Antioch Council hears about gated senior housing project, approves eminent domain for road extension

Considers new direction for city’s arts and cultural programs, approves solar project for golf course

By Allen Payton

The Antioch City Council at their meeting on Tuesday, January 9, 2018, heard the preliminary development plans for the Albers Ranch Project, a proposed gated, senior community in the Sand Creek Focus Area. It is planned for land south of Kaiser hospital and the actual Sand Creek, on the east side of Deer Valley Road.

According to the staff report, “The preliminary development plan consists of 301 residential units, a 4.0-acre assisted living facility, a 3.0-acre park and water quality facility, a 0.5-acre water quality facility, 45.0 acres of open space, and 10.9 acres of roadways. The entire project would be senior housing and would be gated with private amenities.

The project site contains a total of 96.6 acres with varying topography. In general, the site contains two hill features – a large knoll on the west side and a smaller knoll on the east side. The central area of the site is a natural depression with generally-flat topography.”

Community Development Director challenged the proposals in the project as being inconsistent with the city’s General Plan, but Mayor Sean Wright later said that was expected.

Ebbs did say “this is a very good project. The purpose of this meeting tonight is to tell the applicant everything they need to know. It’s a very challenging site with all the hills.”

Wright opened the public hearing, and former Antioch City Manager Mike Ramsey, the representative of the applicant Lucia Albers, had 10 minutes to offer their perspective on the project.

“We thought this project was going to be evaluated in the light of an amended (General) plan,” he stated. “So, we’ve been working with staff to have a project that is as consistent as possible with the plan.”

“The plan that we’re presenting to you tonight is still the plan…the best collaborative thinking that we’ve worked out” with staff, Ramsey continued. “A general plan amendment is necessary, and we plan to go forward with that process.”

“We recognize it doesn’t” comply with the current “General Plan Land Use Element. But you have the discretionary authority to make changes.”

“This project has various positive aspects…that are unique to Antioch,” Ramsey shared. “It is fitting in very nicely with the residential development that will occur out there.”

He argued in favor of greater hillside grading than the city currently allows. The grading will allow for view lots and will require a General Plan Amendment.

“There’s not enough of a difference in grading between the current hill and the plan,” Ramsey said.

He also mentioned that “the school district will enjoy the fees they collect without any impact on the schools,” from the seniors who will be residents of the new community.

No one spoke in opposition to the project.

Lucia Albers spoke next, stating there are a number of developers interested in the project and want to begin building, now.

“Reducing the number of lots will make it economically unfeasible…in order to compete with similar developments in other cities,” she stated. “We are not grading hills that have never been touched. Our hills are farmed every year. We grade that area every year. There is nothing that is disturbed. Not allowing this grading will not accomplish anything.”

She said the grading was “in order to elevate the pads and meet the sewer” requirements.

Albers mentioned the senior assisted living facility, saying “this will be a beautiful project. It is going to be something that will compare to any senior housing development” in other cities.

“It will provide security because of the seclusion of the area,” she concluded.

Her husband Monte Albers then spoke in favor of the project, and about the assisted living facility, stating “because there is a great need for it.”

Dr. Alan Iannaccone, a Brentwood chiropractor and the Albers’ son-in-law, spoke in favor of the project as well, stating “we would like to proceed as quickly as possible on this.”

“We would like reconsideration to smaller lot sizes, as seniors don’t want a lot of yard maintenance,” he said.

He also asked for reconsideration on the senior assisted living facility, stating “there are seniors on waiting lists for assisted living facilities” in the area.

The council then took up the matter, asking staff and Ramsey questions about the project.

Councilman Tony Tiscareno said “I think we all agree…that this potentially could be a very good project. The city is in need of a community such as this. I think over all it’s a good project. It’s just a matter of how we get there.”

He mentioned that staff is recommending a minimum of 5,000 square foot lots while the project proposes 4,000 square foot minimum lots.

Tiscareno asked Ramsey to provide examples of other senior communities that had the smaller lot sizes.

He then asked staff about the assisted living facility proposed in the plan.

“There’s no reason other than General Plan inconsistency to oppose the senior assisted living facility,” Ebbs said. “There’s no logistical problems with it being there. Just a zoning issue.”

Mayor Pro Tem Lamar Thorpe spoke about the two projects in the Sand Creek area that had previously been approved and weren’t in compliance with the General Plan.

“They created a whole new residential designation,” Ebbs said speaking of the Promenade project. “It wasn’t consistent until they modified it.”

He also said that the Aviano project was zoned for senior housing, and was approved as single-family housing.

“So, there’s no consistency in the General Plan or the projects approved,” Thorpe stated.

He then spoke in favor of the Albers Ranch project, saying “I think senior housing is one of” the desires of the council.

