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Developer of Latitude 33 plans similar condos across the street

Lyon Communities, which built the upscale Latitude 33 condos and apartments that are so visible along Centre City Parkway, plans to build something similar across the street and adjacent to the 16-room Escondido Inn a gateway to the center part of town.

Bill Martine of the city’s building department Wednesday described the new project to the city council. The project, which is being called Latitude II right now, will be located on the northeastern corner of Centre City Parkway & Washington Avenue.

The council voted to approve of the Tentative Subdivision Map and Master Plan for an 112-unit condominium on 3.44 acres. There would be six buildings of three and four stories, with 60 one-bedroom units and 52 two-bedroom units ranging from 788 square feet to 1,336 SF. It would be gated. Rents will be about $2,000 a month.

It would have a resort style pool and spa, clubroom, fitness room, canopies, balconies and patios.

Because the lot has an irregular shape and many easements crossing it, the developer needs to employ an efficient design, said Martine. The developer also requested some exceptions to the city’s requirements for open space and for higher density in return for the additional amenities.

Martine said the city hopes the developer will be able to come to an agreement with the owners of the Es condido Inn to for a land swap of a piece of triangular property so that the development will be able to install a 25-foot monument sign.

If this land swap were to occur, the on premise motel sign would become an off-premise sign, which city ordinance. Both parties requested a variance on the city requirement if the land swap occurs.

Garish Hagin, one of the owners of the Escondido Inn spoke during the public hearing on the project. He objected to the requirement of the city that the developer plant trees along Centre City Parkway. “We need visibility from the Centre City Parkway. We have two issues: If the sign is colocated we would need an easement to go to our sign if it needed repairs. And if it’s heavily forested you can’t see the inn.”

He asked for a relaxation of the ordinance that his business could maintain visibility.

Mayor Sam Abed called the project, “the kind of project that the city wants.”

The council wasn’t buying the relaxation of the tree requirement. Councilman Mike Morasco said, “I’m not interested in making an exception for the trees. Your best bet is to make that deal so you can have that very large monument sign.”

Councilmember Olga Diaz agreed that this is the kind of development the council is trying to attract downtown. She also didn’t support few trees, and said that they would actually increase the value of the property.

Diaz said this was the kind of development they have been trying to attract to the downtown. She doesn’t support fewer trees, says they will increase the value of the property.

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