Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Public Hearing Tonight on Apartments at Lambert Lane and La Canada

Public to discuss multi-family building
The town will conduct a second public hearing tonight regarding a potential three story multi-family building ("Apartments") located on Lambert Lane, east of Noble Hops. 

Hearings and eventual council architectural approval are needed before the property can be built. The property is part of the El Conquistador Planned Area Development (“PAD”) that was established in 1983. Apartments are a permitted use in the PAD. 

In addition, the height of the proposed apartments is 36 feet. This exceeds a limit of 24 feet. This limit was determined as part of a 2003 council granted grading exception.  The property was intended for restaurant use.

Plan is to build on south side of lot, away from Lambert Lane
According to Beztak Companies, the applicant and landowner, the site has been vacant for thirteen years. They have had one serious inquiry regarding use of the land for a restaurant in the past seven years. 

The applicant wants to build apartment units on the south side of the property (see panel right). They will be set back from Lambert Lane. There will be one building containing 16 units, with 1 story closest to Lambert on the north; and 3 stories along existing apartments to the south (see panel below).

A unique apartment proposal
This Beztek apartment proposal is one of seven apartment proposals the town is considering or anticipating. It is unique for two reasons. First is its location. Most of the anticipated apartment units are located along Oracle Road. The result would be to cluster apartment residents in one area. They would certainly not be geographically dispersed within the community. This proposal, however, puts the units in another area, promoting diversity of housing physically. Second, the apartments are really an addition to the existing apartments. 

Three primary resident concerns
During a prior hearing those attending voiced concerns in three areas Increase in traffic; parking capacity regarding Noble Hops; and the impact of the building on the view of the Catalina Mountains. The applicant has supposedly addressed these in their latest plans and we will hear more about this tonight. For example, they changed the location of the building and the architecture to set it back from Lambert Lane.  This allows the exposure (from Noble Hops) of the majority of the mountain view. In addition, the new plan is for fewer apartments (from 19 to 16) and for a smaller footprint for the building.

Click this link to learn more about this project and how to participate in this hearing tonight. You can also watch a video describing this project.
LOVE has written an extensive analysis of potential apartments in Oro Valley. You can read that here.

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