Citrus Heights Sentinel Logo

Public hearing set for low-income senior housing project in Citrus Heights

A developer has proposed building 110 units of low-income senior housing on a mostly vacant portion of land on the 12000 block of Fair Oaks Boulevard in Citrus Heights. // Image source, Planning Commission agenda packet.

Sentinel staff report–
Citrus Heights planning commissioners will hold a public hearing on Wednesday regarding a developer’s proposal to demolish a single-family home and build more than 100 units of low-income senior housing on a five-acre property off Fair Oaks Boulevard.

The developer, Roseville-based Ionic Enterprises, Inc., is seeking to construct a total of 10 residential buildings and one community building at the site, located at 12057 Fair Oaks Blvd., about a half-mile from Madison Avenue near Sunrise East Way. A total of 110 units are proposed, with all units restricted to seniors over 55 years in age.

According to a staff report included in the Oct. 23 Planning Commission agenda packet, plans call for 42 one-bedroom units with 599 square feet and 68 two-bedroom units with 823 square feet each. A 2,300-square-foot community room is also shown in a site plan.

The proposed design calls for a looped walking path throughout the development, community and rose gardens, fitness stations, a dog play area, fountain area, and multi-purpose courts. An on-site manager would also occupy one of the units.

Buildings would be a mix of one, two and three story designs, with architecture featuring ranch-style roof pitches. Structures would range in height from 10 to 40 feet and are proposed to be located a minimum of 20 feet away from adjoining property lines. A masonry wall and landscaping is also proposed to provide a visual buffer.

The project requires commission approval to rezone from RD10 to higher density RD20, which allows for 20 units per acre — or 99 units at the 4.95-acre site location. The developer is also seeking a “density bonus” approval from the commission to bring the total up to 110 units, which is allowed for certain affordable housing and senior housing projects.

A proposed site plan shows the layout of 11 new buildings at the site.

Low income affordable housing is classified as being reserved for those earning less than 60 percent of the area median income (AMI), while “very low income” housing is for those earning less than 50% of the AMI. According to a city staff report, 60% of the area median income currently equals $45,180 per year for a three-person household and $35,160 per year for a one-person household.

As all units qualify as low-income (98 units) or very low income (11 units), with the exception of one manager’s unit, the project qualifies for up to three concessions.

The first concession seeks to allow a 3-foot parking setback in one area rather than the required 10-foot minimum, while the second concession seeks to allow a fire department turnaround area to encroach on a required landscape planter.

The developer is also seeking a third concession for reduced parking since the plan currently provides for only 107 spaces. The zoning code calls for one parking space per unit, plus one guest parking spot per 10 units, which equals 121 parking spots for 110 units.

However, state law and the city’s zoning code allow affordable housing projects to request a density bonus, concessions and deviations from typical development standards “provided the concessions are necessary for the provision of the affordable units.”

A staff report recommends the commission approve the concessions and density bonus, stating that the applicant has sufficiently demonstrated that without the concessions, three buildings and 21 units would have to be eliminated, making the projected no longer “economically feasible.”

Also on The Sentinel: Massive housing project in Citrus Heights sold to new developer

An extensive environmental assessment and traffic study were also required for the project. The traffic study found nearby intersections would all “continue to operate at an acceptable level of service.” Over 500 pages of results from the studies are included in the Planning Commission’s agenda packet.

In response to feedback from neighbors in the area who expressed concern about cut-through traffic from Fair Oaks Boulevard to Celine Drive, the developer has specified that a gate at the Celine Drive entrance will restrict traffic to only allow residents of the senior housing development to enter and exit. A trash enclosure was also relocated based on feedback from neighbors.

Additional unspecified concerns from the community were sent by email to the city and were referenced in the commission’s staff report, but copies of the emails were not included in the agenda packet for public review.

Planning commissioners will hold a public hearing on the proposal at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 23, at City Hall. Another hearing and final approval on the project is slated for December, when the City Council will consider the proposal.

Want to share your thoughts on housing in Citrus Heights? Click here to submit a letter to the editor for publication.

Like local news? Sign up for The Sentinel’s free email edition and get two emails a week with all local news and no spam, ever. (Click here)