After years of delays on a major residential project at the Alhambra, Ratkovic’s firm has changed strategy, with builder’s remedya controversial legal provision that allows developers to bypass local zoning in cities that fail to plan for enough housing.

Earlier this month, Los Angeles-based developer Ratkovich filed a remedy application for its 790-unit builder in Alhambra, in the San Gabriel Valley, a representative said.

In a statement, Ratkovich President Brian Saenger blasted the city’s “anti-housing policies,” citing its low number of permits, especially for units geared toward low- and moderate-income earners, and the city’s rising median home prices.

“The city’s failure to properly plan new housing and its non-compliant housing elements during this eight-year period is why builder remedies exist,” he said.

For its latest housing element — a document outlining housing planning in all California jurisdictions — state authorities determined that Alhambra, a city of about 80,000 people, must plan for an additional 6,825 units over eight years, including nearly 1,800 Unit for very low income residents.

Like much of Southern California, the city faces an October 2021 deadline for housing element updates. However, like dozens of cities in the state, Alhambra has yet to receive state approval for its renewal, leaving the city vulnerable to builder remedies and other penalties. Alhambra submitted its latest update last month, which is still under review, according to the national database.

Since 2017, Ratkovich has been working on a project in the city called “Villages of the Alhambra”. An earlier version of the proposal called for 1,000 units to be built, a total later increased to 775, with many other revisions.

But in 2021, the Alhambra City Council still refusedciting environmental, labor and affordable housing concerns, which prompted developers to sue the city in early 2022. A judge later ruled in the city’s favor.

The builder’s remedial application calls for the construction of 230 townhouses and 560 condominium units, for a total of 790 units spread across three separate buildings. The program includes 158 affordable units that meet the builder’s remediation program’s 20 percent affordability requirement.

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It’s unclear how the city of Alhambra intends to respond to the developer’s new application. Cities subject to builder’s remedies must process the application under the intent of the law, but several cities in the state — including nearby La Cañada

flint ridge – Instead, they oppose the projects, clashing with state authority. Representatives for the city of Alhambra did not respond to inquiries.

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