Vaca Planning Commission approves changes to Allison Apartments project

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VACAVILLE — The Planning Commission on Tuesday unanimously approved city council’s revised plans for the Allison Apartments affordable housing project.

The proposed project is to now construct a 135-unit affordable apartment complex on a vacant 3.65-acre site, located at the southeast corner of Allison Drive and Nut Tree Parkway.

It will consist of a four-story building, including a rooftop terrace, in the West Tower near Allison Drive, and five stories in the East Tower near the Transit Center.

The vote was 6-0, with Chairman Robert Macauley absent from the meeting. It reaffirms the environmental impact report of the general plan and approves the density bonus, the planned development and the provisional applications for parcels and maps. The project is now back in the hands of the city council to discuss and possibly move forward.

The project has a price tag of $65 million. The developer is CFY Development Inc. of Sacramento. Egis Group Inc., with John Cicerone as President/Owner, has worked since 2002 as co-general partner and co-developer with Cyrus Youssefi of CDY Development.

Cicerone has developed 1,605 affordable housing units in 17 projects in 12 California cities, including numerous awards for their achievements, the city reports.

The developer hopes to put financing in place by the end of 2022, take two years of construction from 2023 to 2024 and begin leasing in 2025.

“You presented us with a good project and followed difficult marching orders to make changes,” Commissioner Michael Fortney told city staff. “Bravo to you and your staff. I feel like you really listened to the feedback, made the adjustments, and covered almost everything to get us to where we are now. This will be a real benefit for the 134 people (one unit is for the manager) and families who can call this place home.

The building includes two elevators and a rental office on the ground floor. The site plan includes 139 parking spaces and recreational facilities on the ground floor for all ages, with primary access to the gated community on Allison Drive and secondary access for emergency vehicles to transit stations in common adjacent intermodal.

The units will be available in studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom floor plans and will be available to low-income households with incomes at or below 80% of the area’s median income, which the city has listed at $87,823.

“I think this is really a segment of housing that we need in Vacaville and this project ticks all the boxes,” Commissioner Ralph Lightfoot said. “What you brought us was even better than last time.”

The planning commission late last year gave unanimous approval to the project before the city council voted to make some changes. The board reconsidered changes to height, parking, amenities, storage, rental preferences and more in-depth revenue tracking.

The initial project provided for 187 units before the overhaul and 133 parking spaces. More open space was added and it was increased from 13,600 square feet to 15,800, including the addition of a roof terrace.

The six-story building on the west side on Allison Drive was reduced to four stories. The tower on the east side was reduced from six stories to five stories, to more closely match the building sizes of other nearby structures.

“I love revisions,” said commissioner Jan Aldrich. “Parking should be adequate for the units. I like the open space and I think the layout of the roof terrace is very special. I’m pretty happy with the setup and the look.

Vice President Brandon Kline called it “the biggest project the city has built in a long time.”

In other actions, the Planning Commission reaffirmed the General Plan Update Order and a number of divisional changes. The full scope of the new planning and land use planning codes is available on the city’s website, cityofvacaville.com, in the Planning Commission Agenda folder.

The last comprehensive code update was completed in 1996, following the adoption of the 1990 General Plan. An updated, concise and user-friendly code will now implement the vision of the General Plan for all aspects of development and will reflect “modern uses and contemporary best practices”, according to the program provided by the city.

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