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H.B. will consider $3.1-million purchase of land including historic home to address low-income housing

Wintersburg home
Land that Huntington Beach is considering buying near Beach Boulevard and Cameron Lane includes a historic Wintersburg home.
(Daily Pilot)

The Huntington Beach City Council on Tuesday will consider approving spending $3.16 million to purchase property that includes a historic Wintersburg home to help meet a state mandate for more low-income housing.

The land would be used for development as part of an affordable-housing overlay in the Beach and Edinger Corridors Specific Plan, according to a staff report for the council meeting.

For the record:
5:45 PM, Feb. 18, 2020 This article originally stated incorrectly that the City Council would consider authorizing $3.16 million to purchase two adjacent properties. The purchase under consideration Tuesday is only for 17631 Cameron Lane. The council also will vote on whether to authorize city staff to execute an agreement to purchase the adjacent property at 17642 Beach Blvd.

The property under consideration is at 17631 Cameron Lane. The City Council also will vote on whether to authorize an option to buy adjacent property at 17642 Beach Blvd. from the same owner.

The two properties measure over an acre and a half in total and constitute one of six parcels the city determined can be developed to fulfill Regional Housing Needs Assessment requirements for low-income housing.

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According to the affordable-housing overlay, the property could accommodate up to 79 residential units.

The Cameron Lane structure is an unoccupied wood-framed home built in 1947 and designated as historic, according to state records.

According to a state report detailing the property’s specifications and historical significance, the property was classified as historic because it was part of a tract of land that became Wintersburg, where Henry Winters first bought land in the 1880s to be used for agriculture and was credited with promoting farming on peatlands. City efforts to preserve the area that is considered Historic Wintersburg, a constellation of six structures with ties to early-1900s Japanese American history, were formally ended last year.

If approved, the city would buy the property from Shigeru and Mitsuru Yamada for $3,077,010.

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An additional $61,540 would go toward broker commission and $21,000 toward due-diligence studies, according to the staff report.

The funds for the purchase would come from the city’s restricted Low-Moderate Income Housing Asset Fund, which the city projects will total about $4.5 million by the end of the fiscal year. The city could lose about $3 million to the state in “excess surplus” if the money goes unused by the end of June, the staff report said.

City is asked to consider joining Orange County Housing Finance Trust

Jamboree Housing, a nonprofit affordable-housing developer pursuing a 43-unit project on Beach Boulevard, asked Huntington Beach to join the Orange County Housing Finance Trust, a move the group feels would make affordable-housing projects more financially viable.

The Housing Finance Trust is a joint powers authority formed in 2019 among the county and various cities to help participant cities secure funding for affordable and supportive housing developments.

To join, Huntington Beach would be required to contribute about $21,000 per year, according to staff estimates.

In observance of Presidents Day, City Hall will be closed Monday. Tuesday’s council meeting begins at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 2000 Main St.

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