CAPITOLA -- The Capitola City Council agreed Thursday to put off discussion of a proposal for a three-story senior housing complex with 23 units at 1575 38th Ave. due to a legal technicality.
"We don't have the authority to review a planned development project denied by the planning commission," Mayor Stephanie Harlan said.
Under the city's 1975 zoning ordinance, the planning commission can preclude a "planned development" project from going forward and the City Council does not have the final authority, City Attorney John Barisone confirmed.
The planning commission voted 4-0 with one abstention in September to deny the project.
At that time, Commissioner Mick Routh pointed out the site is in the "neighborhood commercial" zone, which calls for limited commercial uses necessary to meet needs of people in adjacent areas and specifies the style and scale of the development should have a low impact on the neighborhood. He noted the height limit in that zone is 27 feet and the complex was proposed to be 42 feet high.
Since then, property owners Steve Thomas and Maureen Romac cut the height of the project to 39 feet, which neighbors said is still too high and would affect their privacy.
Barisone has drafted technical changes to make the council the final decision-making body but he is awaiting council direction on what parcels should be eligible for a "planned development."
Once he drafts changes in the zoning ordinance,
"You'd probably see it at the first or second meeting in March," Barisone said.
Neighbors who came to explain why they object to the development left talking about strategies. They said they have gathered signatures from 16 residents in the area, and one man proposed an online petition to gain more support.
In other action, the council:
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