Council approves 35-home in-fill project by Discovery Builders on split vote

Thorpe, Wilson oppose

By Allen Payton

In other action at their Tuesday, April 10th meeting, the Antioch City Council split on the approval of a 35-home in-fill development project by Discovery Builders, known as the Oakley Knolls. The subdivision will be located off Oakley Road between Willow Avenue and Phillips Lane, next to the Almondridge subdivision in the northeast portion of the city. See the entire staff report and agenda item, here: Oak Knolls Project 04-10-18

Community Development Director Forrest Ebbs offered the report on the project and said staff recommended approval.

Mayor Pro Tem Lamar Thorpe expressed his surprise with the application for the project in light of the lawsuits filed by the same developer against both the city and DeNova Homes with a recently approved project in Antioch. DeNova Homes in turn submitted a letter to the city on Tuesday, with a copy of their lawsuit against Discovery builders.

“The audacity of Discovery Builders,” Thorpe said. “I can’t believe what I’m looking at. I sat down with Seeno, Jr. He was fine with everything. We’re trying to move forward this city…and there’s Discovery Builders standing in the way. It’s almost insulting.”

“The lawsuit Discovery Builders has with DeNova Homes…piece mealing the environmental,” he said to the developer’s representative.

“I’m not sure what you’re referring to,” he responded. “I got this letter three hours ago.”

Interim City Attorney Derek Cole interjected, “We have one developer who has filed a lawsuit against a city…then challenged another developer. Now they’re before the city asking for entitlements.

They’re making arguments that are inconsistent with that. For purposes of your actions, tonight those should be based on the merits.

Councilwoman Monica Wilson said, “I too am perplexed by this proposal. Talk to me about the EIR (Environmental Impact Report). I don’t see that in this process. They’re also asking for a lot of exceptions on this.

Ebbs responded saying, “They’ve determined that every impact can be mitigated. A mitigated negative declaration can be arrived at if they’re going to address each impact. Generally, a neg dec is appropriate for a project of this size. It would not normally trigger an EIR.”

Tiscareno had some questions on setbacks, then said, “I understand the confusion by some of my council mates. We received this same email this afternoon.”

Ebbs responded, “when the lawsuit is against us, we have to defend our own actions.”

The council then discussed and debated Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock’s idea to have more lots allowing for RV parking. They ultimately decided to leave it as was proposed to six lots.

The council then voted 3-2 to approve the project with Mayor Sean Wright, Councilmembers Tony Tiscareno and Ogorchock in favor, and Thorpe and Wilson voting against.

the attachments to this post:

Oak Knolls Project 04-10-18
Oak Knolls Project 04-10-18

Oak Knolls project cover color

Oak Knolls Project map

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