CITY HALL ‚Äî A split City Council approved a development Tuesday night that will replace an existing trailer park with a 377-unit apartment complex after resolving some issues surrounding affordable housing in the deal.
Village Trailer Park co-owner Marc Luzzatto agreed to increase the number of affordable units in the three-building complex to 38 by the end of the evening, with three of those available to extremely low-income tenants and another 35 available to very low-income tenants.
Ten trailers will also remain on a small parcel connected to the property, although unlike in the arrangement that went before the City Council in December, it will remain with the owner with the intention that it be developed later into multi-family housing rather than be donated to City Hall.
The park owner can close that mini-park within 10 years, regardless of whether or not people are still living on the site.
Other notable changes to the deal included the conversion of 216 condominiums to apartments and an increase in the number of parking spaces built in the development that would be available to those who do not live in the apartments.
The previous incarnation of the development agreement, which had already been fully approved by the City Council, was reversed in December after Councilmember Kevin McKeown made a motion to rescind it until questions about affordable housing requirements had been resolved.
With him were the two newest councilmembers, Ted Winterer and Tony Vazquez, and Gleam Davis. Both Winterer and Vazquez had just been sworn in that day, leading Luzzatto to call the action unfair.
Although McKeown, Winterer and Vazquez all voted against the agreement Tuesday night, Davis changed her vote to a “yes” with the explanation that the change had nothing to do with a pending lawsuit filed by Luzzatto.
“This has been a difficult road. My issue when we addressed this in December was affordable housing. Those concerns have been met,” she said.
Both McKeown and Winterer continued to object to the agreement, in part because they felt that the developer had brought back a substantially worse deal than had been rescinded in December. They pointed to the loss of the remaining trailer park parcel ‚Äî which could have been used by City Hall to develop additional affordable units ‚Äî and that the affordable housing units in the deal remained far less than the 109 rent-controlled trailer park pads that would be lost.
“The residual parcel is a disaster,” Winterer said. “We‚Äôll be keeping people there knowing that five to 10 years hence we‚Äôll be making them go through this all over again?”
Vazquez did not formally state his objections before the vote, although he seemed upset that Luzzatto would not agree in advance to a structured local hiring agreement, which the City Council directed staff to examine following the four-hour Village Trailer Park hearing.
Luzzatto has already agreed to a local hiring provision as part of the development agreement and said he would be open to strengthening it, but could not agree in advance to a plan that did not yet exist.