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Council re-thinks E. Vista Way land use, negotiates for Melrose right-turn lane

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The City of Vista, it can be said from tonight's city council meeting, will negotiate with property owners.

Two examples of this came on items involving property at 1806 E. Vista Way, (Tasker's Automotive) and 210 S. Melrose Drive (Valero gas station).

On second thought

A presentation by John Conley, the Director of Community Development, recommended that current council members re-consider the zoning of the property upon which Tasker's sits. From Conley's report, which can be seen here at the CityofVista website, included this:

"Staff acknowledges that the change from commercial to multi-family residential that occurred in 2012 may not have been appropriate for this particular property based on the existing commercial improvements and the size of the lot. Based on these considerations, staff recommends that the General Plan land use designation and zoning be changed back to commercial use."

Originally the re-designation involved "a large area" on the west side of E. Vista Way (near Taylor). At the time of the General Plan update in February, 2012, according to Conley:

"Staff believed that a multi-family residential designation afforded a new opportunity that could lead to investment within this corridor and spur improvements in the area. However, after taking a closer look at the size of several of these properties and the improvements made to them following input by the property owners, it is clear that the former commercial designations are appropriate because these properties have viable commercial businesses established on them and it is unlikely that they would be redeveloped with multi-family units based on their small size and limited street frontage."

But new building projects are coming to Vista.

New Stuff

According to Mayor Judy Ritter, in her recent State of the City speech:

"Using a variety of capital financing sources, including sewer fees, Transnet funds, low interest state loans, and construction fees, a total of 51 projects were funded."

Ritter's speech mentioned the following plans:

• A 22-unit Avalon Vista Apartments on Breeze Hill, near the Courthouse, which are under construction.
• East Vista Way Detached Condos, which expects to break ground this summer with 73 units. (Formerly was "the Hallmark Communities before it sold to Shea Homes, which is processing the final map and grading.")
Vista Ridge Apartment Homes on W. Bobier Park and Sports Park Way.
• A 407-unit North Melrose Apartments project (on N. Melrose Drive and North Avenue).
Adobe Estates - 215 single family residential homes, (west of N. Santa Fe and Taylor Street)

Also:

Applied Membranes Corporate Headquarters: 156,000 sq. ft. industrial site for water treatment systems in the Vista Business Park. It is under construction.

Home Town Farm Nursery: a 70,000 sq. ft. covered nursery and retail store on E. Vista Way and Monte Mar Road.

In another item this evening, in order to alleviate congestion from vehicles turning onto Hacienda Drive and looking to enter the eastbound onramp of the 78 Freeway, the City of Vista needs an easement from the property at 210 N. Melrose for "additional street right of way."

Project No. 8242

It is the City's Capital Improvement Program (CIP), Project No. 8242, and the proposition requires "524 square feet at the northwest corner of the property," according to the City's online record. Also mentioned is the fact that in 1963, the California Department of Transportation "granted to the City of Vista a portion of the old alignment of Melrose Drive south of Hacienda Drive. .... The current configuration of the Valero gas station property at 210 S. Melrose Drive includes this relinquished area of 1,155 square feet (southwest corner) that was originally dedicated as a public street, but never vacated."

The deal would involve a quitclaim to Vista Gas LLC of the City vacated piece of property, and giving the owner compensation for the 524 square feet easement: $29,850. Staff reported that the amount of money was determined by "a third party Member of the Appraisal Institute certified appraiser."

Councilmember Amanda Rigby did mention she had a problem with the negotiation, but the deal was approved by the council - everyone except John Aguilera who was ill, according to the Mayor.

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