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Current Council Agenda and Past Meeting Information

 

CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM NO. 16

Meeting Date: August 28, 2007

Subject/Title: Public hearing to consider a Residential Growth Management Program (RGMP) application for the Ferro/Ronconi Property, submitted by KB Home, requesting an allocation for 154 market-rate residential units on approximately 42.3 acres, located south of McClarren Road, north of Balfour Road and east of Griffith Lane (APN 012-130-006 and 012-130-007).

Prepared by: Jeff Zilm, Senior Planner

Submitted by: Howard Sword, Community Development Director

RECOMMENDATION
The Staff RGMP Evaluation Committee recommends that the Council adopt the attached resolution granting an allocation for 154 market-rate residential units to the project known as the “Ferro/Ronconi Property”, submitted by KB Home.

PREVIOUS ACTION
At the March 13, 2007, City Council meeting, the Council unanimously voted to deny an allocation request submitted by KB Home for 203 market-rate residential units associated with the “Ferro/Ronconi Property”.

BACKGROUND
This application was originally submitted by KB Home last October for a total of 211 residential units, including 203 market-rate units. The application was the only one submitted for the February 2007 RGMP cycle. After completing the standard City review process, the application was scheduled for a public hearing at the February 27th City Council meeting. In the days leading up to the meeting, staff became aware of some fairly significant concerns that were being raised by several of the surrounding property owners. As a result, staff believed that it would be appropriate to continue discussion of the item to the following Council meeting. Many property owners attended the February 27th meeting, however, and the Council decided to open the public hearing for the project so that those in attendance could have a chance to offer their comments. Testimony was taken from 10-15 different property owners, with the primary concerns being the relatively small lot sizes, increased traffic, existing noise impacts from Balfour Road traffic being exacerbated, minimizing views from nearby homes, and the safety of school children. Council Member Richey echoed some of the same concerns, as well as a concern about the size of the proposed park. Given the amount and type of concerns that were brought up, the Council unanimously voted to continue the item to March 13th.

In response to the concerns, KB Home hosted two separate neighborhood meetings, with one on March 10th at the office of SDG Architects and the other on March 12th at Grace Bible Fellowship church, which City staff attended. While the meetings were productive from the standpoint of hearing the variety of concerns, the proposed project layout did not in and of itself address those concerns. This was affirmed at the Council meeting on March 13th when the public hearing continued with another 10-15 speakers voicing their concerns about the project. A number of concerns were expressed, particularly with respect to the number of proposed units, resulting in a density of 4.98 dwelling units per acre (du/ac), which was essentially the top of the density range (5.0 du/ac) specified in the General Plan for the site. As a result, the Council unanimously voted to deny the requested allocations for the February 2007 RGMP cycle. The Council directed the applicant to reduce the overall density, closer to the mid-range density of 3 units per acre, to address the concerns raised by the surrounding property owners.

On March 28, 2007, KB Home submitted a new application for 152 market-rate units, with a total of 160 units, to be considered as part of the August 2007 RGMP cycle, and was again the only application submitted for the cycle. The application used 152 for the number of market rate unit allocations and eight affordable units for a total of 160 units. After some discussion with the Housing Division that number was revised to 154 market rate units and six affordable units for a total of 160 units. This revision did not affect the overall score.

Staff conducted its review of the application and the project was scored again by the Staff RGMP Evaluation Committee, with a total of 140 points received, the minimum score needed to qualify. Once the application was scored, staff scheduled it for consideration by the Land Use and Development Committee on May 3rd. The Committee was in general agreement that the increased lot sizes and resulting decreased density were appropriate for the project site.

