The Commons at Amherst: La Verne’s Newest Single-Family Home Development Project

The City of La Verne is currently processing an application for the proposed residential development of City-owned property near Amherst Street and Williams Avenue. Referred to as the Commons at Amherst, this project would create a community of 42 detached two-story single-family homes on city-owned property that the Council previously deemed as surplus property. The market-rate homes would range from 2,002 to 2,433 square feet of living space and would all include a two-car garage and driveways to accommodate an additional two cars. La Verne residents are encouraged to review the project video, Environmental Impact Report and webpage and participate in the Planning Commission public hearing on February 24, 2021. While the Planning Commission will not be approving or denying the project, they will be making a recommendation to the City Council.  
The Amherst parcel was originally acquired by the City in 1972 to construct additional reservoirs for greater water storage. On the northeast end of the property is the City’s Groundwater Treatment Plant and storage reservoir, which encompasses approximately 1.5 acres. This portion will be retained by the City. The remaining 5.3 acres of the Amherst parcel is currently undeveloped government land currently occupied by a private nursery.
To help ensure the development project fit into the community and to satisfy technical requirements, the City conducted various community outreach activities and offered several opportunities for stakeholders to submit feedback since the beginning of the project in 2020. This included providing notice to property owners beyond the required 300 feet from the project site as well as to Bonita Unified School District, CalTrans, County Sanitation District, local Tribes, Fish and Wildlife and the cities of Claremont and Pomona. Residents with expressed interest in the project were also added to the mailing list for future notifications. Due to the pandemic, the State and County orders prohibited the City from holding an in-person workshop on this project, so the City created a dedicated webpage to include background of the project, relevant documents, an explanatory video, a FAQ section to address the public's main questions about the project, and information on how to submit questions and comments (planning@cityoflaverne.org).
As required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), there were a number of potential environmental impacts being evaluated as part of the overall project development and design process. This includes examining things like aesthetics, air quality, utilities, noise and traffic. The City is also conducting a more detailed transportation and traffic impact analysis than is required, which will include both a capacity and vehicle miles traveled analysis component. A notice of the preparation of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was posted on the City’s website and published in the Daily Bulletin in October. The City received public comments regarding the project during the EIR comment period. The responses to these comments will be provided to the Planning Commission and the City Council for their review.
In planning and designing the Commons at Amherst project, the surrounding area was studied and provided inspiration for Spanish/Santa Barbara and craftsman style architecture. Additionally, the homes will be designed with the newest technology in mind and include amenities that are aligned with sustainability initiatives, such as solar panels, electric vehicle charging stations and low-flow plumbing fixtures. In addition to the development of the single-family homes, other infrastructure improvements in the area will also be addressed during the course of this project. This could include new sidewalks, bike racks, a pocket park and more.

La Verne Chamber of Commerce

2332 D Street, Unit E

La Verne, CA 91750

(909) 593-5265

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