New development in the form of a planned retail center — the Capital Hills Parkway multi-tenant center — is on its way, and it's slated to include a new Starbucks.
"We are hoping in about four to five months to break ground. Tonight was key and we are moving forward,” Matt Towery, president of Towery Commercial, said at Monday night's Tehachapi Planning Commission meeting. Towery, from Bakersfield, is the general contractor on the project.
The center is located north of Highway 58 on a 1.9-acre vacant plot of land adjacent to Capital Hills Parkway, and south of Voyager Drive. The Planning Commission unanimously approved the architectural design and site plans at Monday's meeting.
“We have been involved with this 25-acre parcel of land in Tehachapi since late 2002. Since that time, we’ve witnessed steady residential growth and watched retail development take place throughout the city both north and south of Highway 58,” Marc Katz, one of three principals of Tehachapi Investors, wrote in a letter to the Tehachapi Planning Commission.
Tehachapi Investors, Inc. is the land owner of the proposed development.
Katz added, “Be it the seasonal weather, its mountain locale or its small-town neighborhoods, Tehachapi has clearly become a desirable destination to live and work. It’s our intention to support the needs that come along with a growing community.”
The 6,055-square-foot retail center will have three separate spaces for an office, new restaurant, and retail area, in addition to the Starbucks building.
“We will start to solicit for those new tenants now,” said Mark Greenberg, principal of Tehachapi Investors.
City staff confirmed it meets the city of Tehachapi zoning and planning codes.
This meant the architectural design plans, pedestrian and vehicle traffic design requirements complied with the Tehachapi General Plan, said Jay Schlosser, city development services director.
Also, it’s not expected to increase traffic on Voyager Drive and Capital Hills Parkway, “beyond what was anticipated when the roadway was originally constructed,” according to documents in Monday night’s Tehachapi Planning Commission agenda packet.
Concerns about the property being close to Tehachapi Municipal Airport were addressed at the meeting.
Schlosser said the city recommended a compatibility study be done, as the location is a half-mile northwest of the airport.
“The applicant agreed to fund that effort and so on their behalf we hired Mead & Hunt, which in my understanding and opinion is one of the top two or three airport planning, consulting firms in the nation,” he said.
According to a three-page letter documenting Mead & Hunt’s compatibility review, the project meets specific nonresidential development requirements in the 2012 Tehachapi Municipal Airport Land Use Compatibility Plan. This includes criteria for average density of people per acre and site occupancy load, and more than adequate number of parking spaces, within the approach and departure B1 Zone adjacent to the runway.
The 2012 Tehachapi Municipal Airport Land Use Compatibility Plan outlines permitted land uses near the airport. It addresses noise, safety, location, airspace protection and overflights as some issues to consider when developing land.
The letter added that the retail center project meets criteria in the 2011 Airport Land Use Planning Handbook, published by the Caltrans Division of Aeronautics, for allowing restaurants, retail and industrial buildings, but avoiding high-intensity retail or office buildings.
It did note that the handbook intensity criteria is “less stringent than that provided in the 2012 ALUCP,” but that “the project is consistent with state compatibility guidance.”