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Proposed subdivision on abandoned Franklin School site will go before Huntington Beach commissioners

Proposed subdivision on abandoned Franklin School site will go before Huntington Beach commissioners
A rendering illustrates some of the single-story and two-story homes that are part of TRI Pointe Homes' proposed Sea Dance residential development in north Huntington Beach. (Courtesy of city of Huntington Beach)

Huntington Beach planning commissioners Tuesday will consider a proposal to build 11 single-story and 42 two-story homes on an abandoned school site.

The Sea Dance residential development plan outlines building 53 homes, private streets, public utilities, a water quality basin lot and a 1.15-acre public park on the 8.75-acre Franklin School site at 14422 Hammon Lane. Units will include two-car enclosed garages, two-car driveway aprons and will have a minimum yard area of 400 square feet.

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Commissioners held a study session on the proposal June 26.

Applicant Rick Wood of TRI Pointe Homes is requesting a conditional use permit to develop the single-family homes with reduced lot widths — instead of the minimum 60 feet — and varying lot sizes in lieu of the minimum 6,000 square feet, according to a staff report.

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Because the developer is seeking lot size exceptions, the project must provide mutual benefits for residents of the new development as well as the general public, Associate City Planner Jessica Bui wrote in the staff report.

Proposed benefits include the public park and improvements, such as landscaping, irrigation, lighting and playground equipment, that the homeowners association would maintain. Members of the public could also legally park on the private streets to use the new park, which will shrink by 0.15 acres of parkland space under the plan.

Few supported the project but several community members expressed concerns in giving up any parkland for the project and increased traffic congestion.

Bui wrote that Wood’s proposal exceed guidelines in the Quimby Act, which allows cities to require that developers dedicate parkland or other open space in exchange for permission to build subdivisions.

Bui added that the project could eventually save the public money because it would remove and replace Franklin Park, which is operated and maintained jointly by the city and Westminster School District.

Franklin School, developed in 1962, has been vacant since 2015, according to the staff report.

Tuesday's meeting starts at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 2000 Main St.

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