Mixed-Use Project Features 76 Small Single-Bedroom Apartments and Low Automobile Users
In a consent item for this week, council is asked to approve a resolution that would authorize Raney Planning to provide an environmental analysis for a mixed-use project located on Olive Drive on five parcels from 1031 to 1055 Olive Drive.
Currently four of those parcels contain a single-family dwelling while one has an operating auto body repair shop.
According to the staff report, the project would demolish the existing dwellings and structures, merge the five lots into a single parcel, and redevelop it into a mixed-use project with both residential and commercial.
The project proposes to create roughly 76 single-bedroom apartment units of approximately 425 square feet to provide workforce housing. The applicant is proposing to provide 28 percent low-income units.
According to documents submitted by the applicant in August 2019, “The genesis of this project came from the recognition of two glaring realities; first, there are very, very few housing opportunities for the City’s non-professional workforce, and secondly, there are no such opportunities being constructed or considered.”
They add, “There are many reasons for this including the extremely high cost of developable real estate in Davis, and the obligation to provide a significant affordable component to be included with all for-rent projects. With this project the applicants hope to provide a source of workforce housing opportunities and, by design, an affordable attractive product.”
Seventy-two of the units would be located in four three-story buildings – 18 units per building. The ground floor units “would be designed to permit flexing to a compatible commercial or home-occupation use over time.”
In addition, a separate building of two stories would also provide 1100 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor with four apartment units on the second floor.
According to the staff report, the five buildings would also be connected via footbridge for ease of access.
They would also have a 650-square-foot bike-barn, accommodating 76 bicycles as well as outdoor areas for gathering with amenities such as seating and barbecues.
The city staff report notes: “Nine parking spaces would be provided on site. Four of the spaces would be retained for exclusive use by the commercial building, with the remaining available at a fee to those residents who chose to utilize a private vehicle. Residential rental agreements would prohibit vehicles for residents without a reserved fee parking space to ensure that overflow parking issue would not impact the surrounding neighborhoods.”
As the project proposal describes: “It is expected the units will be rented by downtown workers, UC Davis employees, senior citizens, those living on a fixed income, and possibly some students.”
They note: “The key to this is to (reduce) the number of residential parking space from 72 (according to city code) down to just five (or nine) in order to cater the project to downtown workers, UC Davis employees, senior citizens and others living on a fixed income that have chosen not to own cars and to instead to generally utilize bicycles and public transit within the City.”
They write: “Considering the location, this property is in an ideal location to accommodate this segment of the population.”
The city staff report notes: “The project would provide areas to accommodate Zip Cars, ride-hailing spaces for taxi and ride-sharing service such as Lyft and Uber, and Jump Bikes to provide tenants access to bicycles.
“Other modes of transportation would be readily available to residents. The Amtrak train station and two Unitrans bus stops would be an approximate 5-minute walk from the site; the downtown core and UCD approximately 6-minute walk; and Cowell Boulevard Safeway and the Davis Food Co-op approximately 13-minute walk.”
They add, “The close proximity of goods and services to the site and alternative transportation options would eliminate the need for automobile use/ownership by tenants.”
In terms of the commercial space, the project description notes: “The commercial space will house the office for the apartment as well as a commercial space ideal for coffee or convenience store use.”
They add, “No specific commercial use is specified at this time, but the ground floor units can “flex” to commercial space if warranted.”
Staff is proposing to contract with Raney Planning for environmental analysis, as noted above. They anticipate about five months to complete the review with a public review period for 30 days upon completion.
—David M. Greenwald reporting