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December 16, 2009 > What can we do with the Horner/Veasy area?

What can we do with the Horner/Veasy area?

By Shavon Walker

Union City staff described to Council, on December 8, the measures taken to alleviate the conditions which led to a temporary moratorium ending the issuance and approval of entitlements for the Horner/Veasy area.

Two ordinances were passed on January 22, 2008 and on February 26, 2008. The first created a moratorium on entitlements in the area. The second extended the moratorium to 22 months and 15 days. The ordinances were passed to allow the city to evaluate infrastructure needs and market conditions to help identify appropriate uses for the area.

Economic and Community Development, Public Works, Planning Commission, the Redevelopment Agency Board, City Council and City Attorney's office evaluated many possible solutions to these problems. In addition, city staff reviewed and analyzed the infrastructure and market conditions in Horner/Veasy.

Wilsey Ham's infrastructure study and Keyser Marston Associates' marketing and economic analysis were used to create a General Plan Amendment. In April, City Council approved an amendment to the Land Use and Economic Development elements of the General Plan and a Zoning Text Amendment. This is meant to encourage light industrial, infill development and deal with outdoor use and storage in the light industrial zone. It also helps phase out inappropriate use in the light industrial zone, as well as in the redevelopment project area.

All the actions scheduled to take place during the moratorium have been completed, so City Council agreed to allow the moratorium to expire on January 10. 2010. A contract with a third-party consultant is being prepared; this would allow staff to start evaluating inappropriate use in the area. Staff will also be requesting input and suggestions from business and property owners who may be affected by the evaluation. Final decisions will be made by the Economic and Community Development Director; any decisions made can be appealed to the City Council.

The moratorium's expiration will have no fiscal impact, but the reports prepared by a qualified third-party consultant will cost $20,000. Funding has been budgeted through the Redevelopment Agency for fiscal year 2009-10.

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