Costa Mesa planners to review plan to replace storage facility with housing development

Members of the Costa Mesa Planning Commission will review a proposal Monday to replace a storage facility in Mesa del Mar with 56 homes.

Property owner DeNova Homes is seeking city approval to demolish Baker Storage, 929 Baker St., and in its place build the two-story, single-family houses and a private park on the approximately 4.71-acre site.

As proposed, the homes would range in size from 1,975 to 2,400 square feet and have either three or four bedrooms.

Each of the houses would include a garage. The project would include three different architectural styles: modern Spanish, plantation and modern farmhouse.

There would be room to park four vehicles at each home — two in the garage, two in the driveway. Another 13 guest spaces would be available for a total of at least 237 on-site spaces.

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The parcel has been used commercially since the 1960s but has been zoned for medium-density residential for at least a decade.

At a community meeting held in May, DeNova officials and consultant Peter Naghavi, a retired Costa Mesa economic development director, said the starting prices for the homes are expected to be in the $800,000s.

"It's going to be a beautiful project," Naghavi said at the time.

Baker Storage opened in 1987. It contains about 600 storage units and 133 parking stalls for recreational vehicles and boats.

The site is adjacent to the Newport-Mesa Unified School District headquarters.

In a letter sent to the city earlier this month, Tim Marsh, Newport-Mesa's administrative director of facilities support services, wrote that the new homes could be affected by light and noise from the district's property.

The district facility operates from 5 a.m. until 11:15 p.m. Monday through Friday, and periodically on the weekend.

Delivery trucks are often unloaded in the parking lot, Marsh wrote, and the process for unloading them can be "very noisy, especially in the early morning hours."

Additionally, some lighting on the district property could be visible from the new homes, he added.

"The mechanical equipment that we have on site is loud and, while the sound did not bother the storage facility, it will be an issue for residents trying to enjoy their new homes," Marsh wrote.

At the May public meeting, about 40 residents also raised concerns with the project, including the number of units proposed, how much on-site parking would be available and whether the new development would cause overflow parking on nearby streets.

Naghavi said at the May meeting that the tract will meet city parking standards. He also said the development is projected to cause less traffic than the storage facility would because, as a general rule, commercial uses generate more car trips than residential properties.

Monday's meeting begins at 6 p.m. in City Hall, 77 Fair Drive.

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Luke Money, lucas.money@latimes.com

Twitter: @LukeMMoney

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