A plan to build 252 units of senior housing and a 136-bed residential care facility on 9.49 acres in Shadelands business park will go before the Walnut Creek Planning Commission on Thursday.
Hall Equities Group wants to develop the former Joint Genome Institute site at 2800 Mitchell Drive. Doing so would require the city to amend its General Plan to change the zoning from business park to mixed-use residential.
The plan also calls for permits to remove 106 trees and divide the land into two parcels.
The Oakmont of Shadelands project went before the city's Design Review Commission, who requested the Planning Commission review the plans for any changes to the site layout or building massing. If so, the design commission wants to take a final look before forwarding the project to the City Council.
The facility would be located near the northwest border of Shadelands, adjacent to the Animal Rescue Foundation, the Springfield Montessori School and Shadelands Self-Storage. The site is separated from the Contra Costa Canal by an access driveway belonging to 1925 Oak Grove Road. Hall Equities Group would demolish the existing five-building campus.
The housing component would include four buildings, with a courtyard between them, and a small recreation building. Two buildings would be three stories, and two would be four stories.
The care facility would be three stories and licensed by the California Department of Social Services to provide housing for people 62 years and older who need assistance, but not 24-hour medical care.
Of the 106 trees that would be removed, seven are "highly protected," according to a staff report: two California black walnut trees and five coast live oaks. The report says, for removal, the "City Council must find that the burden to the applicant in preserving the tree greatly outweighs the benefit to the public" and that "preservation of the tree would severely reduce the scale or feasibility of the development."
The City Council in 2019 reviewed a pre-application request from Hall Equities and agreed to consider a general plan amendment "so long as the new uses remain ancillary to the employment-based business park uses." The Council also required the project to be within 750 feet of Oak Grove or Ygnacio Valley roads and not occupy more than 10% of Shadelands' total acreage.
In May, the Design Review Commission expressed concern with the site layout, building massing and lack of pedestrian connectivity throughout the site, according to the staff report.