At their Sept. 14 meeting, the Windsor Planning Commission approved the site plan and design review of an affordable housing project that will house members of the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians at Old Redwood Highway and Arata Lane.
The multi-family project will feature 54 affordable housing units with between one and three bedrooms and nearly 8000 square feet of office space in five three-story buildings on the 2.5-acre parcel. The office space will be used as a tribal headquarters, and buildings will also contain a public gallery, community space and amenities for residents.
Although the applicants are of the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians of Stewards Point Rancheria, it is not sovereign Native American land.
“This project is not sovereign land — it’s fee simple land. So they’re treated just like any other applicant for a site plan and design review,” Kim Vogue of the Community Development Department said.
The tribe is partnering with Burbank Housing for development of the project, and uses three of its four allotted affordable housing incentives, as allowed by California state law. These will allow a reduction of open space requirements, with no private open space, and a decrease in the drive aisle width from 27 feet to 26 feet.
The most significant incentive is the reduction of parking spaces. With 89 parking spaces planned for, the site will have less than half the number of parking spaces required by Windsor zoning code.
“The thinking is that the office space will not be used at night so those parking spaces will be available on the nights and weekends to help with parking availability,” Vogue said.
Crosswalks will be installed on Old Redwood Highway and Evergreen Avenue, and a new bus site and bus shelter will be installed at the front of the site.
“The site plan was carefully designed to preserve and enhance the property’s natural features, including a drainage swale that runs diagonally through the site and five mature oak trees, as well as respect the privacy of neighbors via building placements and setbacks. Landscaping of native flora will be planted throughout the property. Solar panels will be installed on the roofs of the buildings, which will also have access to electric vehicle charging stations. All ground floor units will be ADA accessible or adaptable,” according to the Town of Windsor.