Staff hosted a neighborhood meeting on August 6th to present the revised project and get comments. Staff estimates that approximately 30-40 people came to the meeting, and comments were generally focused on issues relating to traffic, the design of the detention basin, the number of single-story homes vs. two-story homes, noise, the types of walls and fencing, and grading. No significant comments were made related to either proposed lot sizes or overall density. Staff believes that the majority of outstanding issues should be addressed during the formal processing of the subdivision map, which will include a detailed environmental review of the project and a number of technical studies (i.e. traffic and noise), with final action to be taken by the Planning Commission.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION
The project includes a total of 160 single-family residential lots ranging in size from 6,600-square-feet to 14,245-square-feet, with an average size of 7,405-square-feet. Up to 154 lots will be for market-rate units and six (6) lots will be for affordable units, in accordance with the City’s affordable housing ordinance. The project is located on two parcels totaling approximately 42.3 acres bounded by McClarren Road on the north, existing single-family homes along Pippo Avenue on the east, Balfour Road on the south, and Griffith Lane on the west. The site is also proximate to existing single-family homes both north of McClarren Road and south of Balfour Road, as well as Brentwood Elementary School, the Skate Park, the Aquatic Complex, and Veterans Park west of Griffith Lane. The General Plan designates the project site for Low Density Residential development, with a density ranging from 1.1 (47 units) to 5.0 (212 units) dwelling units per gross acre (du/ac) and a mid-range of 3.0 du/ac (127 units). The proposed density is 3.78 du/ac, or 33 units above the mid-range.

Three vehicular access points are proposed as part of the project, including one on McClarren Road to align with Nottingham Drive on the north, a right-in and right-out only on Balfour Road to align with Hickory Drive on the south, and one on Griffith Lane to align with the driveway leading to the parking lot for the Skate Park and Aquatic Complex on the west. There is a proposed pedestrian and emergency vehicle access point along the east boundary of the site to align with Pederson Way on the east (currently a stub street that connects with Pippo Avenue). There are two other proposed pedestrian access points, including one at the corner of Balfour Road and Griffith Lane and one at the corner of McClarren Road and Griffith Lane.

In order to comply with stormwater control requirements, a proposed one-acre detention basin is located in the northeast corner of the project site. Recreational needs of the subdivision will be served in part by a 0.92-acre park proposed to be located toward the center of the site. A 0.75-acre area is proposed along the east boundary of the subdivision to serve the dual purpose of a landscape buffer and a storm drain easement. Masonry soundwalls will be constructed along the McClarren Road, Balfour Road and Griffith Lane frontages. The two cul-de-sacs proposed along McClarren Road will be open-ended in accordance with City standards.

The City’s affordable housing ordinance requires 10% of the units in new developments to be available for a mixture of moderate, low, and very low income-level households as either for-sale or rental units. Based on the proposed number of units, this project is required to provide 16 units at affordable income levels. The ordinance, however, provides applicants the opportunity to negotiate with the City in order to develop alternative methods for meeting the obligation (i.e. pay in-lieu fees or build rental units and dedicate them to the City). If an applicant opts to build a unit and dedicate it to the City, the applicant receives a 2-for-1 credit.

On November 16, 2006, the original 211-unit project was presented to the Housing Subcommittee. At that time, the Committee’s recommendation was to allow KB Home to build 8 of the 21 affordable units they were obligated to provide. Five of the units were to be for-sale units (one very low, three low, and one moderate). Three units were to be dedicated to the City as rental units for low-income households. The developer was then to pay in-lieu fees for the remaining obligation of 10 units (5 low and 5 moderate).

Based on the Subcommittee’s original recommendation the numbers have been revised to reflect an obligation of 16 affordable units rather than 21 affordable units. Using the same ratio KB Home would therefore be required to build six (6) affordable units. Four of the six units would be for-sale units (one very low, two low, and one moderate), while the other two units would be dedicated to the City (which would count as four units based upon the 2-for-1 credit for dedication) as rental units for low income level households. KB Home would also pay in-lieu fees for the remaining obligation of four very low units and contribute to the first-time homebuyer program for four moderate units.

