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Town Center FAQ

Updated: Jul 31, 2023


EAST GARRISON TOWN CENTER FAQ. Updated 2/17/23


East Garrison FAQ 2.17.2023 Final Phase Build Out
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Download the pdf file of the FAQ or see below to read the Century Community responses to the questions asked during the 10/4/22 Town Hall meeting. The meeting was held to help the community understand what modifications are being proposed as well as the reasoning, process and timeline. Watch the 10/4/22 meeting recording here. 12/7/22 Meeting recording is here.

Background

Century Communities is proposing modifications to the original East Garrison Plan (see file below)

EG Phase 3 plan Nov 22
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in order to expedite the creation of affordable and workforce housing and to address significant development challenges associated with completing the East Garrison Community.




FAQ


Overview: Century Communities is proposing modifications to the original East Garrison Plan in order to expedite the creation of affordable and workforce housing and to address significant development challenges associated with completing the East Garrison Community.

The following are responses and clarifications to many of the questions asked over the course of the 8 Town Hall, HOA and group meetings to help the community understand what and why modifications are being proposed, and what the current process and timeline is:

1. What is the total sq. ft. of commercial uses approved and required by Monterey County to be built in East Garrison?

Answer: 34,000 SF

2. Does the commercial requirement imposed by Monterey County in the DDA with Century include credit for the future Library/Sheriff Office (4,000 SF)?

Answer: Yes.


3. What is Century’s current proposed commercial breakdown:

Answer: 30,000 SF (commercial including outside courtyard)

4,000 SF (Library/Sheriff)

34,000 SF Total (100% of the total required commercial uses)

4. What is the proposed commercial configuration?

Answer: 30,000 SF of the allowed commercial uses per the East Garrison Specific Plan will be located on the ground floor of the proposed Artspace Mixed Use Building facing the Town Center Park. There will be 66 live/work affordable rental units located above the commercial uses.

5. Who will design, construct, own, lease and manage the Mixed-Use Building?

Answer: Artspace will take the lead in designing and constructing the mixed-use building and will be the primary owner. A professional property management company will manage the building. Century will be involved in the design and construction and will retain ownership the ground floor commercial which may be sold at a later date.


6. What's the setback from current Town Center to Sherman Ave?

Answer: Approximately 18 feet, but detail drawings have not been completed at this time.


7. What types of commercial uses are permitted, who will manage the tenants, and can residents provide input on desired uses?

Answer: The Town Center permitted commercial uses are identified in the East Garrison Specific Plan Section 3.5.2. During the design and construction of the mixed-use building, a professional marketing and leasing plan, including unit sizes and lease rents/terms, will be prepared. Residents can provide input as to desired uses, but there is no certainty that any particular use or tenant can be secured.

8. Are the commercial uses intended for the general public or just East Garrison residents?

Answer: The commercial uses will be designed and made available for East Garrison residents and the general public in order to provide a broad customer base for long term economic sustainability. A commercial market study has been prepared and will be made available for public review when the modification submittal documents have been reviewed by the County.


9. East Garrison was sold as a Master planned community, where is the planning for restrooms? Playgrounds, parking in your new revised plans? The number of units will be about the same, but will the total population of the community be increased beyond the advertised population?

Answer: The proposed revised plans are within the framework and zoning of the approved Master Plan for East Garrison and will include the completion of the Town Center Park. The revised plans now include public restrooms in the Artspace Mixed use Building. A parking study is underway and will be provided with the formal planning applications to the County of Monterey.


10. Why is Century and Artspace proposing this Mixed-Use building in the Town Center?

Answer: The Artspace Affordable Housing project as currently planned (two separate very low and low income 3-floors of residential buildings over parking totalling 66 rental units of live/work style studios) located adjacent to the Arts Park, is significantly challenged and may never be built as currently conceived. Key constraints include its location, difficulty obtaining affordable housing tax credit financing; Significant costs to construct two separate buildings with tuck under parking; Potential for neighborhood parking conflicts and other inherent physical site constraints.


Century Community and Artspace’s proposal to relocate the Artspace project to the Town Center will provide several benefits:

  • The construction of one 3-4 story 45’-55’ in height mixed-use building (instead of two in the current location) will reduce costs and potentially expedite construction.

