A Tentative Tract Map, Site Development Plan, and Design Review to construct a mixed-use condominium project at El Cajon Boulevard and Thome Drive in the C-D-MU (General Commercial/Urban Design Overlay/Mixed-Use Overlay) and R3-MU (Multiple Unite Residential/Mixed-Use Overlay) zones.
The property owner, Arnold & Valerle Schmidt Revocable Trust, is proposing a new mixed-use development located at El Cajon Boulevard and Thorne Drive called Montebello. The subject development consists of two properties located on the north and south sides of El Cajon Boulevard to the west of Thorne Drive. The site consists of 4.66-acres addressed as 7664-7696 El Cajon Boulevard, 7699 El Cajon Boulevard, and 5017 Thorne Drive, La Mesa, CA 91942. The Assessor Parcel Numbers for the subject property are: 470-100-02-00, 470-100-03-00, 470-100-04-00, 470-100-05-00, 470-100-19-00, 470-150-07-00, and 774-701-00-06.
The applicant proposes to construct 253 residential condominium units and 12 commercial condominium sites (approximately 5,000 sf) utilizing State Density Bonus Provisions. The application of the State Density Provisions provides Incentives or concessions, and wavers or reductions of development standards, subject to restricting 21 condominium units for affordable housing for a period of 30 years.
The project includes commercial suites along the El Cajon Boulevard street frontage and residential condominiums behind and above the commercial use with parking on the ground level, including some subterranean parking on Montebello North.
An affordable housing density bonus is proposed for this project in accordance with Government Code Section 65915. The applicant proposes a density of 54.3 dwelling units per acre with 253 residential condominium units on the 4.66-acre site. The Mixed-Use Overlay prescribes a density limit of 40 dwelling units per acre. The applicant has applied for a Density Bonus using State Density Bonus provisions which allow for the increased density. In exchange for the increased density, the project provides 11% of the units for very low income residents for 21 units (9 one bedroom: 12 two-bedroom units) with a 30-year affordability term. Pursuant to the Mixed-Use Overlay Zone, 187 units would be allowed without the State Density Bonus Provisions. The project proposes a 35% Density Provision Bonus, per Government Code 65915, which allows for 66 additional units. An affordable housing regulatory agreement to memorialize the affordable housing provisions, and related CC&Rs, will be recorded prior to building permit issuance.
The site is zoned C-D-MU (General Commercial/Urban Design Overlay/Mixed-Use Overlay) and the northerly two-acre portion of Montebello North is R3-MU (multiple unit residential/mixed-use overlay). The entire subject property is designated in the General Plan for "Mixed-Use Urban" land use. On April 28, 2009, the City Council approved General Plan Amendment GPA 08-01 and Zoning Ordinance Amendment ZOA 08-01 (Resolution No. 2009-062), which extended the Mixed-Use Overlay Zone to the north by two acres on Montebello North.
The General Commercial zone is intended to provide areas in which all types of retail businesses, offices and services can be conducted. This zone is applied generally along major streets and in shopping centers. As stated in the City of La Mesa Zoning Ordinance, the Mixed Use-MU zone allows for "commercial uses that are neighborhood serving that generate pedestrian activity, such as cafes, restaurants, bookstores, floral shops, retail shopping, commercial recreation and entertainment spaces, personal and convenience service stores, bakeries, travel agencies, childcare facilities, art galleries, and offices. "The specific purpose of the Mixed-Use Overlay Zone is to provide a mechanism to:
Revitalize older commercial corridors; Increase opportunities for infill housing while transforming and aesthetically improving transportation corridors into tree-lined civic boulevards with mixed use projects;
Encourage new housing and innovative retail that is less automobile dependent; and
Help to create pedestrian oriented neighborhoods where local residents have services, shops, jobs, and access to transit within walking distance of their homes.
The "Mixed-Use Urban" land use designation is assigned to the City's transportation corridors such as University Avenue, El Cajon Boulevard and La Mesa Boulevard. It is intended to allow a more intensive level of commercial development than Local Serving Commercial, but not the high volume regionally significant activities found in Regional Serving Commercial. By allowing a mixture of residential and commercial uses along established transit routes, the City hopes to encourage new housing that is less dependent upon the automobile for access and creates a livable urban environment. The proposed project would not conflict with any applicable land use plans, policies, or regulations because mixed use development is allowed by the Mixed-Up Overlay Zone and by the City's General Plan, and the proposed density increase and associated waivers and concessions are allowed in accordance with State Law.
The Arnold and Valerie Schidt Trust, property owner, is the beneficiary of the project. The project meets the required findings for approval under the City's Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances and the Subdivision Map Act. The Project required approval of a Site Development Plan (Case File No. DAB 14-18) and a Tentative Tract Map (Case File No. TTM 14-02) by the La Mesa Planning Commission. The Project also required consideration by the Design Review Board with their recommendations subject to City Council ratification. The City Council ratified the Tentative Tract Map/Site Development Plan, Design Review DRB 14-18 on June 13, 2017.