Fullerton City Council supports housing and retail plan to replace part of Sunrise Village mall – Orange County Register

After more than a year of multiple public meetings and discourses, Fullerton leaders are allowing a plan to move forward to add more than 100 homes and commercial spaces on 12.5 acres at the southwest corner of Euclid Street and Rosecrans Avenue at the Sunrise Village mall.

The City Council unanimously approved the Pines at Sunrise Village project on Jan. 5 after reducing the proposed development to 49 single-family homes, 64 townhomes and five commercial buildings, four of which are new. As originally proposed in October 2021, the housing mix included 114 townhouses.

“I met with all sides and was very happy to see a compromise,” said council member Ahmad Zahra. “While I think I might have liked to see a few more townhouses just so more families could come in, we have to accept that when we’re here.”

The project involves the demolition of 104,300 square feet of existing buildings but creates 23,000 square feet of new commercial space — 19,000 more than originally planned — and includes the conversion of a 4,000-square-foot building used by the Red Cross.

The revised plan came after a neighborhood group, Save Sunrise Village, spoke out against the loss of shopping in the area.

“Building lots of houses is good, but where do people go shopping?” a resident asked the council. Permitting Pines in Sunrise Village could perhaps pave the way for other commercial property owners to sell their land to developers, she warned. “It will determine what happens in the city.”

But Elizabeth Hansberg, director of People for Housing – Orange County, said the project is helping to meet housing needs, particularly for young professionals looking to start families in the county.

“This project will serve their community,” said Hansberg. “We need housing”

Councilor Nick Dunlap also commended the willingness of stakeholders on all sides to engage in an open dialogue.

“This was a situation where there were compromises, not only between the landowner and the developer, but also the community group that really made a lot of these changes happen,” Dunlap said, adding that the final project “is something that i can support ”

After being sent the original proposed project by the planning commission, the city council sent it back for revision in December 2021 due to concerns from local residents about density, aesthetics and loss of shopping.

After further revisions and more time, the Planning Commission voted unanimously in December to send the latest version of the development to the Council for approval.

“We’ve made a lot of changes over the past year,” said Brian Ripp, vice president of real estate and senior developer at Shopoff Reality Investments, which purchased the property in April 2021. “We would have liked to have been here much earlier, but we took the time to get it right and I think the Planning Commission’s unanimous recommendation for approval is a good indication that we got it right.”

The project will be submitted to Council for a second vote of approval, generally a formality, at a future meeting.

https://www.ocregister.com/2023/01/06/fullerton-council-supports-housing-retail-plan-to-replace-some-of-sunrise-village-shopping-center/ Fullerton City Council supports housing and retail plan to replace part of Sunrise Village mall – Orange County Register

Dais Johnston

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