  • Combining commercial uses on the ground floor and 66 units of affordable residential rental units on the upper floors will increase the commercial uses viability and help to create the original East Garrison Town Center vision.

  • The opportunity to co-locate artist studios and commercial uses adjacent to the central park will provide for a more activated and vibrant town center.

  • An outdoor commercial courtyard is envisioned that will be buffered by the building from prevailing winds. This area will be included in the rentable commercial space.

  • The Town Center location is a superior site for Affordable Housing Tax Credit Financing, which Artspace needs to fund their project.

  • A large surface parking lot, adjacent street parking and the parking lot at the Chapel, including excess parking on Ord Ave., will provide parking for the residents and commercial visitors.

  • Trash receptacle locations, service/delivery truck access will be considered during design of the parking lot and building.

  • Bicycle racks will be included in the design.

  • The Artspace building will be professionally managed and operated.

  • Mixed Use buildings are permitted in the East Garrison Town Center Zoning.


11. What is an example of a completed Artist Residence that can be viewed online?

Answer: Artspace is the leading US based developer for the arts with many properties owned and managed nationwide including The Tannery in Santa Cruz, CA: https://www.artspace.org/our-places.


12. There is much talk about artists. Have you received much interest and where are they coming from? Is Artspace getting more square feet with these proposed changes?

Answer: The clearest indication regarding demand for the proposed Phase 3 Affordable Artspace Housing Project can be gleaned from Artspace's 100-unit Tannery Artist Lofts project in Santa Cruz, CA. At Tannery the wait list for dwelling units is over 100 households in length and, given the length of this list, the list was closed for many years. In Summer 2022, the wait list was opened and over 80 households have applied for housing in the past four months. For East Garrison, Arts Habitat have an interest list with hundreds of names and they receive approximately 3 queries per week. Artspace is getting the same or more space as previously proposed.


13. How long will construction of the mixed-use building take and can the ground floor commercial uses be open up prior to the residential uses?

Answer: Once the funding is in place and building permits are approved, it will take between 12-18 months to construct the mixed-use building. Opening the commercial uses prior to residential occupancy will not be feasible.


14. Will there be a new HOA for the live work lofts like there is for the Liberty Townhomes?

Answer: Artspace will establish an HOA for the mixed-use building. Artspace will not be a participant in the East Garrison HOA.


15. Is there a requirement for artist commercial space and what are the uses proposed?

Answer: No.


16. What happened to the previous designs for the Town Center presented in 2019?

Answer: The previously proposed single-story and single purpose commercial buildings on both sides of the Town Center Park are no longer feasible due to increased costs, long-term ownership/management and retail economic sustainability.


17. Will you try to get retailers committed for the town center before building?

Answer: Yes, Century has been trying to find interested retailers since they took ownership but have not had any luck to date.


18. Our community is housing essential workers, our town center must provide jobs for some of those essential workers who cannot afford a car. Toward that end, we should continually seek ways to expand, not shrink, commercial opportunities.

Answer: The proposed Final Phase Plan does not shrink the approved/required amount of commercial uses and/or opportunities.


19. We can’t be a great community if we are financially insolvent. Commercial areas help maximize tax revenues. Will this commercial area be big enough to ensure that East Garrison will be financially solvent?

Answer: The East Garrison commercial uses do not impact whether the community is financially solvent.


20. Have you considered an anchor grocery store?

Answer: The commercial areas proposed are sized and flexible enough to accommodate a neighborhood market.


21. If the shop is reliant on resident patronage, will we have a say in who gets selected?

Answer: The Specific Plan Zoning and County will determine what types of uses are permitted to be in the Town Center. The market will then determine the ultimate tenant mix of uses.


22. Is a grocery store a part of this plan? Don't we need 20,000 square foot of space for just a small store (not convenience store)?

Answer: See question/answer #20 above.


23. Are the retailers going to be charged $30,000 for the spaces upfront to get a space? That was the problem with the prior plans, the purposed costs for a Mom/Pop business.

Answer: The 30,000 sq. ft. of commercial space will be available to users at market rents determined at the time of lease signing.


24. Is Century is building a cold shell for retail?

Answer: Yes, a cold shell will allow for maximum flexibility for end users.


