More apartments & higher density on the horizon in Mission Viejo

Hi density comes to Mission Viejo

With thousands of Americans losing their homes, and others not being able to buy their own housing, developers have shifted gears with a focus on apartments rather than building for sale townhouses or single family units. The word for the next decade is density. This plays right into the master plan of AB32/SB 375’s regional land use goal to create more compact communities in the future with long range plans to contain existing urban sprawl with all its cul-d-sac homes. After all, we need to reduce our carbon footprint.

We have already experienced that shift with one Mission Viejo project where the developer pulled a “bait and switch” after getting a zone change and now wants a 30 percent increase from 250 authorized town homes to 325 apartments that were never in the approval mix.

On our Planning Commission Agenda for next Monday is the following proposal. For those familiar with the Mission Viejo Country Club off Interstate 5 and Oso Parkway, this is the project location.

Residents will hear from Watermarke Properties with their request as stated below. As the project contains affordable housing units, and with the possible abolition of redevelopment agencies across the state, this becomes tricky. The project site is within our redevelopment project zone. We have already buried a few million dollars in a recently created housing fund to keep it out of the hands of governor Jerry Brown.
With competing developments seeking our mandatory 20% low and super low housing set aside I question if the city will have the funds to cover the competing subsidy requests.

Mission Viejo Planning and Transportation Commission Meeting of July 25, 2011.


“Subject: Planned Development Permit PDP2009-219 – Petition submitted by Chris Livoni of Watermarke Properties, Inc. to construct a 256-unit multifamily residential apartment development (Andalucia Mission Viejo) on a 7.12-acre vacant site south of the intersection of Oso Parkway and Montanoso Drive, in the City’s
RPD 30A (Residential Planned Development by Right) zone. The subject site is located adjacent to Sunrise Assisted Living and Mission Viejo Country Club.
The proposed project consists of three, 3- to 4-story buildings with an average height of approximately 45 feet. The proposed development consists of two distinct communities designed to operate independently, or as one community sharing common area facilities. These developments are located on either side of Oso Creek and are connected via a foot bridge crossing the creek. The proposed project also includes Oso Creek improvements consisting of stabilization of the creek banks as well as re-vegetation and restoration. This 7.12-acre site is identified as a potential affordable housing site in the City’s General Plan Housing Element. Of the development’s 256 units, 38 units are proposed as affordable at very low and low income. The applicant has applied for a “density bonus” to increase project density approximately 20% over the otherwise maximum allowable residential density in accordance with state and local law.”

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