ALBANY -- The City Council will consider the long-planned University Village development project at a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. March 5 at City Hall, 1000 San Pablo Ave.
The latest version of the project received approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission in December over opposition from various groups. Some believe the project is too large and others want the land set aside for an urban farm.
The project, along San Pablo Avenue at Monroe Street, would include a Sprouts Farmers Market grocery store and senior housing. It would also include other retail, although plans for that have not been presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission yet.
A previous version of the project, which included a Whole Foods Market, was approved by the council at a prolonged meeting in July 2012. However, two lawsuits were filed and a referendum circulated after that vote. Whole Foods Market then pulled out of the project and the council rescinded the development agreement.
UC has long wanted to develop the land and has spent years working with the community to come up with a plan acceptable to Albany residents.
The land is adjacent to the Gill Tract, which has been used by the university for years for agricultural research. Activist farmers are worried that the university will next develop that land and have been fighting to keep it as urban farmland. The university has said it has no plans to develop the land and has pledged to keep it for agricultural research.