“Three people up here voted for” the Promenade and Aviano projects, Thorpe said, speaking of Tiscareno, and Councilmembers Monica Wilson and Lori Ogorchock. “We’ve been inconsistent. So, I don’t know how we can look someone straight in the face and tell them they have to be consistent.”

Wilson spoke briefly about her concerns with the proposed hillside development in the project.

“If we can make that work within the perameters, then I think this is a very good project,” she said.

Ogorchock then offered her supportive comments.

“We have no senior communities in Antioch,” she said. “We have assisted living facilities,” but they’re full and have waiting lists. “So, we have nothing for our aging communities. They’re moving out of the city” and their homes are “becoming investor owned.”

“I believe in the assisted living facility of this plan,” Ogorchock continued mentioning residents being able to move “right into the assisted living facility right there. It’s a very cohesive environment.”

“I too have an issue with the hillside ordinance. It is difficult to see our hills going bye-bye,” she stated.

“The 4,000 square feet homes, seniors don’t really want anything bigger,” Ogorchock concluded.

Wright then gave his perspective on the project.

“You’ve come with a project that staff has compared to the old General Plan,” he said, speaking to the project proponents. “When we stopped going forward with the Sand Creek Specific Plan, we knew these projects would come forward and be different than the old General Plan.”

“I think the request you have heard from council, today is to make General Plan Amendments to bring the projects forward,” Wright said directing his comments to staff.

Please work with the applicant closer to something we can work with. But, we have a long time before this applicant can come to us for an up or down vote.

Tiscareno said he wanted to make a motion “to give everyone an incentive to look forward to projects like this.”

The hillside ordinance was a lot of mixed emotion by the last council. It wasn’t unanimous.

But, Wright pointed out that the item was only on the agenda for discussion and for the council to give to staff.

Solar Energy Project for Lone Tree Golf Course

In other council action, a solar panel energy project to provide power for the Lone Tree Golf & Event Center was approved by the council. It will cover one of the parking lots. It’s expected to provide a cost saving for the course and city.

Eminent Domain for Prewett Ranch Road Extension

They voted unanimously to pursue eminent domain proceedings for the acquisition of private property to extend the eastern end of Prewett Ranch Road to Heidorn Ranch Road.

“It was part of the development agreement for Heidorn Village,” said City Attorney Derek Cole. “There’s a small strip of land necessary to complete Prewett Ranch Road. A portion of that is on an adjoining landowner’s parcel. The developer needs to acquire the sliver of land.”

The city agreed to exercise the power of eminent domain if the developer couldn’t get the adjacent property owner to sell the sliver of land, Cole explained. Ultimately, only the city can acquire the strip. Once we acquire the strip we can give it to the property owner (developer) because it would be used for a public purpose.”

The developer and property owner couldn’t agree on a purchase price.

No one spoke in favor or opposition to the item.

“We need to obtain council, get them on board,” Cole stated. “If the council takes action tonight it doesn’t preclude the parties from reaching a resolution. It has always been our hope that the property owners and developer work things out.”

“We still have a number of steps before we’re running off to court,” he added.

“So that I’m clear, we move forward, they can still work together and work things out,” Ogorchock said, before making a motion to approve the

Tiscareno asked “does it make more sense to give the parties

“In my opinion it makes more sense to adopt the resolution. We have a development agreement. We have an obligation to do this,” Cole responded. “This is a formality and it doesn’t prejudice either party. It doesn’t stop the parties from negotiating. I will impress upon the parties to negotiate.”

End of City Contract With Arts & Cultural Foundation

According to the city staff report, “In September 2017 the City received notice that the Arts and Cultural Foundation of Antioch (ACFA) was modifying their operations including but not limited to, the resignation of Diane Gibson-Gray as Executive Director for ACFA. In October ACFA informed the City that the Board of Directors voted to terminate the Agreement with the

City for providing art and cultural programs and managing the Lynn House, effective December 31, 2017. The Arts and Cultural Foundation of Antioch has been providing citywide programs and services, and managing the Lynn House, for twelve years.

Art and cultural programs are valuable components for building community and increasing unity. Antioch is host to several nonprofit and community organizations that provide programs such as the Delta Blues Festival and Black History Exhibit. The ACFA will continue to serve the community with programs; most notably, their Celebration of Art exhibit at the Antioch Historical Society.”

The council now needs to find others to run the Lynn House Gallery

Thorpe mentioned how he feels that only certain groups receive funding from the city. Wilson said she would like to see it be a grant process with groups submitting proposals. Wright chimed in saying he planned to discuss the matter during the council retreat, this spring.

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Albers_Ranch_Site_Plan final


Albers Ranch Site Plan


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