Proposed condo complex prompts discussion

Population density, parking and the intricacies of owners versus renters were all topics raised during a City Council discussion Tuesday night regarding a proposed condominium project in Costa Mesa.

The 22 live-work units along Industrial Way would be combined with a similar but larger condo complex on the site of Anchor Trailer Port, a mobile home park on Newport Boulevard slated for closure and conversion later this year. Newport Beach-based IntraCorp is the developer of both Westside projects, which would have about 60 similar units combined over about 3 total acres.

Peter Lauener, representing IntraCorp, said plans call for the project discussed Tuesday to be as dense as the adjacent Anchor development. He called it a well-planned community with units that could be perfect for lawyers, artists, accountants or graphic artists who conduct business at home and have occasional associates stop by — a "by-appointment" business, he said.

Within the multistory units will be "high-quality finishes," stainless steel appliances and stone countertops, Lauener said.

Councilwomen Sandy Genis and Wendy Leece, as well as some residents, expressed concern that the condos would be bought and then rented out.

Resident Martin Millard asked for a concession that the units be owner-occupied to avoid creating a "future slum" of apartments. Eleanor Egan, a former planning commissioner and longtime Westside resident, responded that such a concession isn't permissible.

She said she felt the project doesn't meet standards or the vision for the Westside and is likely to have families living there, not individuals.

The project next must still get Planning Commission approval and faces permitting and various design reviews, said Minoo Ashabi, a city senior planner.

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