The Elk Grove Planning Commission on Nov. 15 approved a major design review for four single-story, commercial buildings that will be constructed on the southern portion of the former Capital Nursery site.

The project is located on two parcels on the north side of Elk Grove Boulevard, east of Laguna Springs Drive and west of the Laguna 99 Shopping Plaza. The parcels, which front the boulevard, cover about three acres and are zoned, “limited commercial.”

Capital Nursery closed in 2012 and the other portion of the former nursery property is now the site of Capital Reserve, a gated community. The majority of that 84-unit residential subdivision has been built out.

The new commercial structures will total 27,100 square feet. These 24-foot-tall buildings will range in size from 5,475 square feet to 9,550 square feet.

Antonio Ablog, the city’s planning manager, said that the buildings sizes are appropriate in context with the neighboring, small, commercial center to the west and the Walmart shopping center to the east.

Aesthetically, the buildings will have stucco exteriors, enhanced with wood trellises and stone columns.

The approved major design review includes a reduction of the rear setback of one of the buildings from 25 feet to 13 feet and the elimination of the number of parking spaces for the project from 75 to 70.

The loss of parking spaces was a preventative act to preserve one of the trees on the property, since a tree root survey was not conducted.

A blog noted that it is possible that the lost spaces could be reclaimed in the event that a survey is conducted in the future and it is determined that paving in that area will not be harmful to the tree’s health.

Planning Commissioner George Murphey expressed appreciation for the reasoning behind the parking reduction.

“I do appreciate your attempts to save that oak tree out in front,” he said. “I think it’s going to help the aesthetics, not only with that site, but blending with what’s across the street, too. I’m hoping that we can save it through some type of mitigation.”

Also approved was the future removal of an oak tree on the western edge of the property.

Additionally, an existing emergency vehicle access and driveway location on the western portion of the property will be realigned to accommodate the new shopping center design.

New residential

lots approved

During the same meeting on Nov. 15, the Planning Commission approved a project for the establishment of 16 residential, single-family lots on the east side of the Machado Ranch Drive terminus onto Bruceville Road.

The approval includes subdividing a 4.3-acre portion of an existing 19.1-acre site, as well as a .15-acre portion of the adjacent McGeary Ranch subdivision.

Along with the new lots will be the construction of a new public street, and two landscaped corridor lots with an 8-foot multiuse trail connecting to the McGeary Ranch subdivision.

Also approved was the removal of 13 trees, 12 of which are valley oaks that could not be saved without significant changes to the street system. An arborist determined that three of those trees have deteriorating health. The other tree’s future is dependent on the future construction plan review.