Monday, June 29, 2015

Join us on a trip...

On a night with an unusually light agenda...earlier this month, the Planning Commission approved a three unit apartment complex at 1414 South Alta Vista Avenue.  The end.

Is that all there is?  

Well, no, of course know there's always more to the story.  So really this is just the beginning...well not quite the beginning, but close enough...

For those of you that have been following us for a while, last year we picked a project we were going to feature from beginning to end, start to finish or a term that many Planners use: cradle to grave.  That project lost a little momentum, so we've switched gears and and projects which brings us to 1414 South Alta Vista Avenue.

Projects start with a concept.  Often a sketch, not more than a doodle.  Yes, sometimes even on the back of a napkin.  

Enter the Planner.  We take that idea, and work with the applicant..over the make sure they understand the parameters of what the zoning allows.  

Over the next few weeks, there's often some back and forth until a the site plan is finalized.  

Then starts the building design.  

There's a lot of talented people that we work with; proposals come in with just a few tweaks and off they go.  But the ones we really enjoy need a little more massaging.  Getting our creative juices flowing to get to them to the point where the application is ready to be submitted.  

While it may seem that the Development Review Committee (DRC), Planning Commission and/or the City Council approve every project that comes before them, their collective track record is deceiving.  

If projects were getting denied right and left, then we, as City staff, are not doing our job.  Our philosophy is to get the applicant to "yes", if we don't think that's likely, then we want to communicate that from the start before a lot of time, energy and money are wasted.  That's counterproductive for everyone.

Ultimately, it's the property owner or applicant who makes the choice to go forward and the approving body that approves or denies the proposal.

So back to South Alta Vista...based on the recommendation of Staff and DRC, the Planning Commission approved the project.  So now they move from the entitlement phase (that is their Planning/zoning approvals) to the pre-construction phase.  Preparing their construction documents moving toward the issuance of a building permit.

Stay tuned as we travel through the development process.