Noise concern in home project

Costa Mesa Councilwoman Wendy Leece is asking other council members to review a housing and retail project recently approved by the Planning Commission.

Harper's Pointe, an affordable-housing complex for seniors, would be a 53-unit building atop a retail building on Baker Street near the 73 Freeway.

City staff have reported that it would be consistent with the city's Urban Plan, which encourages mixed-use housing that revitalizes the area.

But residents from the Knowleton Manor Homeowner Association have issues they would like the City Council to address.

A letter from Margaret Thibodeau to the city highlighted issues with the project and it is what led Leece to ask for a review.

The new complex at 845 Baker St., would be near the Shark Club. The nightclub's patrons, Thibodeau said, have been drunk in public, made noise and committed vandalism over the years.

A Daily Pilot editor who called the nightclub Friday evening could not reach a manager for comment.

Mel Lee, a city senior planner, said the loud noise would not be a concern to the senior residents who would occupy the complex because the builder will have to design it in a way that would blocks noise.

The three-story housing complex and one-story retail project would have 68 parking spaces, of which 45 would be reserved for residents and their guests, and the rest to customers visiting the retail center, according to the report.

Thibodeau wrote that the parking space would not be enough for seniors and their guests, creating more problems for an already traffic-heavy street.

Although there isn't a specific parking quota for senior housings, the applicant's offer is consistent with the industry standards, Lee said.

If the residents of the new complex will not have enough parking space, Thibodeau is asking that the city install a "flashing" sidewalk for seniors to safely get to the nearest public transportations stop across the street.

Leece said Thibodeau brings up valid points that would need to be addressed before the project is approved.

The City Council will take a look at the project during Tuesday's council meeting at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 77 Fair Drive in Costa Mesa.

The City Council has the option of approving or reversing the Planning Commission's recommendation.

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