Two development agreements for new, mixed-use projects by prolific development company NMS Properties are up for debate at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

Both projects, one on 5th Street and the other a potential replacement for Denny’s on Lincoln Boulevard, were previously discussed and approved by the Planning Commission. Tuesday’s meeting is council’s first opportunity to weigh in on the projects.

The first project, located at 1415 5th St. is a 6-story (84 feet) building consisting of approximately 52,545 total square feet: 6,345 square-feet of ground floor commercial space, 64 residential units and 105 parking spaces within a 3-level subterranean parking garage.

The Planning Commission approved the project on July 22 with several conditions including the addition of an additional affordable unit, additional solar panels, efficient irrigation systems, increase the percentage of EV charging stations, a guarantee of “active” retail uses, additional study by the ARB, and establishment of a system for allowing a seventh story if allowed by the future Downtown Specific plan.

Staff said the applicant agreed to all conditions.

The Planning Commission has also approved the project at 1560 Lincoln Boulevard, the current site of Denny’s restaurant. The project is a 5-story, 102,500 square- foot mixed-use project consisting of 100 residential units, 13,800 square feet of ground floor commercial space, and 232 parking spaces within a 3-level subterranean parking garage.

The commission asked for additional solar energy panels, edible landscaping, active commercial uses, even distribution of affordable units, shade for necessary units, flexibility in the ARB review, onsite public restrooms and outreach to the local arts community on the availability of studio loft units.

The developer agreed to all conditions.

Both projects are subject to development agreements. 

“While a development agreement is an alternative to the standard development approval process, in practice it is similar to other public review processes where Council makes the final decision with the exception that Council has more discretion in imposing conditions and requirements on the proposed project since development agreements are adopted by ordinance and are negotiated contracts,” said the staff report. “Furthermore, through the DA process, community benefits can be negotiated.”

Community benefits required of the 5th Street project include, 14 total affordable units, $90,000 toward transportation programs, $280,000 toward parks and recreation programs, $100,000 toward early childhood initiatives, $20,000 toward transportation management, $40,000 toward Big Blue Bus transit improvements and $50,000 toward historic preservation. The total value of the benefits is estimated at $5,470,978, including the affordable housing portion.

At the Denny’s site, NMS has agreed to 20 affordable units, $750,000 toward transportation programs, $745,000 toward parks and recreation programs, $175,000 to fund development of affordable housing, $150,000 that would support early childhood initiatives, $50,000 toward transportation management, $80,000 toward Big Blue Bus transit improvements and $50,000 toward historic preservation. The total value of the community benefits is estimated at $8,858,540 including affordable housing.

City Council meets on Oct. 13 at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall, 1685 Main St.

editor@smdp.com

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