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  Agenda Item   7.    
City Council Meeting
Meeting Date: 04/20/2021  
FROM: Bill Gallardo

Subject:
Project Preview: New Construction and Renovation of Affordable Housing Units generally located at 685 South Brea Boulevard, 620 South Walnut Avenue, and 523 South Walnut Avenue (Applicant: Jamboree Housing Corporation).  
RECOMMENDATION
This report is intended to provide information to the City Council, no action is required.
BACKGROUND/DISCUSSION
In December 2020, Jamboree Housing Corporation (Jamboree) reached out to City staff about the possibility of constructing an affordable housing project at 685 South Brea Boulevard, which is currently occupied by McCulloch's Wide Width Shoes.  In addition to construction of the new units, Jamboree would acquire and renovate the existing 47-unit Walnut Village apartments, located at 610, 632, 638, and 660 South Walnut Avenue (collectively referred to as 620 South Walnut Avenue), and 523 South Walnut Avenue.  Figure 1 below illustrates the location of the Walnut Village apartments and potential new construction site.  



At the recommendation of staff, Jamboree submitted two conceptual plans for a Screen Check Preliminary Review (Screen Check).  A Screen Check is a unique service offered by the City that provides an opportunity for an applicant to receive high-level feedback from members of the City's development review team (Public Works, Community Development, Community Services, Police, and Fire) prior to submitting a formal development application.  On March 18, 2021, City staff met with Jamboree to discuss two development scenarios, summarized below.  Jamboree is also requesting that the City provide affordable housing funds to aide in the development of the project.  In light of this request, staff has added an additional step to this Screen Check process.  In an effort to solicit cursory feedback on both the funding request and project itself, staff has prepared an informational item for Council.  Any feedback provided by the Council does not constituent an approval or denial of the project and is intended to assist the applicant with their formal submittal.  

Project Description
Jamboree's proposal included two development scenarios, described as Scenario A and B below.  The conceptual site plans are provided as Attachment 1. The Screen Check comment letter provided to Jamboree is provided as Attachment 2.
  • Scenario A includes:
    • Demolition of an existing 6,500 square foot commercial structure;
    • Construction of 32 rental units in a three-story structure; 
    • Office space for leasing/housing services provided on the ground floor;
    • Open-air recreation area provided on the ground floor; and
    • Nine covered parking spaces and 41 uncovered parking spaces would be provided on-site, with vehicle access from both South Brea Boulevard and South Walnut Avenue.
       
  • Scenario B includes:
    • Demolition of an existing 6,500 square foot commercial structure;
    • Construction of 42 rental units in a three-story structure, with a fourth story incorporated on the building corner off South Brea Boulevard and West Fir Street;
    • Office space for leasing/housing services provided on the ground floor;
    • Open-air recreation area provided on the ground floor; and
    • Nine covered parking spaces and 41 uncovered parking spaces would be provided on-site, with vehicle access from both South Brea Boulevard and South Walnut Avenue.
In both scenarios, Jamboree would acquire and perform mostly cosmetic renovations of the Walnut Village apartments (620 South Walnut Avenue and 523 South Walnut Avenue).  Potential exterior improvements include, but are not limited to: paint, landscape enhancements, new windows, and fencing.  Potential interior improvements include, but are not limited to: new flooring, countertops, cabinets, lighting, and paint.

Context and Compatibility

Brea General Plan
The "new construction" portion of the project site has a land use designation of Mixed Use-III.  The "acquisition and renovation" portion of the project site has a land use designation of High-Density Residential and Low-Density Residential General Plan land use designation, as illustrated in Figure 2 below.  



The intent of the MU-III designation (new construction portion of project) is to provide opportunities for the revitalization of deteriorated commercial centers by allowing the development of neighborhood-serving commercial uses and very low intensity offices paired with housing.  The MU-III land use designation allows for a maximum Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of 1.00, a residential density of 6.1-18 dwelling units per acre (du/ac), and a population density of approximately 50 persons per acre. 
 
  Existing General Plan Land Use Designation Compatibility 
Scenario A
32 units
MU-III  The 32-unit plan provides a density of 24 du/ac, which is inconsistent with the MU-III land use designation.  No proposed square footage was provided to verify FAR.
Scenario B
42 units
MU-III  The 42-unit plan provides a density of 31 du/ac, which is inconsistent with the MU-III land use designation.  No proposed square footage was provided to verify FAR.

The intent of the High-Density Residential land use designation (acquisition and renovation portion of project) is to permit the development of quality condominiums, apartments, townhomes, and senior housing, combined with varying amounts of open space and landscaping. The High-Density Residential land use designation allows for a maximum unit density of 6.1 - 12.0 du/ac, and a population density of 67 persons per acre. The intent of the Low-Density designation is to provide for the development of low-density single-family dwellings and accessory buildings. The Low-Density land use designation allows for 1 - 6 du/ac, and a population density of approximately 16 persons per acre. 

Portions of the project site (new construction and/or renovation) may require an amendment to the General Plan to conform with the proposed residential density, FAR, or population density.  Based on the conceptual plans, staff is recommending that portions of the project site be amended to a General Plan land use designation of MU-I that would allow for a residential density of 12.1 - 50 du/ac, a maximum FAR of 3.00, and a population density of approximately 135 persons per acre.

Brea Zoning Code
The "new construction" portion of the project site is located in the MU-III zone. The "acquisition and renovation" portion of the project site is located in the R-3 (Multiple Family) Zone and R-1 (Single Family) Zone, as illustrated in Figure 3 below. 



The intent of the MU-III Zone (new construction) is to provide opportunities for the revitalization of deteriorated commercial corridors and centers located on arterials by allowing the development of neighborhood-serving commercial uses and very low intensity offices paired with residential uses. The residential density range is 6.1 - 18 du/ac. The maximum allowed floor area ratio (FAR) is 1.00. Residential densities at the higher end of the range will only be allowed for developments that clearly incorporate a mix of uses.
 
