Council amends zoning code

Move will allow Vans to open a skate park on Center Avenue, but city has to find new home for proposed affordable housing units.

May 08, 2012|By Mona Shadia

The Huntington Beach City Council voted Monday to amend the city's zoning code, paving the way for a state-of-the-art Vans skate park.

Before VF Outdoor Inc., a subsidiary of Vans' parent VF Corp, proposed opening and operating the skate park on 2.7 acres on Center Avenue near Gothard Street, the parcel had been designated for residential uses with an affordable housing component, part of which fulfilled state law requirement.

Now the city has to find somewhere else for the 175 affordable housing units.

Huntington Beach's exclusive agreement more than a year ago with Vans to negotiate building the skate park upset Center Partners LLC, a developer that wanted to build a residential project on the site. That proposal was first initiated more than 20 years ago.


Center Partners' lawyer said in a January 2011 letter that Huntington Beach officials had been proposing other developments at the site without considering or notifying his group.

City officials, however, said the agreement with Center Partners had been terminated long before Vans came forward because the group didn't meet the city's requirement, including parking availability.

Vans entered into an agreement to lease the property from the city for $1 a year for the next 20 years, with two 10-year options to renew.

Vans plans to build and operate the park, which is expected to include a 12,000-square-foot skate plaza, a 15,000-square-foot skate bowl area, a walking space and a shop. It will operate from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily and host about 15 large and 12 small events throughout the year.


Noise ordinance updated

In other news, the council voted to update the city's noise ordinance. The amended ordinance will eliminate the outdated variance process and replace it with a system that will provide for appeals, among other updates.

The ordinance will also include a mixed-use category, which will create a baseline standard for projects with housing and commercial components. The updated ordinance is expected to go before the council for a second vote during the next council meeting.

Twitter: @MonaShadia

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