Mills Landing development OK’d by planning commissioners
Appeal Staff Writer
The application for a mixed-use development near Mills Park received the recommendation of planning commissioners this week.
Mills Landing could bring 94 affordable-housing units, as well as more commercial properties to the city.
Some living near the proposed project near the intersection of William and State streets said they had concerns, especially about increased traffic and crime.
The short distance between some units to the back of the Long Street Town Homes was the primary topic of discussion.
“We want people to be able to buy products they will be happy with,” said Bruce Backman, president of the homeowners association for the Long Street residents. “Not to have to keep their shades down.”
As currently designed, Mills landing would be just 20 feet between the backs of the properties. Allowing the developers to shorten driveways and change setbacks, however, would allow more flexibility and provide more space between homes.
“The changes don’t have to be applied throughout,” said Lee Plemel, the city’s principal planner. “It’ll provide flexibility.”
Neighbors also said they were impressed with how the designers sought to connect Mills Landing to Millennium, a residential area built in 2001 and northwest of the proposed project.
Mills Landing’s retail and commercial portion – 2.4 acres of the roughly 10 acres total – will face William Street, sit west of an existing strip mall, and be close to an array of other services.
The city is examining rules concerning mixed-use, in-fill, higher-density and other developments with characteristics that are relatively unique within the city, such as Mills Landing.
“The idea,” Plemel said, “is to provide better defined criteria.”
Mills Landing homes will be offered at $225,000 to $255,000. The units would range between 1,084 to 1,678 square feet on lots of 1,520 to 3,190 square feet.
It would be the first mixed-use project on a major thoroughfare since the city’s updated master plan was adopted this year. The site is owned by Landmark Communities.
The commission is a group of resident volunteers. Its recommendation is provided to the Board of Supervisors, which has the final say about the matter.
• Contact reporter Terri Harber at firstname.lastname@example.org or 882-2111, ext. 215.