Thursday, April 05, 2007

Unanimous Backing For Project

Unanimous Backing For Project
By Jennifer Gentile/Staff Writer

The Vacaville Planning Commission gave unanimous backing to a mixed-use building project and to a time extension for the Knoll Creek development in action on Tuesday night.

The mixed-use project is a planned 7,020 square-foot building at 445 Merchant St. This would include about 1,490 square feet of ground floor retail space, 3,330 square feet of second- and third-floor office space and two 1,100-square-foot third floor residential units, each with two bedrooms and two baths

Addressing the commission, applicant Rich Lamphere said, "We've been working on numerous designs, and we feel this is our best design so far." He added that the proposal "enhances the gateway to downtown."

Commissioner Ella Marie Kallios agreed and said, "I like the design. It seems to be very complimentary to the downtown area."

The commission followed city staff's recommendation and approved both a design review and planned development application for the project. Commissioner Joe Niccoli said his only concern was the possibility of a restaurant moving into the retail space and the parking problems that would create.

At his request, a condition of approval was added, prohibiting a sit-down type restaurant from moving into the building. City Planner Eric Luchini said Lamphere had talked about bringing in a coffee retailer and an ice-cream or frozen yogurt retailer.

After the panel's vote, board chair Dan Broadwater congratulated Lamphere on the approval, adding, "It's a nice-looking project."

The project still must go through the building plan check phase, Luchini said, so the earliest construction would start is probably at the end of summer.

The commission unanimously approved a time extension for approvals related to the planned Knoll Creek development. The tentative map for the project features 38 lots on a 22.66-acre parcel on the south side of McMurtry Lane to the west of Browns Valley Road.

With the time extensions granted, the approvals are in place for another two years.

Jennifer Gentile can be reached at

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