Huntington Beach City Council approves Ellis Avenue 48-condominium project

The Ellis Avenue condominiums will be built on the north side of the street, just east of Beach Boulevard.
(Courtesy of city of Huntington Beach)
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The Huntington Beach City Council on Tuesday night voted to approve a conditional use permit and tentative tract map for a 48-unit condominium complex to be built near the intersection of Beach Boulevard and Ellis Avenue.

The project was previously rejected by the Planning Commission in 2019 and the City Council the following year, resulting in multiple lawsuits being filed.

Huntington Beach director of community development Ursula Luna-Reynosa said in a presentation to the council that recent revisions to the Housing Accountability Act have greatly reduced, and practically eliminated, local discretion to deny projects.


“The project meets all of the objective development standards of the Beach and Edinger Corridor Specific Plan,” Luna-Reynosa said. “Under the Housing Accountability Act, if it does meet those objectives and there are no health and safety concerns, the city’s ability to deny the project is very difficult.”

The applicant, Jeff Herbst of Irvine-based MCG Architecture, addressed city staff concerns regarding fire and traffic safety in its revised proposal.

Council members voted 6-1 to approve the project, with Erik Peterson voting against it.

The project, located at 8041 Ellis Ave., is a four-story mixed use development, featuring the 48 condos as well as 891 square feet of commercial space. It will include three levels of underground parking, with 128 total spaces.

New fire safety features in the updated proposal include a public fire hydrant on Ellis Avenue, an onsite private fire hydrant and three sets of stairs in compliance with the state’s fire code. The fire lane will extend to within 150 feet of all portions of the structure’s exterior.

As for traffic safety, the driveway design would be built in accordance to Public Works specifications.

Just two people opposed the condo complex in a public hearing during Tuesday’s City Council meeting. One of them, William Tomerlin, identified himself as an 11-year resident of nearby Beachview Villa Apartments on Ellis Avenue.

Tomerlin said he was wary of another development, particularly after the luxury Elan Huntington Beach apartment complex was built at the southwest corner of Beach and Ellis in 2016. He said the new building would increase noise and air pollution, traffic and crime in his neighborhood.

“It will be pure chaos and disorder,” he said.

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