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Development continues with council approval

Development continues with council approval

 

Developer D.R. Horton chalked up a win from the city of Claremont on Tuesday night as the city council approved a conditional use permit allowing the developer to move forward on the second phase of Serrano, a single-family residential development on Base Line Road.

The property is currently owned by the Claremont Unified School District and is zoned for commercial professional use. However, D.R. Horton is interested in purchasing the property and was seeking a conditional use permit to allow residential development on the site, a request that was granted by city council in a 3-2 vote.

Serrano II will consist of 40 detached homes on a 3.59-acre site that will be integrated with the Serrano I development currently under construction west of the adjacent property. The combined residential development will have 93 single-family detached condominium units and will share infrastructure improvements and site amenities including two open space areas, both of which are proposed on the western portion of Serrano II.

Citing concerns from local realtors about the lack of single-story units available in the city, Mayor Pro Tem Sam Pedroza asked Director of Community Development Brian Desatnik if the developers were ever informed of the need for single-story units.

“We did discuss that with many of the developers,” Mr. Desatnik responded. “At this density, all of the developers prefer to and choose to develop two-story units. We’ve been trying to work with the developers the past year or so on one-story, but most of these projects on Base Line Road predate that.”

Dan Boyd, vice president of D.R. Horton, told city council that Serrano I is nearly sold out and their “product” has appealed to the intended marketplace, including first-time homebuyers and local firemen and policemen who want to live in the community in a home they can afford. Mr. Boyd also made note of the successful sales of their below-market rate units, despite a rough start.

“We’re finding a lot of elderly folks are using this product to step down,”?Mr. Boyd said. “The type of density proposed along Base Line simply is not conducive to single-story elements. It’s not that we’re against single story—in fact we promote it—but the makeup of this project, the density and the location simply didn’t warrant the marketing of single-story homes.”

Mr. Pedroza further inquired of the builder if there were at least downstairs bedroom options in the Serrano units for Claremont’s empty-nesters. Mr. Boyd said there are not.

Residents also had concerns regarding the impending development and implored council to further explore other development options for the remaining parcels along Base Line Road.

“There’s something wrong here,” said Ben McCoy, an eight-year Claremont resident. “Just because it fits nicely in between these two projects and it sells, does that mean it’s the right product for our community? As I drive along Base Line, I see all these two-story units put in now and it’s like I’m in any other city in California. It’s a very stylized product to make money.”

“I don’t know how many parcels you have left,”?Mr. McCoy expressed to the city council, “but I strongly encourage you to think about what’s happening here. You’re going to look back on this and regret it.”

With that, Mayor Corey Calaycay brought the item to council for vote and, to the delight of the developer, it passed 3-2. Mayor Pro Tem Pedroza and Councilman Opanyi Nasiali voted against it.

“I haven’t changed my mind on my objection to allowing residential developments in an area near the freeway where the air quality is unsafe,” Mr. Nasiali said.

Of the 40 single-family homes proposed as part of Serrano II, 34 units will be sold at market rate and six units will be sold as moderate-income housing pursuant to city ordinance.

—Angela Bailey

news@claremont-courier.com

 

 

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