Mixed-use project headed to Council

ATASCADERO — The Atascadero Planning Commission approved a 5.25 acre mixed-use planned development, which includes an amendment to a previously approved housing and commercial project at the corner of El Camino Real and Principal Avenue. 
The planning commission approved the project recommendations Tuesday evening, Dec. 5, with only one change: affordable housing will be set at the time of final map making. It could be six months from now that that final map records, according to Senior Planner Callie Taylor. 
“Only one change to the conditions of approval,” Taylor said. Originally the developer had included a proposal for either three onsite affordable units or to be allowed to make payment toward affordable housing in-lieu fees instead of onsite construction.
“The Planning Commission included modified language,” Taylor said, “They removed the condition for the specific unit count in the condition that had said how many affordable units would be constructed and what they did was they took that language out and said affordable units shall be constructed with the affordable housing policy in place at the time of final map.”
“We know that we’re going to be updating our affordable housing ordinance probably within the next six months and the Planning Commission felt that they needed to comply with the ordinance and not naming a specific number of units would provide some flexibility. That way the City Council could make some modifications and approve something that really works for the site.” 
Owners ECR Principal LLC of Los Angeles and Principal Partners LLC of San Luis Obispo have applied through Barry  Ephraim of ECR Principal to develop a new subdivision to allow a total of 27 detached units, nine attached multi-family units and six live/work units, as well as a new 8,111 square foot commercial lot on El Camino Real and the 9100 to 9300 block of Pino Solo in Atascadero. 
The City Council originally reviewed and approved the mixed-use project in October of 2004 with a certified Mitigated Negative Declaration and a site specific planned development overlay zone. The site was originally zoned as commercial retail prior to 2003, then changed by the City Council to allow a horizontal mixed-use and residential planned development. An amendment to add the adjacent site at 9300 Pino Solo was approved by the City Council in 2005. 
According to Taylor, the live/work units were a part of the original project plans. They are two to three stories, with office and retail space on the first floor, and residential units above. The units front directly on Principal Avenue, across the street from an existing commercial center. “The 400 square-foot commercial space on the ground floor of each unit could be used for offices, artist studios, or small retail commercial,” Taylor said, adding the corner lot is approved for a drive-through car wash. The second commercial lot is proposed to the north. “There is not a specific use or development proposal for this lot yet,” she said, noting “A future development proposal for this lot would be subject to Design Review Committee review.” 
You may contact Reporter Beth Giuffre at [email protected] for questions and/or feedback. 

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