The Danville Town Council and other town officials are set to discuss a revised concept for a three-story apartment complex proposed for Diablo Road near the freeway during a joint study session Tuesday evening.
The current proposal from property owner Danville Office Partners calls for 153 for-rent apartment units in an E-shaped building at 373-379 Diablo Road, adjacent to the southbound Interstate 680 on-ramp.
The new development plan differs from the concept that received negative reviews from town officials during a study session last November and that was created by ROEM Development, which is no longer affiliated with the project.
"We have taken very seriously the comments provided by the town during the study session held Nov. 3 ... and as a result, we have spent considerable time and money in completely redesigning the project with a fresh approach," Russel Stanley, of Danville Office Partners, wrote in a letter to the town last week.
"However, in accomplishing the town's design changes, significant costs have been added to the project, well beyond what a project with an affordable component can sustain and far more expensive than the wrap project that ROEM was ready, willing and able to build," Stanley added. "We are excited about this alternative design proposed to the town."
The current concept for the complex, now dubbed Riverwalk at Downtown Danville, calls for 153 apartments, a clubhouse, exercise room and lobby in a single, continuous building shaped like an "E" pointing toward Diablo Road.
The apartments would not sit right along Diablo Road, instead being set back behind roadside buildings with tenants such as Heritage Bank of Commerce and American Packaging Capital. The 3.74-acre site currently contains two-story office buildings and is located just west of the freeway.
The property owner proposes 20 studio units, 65 one-bedroom units and 68 two-bedroom units in the E-shaped building -- a design that differs from ROEM's plan, which recommended a "wrap design" with a ring of apartments around the site, with another smaller group of apartments and a parking garage inside the outer ring.
The revised proposal eliminates the parking garage, replacing it with 279 parking spots split almost evenly between parking underneath the building at the basement level and increased ground-level parking around the building.
By removing the parking structure, the property owner reduced the surface-area footprint of the apartment structures by about one-third, according to Kevin Gailey, Danville's chief of planning.
The entire apartment building is proposed to stand three stories tall, a height council members objected to during the November study session. They also pointed to problems they found with appearance, size, parking and landscaping of the prior proposal.
Those components of the new plan, and more, are set to be up for discussion during the study session Tuesday night between the Town Council, Planning Commission and Design Review Board at 6 p.m. inside the Town Meeting Hall, 201 Front St.
"At a minimum, the review should consider building height and mass, roof treatment, setbacks and relationships to adjacent buildings," Gailey wrote in his staff report. "The review is not a permit or entitlement and is not binding on the town."
The property is one of two in the town to secure a new multifamily land-use designation through the 2030 General Plan approval in recognition of the regional housing needs allocation shortfall identified in the town's 2007-14 Housing Element, according to Gailey.
Based on town density rules, the site would be eligible for a maximum of 112 residential units, so the property owner seeks a density bonus to allow the 153 units. The owner also asks for permission to build to a height of 37 feet, two feet taller than the maximum allowed under the General Plan.
No final decisions are scheduled to occur during the Riverwalk at Downtown Danville workshop, which aims to give town officials a chance to provide early feedback to the applicant and town staff about the design concept.
The joint study session is set to occur in the middle of a day of meetings for the council members.
They have a morning budget study session scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday at the town offices, 510 La Gonda Way.
The council then has its regular meeting at 8 p.m. Tuesday in the Town Meeting Hall after the apartment project workshop. The regular meeting is set to feature update presentations on the Planning Commission and Visit Tri-Valley as well as consideration of a seven-item consent agenda.