The developer of a proposed “infill project” on Spring Avenue gained the city planning commission’s approval to build 23 new homes on the 2.7-acre south Morgan Hill property.
The Morgan Hill Planning Commission voted unanimously Oct. 12 to approve the tentative map for the proposed new residential project. The proposal consists of 18 single-family attached homes, five single-family detached units and a 6,595-square-foot neighborhood park.
All proposed homes are two stories, and each residence has a private driveway connecting to an ancillary roadway through the development. Each home also has an enclosed garage on the ground floor, according to the developer’s approved tentative map.
The property, which is owned by Sheila Giancola, is located at 335 Spring Ave. The site is surrounded by a mixture of single-family homes, as well as multi-family apartments and duplex/triplex units. Across Spring Avenue is the Mt. Hope Cemetery.
The only structures on the property now are a single home and garage, which will be demolished to make way for the new residential project.
The proposal must next face a design review by city planning before the developer can begin construction.
During the Oct. 12 planning commission discussion of the project, commissioners lamented the fact that the city doesn’t have much discretionary authority to demand significant changes to the developer’s proposal—such as by requiring a lower density of housing—because of recent state laws. In particular, SB330—signed by the governor in 2019—severely limits cities’ and counties’ abilities to limit the density and other aspects of local residential projects.
The state laws are intended to address California’s housing crisis and hasten the development of “infill projects” on vacant properties. Morgan Hill Planning Director Jennifer Carman said at the Oct. 12 meeting that the Spring Avenue proposal is a “classic infill project.” The site is neighbored by comparable residential uses and a long-established cemetery.
Some neighbors of the proposed development addressed the planning commission Oct. 12 meeting with concerns about privacy, parking and traffic. One couple worried that residents of the new two-story homes might be able to see into their backyard, obstructing their privacy.
Commissioners and city staff said there is nothing they can do about such a concern. City staff mentioned that the adjacent private property owners could try working together to limit potential privacy breaches and other issues that the city cannot legally regulate.
Carman said the proposed parking on site meets the city’s guidelines for new residential projects.