked. SSV said that they put their best foot forward and did so with integrity and have no regrets.
Reflecting on this past year, one of the Save Sunrise Village committee members summed up the past 16 months:
- Shocking plans to wipe out Sunrise Village small business with a developer’s request for zone change and the approval for institutionally dense housing completely incompatible with the style and height of the community. Running out small Korean businesses, some with eviction notices.
- Dismayed over the plans a small group of concerned neighbors come together and begin to strategize their next steps.
- Numerous meetings were organized from the momentum and the Developer’s proposal is no longer a sure thing as initially designed.
- Thousands in the community become aware and an e-mail network grows with continuing updates and status reports. In the end, there were over 3,000 signatures on a petition to Save Sunrise Village.
- Along the way a YIMBY Commissioner resigns in a huff, council meetings extend to wee hours, and the agenda is altered at the last minute.
- The Developer reduces units by 1/3 and increases some commercial space in addition to the plan to revamp the Red Cross building for Dr. Cho.
- A new council member is elected that reflects the YIMBY perspective. A prior YIMBY-type council member is reelected. The balance of the council is delicate and vulnerable when a long-time member retires.
- More Sacramento legislation is passed along the way that can greatly reduce local control of the future of Sunrise Village. (AB2011 and SB6)
- The Planning Commission and Council approve the development 5-0 to save it from the implications of Sacramento.
- The seed planted by a small community group results in greater community awareness that goes beyond Sunrise Village. Compared to the original proposal, the number of units stays reduced, Dr. Cho has a facility, the developer commits to some additional commercial space, and negotiations with Imperial Spa are rumored to be promising. Although mixed with the positives, the lives of the Korean small business and owners and families were disrupted and hurt. Not a complete fairy tale ending but much better than the beginning.
- The small group did experience some tension, yet in the end all are relieved this action-packed adventure is hopefully behind them. It’s time to move on!
Save Sunrise Village thanks you for all of your support in their efforts to try and save Sunrise Village from becoming a massive, high density build. It may not be paradise, but it could have been worse. At this time, no specific date has been given for the groundbreaking to commence.