25. East Garrison will be here for decades, long after we are all gone. How much flexibility is built into the commercial area so that one commercial use could end, and another commercial use could take its place? Both for the commercial and the artist commercial and the living spaces above the commercial areas.

Answer: The commercial areas within the mixed-use building will be designed as a shell to allow for as much flexibility for the initial tenants and in the future.


If shoppers from outside East Garrison are needed to support commercial space does the plan account for putting signage on Reservation Road and doing any promotion to neighbors in Marina and CSUMB?

Answer: Yes, signage will be required and be determined by future tenant’s needs.


26. Will research/outreach be done to potential lease holders of retail space to assess interest? Is signage/promotion plans being described to them?

Answer: Yes, this is being done now and will be updated as approved plans become available.



27. There are many people in East Garrison who might be willing to open a business in their neighborhood. How will these opportunities be advertised?

Answer: Please have them contact Century Communities


28. Does the retail study already done draw conclusions on how many sq. ft. can be supported by East Garrison residents only?

Answer: The recently prepared Retail study estimates a maximum of 12,000 SF of commercial/retail can be supported in the East Garrison area of Monterey County, including existing and future residents. However, due to market challenges and local commercial/retail oversupply, the study recommends a target of 5,000 SF in the Town Center to ensure long term viability. Century is proposing/required to construct 30,000 SF of commercial plus the County Library/Sheriff office on 4,000 SF. It has been suggested by the community that the Library could rent some space in the Commercial Mixed-Use building until there is sufficient funding from Tax Increment to construct the permanent Library building.


29. Is lease income from the commercial space shared with the HOA?

Answer: No.


30. With not using all the original retail space is it possible to use some of that land for a East Garrison private storage yard and facility?

Answer: The commercial amount being proposed is the same amount that is required. Any unused areas within East Garrison would be County owned property.


31. I understood that the county was going to convert the building next to the Bluff Courts Park into a restroom. Could Melanie comment on the ETA for this? That may affect the need for a restroom to be added to Town Center plans.

Answer: To our knowledge the East Garrison Community Service District currently has no plans to add a restroom at or near the Bluff Courts Park area.


32. We really need a public restroom in this phase! Will you please make that a priority to add one?

Answer: A public restroom has been added to the Mixed-Use Building that will serve the Town Center and Park.


33. What is the status of the Library?

Answer: Per the Monterey County Free Libraries, they have been evaluating the community’s desire and need for the planned 4,000 SF Library (with Sheriff field office) in its current County owned location (northwest corner of East Garrison Dr. and Sherman Blvd. The County has indicated that they plan to include the Library and Sheriff field office in their Capital Improvement Program Five-Year Plan for 2023/24 through 2027/28 and commence design in 2024. Tax increment funding is forecast to be available for construction to commence in 2027. Century will fulfill its obligation towards the Library as required in the DDA.

As noted in #28 above: It has been suggested by the community that the Library could rent space in the Commercial Mixed-Use building until there is sufficient funding from Tax Increment to construct the permanent Library building.


34. What other modifications are being proposed regarding residential uses?

Answer: Century Communities is proposing to rezone the High Density and Live/Work parcels to Medium Density Residential allowing for small lot detached single-family homes and townhouse/rowhouse style units. Townhomes/Rowhouses are already permitted in the current East Garrison Town Center Zoning.

The High Density 4-Story Condominium project (120+ for sale units) is not desirable from a market perspective and is infeasible to construct due to skyrocketing construction costs combined with a lack of desirability. In addition, the market rate live/work units are not feasible to construct as approved due to higher construction costs, lower projected sales prices and market research indicating limited demand.


Benefits include:

  • Single family homes are more compatible to the existing and adjacent homes.

  • Home construction on these parcels can proceed once the entitlements have been approved.

  • 70 Workforce II and 33 Moderate Income homes will be constructed.

  • Initiating construction of these homes are necessary to start the Commercial uses and Town Center Park.

  • The final phase homes will generate additional tax increment to help fund the other County facilities including the Library and Historic Building Reuse.


35. What is the proposed breakdown and number of remaining residential housing units to be built based on income levels and how are people qualified?

