Update on Bradshaw/Folsom Apartments Proposal
Lee Leavelle gave a brief review of developments for people who were not at previous meetings. He stated that the developer (Mr. Mammadov) gave a presentation at the June BRECA meeting, and that the community spoke against the proposal. A few days later, Mr. Mammadov sent a revised proposal to Lee which was better for adjacent neighbors. In particular it reduced the height of the apartments on the north side, next to existing single family residences, to two stories, with the south side remaining 3 stories. The revised proposal would also plant mature trees along the north side, and install a 10 feet tall sound wall on the north side. The total number of units would be reduced from 68 to 65, which would help a bit with the parking. Lee did not know what to do with the revised proposal. He sent it to the BRECA Apartments Committee, and chatted with the neighbors on Elmira. He found no interest in the revised proposal. At the next BRECA Steering Committee meeting, it was decided to send a letter to Mr. Mammadov stating that the community was opposed to the original proposal and there was no interest in the revised proposal.Lee stated that the BRECA Apartments Committee has been researching the zoning and other regulations relevant to the project. There are two state laws, SB 35 and the Housing Density Bonus, and one County level program, the Housing Incentive Program, that work in favor of the project. The Committee has come to the conclusion that the project is going to get built. He suggested that BRECA should do what we can to mitigate the impacts on the community. There is a meeting coming up with Mr. Mammadov, sponsored by County Supervisor Nottoli, where we can re-engage with Mr. Mammadov.Rebecca Sloan, with Supervisor Nottoli’s office, noted that Supervisor Nottoli has had several conversations with Mr. Mammadov, and is familiar with the project.
A member of the audience stated that they live on Elmira Circle adjacent to the proposed project. There is an enormous oak tree near the fence in their back yard, which has a large dripline. They are concerned about the impact of the project on the tree. Mr. Mammadov has offered to write a contract for the tree’s health. They do not like the prospect of three story apartments overlooking their back yard. They could work with two stories and a 10 feet sound wall. Also, there has been a problem with campers and drugs on the property for several years.
Lee Leavelle stated that Mr. Mammadov has offered concessions so that he would not have to build under SB 35. If he had to build under SB 35, he would have to pay prevailing wage (i.e. union rates), which would cost him about $1.7 million. BRECA would have to agree to the project.
Jim Morgan stated that it is his understanding that if Mr. Mammadov is willing to pay prevailing wages under SB 35 and have 10% low income units, there is nothing BRECA can do to stop the project. If it goes that way, it will probably be like the project presented at the June BRECA meeting, which would be bad for the community. The only way out would be if BRECA and Mr. Mammadov are both willing to negotiate a compromise, then Mr. Mammodov could go through the normal County approval process and not have to pay prevailing wage. This would require BRECA to either be neutral or support the project.
A member of the audience stated that their main concern is privacy, and that the soundwall, two stories, and large trees is all to the good.
Jim Morgan pointed out that negotiations with Mr. Mammadov could begin at the meeting coming up on Thursday, September 26. He raised the question of whether BRECA is willing to enter negotiations.
Bonnie Domeny commented that Supervisor Nottoli had requested that Mr. Mammadov hold off on submitting his application to the County. James Adams commented that if the meeting on Thursday does not go well, Mr. Mammadov could still go with the SB 35 route. Lori Christensen requested a summary after the meeting. Bonnie stated that a summary would go to the community as well. She also stated that Supervisor Nottoli has two goals: to fulfill the County’s requirements for new housing and to help out the local community. A member of the community raised a question about management, and how to keep it nice over time.
Bonnie Domeny summarized the discussion thus far as voicing concerns about oak trees, privacy, financing and management. People like the 10 feet sound wall, two stories on the north side, and large box trees.
A member of the audience added that they have concerns about traffic, as there will be a lot of people coming in and out. Also, this is a bad location for a large complex. Ken Crawford stated that the project is near a transportation hub, so there won’t be a traffic study. Jim Morgan added that parking is also a problem, and the project needs visitor parking. The number of units could be reduced by combining the studio plus one bedroom units into two bedroom units.
A member of the audience stated that they live next to the proposed project, and they would like to have more setback from the residential neighborhood on the north, and two stories. He raised a question about the various state and local programs that facilitate the project: If more than one requires 10% low income, do they add to 20% or 30%?
Bonnie Domeny commented that she thinks the project is going to happen, and we should work with the developer to make the most benefit for the community. Jim Morgan requested a clear statement: Are we willing to make a deal if it is the right deal? Bonnie stated that we want the most we can get, but it may be limited. Lee Leavelle stated that we want to cut the best deal for the community.