CARLSBAD — The Grand Jefferson project was approved 3-1 by the City Council during its Jan. 28 meeting. Councilwoman Cori Schumacher opposed the project for its lack of analysis to include studio and one-bedroom condos.
The project is a four-story development by Rincon Homes with seven units, six of which are residential. Grand Jefferson joins a growing list of redevelopment projects under the new Village, Barrio plan. Dozens of residents sent letters of support for the project, while several others objected to the project.
“I’m ecstatic, relieved,” said Kevin Dunn, owner of Rincon Homes. “We went through extensive checks but being the crash-test dummy, you never really know how it goes. I’m excited and it will be a great addition.”
Dunn submitted the application last summer for the 0.21-acre site at 786 Grand Avenue on the northwest corner of Grand Avenue and Jefferson Street. The project includes seven air-space condominiums consisting of six residential units and one commercial unit, according to the staff report.
The residential units range from 2,112 square feet to 3,414 square feet, while the commercial unit is 1,823 square feet.
Also included is an enclosed at-grade parking garage, a 344-square-foot covered plaza oriented toward the street corner and a 124-square-foot lobby. The project will require the demolition of an existing one-story single-family unit, which was converted in 2010 to a small daycare home, per the report.
Schumacher said she believed the proposal did not meet the standard for standards modification and was disappointed Dunn did not include an analysis of studio and one-bedroom apartments. The modification is permitted only if a project applicant can prove it is necessary to achieve one or more of the limited purposes; in this case, density.
The project met the minimum requirements. She said those factors, especially the number of bedrooms, are central to the area and allow a more affordable option for residents. Schumacher noted the smaller units require only one parking space, while the others have a higher standard.
“I can’t make a finding because other options were not explored,” Schumacher added. “There is a need for smaller units. I would love to see it reassessed with studio and one-bedroom (units).”
Dunn said he researched a “wide” range of demographics and saw multi-bedrooms were appropriate. He said the project also includes 13 parking spaces, 24 bicycle spaces, a 40-foot setback and the commercial property was designed as frontage along Grand Avenue in line with the Grand Avenue Promenade concept.
“It’s a significant upgrade to the dilapidated and uninhabitable structure,” Dunn said of the current state of the property. “We only do a handful of small infill projects every year … this allows us to be thoughtful in design and a quality finished project.”