With a unanimous vote, the Glendora City Council approved the construction of 53 townhomes near the proposed Gold Line station at the Jan. 24 city council meeting.
According to Bill McReynolds, vice president of development at City Ventures, construction would begin in April of this year with completion of the first building by the end of the 2012 calendar year.
The project was approved with a zone amendment eliminating the Route 66 Specific Plan requirement (ZA11-04) that residential projects incorporate mixed use elements, exempting the townhomes from the requirement.
City staff previously agreed that there are sufficient retail spaces in downtown Glendora, all within walking distance of the proposed townhomes and that there was a surplus of commerical property in the area to warrant the zone change.
The area is zoned in the Town Center Mixed Use District.
Once built, the project will sit on the north side of the future Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension route and consist of five townhome clusters. Parking access will be made available on Ada Avenue to a driveway on the south side of the townhome property.
To provide public access to the proposed Gold Line station south of the project, a public plaza and pedestrian paseo are proposed through the townhomes for future Gold Line patrons to access the future station.
The project initially envisioned 54 units and a "community barbecue area", but city officials felt the recreational area would be far too small, leading developers to propose eliminating one of the units to increase the recreation area, according to Dianne Walter, planning manager.
"The area can be expanded and, basically, doubled in size," Walter said.
The council also voted to adopt a mitigation monitoring program to identify and reduce "potentially significant" impacts to the project, one the city considered major was noise generated by present freight activity along the Metrolink Right of Way and the future Gold Line light rail service.
A 6-foot high masonry wall will be built on the southern end of the property, instead of the initially-planned wrought iron fence, to minimize noise generated by rail activity, while construction techniques will be used to reduce noise inside the units, officials said.
The city may look into changing regulations in the future on height requirements, Walter said, in order to allow construction of an 8-foot sound wall, beyond the 6-foot maximum allowance to further minimize noise impacts if need be.
The city will continue to look into possibly reducing the parallel parking standard dimensions and the multifamily parking standard for apartments, which was set to 18 in 2009, one of the highest in the area, second only to San Dimas. The 1993 standard was 16.
Officials allege that the project will only meet current standards if many of the third bedrooms are eliminated.
"If we went back to the 1993 standard, we'd be a little higher than most of the others, but not much," Walter said. The city also found that under the 1993 standards, there has been adequate parking for all multifamily projects citywide.
Walter spoke of a business owner in the area concerned about an increase in traffic and the present problem of some drivers rolling though stop signs at Ada and Glendora avenues.
A traffic study conducted by the KOA Corporation, specializing in planning and engineering services, alleges that the intersection as well as the others analyzed in the study do not warrant use of traffic signals, Walter said.
According to the KOA study, the project will allegedly have no significant impacts to traffic at surrounding intersections near the rail line despite the potential increase in a residential and commuter presence. The study determined that the project would generate 320 daily weekday trips, with 24 trips during peak a.m. weekday hours and 29 during p.m. weekday hours.
"They did not increase to a level of concern that triggered any issue or mitigation," Walter said.
McReynolds said that City Ventures will seek LEED Gold Certification in this project, and have the townhomes be 100 percent solar powered.
After a failed bid by another company in 2007, City Ventures secured the property in 2010 and submitted a plan for a 54-unit townhome project. On Dec. 6, 2011 the Glendora City Council approved the plan as a 53-unit project after agreeing that extra space was needed for a recreation area.