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Council considers new housing project

SOLEDAD — A new affordable housing option came before the Soledad City Council on Jan. 9 regarding 120 housing units on the vacant lot of Santa Clara Street.

Santa Clara Street, on the northeast corner of the city, has a vacant 8.8 acre lot on the north side of the street. The south side has single-family homes.

“The affordable housing requirement that is put on this is identical to the San Antonio Drive and Gabilan Drive development,” said Community Development Director Brent Slama. “Developers will enter into an agreement that shall require 29 percent of the total project units are available to very low and low-income households and 25 percent of the total units are available to moderate-income residents.”

The 120 units would be detached town homes at a density of 14 units per acre. Because the planned project is part of a current subdivision, it is required to be approved by the planning commission and the city council. The city also has an affordable housing requirement of 46 very low units to be built by 2024, and this project would work toward accomplishing that goal.

“I’m going to have a really hard time looking at some of the reductions of those low-income percentages,” said Councilmember Anna Velazquez.

Mayor Fred Ledesma agreed with Velazquez and said the council needed to stand firm and come up with a consensus as a council of what they are going to do for the affordable housing requirements.

“Planning commission was very positive after a less than positive response with the 160-unit project a year and a half ago,” said Randy Russom, RRM Design. “We got very positive responses on this project.”

Russom said there is always problems with developing low-income housing because of the tax credit projects with builders that specialize in the area.


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