Answer: 252 Total “For Sale” Units to be constructed by Century Communities

  • 33 Moderate Income (for sale)

  • 70 Workforce II’s (for sale)

  • 49 Market Rate (for sale)

66 Total “Rental” Units to be constructed by Artspace (Affordable to low and very low income)

318 Total Proposed Units


Note: As currently proposed the total buildout at East Garrison will result in 1,377 homes which is 23 fewer homes than the 1,400 permitted by East Garrison Specific Plan and DDA. We anticipate the overall population will also be less.




36. What is happening with The Chapel?

Answer: The Chapel is being actively marketed to groups interested in purchasing and adaptively re-using it as a chapel or other uses permitted in the East Garrison Town Center zoning. There are at least two proposals currently being reviewed by Century.


37. Under the proposed plan, the Chapel is blocked from view on East Garrison as we enter the community and on Sherman. Surprised Century and Art Space agree with blocking view of the historic crown jewel “beacon” of the community that welcomes us home. Why this plan?

Answer: Per the approved East Garrison Specific Plan, a 3-story building was proposed in this location. We have tried to accommodate a sightline allowance for the Chapel in the proposed plan.



38. Why is Century focused on the chapel as a church? It can then only serve the members of that church or sect. Why not a mixed-use community center which could serve the entire community?

Answer: In the specific plan, the Chapel is mentioned as a Chapel, however, Century is open to other uses provided there is a buyer for that use.


39. Understood the chapel was part of the art development. what changed and with a church in place parking will be overtaxed.

Answer: The Chapel has its own parking lot that would only accommodate overflow from the Town Center parking on event days and days which the Chapel is not in use.



40. What is the status of the Historic Arts District?

Answer from the County: The DDA requires the remaining 23 historic buildings be redeveloped to establish a Historic Arts District at East Garrison. Artspace and Arts Habitat are the non-profit partners identified by the DDA to restore the historic buildings and serve as owner-operator for 20 of the buildings and may serve as operator for the remaining 3 County-retained historic buildings. At this time County anticipates pre-development activities for the Historic Arts District could begin once the Artspace Affordable Rental Apartments construction is underway. Century Communities will fulfill its obligation towards the Historic Arts District as required in the DDA.


41. What about Town Center parking?

Answer: The proposed plan modifications will be required to meet the East Garrison Specific Plan parking requirements and the final phase planning approvals. A parking study is underway and will be included as part of the County planning review process. The parking will be designed to accommodate the ultimate mix of uses. The overflow/oversize parking along Ord Ave will remain.



42. Parking is a huge issue in EG, and this Phase 4 plan further complicates this with the 'concentrated' building plan. I saw that the arts apartments get one space. Where do their 2nd and 3rd vehicles go?

Answer: The Artspace rental units are moderate in size and bedroom count. It is not anticipated to generate renters with 2 and 3+ cars.


43. How many parking spaces per sq. ft of retail space are needed? Do we need to build a parking lot or are the 300+ existing nea


rby parking spaces sufficient?

Answer: The proposed plan modifications will be required to meet the East Garrison Specific Plan parking requirements and final phase planning approvals. A parking study is underway and will be included as part of the County planning review process. The parking will be designed to accommodate the ultimate mix of uses. The overflow/oversize parking along Ord Ave will remain.


44. Parking at Town Center looks tight, how many spaces will artists use? What about delivery trucks.

Answer: Parking and circulation for vehicle


s including trucks will meet the requirements of the Final Phase planning approvals. The proposed plan modifications will be required to meet the East Garrison Specific Plan parking requirements and a parking study is being prepared to be included as part of the County planning review. The parking will be designed to accommodate the ultimate mix of uses. The overflow/oversize parking along Ord Ave will remain.


45. In 2017 it was in our CCR that there would be an oversize parking lot in phase 3 to accommodate larger size parking options such as trucks, trailers and RV. What is the status of that?

Answer: Please refer to section 4.11 of the East Garrison CC&R’s:


46. Where is the parking for the commercial with the combined apartments above?

Answer: There is a shared parking lot located in the rear of the building. Overflow parking will be located at the Chapel and on the surrounding streets as indicated on the plans.


