OCEANSIDE — The City Council approved issuance of an $8 million revenue note for 38 affordable housing units on Nov. 16, which will be built as part of the Villa Storia project on Mission Avenue.
The 328 unit project uniquely includes on site affordable housing, instead of an in lieu fee payment that leaves the city to construct affordable homes.
Financing helps move the affordable housing build forward. The city will not owe a penny on the loan. The developer is obligated to repay the money through collected revenues.
Councilman Jack Feller shared his enthusiasm for the on site affordable housing at an earlier project approval meeting.
“I think this is important, affordable units are going to be built without city money,” Feller said. “It’s better than anything I’ve seen in the 15 years I’ve been here (serving on the City Council).”
Planned are one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom rental units. Amenities include a children’s play area, community room and landscaped outdoor areas.
Families that earn 50 to 60 percent of the county area median income qualify to rent the units. Rental applications are anticipated to be available next summer.
“The affordable community is planned to be ready for occupancies in the fall of next year, and we will start marketing efforts in early summer 2017,” a Chelsea Investment Corporation spokesperson said.
Currently grading is underway on the entire 35.5-acre site. Academy Road is closed for construction, and a detour road has been added.
The council approved the Villa Storia project in September 2015, with Councilwoman Esther Sanchez opposed.
At the approval meeting Sanchez spoke for half an hour about her concerns, which included the project’s negative impact on the city’s jobs to housing ratio, and homes increasing the demand on city services.
“It’s just too many homes,” Sanchez said. “I believe the project should never have gotten off the ground.”
The housing project sits next to Mission San Luis Rey and neighbors a mobile home park.
Seniors who live next door to the site have steadfastly objected to traffic impacts to Academy Road and Mission Avenue.
“Nine roads will feed onto Academy Road,” Lucienne Austin, a San Luis Rey Mobile Homes homeowner, said. “How are we going to get in and out of our park? It’s a huge and dangerous challenge.”
Others, including Mission San Luis Rey parishioners, have supported the project for the affordable housing units, net zero water impact, and road and sidewalk improvements it brings.
Council members credited the developer for being responsive to city and community requests, and going beyond requirements.
The master builder will start construction in January.