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Four proposed ordinances related to the SunRidge Place housing development passed a second hurdle at the Fremont City Council Meeting on Tuesday night.

The Council voted to hold the second reading of three proposed zoning changes and a proposed voluntary annexation petition within SunRidge Place, which is being developed by Don Peterson & Associates Real Estate Co.

The proposed SunRidge Place housing development encompasses a tract of land between Military Avenue, Jack Sutton Parkway, Luther Road and Johnson Road on the east side of Fremont.

The three zoning change requests include a change of 15.52 acres from R Rural to AR Auto Residential located in the north and west side of the development, from R Rural to AR Auto Residential on 5.08 acres in the northeast side of the development, and from R Rural to UR Urban Residential for 26.69 acres in the center and southeast portions of the development.

During the public hearing portion of the consideration of the first zoning change request, from R Rural to AR Auto Residential in the north and west side of the development, local resident Brad Yerger asked to Council to deny the request.

“I ask you to deny this AR zoning request, since the more appropriate zoning would be SR (Suburban Residential),” he said. “In making this request I’m speaking on behalf of approximately 300 area residents who are in favor of seeing Fremont grow and flourish, who support building affordable housing throughout the city. However, these residents have adamantly opposed this development from the start, not because they oppose affordable housing, but because they oppose the high density building proposed for this area.”

City Planning Director Jennifer Dam addressed the concerns about AR Auto Residential zoning and what kinds of housing the distinction would allow along the south side of Military Avenue in the northern portion of the proposed housing development.

“The AR will allow single-family, duplex, multi-family, but on the lots they are showing in the preliminary plat and final plat those lots aren’t platted for multi-family housing,” she said. “The UR to the south and adjacent to the solar field is what is being shown for multi-family housing, which provides a transition. Most of these lots in the final plat are 10,000-square-feet in the AR portion.”

Marlin Brabec of Don Peterson & Associates also addressed concerns about the potential for “zone creep”, citing the developments proposed final plat and covenants that he says ensure the housing on the north side of the development will be single-family residences.

“This has to do with the final plat and the covenants in which we have given to the city and those covenants specify that those will be single-family homes,” he said. “That is a deed restriction that travels with the land for over 20 years.”

Both zoning change requests, of 15.52 acres from R Rural to AR Auto Residential in the north and west side of the development, and from R Rural to AR Auto Residential for 5.08 acres in the northeast side of the development were held on second reading by 7-1 votes from the Council. Councilmember Matt Bechtel was the lone no vote in both cases.

The zoning change request from R Rural to UR Urban Residential for 26.69 acres in the center and southeast portions of the development was also met with some opposition from members of the public.

“SunRidge Place maybe good planning within its own boundaries, but you’re taking a high density multifamily low-income apartments, tiny houses on tiny lots and dropping it into the middle of a suburban neighborhood,” Local resident Alan Fanning said. “This development is not compatible with the neighborhood it’s being dropped into, it does not belong here and will create a myriad of problems to the area and the city.”

Councilmember Susan Jacobus addressed both Fanning’s and Yerger’s concerns, and why she chose to vote to approve the zoning changes.

“I can appreciate the concerns that Mr. Fanning and Mr. Yerger have brought to the table, and I think in the very beginning when we had opposition to Duke Estates we had similar comments,” she said. “That we were parceling out property and going to create tiny row housing, etc. But the market will bear what they are putting out there.

“We don’t own this land, it’s owned by a private development and I can feel the pain and can appreciate the concern of the small lots and some of the density issues that you have brought to the table. But I’m still going to support the housing.”

The zoning change request from R Rural to UR Urban Residential for 26.69 acres was held on second reading following a 7-1 vote from the Council. Bechtel voted no.

All three zoning ordinances, and voluntary annexation, must clear a third vote and reading to be passed. If that were to occur, they would be implemented 15 days after passage.

All four items will be on the City Council’s agenda during its next meeting set for June 26 at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at 400 E. Military Ave.

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