47. Has there been any discussion with the


county about adding access points or parking for all of the recreational users of the open space opposite Watkins Gate Road? Answer from County: The County is contemplating establishing a parking lot and restroom at the “Travel Camp” area located at the corner of Watkins Gate Road and West Camp Street. There currently is no funding for this, but it may be pursued in the upcoming budget planning process for Fiscal Year 2023-24.


48. For the Art Space parking lot, is one point of ingress and egress sufficient enough to prevent a bottle neck when driving in and out?

Answer: The plans have been revised to include two points of access for better circulation.


49. East Garrison is not a regional shopping center; most customers will be East Garrison residents who walk or bicycle to shopping. Toward that end, we are seeking a town center that is "neighborhood-scale commercial development, that primarily serves the East Garrison community." Can we get some parking grace as our commercial center is neighborhood not regional? Answer: This will be discussed with the County.


50. What is the status of the Town Center Park?

Answer: The Town Center Park plans have been approved. Construction is on hold until further residential homes begin construction. Once completed, the park will be owned and managed by the CSD. Park elements include:

  • Amphitheater

  • Native Gardens, Open Green Spaces, Heritage Tree

  • Central hardscape plaza

  • Picnic areas

  • Tables and Seating

  • Bathrooms were not included in the approved plan and would add to CSD maintenance costs.

51. What are the plans for the open area on the corner of solar and west camp road? Is a park going there?

Answer: To our knowledge the County does not have a park planned at this location. The area is owned by the County.


52. Is there going to be an easement for pedestrians to cut through from Sloat/Ord ave through the new neighborhood to town cent


er? This was mentioned on the pedestrian systems plan 4.2 in the general specific plan.

Answer: All East Garrison streets and sidewalks are or will be HOA owned therefore no easements are needed to access the town center area from any neighborhood.


53. Are wind blocks included in design for the park across from the Town Center?

Answer: No specific wind blocks are planned other than trees and adjacent buildings to the park which may help.


54. Why is there a delay in building the Town Center park? Since the plans are already approved and completed? Benchmark had planted and completed many of the parks in EG prior to final building. Plus, it takes time for trees to grow - at the very least the trees can be planted.

Answer: The Town Center Park will be the staging area for the construction of the Town Center mixed use building.



55. East Garrison has many pocket parks especially near high density, where are the parks in new high-density housing?

Answer: The Final Phase follows the park requirements in the Specific Plan and DDA with the County.


56. Why will the Rowhouse area not have a playground, park? Where are the kids going to go?

Answer: There are many existing parks and playgrounds, including the Bluff Court Parks and future Town Center Park within East Garrison that are easily accessible to the Rowhouse neighborhood. The Final Phase adheres to the park requirements for the amount of homes approved in the Specific Plan and DDA with the County.


57. If we’re basing our timeline largely on tax credits, how will we ever be able to create a solid timeline?

Answer: The Mixed Use Artspace building is dependent on Affordable Housing Tax Credit funding. The Library and other uses such as the historic building rehabilitation is dependent on County Tax Increment Funding. Timing is difficult to predict, but both are within reach. The sooner the Final Phase Plans and Mixed-Use Building are approved, the goal is June 2023, the sooner construction can begin.


58. You mentioned that there will be several opportunities for community input as the plan progresses over the next couple years. How will community input be collected / solicited? Can residents vote on the new proposed plans?

Answer: Resident input has and will continue to be gathered via town hall meetings, individual neighborhood and committee mtgs, HOA mtgs as well as through the County of Monterey Public Hearing process.


59. Who should prospective commercial space enants contact?

Answer: Dean Mills, Century Communities: Dean.Mills@centurycommunities.com


60. Historic Buildings - I am curious about the plans for where the old theater building was removed on the corner of Sloat and Sherman. The specific plan stated that a building of similar size must be rebuilt if the theater was torn down.

Answer from the County: The East Garrison Specific Plan states that the Theater space could be rehabilitated if economically feasible or replaced with a new building of similar size. The County has not commenced the process for determining the design and form of a future building that may occupy the Theater site. County's Housing and Community Development Department in collaboration with Artspace (the identified non-profit partner for the Historic Arts District), plans to meet with the East Garrison community in early 2023 to discuss the vision, timing, and options for the Historic Arts District, including the Theater Building site.


