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Village at Loomis approved 4-1

Construction could start this summer
By: Brody Fernandez Of Gold Country Media
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The Village at Loomis project was officially approved by a vote of 4-1 during Tuesday night's Loomis Town Council meeting at the Blue Goose Event Center.

Council took action on Tuesday night, solidifying the revised 251-home/mixed use development project.

Construction could start as soon as this summer but summer 2020 is more probable, according to Loomis Town Manager Sean Rabe.

The following basic breakdown of resolutions and ordinances approved Tuesday are as follows:

  • A resolution certifying the Village at Loomis environmental impact report to be complete, adequate and in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act  

  • Approve a resolution to amend the Town of Loomis’ General Plan land use diagram for the Village project site

  • Adopt an ordinance approving the rezoning of the cite to the planned development  

  • Approve a resolution approving the design guidelines for the Village project

  • A resolution approving the specific development plan for all three sections of the Village

  • A resolution approving the projects tentative map  

  • Adopt an ordinance authorizing Town Manager Rabe to execute the project agreement between the town of Loomis and the Village at Loomis, LLC and developer (Todd Lowell).

 

This vote comes nearly one month after hundreds of Loomis residents packed the H. Clarke Powers gymnasium Dec. 10 when council at that time voted 3 to 2 introducing several resolutions. Those resolutions approving zoning and project development plans were officially approved on Tuesday. More information can be found on that meeting from the front-page story, “The Village at Loomis to make downtown Loomis great again,” published Dec. 14.  

 

Loomis Town Manager

Town Manager Sean Rabe addressed two main concerns raised by the previous council meeting. The first concern was whether aligning Doc Barnes Drive with the project’s layout would interfere with the connection of King Road to I-80. The second concern was to review the noise mitigation measures to see if a soundwall redesign on the portion that faces the freeway would effectively eliminate noise concerns.

“With the King Road to I-80 concern, staff worked with the applicant (Lowell) to determine if the project’s existing layout would interfere with the connection. There’s an exhibit in the staff report that shows that it would not,” Rabe said. “The project does not interfere with the connection to I-80. The EIR does not indicate the need for an additional on-ramp.”

Rabe then addressed the sound wall concerns expressed by then Councilman Miguel Ucovich; who advocated for triple-paned windows for units adjacent to the freeway.

“The EIR noise consultant believes the town’s noise standard can be achieved with dual-pane windows,” Rabe said. “The mitigation measures that were talked about during the Dec. 10 meeting were mischaracterized. The windows can be opened for those homes if they choose.” Staff also recommended against implementing a sound wall and council took staff’s direction, according to Rabe..

Rabe addressed a letter sent out from an attorney (Bridgette Barnes) prior to the Dec. 10 meeting that raised questions on the lack of oversight for the process of evaluating the project.

“Staff believes the process that we used to review the project entitlements has been appropriate and fully compliant with applicable state law federal and state law with local ordinances,” Rabe said. “The town’s EIR consultant also concluded that all the issues they identified in the letter have been adequately addressed. The project’s attorney have also responded to that letter.”

 

Todd Lowell, developer for the Village at Loomis project  

Council gave the project’s developer, Rocklin resident Todd Lowell, one final opportunity to speak to council before the vote was made.

“We are grateful for your approval of the zoning and development agreement last month,” Lowell said. “This has been a long, complicated and public planning process and I thank Town Manager Sean Rabe for his leadership and his team’s work in analyzing and working on this project. I ask that you please approve the project tonight.”  

 

Council vote  

Council members Rhonda Morillas and Brian Baker had little to no comment as they cast their yes vote. Newly-seated Jan Clark-Crets voted no last April when she was on the Loomis Planning Commission, recommending denial of the project. Councilman Jeff Duncan remained firm in his stance against the project as Mayor Onderko promised Village at Loomis would not take away the small-town feel of Loomis.

Onderko voted yes

First of all I want to thank staff and Sean Rabe for his leadership. Loomis is strong, Loomis is going to stay strong and I think this project is going to make it stronger. I think this project respects the small-town character. Adding 1,100 people will not change that.”

Duncan voted no

“Initially, there were some issues with the project from the beginning and I believe there was a lot of work done by Todd Lowell. I’m not against a project at that  property; that’s what it’s zoned for. My big issue is and has always been the traffic impacts. These impacts I would like to see addressed more aggressively.”

Clark-Crets voted yes

“I was disheartened about the way in which some of our people communicated to each other during this process. Let’s communicate with each other civilly. My yes vote is a statement that while I disagree with how the project flushed out in the end and that I was extremely frustrated during the process, I’m committed to moving forward with the project with the idea that at least we have some control over the development as it is. This potential outcome would be detrimental to our town. I’m also committed to aggressively mitigating any negative effects without delay. I think that this is in the best interests of our town, our people and our future.”