DanvilleSanRamon.com

Newsfront - November 2, 2007

Affordable apartments waiting for final OK

34 units for 'moderate income' planned on Fostoria Way next to Iron Horse Trail

by Jordan M. Doronila

Developer Thomas Baldacci is close to getting a green light from Danville to move forward and start building his 34-unit affordable apartment complex on Fostoria Way.

Baldacci, owner of Castle Companies in San Ramon, expects to hear a decision from the town in December or early next year.

"I'm proud of this project. We are pretty excited," Baldacci said.

The affordable housing project was approved by the Town Council in February. Now the town is considering the final "map" to ensure the project complies with the standards that came with the approval.

The developer plans to build the apartments on the north side of Fostoria Way on 1.78 acres adjacent to the east side of the Iron Horse Trail.

"There are all kinds of shopping opportunities," Baldacci said.

The town may suggest minor changes, and once the final map is OK'd, Castle will start construction on sewer, water, storm drainage, roadside curbs and gutters.

The apartments will be affordable for moderate income earners, said Kevin Gailey, town planning chief. The state designates "moderate income" as between 81 percent and 120 percent of area median income, which is $58,700 for a one-person household; $67,000 for two; $75,400 for three; $83,000 for four; and $90,500 for five.

"Housing costs are pretty high here," Gailey said. "Our target is a pragmatic target."

There will be a cap on how much tenants can be charged.

"It does add to our total results for housing obligations," Gailey said. Those are set by the state.

Castle, which is also involved in building 55 residential units at the Rose Garden on Camino Ramon, bought the land on Fostoria for an undisclosed amount two years ago.

Baldacci, who has been a developer in Danville for more than 30 years, said the Danville Design Review Board, Planning Commission and town staff have helped make the Fosteria project better.

"It's a very interactive process," he said. "They have observations that you sometimes can't see because you're too close to the project."

He noted that he also worked with neighboring residents to get feedback while he was going through the approval process.

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