Rezoning possible for Mesa Verde area

COSTA MESA — The City Council is expected next month to rezone a 21-acre plot of land adjacent to the Mesa Verde Shopping Center for senior housing and commercial development.

Preliminary approval was granted Tuesday with a second and final reading planned for Jan. 4.

Final approval would initiate one of the city's first major housing projects of 2011. Part of the property was once home to the Kona Lanes bowling alley, as well as an ice rink and movie theater — each demolished in 2003.

The property on Adams Avenue near Harbor Boulevard is controlled by the C.J. Segerstrom & Sons, which owns South Coast Plaza.

Developers M.V. Partners would need to wait until early February — 30 days after the January council meeting — to start building a 224-unit senior housing complex, city officials said.

Plans for the project were approved earlier this year, pending a rezoning of the land.

The ordinance would rezone about 21 acres for planned commercial development and the apartment complex. The complex itself will take up about 7.5 acres.

M.V. Partners said its project will insert a thriving senior community amid the area's restaurants, supermarket and pharmacy.

The complex will have one two-story building and one four-story building, with each set back from the street enough to blend in with the surrounding landscape.

The plans submitted to the city show there will be 258 parking spaces, with 34 assigned to guest parking. More than 3 acres, or 43% of the grounds, will be landscaping that is made up by the common green area in the middle of the land to the tree-lined buffer zones adjacent to East Mesa Verde Drive and Harbor.

M.V. Partners said the remaining acres not committed to the complex will be developed commercially down the road. At Tuesday's council meeting, the developers didn't indicate they had any clear vision for the land, citing the businesses already within walking distance.

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