  Existing Zoning Designation Compatibility
Scenario A
32 units
MU-III  The potential project, as proposed in the 32-unit plan is inconsistent with the purpose and intent of the MU-III, which leaves staff unable to verify all development standards.
Scenario B
42 units
MU-III The potential project, as proposed in the 42-unit plan is inconsistent with the purpose and intent of the MU-III, which leaves staff unable to verify all development standards.

The intent of the R-3 zone (acquisition and renovation) is to provide for the development of high density, multiple family housing, such as condominiums and apartments.  The maximum density in the R-3 Zones is 24 du/ac. The intent of the R-1 Zone is to provide an environment conducive to the development of single-family homes with no mixed or incompatible uses.  

Portions of the project site (new construction and/or renovation) may require a Zone Map Amendment in order to conform with the maximum residential density and development standards. Based on the conceptual plans, staff is recommending that portions of the project site be re-zoned to MU-I that  encourage vertical and horizontal integration of compatible residential and non-residential uses and allow for a residential density of 12.1 - 50 du/acre.

Development Standards
City staff reviewed the potential project against the development standards of the recommended MU-I Zone, as summarized below.  Under the City's Affordable Housing Program, an applicant may request incentives/concessions including flexible development standards. City staff would  work with Jamboree to identify how incentives/concessions may be best applied to the  project as well as identify any additional entitlements that may be needed.  
 
Property Development Standards Required Proposed and Compatibility
Setbacks Second story and above – 10 feet
Front – 15 feet
Side, street – 15 feet
Rear – 5 feet
Parking area setback – 5 feet

Note: No parking adjacent to Brea Blvd allowed, except in the upper floors of a parking structure.
Not shown on conceptual site plan.
Height 55 feet maximum Not shown on conceptual site plan.
Common/Private Open Space Minimum common open space for multi-family dwellings is 100 SF per dwelling unit, and a minimum private open space is 75 SF per dwelling. Not shown on conceptual site plan.
Corner Cut-Off Area Corner cut-off area is required at all intersecting and intercepting streets or highways. The cut-off line shall be in a horizontal plane, making an angle of forty-five degrees (45°) with the side, front, or rear property line. It shall pass through the points located on both side and front (or rear) property lines, at a distance of 30 feet from the intersection of such lines at the corner of a street or highway. The potential project is located on the northwest corner of South Brea Boulevard and West Fir Street, and northeast corner of West Fir Street and South Walnut Avenue.  The potential project is currently required to meet the designated corner cut-off area.

The conceptual plans do not reflect compliance.
 







 
Property Development Standards Required Proposed and Compatibility
Off-Street Parking The conceptual plans show a total of 50 parking spaces provided.

Scenario A (32 units) would require a minimum parking requirement of 59 parking spaces, of which 41 parking spaces shall be covered within a garage or three-sided carport.

Scenario B (42 units) would require a minimum parking requirement of 79 parking spaces, of which 54 parking spaces shall be covered parking within a garage or three-sided carport.
Density Bonus Law (SB 1818) does not allow a City to impose a minimum parking requirement, other than one parking space for each one-bedroom apartment, and two parking spaces for each two to three-bedroom apartment.

The Density Bonus Law incentives do not extend to guest parking, or specify covered/uncovered parking for the minimum required parking. The Zoning Code would still require all building sites, containing five or more units, to provide two-tenths (0.2) guest parking space for each dwelling.

The conceptual plans also note a designated leasing & service (office) space.  The minimum required parking spaces for office use is one uncovered space per every 250 square feet of space. At this time, it cannot be determined how many parking spaces will be required to satisfy this requirement.

Scenario A (32 units): Parking deficit of eight parking spaces and only nine covered parking spaces.

Scenario B (42 units): Parking deficit of 28 parking spaces and only nine covered parking spaces.

Affordable Housing & Request for Funds
Walnut Village apartments consist of 47 one-, two-, and three-bedroom units, dedicated to Very Low-Income households earning 50% or less of the Area Median Income (AMI).  The current "Agreement Containing Covenants Affecting Real Property" (Affordable Housing Agreement) expires in December 2035.  The potential project provides an opportunity to extend the terms of the Affordable Housing Agreement, which staff will negotiate with Jamboree.  The potential project (new units and existing Walnut Village units) would be a mix of 30%, 50%, and 60% AMI households.

In addition to funding sources such as the 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program and the State Department of Housing and Community Development, Jamboree intends to request a loan of approximately $2,000,000 from the City of Brea.  At the request of staff, Jamboree has agreed to work with the City to ensure City investment is credited towards the development of the new units.  Specific terms of a potential loan and Affordable Housing Agreement(s) have yet to be provided by Jamboree.

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT
At this time, no environmental determination has been made.  The City of Brea, as the lead agency, would ultimately determine the project's CEQA status once a formal application is submitted and evaluated.
COMMISSION/COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION
No consideration is required at this time.  Once a formal application is submitted, the project would require consideration by the Finance Committee, Planning Commission, and City Council.  
FISCAL IMPACT/SUMMARY
At this time, Jamboree is requesting a loan in the amount of $2,000,000 to facilitate construction and/or renovation of the units.  These funds would come from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund (270) and/or the Housing Successor Fund (280).  There would be no negative impact to the General Fund.
RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED:
William Gallardo, City Manager
Prepared by:  Marie Dao, Management Analyst and Cecilia Madrigal-Gonzalez, Planning Technician
Concurrence:  Tracy Steinkruger, Community Development Director
 
Attachments
Jamboree Potential Project Submittal
City Screen Check Letter

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