Chula Vista’s Design Review Committee will soon consider a six-story apartment complex on the city’s west side. The “Urbana” proposal includes 266 apartments and is situated on H Street between Third and Fourth Avenue.
Last week the city held a community outreach on the project. Marcela Escobar-Eck, of Atlantis Group, LLC, was the presenter for the project and city planner Steve Power represented the city.
Most people who attended the meeting favored the project and liked the wrap-around design that encloses the parking. There was a general consensus that the project would have a favorable impact on Third Avenue, the west side’s village center.
Residents and community members also expressed concerns regarding the proposal.
The primary concerns raised were the close setbacks and the height of the building. People who live in the area worry that Urbana will dwarf their one- and two-story apartment complexes creating privacy issues and blocking daylight. Many of the attendees appealed to Escobar-Eck and Power to consider a modified design.
Another concern raised was parking. The complex will consist of 9 live/work units, 80 one-bedroom units and 177 two-bedroom units. While the 380 parking stalls provided exceed the required number, residents who live in the area worry that the project would generate more cars than spaces. A former Chula Vista planning commissioner in attendance, Kevin O’Neill, commented that people need to be weaned from their cars.
The project is located in a former redevelopment area and was potentially eligible for a five-year deferral of developer impact fees. However, the law that dissolved redevelopment agencies put in place local oversight boards to “oversee the termination” of redevelopment activities. Eric Crockett, the city’s redevelopment manager, who is also an appointee to the oversight board, said in an April 3 interview that he doesn’t believe the impact fees will be waived. He said the oversight board will meet on Monday, April 10 and he only gives the fee waiver a 2 percent chance of passing.