Ratkovich Company’s proposal for a 775-unit residential complex in Alhambra was rejected, despite numerous changes and revisions four years after initial plans were submitted.
The City Council’s decision left Ratkovich with few options to realize Villages at The Alhambra, according to Urbanize. Among the reasons was an insufficient number of affordable units.
Ratkovich proposed Villages at the Alhambra in 2017. The first iteration included 1,000 units. The most recent configuration has 230 condominiums and 545 rentals.
The Council also said the project lacked a full labor agreement and there were lingering concerns over toxins embedded in the soil, the report noted. For that issue, the Water Control Board prepared a mitigation plan designed to protect residents.
Some members of the Council pointed out that the project doesn’t meet the criteria of Alhambra’s inclusionary housing ordinance. The city adopted the ordinance late last year, and it requires at least 15 percent of units in new projects be reserved for low-income residents.
The project predates the ordinance and Ratkovich planned to reserve 75 units — about 11 percent of the total — for moderate-income residents.
The development site totals 40 acres between two parcels, mostly parking lots, that border Ratkovich’s The Alhambra office complex.
Ratkovich may still be able to win over the Council with changes to the project. The firm may also be able to effectively bypass the decision and force the project’s approval through the state via SB 35. The state law requires that local jurisdictions approve housing projects that meet certain criteria if the jurisdiction is short of its state-assigned housing goals.
[Urbanize] — Dennis Lynch