DISCUSSION
The project has been scored by the Staff RGMP Evaluation Committee and has received a total of 140 points, which meets the minimum number of points required for an application to be forwarded to the Council for review and consideration. The following table reflects the general categories of criteria established by the RGMP and the respective points for each:

KB HOME – “FERRO/RONCONI PROPERTY”

Criteria Points Possible Points Awarded
Infrastructure 50 50
Amenities 25 25
Energy Efficiency 25 25
Jobs 40 6
Agricultural Enterprise 30 0
Housing Design 25 9
Continuing Project 10 10
Incorporating Existing Properties 25 0
Estate Homes 10 0
Subdivide Land Only Reduce threshold to 100 0
Existing Homes 15 0
Project Design 15 15
Total 270 140

As previously referenced, the application from KB Home was the only one received for the August 2007 RGMP cycle. The intent of the program is to meter annual allocations by awarding approximately 50% of the allocations at the February Council meeting and approximately 50% at the August Council meeting. The Council established the annual allocation for Calendar Year 2007 at 451 units during its meeting on January 9th. As the Council did not grant any allocations for the February 2007 RGMP cycle, all 451 units are available for allocation. KB Home is requesting an allocation of 154 units, leaving 297 allocations unused in Calendar Year 2007. Assuming Council approval of the request from KB Home, the following table summarizes staff’s recommendation, as well as the allocations unused in Calendar Year 2007:

Project Allocations Awarded Date Allocations Remaining
(from 451)
KB Home (Ferro/Ronconi) 154 08/28/07 297

While not directly related to this project, staff believes that it is important to briefly discuss one concern in particular that has been consistently raised since the application was submitted by KB Home. The concern involves the existing noise problem for those homes backing onto Balfour Road, located directly south of the project site, and the additional noise that would be generated by the project. A number of property owners have expressed an interest in having KB Home replace the existing soundwall along Balfour Road in order to reduce the noise levels to comply with City noise standards. Replacement of this soundwall is an off-site improvement that KB Home would not be reimbursed for. Staff does not believe that the soundwall replacement should be included as part of the RGMP proposed projects. KB Home has identified other projects that would have more of a “community-wide” benefit (i.e. construction of a future traffic signal and improvements to both McClarren Park and City Park). As a result, staff scheduled the project for consideration by the Land Use and Development Committee again on June 21st, in order to focus on the list of amenities that are proposed as part of the RGMP. The Committee determined at that meeting that while it understood the existing problems with the wall and the noise, the RGMP was not the appropriate mechanism to fix the problem.

FISCAL IMPACT
There would be no fiscal impact to the City until an application is filed for discretionary permits, and at that time, all relevant fees will need to be paid. The project, once developed, would generate additional property tax for the City. The project would also increase demand for the urban services that the City provides, which will result in ongoing service delivery costs.

Attachments:
1. Resolution
2. Conceptual Site Plan for the “Ferro/Ronconi Property”, prepared by Carlson, Barbee & Gibson, Inc., dated “Received May 18, 2007”
3. Letter from KB Home providing an overview of the RGMP score, engineering estimates prepared by Carlson, Barbee & Gibson, Inc., single-family GreenPoint checklist and RGMP score sheet prepared by KB Home, dated “Received March 27, 2007”
RESOLUTION NO.

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BRENTWOOD APPROVING AN RGMP APPLICATION FOR 154 ALLOCATIONS IN CALENDAR YEAR 2007 TO KB HOME FOR THE FERRO/RONCONI PROPERTY IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RESIDENTIAL GROWTH MANAGEMENT PROGRAM

WHEREAS, the City Council passed and accepted Resolution No. 2326 adopting a Residential Growth Management Program (RGMP) to provide for the review and evaluation of residential growth in the City of Brentwood on July 6, 2001, which was effective July 1, 2001; and

WHEREAS, on September 11, 2001, November 26, 2002, May 27, 2003, and September 23, 2003, the City Council passed and accepted resolutions amending the original RGMP, and lastly on October 12, 2004, the City Council passed and accepted Resolution No. 2004-242 revising the original RGMP; and

WHEREAS, on September 13, 2005, the City Council passed and accepted Resolution No. 2005-228 updating the October 12, 2004, version of the RGMP; and

