While the City does not generally make it a practice to respond to or clarify stories in the news, we have determined that there are details important enough in this instance that need a response.
The first statement made in this article that needs further clarification is that the Fountain Valley Crossings Specific Plan will, “…open the doors to develop a large portion of Fountain Valley with housing, entertainment and retail projects…” The City of Fountain Valley is 9.02-square miles (5,779.2-acres) and the Fountain Valley Crossings Specific Plan Area is .24-square miles (162-acres). Furthermore, within the plan area districts that include 41-acres zoned consistent with the current zoning (no change), 74-acres that expand the current zoning to include more office as well as retail and hotel uses, and 49-acres that add retail and limited housing. Finally, the existing area contains 3,089,758 square feet of buildings. Under the proposed Specific Plan a total of 258,010 additional square feet and up to 490 residential units would be allowed.
The second statement that needs clarification is that the, “Fountain Valley Planning Commission is expected to lend its support to the Fountain Valley Crossings Plan…” The Planning Commission is currently reviewing the staff report materials, which are available to the public on the City’s website, and will take all public testimony before making its decision as to whether they will recommend the project to the City Council for approval or not.
There is also a statement within the article that suggest that the plan includes the approval of buildings up to 72-feet high and 6-stories. The fact is that the Specific Plan allows for buildings up to 48-feet high and 4-stories in areas that do not border Talbert Avenue and Ward Street where a special height limitation of 2-stories will be imposed. The height restrictions of the Specific Plan are actually less than the current zoning that allows 4-stories and 60-feet tall with no height limitation on Talbert Avenue and Ward Street. Should an applicant want to apply for approval to go from 4-6 stories (along the freeway and adjacent to the Santa Ana River only) they would need to receive approval from the Planning Commission. This ability to apply for additional height exists today through the same Planning Commission approval.
The last statement that needs to be addressed is that a project may be proposed within the area of the Fountain Valley Crossings Specific Plan over the next 5-years when the 405-freeway is also receiving improvements. While it is possible that a property owner could submit a project within that time frame, that same fact is true today in the current zoning environment. All projects are subject to measures that lessen the impacts to roadway travelers and residents to most extent possible.
Should you wish to find out more details of the project yourself you can view all the materials on the City’s Crossing Website or by calling the Planning Department at 714-593-4425.