AMERICAN CANYON — The American Canyon City Council has approved plans for an apartment complex near Wal-Mart Supercenter after it was redesigned into a smaller complex and renamed.
The 148 unit-apartment complex, approved unanimously late last month, replaces a 180-unit plan that had drawn criticism from city council members and others.
One issue was tandem parking where vehicles would park one in front of another. Critics also cited the lack of affordable housing and the project’s need of city water, which this year is in tight supply.
Instead of naming the complex The Palms at Napa Junction, a name Vice Mayor Belia Ramos said reminded her of Las Vegas, The Reliant Group of San Francisco will call it Canyon Ridge.
“It’s a much better project than a month ago,” Councilmember Mark Joseph told the developers. “Thank you for hanging in there.”
The rest of the property may attract a hotel, retail and potentially a restaurant.
The American Canyon Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors came out to support the project, as did others including Anthony Quicho, president of Fil-Am of American Canyon and a former city planning commissioner.
The project, located on the north end of the city, represents “smart growth,” he said in a letter to the City Council. “It’s right next to Wal-Mart, and people living there will easily be able to commute up valley without crossing town as so many others do.”
The project, he said, tries to address the lack of housing options in American Canyon. Seniors who want to move into smaller housing and new immigrants could move there. “There is a real need for that,” he said of multi-family housing.
Lake Street Ventures, which has been developing Napa Junction for more than a decade, originally wanted to attract a big-box store and retail development for the 17-acre property north of Napa Junction Road.
The new complex replaces about 80,000 square feet of potential retail development. Lake Streets’ principal Vincent “Buzz” Butler said this summer the site, known as Napa Junction III, had not managed to attract retailers over the years.
The developers committed to making improvements along Napa Junction Road and at the intersection of the two-lane roadway with Highway 29. The new plan calls for eight apartments set aside as affordable housing in perpetuity. Tandem parking has been eliminated. To accommodate extra parking, one building is 11 feet smaller and parking has been added elsewhere.
The developer proposed 267 parking spaces, 27 fewer than city’s zoning rules require. They will also have to extend a recycled water line to the site.
The developers will also pay $50,000 to American Canyon’s low- to moderate-income housing program. They agreed to first hire local contractors, though that exact language will have to be developed by city staff and City Attorney William Ross.
Because the complex is now smaller and water demand will be less, the developers will not be required to contribute to paying for planned repairs of a leaky city water transmission line.
The Napa Junction development anchor is Wal-Mart Supercenter. It also includes retail, a Holiday Inn Express and Suites and The Lodge, a 216-unit apartment complex.