Livermore Council Clears Way for Condos in Area of ​​Isabel Ward Specific Plan | News

Livermore City Council voted on Monday to approve a resolution that charts the course for a new development consisting of more than 100 housing and infrastructure units aimed at using and promoting cleaner energy sources for transportation needs residents.

“I’m very excited that this is the first neighborhood I know of that’s going to have recycled purple pipe water for irrigation…all electric, EV and solar charging stations,” said the Vice Mayor Gina Bonanno during the hearing on the Triad project proposed for the neighborhood of Quartier Isabel.

“Our goal is to make this neighborhood a complete neighborhood, to have a grocery store, retail, we might need a school at some point; we’re going to have Valley Link, that’s the plan We have bus service, it’s such a great opportunity for us as a city,” she continued.

The project’s 112 units at North Canyons Parkway and Triad Place are expected to range from 1,000 to 1,800 square feet, with 22 earmarked for median and moderate income households. Twelve of the units will also be built with accessibility for seniors and other people with reduced mobility in mind. Each building in the project should have three floors.

Other features of the project include a 0.2 acre park, balconies and porches, and a 2,600 square foot dog park, as well as a new sheltered bus stop on North Canyons Parkway and a bike path.

Council members praised the project’s compliance with the requirements and vision of the Isabel Neighborhood Specific Plan (INSP), which aims to foster “the development of a complete neighborhood with a combination of uses that is walkable, by bike and served by public transit,” according to city staff.

“The Isabel Neighborhood seeks to create a safe, vibrant, and complete neighborhood; and to support transit ridership and city-wide goals to increase transportation options and housing choices,” according to a Staff report prepared by Director of Community Development Paul Spence for Monday’s meeting.

In addition to aligning with the land use requirements of the city’s overall plan and INSP’s vision in particular, Spence notes in the report that the property’s location is well situated among city infrastructure. existing jobs and education in the region.

“The project supports established policies in the land use, housing, community character and climate change elements by redevelopment of an infill site near public transit with market rate and affordable units close to jobs and educational opportunities – for example, Las Positas College,” Spence wrote.

The development proposed by the applicant DeNova Homes would be the first new development under the INSP.

“When I was on the Planning Commission… four or five years ago, we started hearing about the specific plan for the Isabel neighborhood, and it’s just really exciting to see the first draft,” Bonanno said. . “And to my knowledge, this is the first project, the first of what I hope there will be many for us to build this neighborhood.”

Currently, the approximately 5-acre property located at the northwest corner of North Canyons Parkway and Triad Place to be developed as part of the proposed project is vacant, located in an office park and surrounded by a driveway private access and parking.

“In support of the general plan, the climate action and the specific plan of the city, the project will integrate sustainability measures into its operations and design,” said assistant planner Jake Potter during the presentation on Monday.

“For example, the project will be all-electric and proposes photovoltaic panels on the roof which would provide electricity without local emissions,” he added. “The garages would be ready for EV chargers and there would be three EV chargers on site. Recycled water will be used for all irrigation throughout the project…all plants will be average water consumers or weak, and many plant species will be native pollinators that are suitable and well adapted to Livermore’s climate.”

Potter also highlighted the area’s location along the bus line, providing future residents with alternative transportation options to reach downtown educational, commercial and technology hubs, such as Downtown, Livermore Lab and Las Positas College, plus a way to connect to BART. double.

The council vote approving the project was 3-0, with Mayor Bob Woerner and District 3 council member Brittni Kiick absent from the night’s meeting. The trio also approved city staff’s recommendation of an exemption from California’s Environmental Quality Act for the project, according to guidelines that include provisions for projects near transit-focused areas. common and those that are part of the existing general plan of a municipality.

Council member Trish Munro noted her enthusiasm for the project, but also noted that the changing landscape regarding sustainable, transit-oriented housing could make the new project one of many.

“When I look at how the future has been integrated in a sustainable way, part of me says ‘wow, look at us moving forward’ and the other part of me says ‘you know, the moment this will be built, I bet there will be more stuff,” Munro said. “So the plus-minus of technology, right? »

In keeping with the theme of development in the Isabel neighborhood, council also approved an application for permission to negotiate a development agreement with applicant Isabel Portola Owner LLC for a mixed-use development project in the area.

The proposed project would house residential, office and commercial projects on a 45-acre property that falls under INSP jurisdiction, with the proposed uses aligning with those contemplated in the plan, according to city staff.

Although the 3-0 vote allows the project to proceed to the next stages of the planning process, it signifies agreement for negotiations only, with the council retaining discretion over future planning and implementation of the project.

“Staff would come back and discuss the draft development contract as well as the site plan for the proposed property,” said associate planner Ashley Vera, when asked about next steps after the article was approved. “We would also discuss whether the approach is to go through the site plan review process, but ultimately you would see us come back with a draft document showing a compliant site plan… with the specific plan, and we would bring it back for your review.”

Vera added that it will take at least two months before the item comes back to city council, likely in the fall.

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