Discussion of land use and potential future development dominated the Galt Planning Commission’s Sept. 9 regular meeting, which also saw the body recommend removing easements on the land for an upcoming infill project.
A mixed commercial and residential development may soon be proposed for the northwest corner of Carillion Boulevard and Walnut Avenue, Community Development Director Craig Hoffman told the commissioners. The director explained that no application has yet been submitted.
As envisioned, the development would consist of three to four acres of commercial space, accompanied by townhouse-style rental units.
Assistant Planner Stacy Schafer emphasized that the triplex and fourplex units would likely be offered at market rate.
The developer, Fairfield Residential, will hold an open house to gather community input in the meeting room at Raley’s on Twin Cities Road. The meeting will run 6-9 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 22.
Once the application is officially submitted, which staff estimated could happen in the next month or two, Hoffman said the city would probably hold a public workshop before the commission makes a final decision.
“This isn’t something that just happens overnight by any means, and I think you’ve got a proposed developer that understands,” Hoffman said. “They want to make this very public. They want to get comments back from the community.”
Chair Keith Jones and Commissioner Dan Gerling requested information about the developer’s previous projects.
Questions about local control and land use came up later in the meeting as Gerling brought up California’s Senate Bill 9, which the Legislature recently passed.
If Gov. Gavin Newsom signs SB 9 into law, it would block discretionary review of certain lot splits and two-unit projects. Under the law, a single-family lot could be split in two, and each of the two new lots could be developed with two residential units, resulting in four units on a formerly single-unit site.
Hoffman noted the concerns that City Council members have expressed about state laws that they view as undermining local control of land use.
“That’s very disconcerting, that they (state leaders) would have that much control over what you put in for your planning and everything else,” Gerling said.
Commissioner Jeff Hood voiced concern about the number of self-storage facilities cropping up in town, saying he didn’t “like to see Galt being the storage grounds for Lodi and Elk Grove.”
Jones said that any restrictions on storage businesses should be accompanied by consideration for Galt residents who own boats or RVs, which Hood agreed with.
Hoffman offered to talk about the “highest and best use for property” in Galt at the commission’s October meeting.
In addition, the commission unanimously supported the removal of two drainage easements from the Caterina Estates property on the southwest corner of Joy Drive and H Street.
Dating from 1970, the easements were put in place before any project was planned for the site, and Hoffman told the commission that they should be vacated to allow the development to proceed as intended.
Hoffman said the grading and improvement plans for the project should be issued in the coming weeks. Grading work on the property could begin in early October.