A proposal to build 38 townhomes near downtown Costa Mesa will go to the city Planning Commission for review Monday.
Pitched by The Olson Co., which is based in Seal Beach, the project would redevelop roughly 1.86 acres to the north and south of Ford Road at its intersection with Newport Boulevard — replacing public storage and RV storage facilities with new, three-story homes.
Twelve of the townhomes would have two bedrooms, and the remainder would have three, according to planning documents. Units would range in size from 1,288 to 1,814 square feet and feature Spanish Colonial architecture.
“Our proposed project will serve to revitalize the site and surrounding area, providing an attractive residential community that will serve to enhance the area, buffer the existing residential neighborhood from the commercial corridor and reduce traffic intrusion from commercial and through traffic,” Haggai Mazler, director of development for The Olson Co., wrote in a letter to the city dated Aug. 30.
When the project was publicly unveiled last year, the most controversial aspect was the developer's proposal to close a portion of Ford Road near Newport to through traffic.
Some nearby residents — including in the Rolling Homes and Ponderosa Mobile Estates mobile home parks — objected to that concept, saying they routinely use Ford Road as a way to get to Harbor Boulevard without having to battle the traffic that builds up where the 55 Freeway ends at 19th Street.
Others said they were worried such a closure would make it more difficult for emergency responders to access the area or for residents to leave quickly should the need arise.
“The closure will not only make commuting and travel difficult for us … but will worsen the traffic on Newport Boulevard as it flows south out of the 55 Freeway,” nearby resident John Boccia wrote in an Aug. 10 letter to the city. “From an environmental standpoint, the area needs more relief from traffic, and this project will not only worsen traffic but inconvenience taxpaying citizens and raise pollution in an area severely impacted as is.”
The response wasn’t universally negative, however. Some residents living along Ford have expressed support for the idea, as they think it could help slow traffic and reduce problems stemming from people cutting through or loitering in their neighborhood.
In response to the public concerns, The Olson Co. has revised the project “to include a one-way, privately owned access from Newport Boulevard for vehicular, bike and pedestrian access,” according to planning documents.
Vehicles would use Ford Road to exit the site.