65. May we please have a comment on the types of chemicals (and levels of) we’re exposed to when the wind picks up, with these old buildings not have been restored? Lead, asbestos, etc. has this been tested?

Answer from the County: Certified environmental hygienist conducted inspections for hazardous materials primarily asbestos-containing materials (ACM) and lead-containing paint (LCP) for numerous buildings with the understanding that the structures are to be mothballed. Inspectors determined some of the buildings had detectable concentrations of ACM while some did not. All buildings inspected had detectable concentrations of LCP. Certified professionals have noted that there is little to no risk to surrounding properties given the buildings’ current condition and location. Most of the ACM is within the interior of the buildings and the exterior LCP is generally in good condition. If ACM or LCP particles were to be released during a high wind event they would likely be diluted below a detectable (harmful) level. County staff can provide further detail of the inspections and the expert assessment if required.


66. When we bought, we were told that the building would either be restored or safely removed and would not be an issue. However, it sounds like they will be a concern for years to come. If this has not been tested, it needs to be - who would oversee that? I assume county since it’s their responsibility to remove or restore. Thank you.

Answer from the County: The historic buildings are currently owned by the County, through the

Successor Agency. Under the Agreement governing the rehabilitation and future use of the historic buildings, the developer (now Century Communities) is responsible to fund and Artspace is responsible to implement mothballing of the historic buildings. The County worked with the developer and Artspace in 2007 to ensure the buildings were stabilized and posed no risks while mothballed. Until such time that the buildings transfer ownership, the County, through the Successor Agency, is responsible for securing the buildings and ensuring that the mothballing complies with all performance and regulatory requirements. In 2021, the County conducted an assessment of the buildings and is working with the developer and Artspace to update portions of the mothballing, as needed. Please also see response to Question No. 65.


67. ArtSpace will own the historic buildings? What are they paying the county for them?

Answer from the County: Answer: The purchase price of the historic buildings and properties has not been determined and is subject to confidential negotiations between the County and Artspace.


68. Why did it take so long to realize that mothballing is needed, it is also an obligation that seems to have fallen in a crack? Buildings are falling apart.

Answer from the County: Please see response to Question No. 66


69. Is there a plan on the historic buildings to prevent further deterioration until construction begins in what could be another 10 years?

Answer from the County: Please see response to Question No. 66


70. And please clarify the sheriff substation plans. Most residents don't realize it will be a field office to potentially file small crimes or ask for resources. Not a manned station with armed law enforcement.

Answer from the County: The East Garrison Specific Plan (July 2004) provides for a sheriff's community field office to be built within the East Garrison community "for deputies to work on reports and have an address in the community. The field office, if needed, will be located in a library…" While other agreements or documents related to the development may refer to a "substation" or other such terms, it is the description of the community field office in the Specific Plan that most accurately represents the vision for that field office.


71. I was told by Sheriff Moses that the office would be staffed by volunteers (no sworn officers.

Answer from the County: The Sheriff's Office may utilize volunteers at the field office, but not on a scheduled manner or set hours.


72. I had heard on a previous call that the Sheriff has said they will not occupy a substation. If that is accurate, why would it get built?

Answer from the County: The Sheriff's Office sets up community service, or field, offices to allow a place for meeting with the community and give the deputies a location to work out of. The Sheriff's Office has staffed them in the past with civilian staff. The Sheriff's Office does not have the staffing at this time.


73. How might the county plan for maintaining the art and library spaces? We have plenty of dumping and unsafe usage. We have to call and call and call to get a response. What is the plan for this so that we don't end up with a larger problem?

Answer from the County: Presently, the future library site and historic buildings and parcels are owned by the County, through the Successor Agency. If residents note trash dumped illegally on the site, they can report this to the County on 831-755-4505 (www.KeepMontereyCountyClean.Org). Residents can also contact Damian Bye of the Successor Agency on 831 755 5141. The County makes every effort to respond in a timely manner to requests for service.


Once built, the library will be a County-owned facility, operated and maintained by the Monterey County Free Libraries similar to other small branches used throughout the County. Similarly, as the historic buildings are renovated and put into use, those buildings and properties are planned to be operated and maintained by the non-profit partners Artspace and Arts Habitat. As the planning phases for these projects get started, the community will have opportunity to communicate its concerns and desires with respect to site maintenance.


