The Elk Grove Planning Commission on July 15 unanimously recommended that the Elk Grove City Council approves the 148-unit Laguna Main Street Apartments in the city’s Laguna West area.

The project is proposed for the south side of Vaux Avenue, between Peets and Nolan streets, and would feature six, three-story, multi-family apartment buildings, two clubhouses, tuck-under garages, and covered parking. Amenities of the complex would include a swimming pool and spa, and outdoor eating and meeting areas.

Commissioners also recommended that the council approves a General Plan amendment to change the zoning of the property from community commercial to residential mixed-use, as well as a special parking permit for a 14% reduction in the number of required parking spaces, from 293 to 250 spaces. Parking for the project would be located within the site’s interior, and there are 65 on-street parking stalls within the vicinity of the project.

The project site is currently undeveloped and is bordered by commercial properties to the north, high-density residential properties to the east and west, and the Laguna Town Hall and Bartholomew Park to the south.

If built, the project would comply with the city’s Climate Action Plan for new multi-family developments. Those measures include energy-efficient electric appliances, an off-road construction fleet, and electric vehicle charging availabilities.

KF Properties, the property’s owner, also owns the Siena Villas apartment building to the west of the project site, and operates the retail center to the north of the proposed apartment complex’s property.

Planning Commissioner Suman Singha expressed appreciation for the developer’s efforts to have a high-density housing project constructed on this property.

“We ne need it, so that’s the good thing,” he said.

Singha and other commissioners shared their concerns regarding parking space allotments in the city.

“I think we definitely need to do (a parking) analysis and then revise the zoning code, if the data supports it,” he said. “If not, we cannot go ahead and continue to keep making these special parking permit designations.”

Commission Chair George Murphey expressed concern with the parking reduction request, and noted his desire to have more available data on the use of public transportation by an apartment complex, and how many cars residents have on average per unit.

“I’m going to support this project with a little heartache on the parking,” he said. “Commissioner (Sandra) Poole is right: You see on-street parking, it is an absolute red flag. It certainly is. But that being said, I can support the project, (while I’m) kind of holding my nose on the parking.”