Planning Commission - April 16, 7pm

Here is a quick recap of what happened at the PC meeting:

The project Alt 1, 12 Single Family Houses, was recommended by the Planning Commission (PC), going against the Planning Dept. recommendation of Alt 2, 10 Single Family Houses and 6 condo units. Because of the Housing Accountability Act the commission did not feel like they could deny the application for Alt 1 after the developers withdrew Alt 2. However, the PC did include a very important condition in the Conditions for Approval of Alt 1. Condition 35 was updated and now requires that the developers adhere to some common practices for cohousing developments. They have to prove that they make decisions by consensus, have common meals scheduled together and have a regular meeting schedule, all to be outlined in their governing documents. They are also required to start building their "Common Building" before the building permit for the 6th parcel is issued. The PC thought it was important that if they are telling everyone they are cohousing they should actually follow through on it. Otherwise, the PC felt that they might get their final subdivision map and then just sell off the parcels to the highest bidder.
 
As a bit of background, new developments must either pay in-lieu fees to the city or set aside a number of their units to be sold as affordable housing, normally this decision is made by the city. However, if it is a cohousing development the developers get to decide which route they want to go. On 04/16 the PC said that the development must function as a co-housing project in order for it to be able to pay the in-lieu fees.  If it does not meet Condition 35 then two of the lots in the subdivision must be set aside for affordable units. 
 
This decision will go in front of City Council sometime in May. There is still a long road for the developers though.

Condition 35:

The applicant shall comply with the inclusionary housing requirements set forth at SCMC Chapter 24.16 Part 1, and shall enter into and record an affordable housing development agreement prior to or concurrently with the final parcel map or final subdivision map approval, or prior to issuance of a building permit for any structure in the residential development, whichever occurs first. The affordable housing development agreement shall run with the land and bind all future owners and successors in interest. An in-lieu fee will be used only if the applicant can provide sufficient evidence documenting that the development meets the zoning ordinance definition of a co-housing project.

Evidence documenting that the development meets the definition for a co-housing project shall include all of the following:

1. The common building shall be constructed prior to or concurrent with the first dwelling unit and shall include extensive common facilities for communal uses where community members can interact and share; facilities may include a dining area, a sitting area, a children's play room, and/or a guest room .

2. The governing document and/or CC&Rs shall include, but not be limited to, the following provisions as evidence that the development will provide extensive group living experiences:

·       Frequently scheduled congregate meals with every household having cooking responsibility.

·       Resident community management wherein joint meetings address minor issues like shared meal preparation and other issues;

·       A non-hierarchical structure for decision-making where decisions are made through consensus.

If the development does not meet the definition of a co-housing project based on substantial evidence, the following inclusionary requirement shall apply: As a minimum two affordable units shall be provided prior to or concurrent with the market rate units.  The first affordable unit shall be sold prior to or concurrent with the sale of the first market rate unit.  The second affordable unit shall be sold prior to or concurrent with the sale of the sixth market-rate unit.

 

http://scsire.cityofsantacruz.com/sirepub_plancom/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=1463&doctype=SUMMARY

Old post on this page:

The Planning Commission is holding a virtual meeting, in the link below are instructions on how to watch the meeting or call in and talk during the public comments:

 

http://scsire.cityofsantacruz.com/sirepub_com/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=1463&doctype=AGENDA

 

Our group will be giving a 10 minute presentation, stating once again that we do not want the church torn down. We will then be asking the Planning Commission to ask the developers to go back to the drawing board. We want to see SIGNIFICANT COMMUNITY BENEFIT in the plans, i.e. public space and some mixed uses on the site. 

 

Please also feel free to send written communication to cityplan@cityofsantacruz.com. You have until 12 noon  on Wednesday April 15th to send in written communication. Tell them how you feel about the project, what do you think would best serve our community?

Save the Heart of the Circles

savetheheartofthecircles@gmail.com

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