WHEREAS, on October 24, 2006, the City Council passed and accepted Resolution No. 2006-274 updating the September 13, 2005, version of the RGMP; and

WHEREAS, an application was submitted by KB Home for 154 dwelling unit allocations in accordance with the “Ferro/Ronconi Property” (RGMP No. 07-A1); and

WHEREAS, consideration of this application is determined to be covered by the general rule that the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) applies only to projects which have the potential for causing a significant effect on the environment. In this case, where it can be seen with certainty that there is no possibility that the activity in question may have a significant effect on the environment, the activity is not subject to CEQA (CEQA Guidelines Section 15061(b)(3)), in that any granting of an allocation for dwelling units will need to be followed by an appropriate tentative subdivision map application to receive an actual entitlement, including the appropriate level of environmental review in compliance with CEQA; and

WHEREAS, the Staff RGMP Evaluation Committee reviewed said application with respect to the RGMP, and recommended a specific point total be awarded; and

WHEREAS, the Staff RGMP Evaluation Committee recommended to the City Council that the application by KB Home for the “Ferro/Ronconi Property” receive a total of 140 points; and

WHEREAS, a minimum of 140 points is needed for the application to be forwarded for consideration of the requested allocations by the City Council, and the applicant was notified of the point total recommended by the Staff RGMP Evaluation Committee; and

WHEREAS, the intent of the RGMP is that the City Council award approximately 50% of the annual allocations in February and the other 50% in August, or reasonably close percentages based on project size, in order to include entire projects; and

WHEREAS, the City Council established an annual allocation for Calendar Year 2007 of 451 units at its meeting of January 9, 2007; and

WHEREAS, the application submitted by KB Home scored the minimum threshold of 140 points; and

WHEREAS, awarding an allocation of 154 units to KB Home during the August 2007 RGMP cycle meets the intent of the RGMP, in that more than half (297) of the 451 units available for Calendar Year 2007 will not be used, with the exception of any additional tentative parcel maps or secondary housing units that may be approved in the remainder of Calendar Year 2007; and

WHEREAS, the final dollar amounts for and the distribution of the very low, low and moderate units for the project shall be as determined by the Affordable Housing Agreement between KB Home and the City of Brentwood; and

WHEREAS, on August 28, 2007, the City Council held a public hearing to accept public testimony and reviewed all available information, including the application and the staff report prepared for the City Council with the Staff RGMP Evaluation Committee’s recommendation; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of the City of Brentwood hereby finds and determines as follows:

Section 1. The foregoing recitals and staff report statements are found and determined to be true and correct.

Section 2. The City Council finds that KB Home has achieved 140 total points and grants the requested allocation of 154 units in accordance with the application and the following proposed general improvements for the “Ferro/Ronconi Property”:

1. Construction of the John Muir Parkway Extension/Foothill Drive – Phase I CIP project and Brentwood Boulevard widening or another CIP project selected by staff (30 points).
2. Brentwood Boulevard widening and improvements to City Park (20 points).
3. Construction of a future traffic signal, increased parkway landscaping along Griffith Lane, construction of improvements to the vacant lot at the northwest corner of Balfour Road and Pippo Avenue, and improvements to both City Park and McClarren Park (25 points).
4. Energy efficient design (25 points).
5. Contribution of $319,200 to the City’s PEC Fund (6 points).
6. Housing design (9 points).
7. Infill project (10 points).
8. High quality subdivision design (15 points).

Section 3. The City Council finds that in the event any of the projects listed under Items 1 and 2 in the letter submitted by KB Home dated “Received March 27, 2007”, are not able to be constructed by KB Home because of timing or other unforeseen circumstances, the City shall have the right to authorize KB Home to pay the agreed amount of money, as stated in said letter, to the City to construct the projects.

Section 4. The City Council finds that this action is exempt from the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act, pursuant to Section 15061(b)(3) of the CEQA Guidelines.

PASSED AND ACCEPTED by the City Council of the City of Brentwood at their regular meeting of August 28, 2007, by the following vote:
 

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