74. With Monterey already having a hard time funding staff at the Marina Library and it being so close, why are they pushing to build another one here?

Answer from the County: The Monterey County Free Libraries (MCFL) is fully funding all currently budgeted positions. There is no current position or staffing established or funded for the East Garrison branch. As planning moves forward for the East Garrison branch, MCFL will determine the level of staffing and additional positions required to open East Garrison and develop a method to fund them from current operational budget.


75. The county library has said that they won't have funding to hire staff for the library. If that's true, can the library be removed from the plan? Answer from the County: The preliminary planning the Monterey County Free Libraries is undertaking is assuming the hours and staffing of a small branch model, used throughout the County (Pajaro, Aromas, Big Sur, San Lucas, San Ardo, Parkfield). While there is currently no funding available, as planning develops for the East Garrison branch, a plan to fund ongoing staffing from the current operational budget will be developed.


76. How and who ensures that Century Communities’ plan for buildout of East Garrison stays consistent with the adopted East Garrison Specific Plan (EGSP)?

Answer from the County: The County's Housing and Community Development Department (HCD) through its permitting for the development ensures that the development is consistent with the East Garrison Specific Plan.


77. If Century’s plans deviate from the (East Garrison) Specific Plan, what is the process for review and approval of any deviations, and how will residents be informed of any proposed deviations before they are approved?

Answer from the County: The developer has indicated that it intends to make an application to the County to modify certain elements of the remaining development and has conducted community outreach as it develops these plans.

Once an application is made to the County, the County’s Housing and Community Development Department (HCD) will review the proposal for consistency with the East Garrison project approvals.


If the developer proposes changes to the Specific Plan, this may require a Specific Plan amendment. Under California law, HCD is required to assess whether the proposed changes are consistent with the Specific Plan and 2010 General Plan and provide an assessment as to whether these changes should be adopted. An adopted amendment to either plans would also be subject to a County review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). HCD is required to prepare a document that provides an assessment of whether the adopted amendment would be consistent with CEQA.


For both these review processes HCD is obliged to provide the public, as well as affected communities, businesses and or other government agencies opportunities to participate in public hearings and or other avenues to present their views. The proposed amendment and the CEQA document would be publicly considered by Supervisors firstly through the Planning Commission and then a Board of Supervisors meeting. The agendas for these meetings are made public in advance, the meetings are open to the public either in person or via Zoom.


78. What is the timeline and next steps to make these proposed modifications?

Answer: The proposed modifications by Century must follow the required planning and public approval processes established by County of Monterey and the East Garrison Specific Plan. Century does not control the process or timeline.


Century is currently working with County Planning Staff to determine the re-entitlement steps and schedule and will update the East Garrison residents as these become clearer. There will be on-going community communication and opportunities to provide input prior to and during the formal public review process managed by the County.


The following is intended to establish general timeline expectations and key milestones if all goes as planned:


Fall 2022

  • September 12, 2022 - HOA Board Presentation (Zoom)

  • October 4, 2022 - Town Hall Presentation (Zoom)

  • October 19, 2022 - East Garrison Community Services District Presentation (Zoom)

  • October 25, 2022 - In person resident discussion/input regarding the overall Proposal (held at at EG Fire Station)

  • November 3, 2022 – In person Resident Discussion/Input about Commercial Town Center which included presentations by a local commercial broker with 30 years’ experience and Willdan Commercial Experts (held at EG Fire Station Community Room)

  • November 17, 2022 - In person resident Discussion/Input regarding Artspace/Arts Habitat mixed use building which included representatives from Artspace and Arts Habitat (held East Garrison Fire Community Room)

  • December 7, 2022 - Town Hall (Zoom) to update entire community to describe the updated proposal based on community input and answer questions

Winter 2023

  • January 21, 2023 – Informational Open House 1:


00pm to 4:00pm – EG Fire Station Community Room

  • January 24, 2023 – County Board of Supervisors Meeting (East Garrison Informational Item on Agenda)

  • Prepare Proposed Modification Submittal Documents

  • Prepare Necessary Supporting Studies (Water, Traffic, Parking, Infrastructure, etc.)

