The Guadalupe City Council approved an application to build a new townhome complex and resumed work on its master fee schedule Tuesday during a special meeting at City Hall.
The project, planned for Guadalupe’s north end, consists of 12 rental units on .61 of an acre of land.
The application passed with a 3-0 vote, since Councilman Tony Ramirez and Councilwoman Gina Rubalcaba were absent.
Initially, project developer Gustavo Alvarez submitted plans to build a 15-unit complex on the site, which is across the street from the Guadalupe Boys & Girls Club and near the city’s northernmost border.
Because the original project exceeded the number of units that could be placed on property that size, city planning officials sent Alvarez back to the drawing board.
He came back with the 12-unit plan.
The two main structures will be two-stories tall. Each building will hold six townhomes -- two three-bedroom units and four two-bedroom units.
Each townhome will have its own backyard space, and the complex will be divided by a 16-spot parking lot.
According to contract city planner Steve Conner, the revised plan met all of the city's requirements for landscaping, building height, number of apartments and parking.
Conner said the project is considered an infill project, as it is rejuvenating a space that has older homes and a lot of open space. A representative of the Guadalupe Historical Society estimates the current structures to be from around 1920.
“I like this project," Guadalupe City Councilman Ariston Julian said. "It will be a vast improvement."
The project received positive support from members of the community, as well.
“This is something that needs to be done,” said Shirley Boydstun, Guadalupe resident. “We need to be more cooperative with developers.”
The Guadalupe City Council on Tuesday also waded back into its master fee schedule -- the document that sets the cost of doing business in and with the city of Guadalupe.
Earlier this month, the council approved a master fee schedule for items like waterline installation and specific business permits.
On Tuesday, the council began reviewing fees associated with use of parks and other city facilities, as well as the city's Police and Fire departments.
The fee structure has not been updated since 2013 and after current review, city staff recommended most of the fees be increased.
Finance Director Annette Munoz said recommendations were based on the consumer price index and comparisons to other cities.
Some fees only increased by a dollar and are in line with other nearby communities, while others are not.
To install a sprinkler system with up to 50 sprinkler heads, the permit fee in Guadalupe will be $437, while it’s $412 in Arroyo Grande and only $69 in Santa Maria.
The Guadalupe City Council suggested the difference may be due to the volume of applications that Santa Maria receives.
Alvarez suggested that part of the the master fee schedule is not business-friendly.
“This is an example of fees that scare business owners from remodeling their buildings,” Alvarez said.
While some fees were approved Tuesday, the Guadalupe City Council is expected to continue its work on the master fee schedule at its next meeting in October.