Approval of land use will allow construction of low-income housing
Developer intends to build two-story multi-family apartment complexes
Following a public hearing with no comments, the city council approved a land use designation that will allow development of new multi-family low-income housing in the area of 2nd Avenue and 12th Street.
Wallace Hunter, on behalf of El Toro Casitas LLC, requested that 1.8 acres of property located at 1201 and 1230 S. 2nd Avenue and 205, 217 and 221 W. 12th Street be changed from Medium Density Residential to High Density Residential.
El Toro Casitas intends to develop two or more two-story multi–family apartment complexes. The area includes five properties which are now undeveloped or contain vacant dilapidated buildings.
On April 22, the Planning and Zoning Commission voted to recommend approval of the land use designation.
According to staff, redeveloping all five parcels will benefit the residential neighborhood. But to accomplish this, staff added, the future development should include enhanced architectural design, appropriately landscaped open areas and sufficient off-street parking that meet all city standards.
Establishing the High Density Residential land use designation would allow multi-family residential development in the area, staff said.
However, staff also noted that nearby parks or recreational facilities are not available for neighborhood residents and families. Grocery stores, pharmacies and clinics are also not within walking distance, but can be reached through YCAT buses on 1st Avenue.
On Feb. 5, the applicant held a neighborhood meeting to address concerns. Fourteen property owners attended the meeting, where the applicant mentioned the intention to develop the apartment complex for low-income residents.
This was the first time the developer mentioned low-income housing, staff said.
Some in attendance opposed the land use amendment request, citing concerns that the proposed development would negatively impact property values and the increase in density would lead to more traffic on 2nd Avenue and 12th Street.
Property owners also worried that lack of parks would lead to children playing in the streets and the nearby cemetery.
The Comstock Air-Conditioning Co. owners said they were not in favor of the request and believed the properties would be better suited for a commercial or industrial use.
In addition, the Yuma County Department of Development Services provided a comment in opposition to the request, noting that if approved, the applicant would likely seek to rezone the properties to High Density Residential (R-3) District.
However, when the commission held the first public hearing on April 8, no comments were offered from the public for the land use amendment request.
In other action, the council held a public hearing for the city's $139.7 million draft Capital Improvement Program budget for fiscal years 2014-2018.
The CIP serves as a planning tool to forecast and match estimated revenues and major capital needs over a five-year period and beyond. It includes a list of proposed capital improvements, cost estimates, methods of financing and recommended time schedules for those projects. It also includes the estimated annual cost of operating and maintaining the proposed projects.
The Planning and Zoning Commission also held a public hearing April 22 and recommended approval.
The CIP draft is on file with the City Clerk and available for review at the Heritage Library and Public Works Services lobby.
Staff will prepare a resolution for the adoption of the FY 2014-2018 CIP at the June 5 meeting.
In other business, the council authorized an easement expansion to Qwest Corp., dba CenturyLink, along Avenue A, south of 32nd Street.
In 1983, the council authorized a 10-foot-square easement for the company, then known as Mountain States Telephone & Telegraph Company. The easement is located in the northwestern corner of 34th Place and Avenue A.
Since both the number of customers and the services provided by the company have increased since the original easement, CenturyLink requested another 10-foot-square easement adjacent to the north side of the existing easement.
Lastly, the council authorized the annexation of the Park West subdivision located at the southwest corner of 24th Street and Avenue C, as per the request of the property owners.
Mara Knaub can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (928) 539-6856. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSMaraKnaub or on Twitter at @YSMaraKnaub.