On Tuesday, Sept. 1, the Highland Planning Commission recommended for city council to approve the design application for Highland Townhome Apartments, a 200-unit residential complex planned for the northwest corner of Greenspot Road and Webster Street.
The Highland Townhome Apartment design plan is to go before city council during its Sept. 22 meeting.
The multi-family complex development, by Rexco Development, is to be built on 10 acres of the 30-acre Planning Area 3 of the Greenspot Village and Marketplace Specific Plan, a master plan for mixed-use development of the property on the north side of Greenspot just east of State Route 210, known as the “Golden Triangle.”
The Greenspot Village and Marketplace Specific Plan was first approved by the city in 2013, but development has been delayed by market downturns and the finding of protected kangaroo rats on the western portion of the property.
The plan set standards for the design and development of a total of 83 acres, a portion of it previously owned by the San Bernardino County Flood Control District. Planning area 1 encompasses approximately 27.4 acres designated for commercial development on the north side of Greenspot across from the Lowe’s Shopping center. East of that, also on the north side of Greenspot, is the 30.6-acre planning area 3 assigned for mixed-use, residential and various non-residential uses. North of areas 1 and 3 is planning area 2 at the southwest corner of Boulder and Eucalyptus avenues, designated for high-density residential and open spaces.
During its 2-hour Sept. 1 meeting, the Planning Commission reviewed and recommended for approval the development’s conceptual site plan, landscape plan, grading plan, utility plan, floor plans and elevation plan.
The multi-family homes were designed to combine the standards of single-family homes, such as attached and enclosed garages, while offering the community aspect of parks, courtyards, recreation areas and communal guest parking, according to the developer’s report.
The commission approved the conceptual plans with the assurance from Rexco that tenants and their guests would not be charged for garage and communal parking. This, it was suggested, would prevent parking issues that could arise should drivers be driven to park on the city streets to avoid parking fees.
A changing market
The commission also recommended an amendment to the specific plan upon request of Rexco. Rexco requested that a previously set home density minimum for Planning Area 3 be reduced from 25 units per acre to 18 units per acre.
This request arose from Rexco’s decision to make their development all residential as opposed to residential and retail.
According to Patrick Tritz of Rexco, due to the changing marketplace with coronavirus closures and a growing emphasis on online buying, retail development is growing less viable.
This request concerned Glenn Elssmann of Greenspot Village and Marketplace LLC, which is the developer for the remaining 20 acres in planning area 3, as it might burden later projects within the specific plan to develop a greater percentage of the now less viable retail development in order to fulfill the specific plan’s goal of mixed uses for the property. Elssmann asked that similar reductions in units per acre be created for planning area 2 as well, but that was not within the scope of the commission’s agenda for the Sept. 1 meeting. City staff suggested that he propose such an amendment at a later date.