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Hana Gardens Apartments
Project Summary
Hana Gardens is a 63-unit mixed-use senior affordable housing community on a 40,000-square-foot site in El Cerrito’s midtown area adjacent to City Hall. In addition to the residential component, the project will also include two commercial spaces (2,300-2,400 square feet) and a beautiful Japanese Heritage Garden and public plaza, inspired by the single-story structure at 10848 San Pablo Avenue known as the Contra Costa Florist building. This cultural building will be rehabilitated in keeping with its period of significance to the greatest extent feasible and will house some of Eden Housing’s community and management functions.

Proposed view of Hana Gardens Apartments and Heritage Plaza


Funding
With the City's commitment of the land approved, the project is funded by a variety of funding sources, including a recent grant from the State Affordable Housing Sustainable Communities grant program. Due to the extremely competitive environment within the affordable housing industry, Eden Housing, Inc. is continuing to work to assemble their final necessary funding. The property was originally acquired with Redevelopment Housing Set-Aside funds by the former El Cerrito Redevelopment Agency for affordable housing purposes.

Recent/Upcoming Event & Actions
The Planning Commission held a public hearing on January 20th, 2016 and approved a two year extension of the approved Conditional Use Permit and Design Review approval and an amendment to the approved Conditional Use Permit to allow plan modifications.

The Design Review Board held a public hearing on February 3rd, 2016 and approved design modifications.

City Council adopted a resolution acknowledging that the County of Contra Costa will assist in the financing of Hana Gardens Apartments at the March 15th, 2016 City Council meeting.

Approvals Status
City Council adopted a resolution acknowledging that the County of Contra Costa will assist in the financing of Hana Gardens Apartments at the March 15th, 2016 City Council meeting. On February 3rd, 2016, the Design Review Board held a public hearing to approve design modifications. The Planning Commission held a public hearing on January 20th, 2016 to approve a two year extension of the approved Conditional Use Permit and Design Review approval and an amendment to the approved Conditional Use Permit to allow plan modifications.

The City entered into a Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA) for transfer of the City-owned property to Eden Housing, Inc. on April 22, 2014. On January 8, 2014, the Design Review Board held a public hearing and approved the project application. The Planning Commission certified the EIR, adopted a Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program and approved the Conditional Use Permits for the project on December 18, 2013.

Background
The City’s goal is to develop this key site adjacent to El Cerrito’s City Hall with high-quality affordable senior housing with social services and commercial uses on the ground floor. After a competitive Request for Qualifications/Proposals process, the City has selected Eden Housing as its development partner for this site. 

After incorporating community input and information from site reports in its design, Eden has submitted a planning application for the City’s Planning Department. Eden Housing is proposing mixed-use residential building including 63 units of affordable housing for seniors and ground-floor commercial space, including a medical clinic operated by Samuel Merritt University and a small retail space. Eden’s plans retain and rehabilitate the Contra Costa Florist retail building.

The City's Planning & Building Division has completed the planning application review and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) environmental review process. These are required of all development applications. The entitlement and environmental review process includes meetings with the Planning Commission and the Design Review Board.

The City has prepared an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Eden Housing San Pablo Mixed-Use Senior Apartments project. In accordance with CEQA guidelines, the City of El Cerrito prepared a Notice of Preparation to provide responsible agencies and other interested parties with sufficient information describing the proposal and its potential environmental effects.

As specified by the CEQA guidelines, this Notice of Preparation was circulated for a 30-day review period ending May 13, 2013.  On Monday, April 22, 2013, from 5:30pm to 7:00pm the City held a scoping meeting for the purpose of soliciting public input as to the appropriate scope and content of the EIR. The scoping meeting for the project was held at the City of El Cerrito City Council Chambers, located at 10890 San Pablo Avenue in El Cerrito.  The Draft EIR was published on August 26, 2013 and is posted on the City's website.  The public comment period for the Draft EIR ended on October 10, 2013.  The Final EIR was certified by the Planning Commission on December 18, 2013. 

CEQA Documents:
Note: For more information on the entitlement process, visit the CEQA webpage.


To obtain information regarding rental availability, contact Eden Housing, Inc. at (510) 582-1460.


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