  • Prepare Amendments to Agreements (DDA Implementation, Specific Plan, Pattern Book, etc.)

  • Community Communication

Spring/Summer 2023

  • County Staff Reviews Submittal

  • Public Review Process

  • Public Meetings: County Sub-Committees, Planning Commission, Board of Supervisors

  • Artspace Agreement to Acquire Town Center site and applies for Affordable Housing Tax Credits

  • Community Communication

Summer/Fall 2023

  • Finalize Tentative Maps, Infrastructure and Implementation Agreements

  • Apply for Building Permits

  • Community Communication

Spring/Summer 2024 and beyond

  • Construction of Artspace mixed use commercial commences (dependent on affordable housing tax credits)

  • Town center park construction commences

  • Build out of remaining housing will depend on housing market and financing

  • Community Communication


79. Does Monterey Fire have a fire truck that will reach residents in a 4 story, 50-foot building? What is the height limit for other areas served by our fire district?

Answer from the County: The Monterey County Regional Fire Protection District (MCRFPD or the District) services the East Garrison Community with the station and staff at the East Garrison Fire Station. The apparatus that is currently housed at the East Garrison Fire Station is not equipped with an aerial ladder truck. All new construction including the proposed town center commercial and residential occupancies will be built to the most current fire safety standards to include National Fire Protection Association compliant fire suppressions systems and fire alarm systems.

MCRFPD has auto and mutual aid agreements in place that will include a response of an aerial ladder truck company on this project address. This is consistent with other similar existing multi-story structures within the East Garrison and other areas of the District.

80. What is the standard for exits/entrances to accommodate emergency vehicles in housing of the density Century is proposing?

Answer from the County: The District reviews and conditions all development applications for compliance with the current California Fire codes to include access and egress. Additionally, the District was very engaged with the approval of the EGSPlan which defines the parameters for street segments and dimensions.



81. The Board of Supervisors approved Century's "concept" to change the build-out of East Garrison final phase, with an admonishment that Century Communities should include "public input" but no guidelines on what that looks like.

Does a change to the Specific Plan have to come to the Planning Commission? What should public input look like?

Answer from the County: Under Planning & Zoning Law Section 65453, “A specific plan shall be prepared, adopted, and amended in the same manner as a general plan, except that a specific plan amendment may be adopted by resolution or by ordinance and may be amended as often as deemed necessary by the legislative body”.

Like the General Plan, the Planning Commission (PC) (MCC 2.48.060) has the function and duty to prepare/adopt a General Plan. Amendments to the East Garrison Specific Plan will need to be adopted by the PC. There will be opportunities for public input through the PC.


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Century may be the Developer, but theirs is NOT the only Town Center plan... Visit https://www.mjolda.com/egtowncenterplanb to learn more, be a part of the process, and communicate with our Monterey County Board of Supervisors.



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Jonathan Crow
Jonathan Crow
Oct 20, 2022

In the HOA meeting today they are saying that the retail space (28,500 sf) will be Artist space and Commercial use. On this FAQ it says that 28,500 sf is for commercial use - not combined. So which is it?

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Century has repeatedly told us "We don't do commercial." Responses to questions 1, 3, and 29 put them within 5,000 square feet of achieving that end. For perspective, at 5,000 square feet our entire "Town Center" commercial space would be 1/3 the size of an average Trader Joe's store.


Under what authority and were public hearings held on the granting of credits against the 34,000 square feet East Garrison homeowners were promised for the "Future Town Center?"

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These seem like questions highly controlled by the builder and NOT actual questions asked by the residents on the zoom... like why the current town center was not being built concurrent with phase 3, as they were required to deliver 20k soft completed by the time the 200th lot was sold. Lucky for them they only built and sold 194 lots. Now they want to build another several hundred lots before even beginning any town center?? Also they did not answer any questions per the completion bonds for 34k soft town center construction that should have been issued before they sold lot 1 of phase 3. Conveniently their new design is now pending art space funds. What happened to the…

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I notice the “community room” is listed as 1500 sq feet of community space. How are we able to access and utilize this room? There has been no way for the community to utilize this space. If it is to be included in the community center then let’s ensure there is access for all members of our community.

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