SARDA approves Mission Village Apartments agreement modifications

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Ndubisi Nwafor, a partnership development coordinator with the U.S. Census Bureau, listens as Mayor Pro Tem James “Stew” Stewart reads a proclamation by the city of Temecula endorsing the 2020 census. City of Temecula photo

Successor Agency to the Temecula Redevelopment Agency voted unanimously at the Aug. 13 meeting of the Temecula City Council to approve modifications that will lead to the rehabilitation of Mission Village Apartments in Old Town Temecula.

Lynn Kelly-Lehner, principal management analyst for the city of Temecula, provided the council with a staff report on the proposed modifications in the public hearing.

“Mission Village Apartments is an existing 76-unit affordable housing development located on Pujol Street,” Kelly-Lehner said. “In 1998, the former redevelopment agency entered into a disposition and development agreement, or a DDA, with affirmed housing for the rehabilitation of 30 existing units and the construction of an additional 38 units at very low and low affordability levels. Over 20 years later, the project is now at a point in its life cycle where it would benefit from the reinvestment and complete rehabilitation of the project.

“The proposed rehabilitation of the project would include both interior and exterior improvements as well as additional site amenities. Exterior improvements will include an updated appearance and improved street presence as well as painted exteriors. Additional site amenities will include construction of a shade structure at the pool, new landscaping, and updated irrigation as well as Americans with Disabilities Act improvements. The interiors of the units will be wholly renovated and include new kitchens, flooring, paints and appliances. In addition, Affirmed Housing will add energy efficiency improvements including a large photovoltaic system which has the added benefit of reducing utility costs for renters.”

SARDA approved modifications to the 1998 Loan Agreement that will reduce the pledge obligation from $305,000 to $295,000 a year, extends the ground lease agreement to 2075, with an option to extend until 2095, and Affirmed Housing agrees to pay both upfront rent and annual rent at 60% of net sales proceeds from the sale of the project, which is estimated to be $761,000. The annual rent will continue to be paid through residual receipts.

Affirmed Housing is an affordable housing, San Diego-based developer, a partner on the project since 1998.

The council also approved a weed abatement lien resolution for the fiscal years 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 that allows the city to place a lien on properties that have not paid bills associated with weed abatement actions taken by the city.

“In terms of the abatement notification, parcel owners are notified via certified mail that they need to abate weeds on an annual basis, typically in the springtime after the rains,” Luke Watson, Temecula’s community development director, said. “They’re given the opportunity to abate the conditions prior to the city taking action. If no action is taken, the city acquires a warrant and it abates the weeds on, its own and owners are billed by the city for cost recovery and a nominal administrative fee of $140.

Marie Allen with Affirmed Housing addresses the city council regarding the partnership associated with the rehabilitation of Mission Village Apartments in Old Town Temecula. City of Temecula photo

“The city places liens on properties of nonresponsive owners if we cannot be repaid for that. And that brings us here tonight, which is the lien process,” he said.

Watson said 72 properties were currently on the list, but at the time of the hearing but that number was down to 67 because some of the owners had recently paid their bills.

“The abatement? Is it mostly like vacant lots that uh, go unabated?” Mayor Pro Tem James “Stew” Stewart said.

“Mostly, yeah, it could be,” Watson replied. “It could be anything though. I mean there could be structures on-site, but most of it is vacant property.”

Mayor Mike Naggar asked if the costs associated with the city’s abatement actions were reasonable.

“The costs of, if you look at the exhibit in front of you, they are anywhere from $250 for a small site, up to $1,500 for a very large site. We think those are reasonable costs for this type of work. You have to get heavy equipment on-site in many cases to do large pieces of land. You’ve got tractor and labor costs, and there’s a lot that goes into it,” Watson said.

The council also unanimously approved the consent calendar that included agreements with HDL Coren and Cone Inc. for property tax consulting and revenue recovery professional services and with Hinderliter de Llamas and Associates for sales tax consulting and recovery fee professional services.

The council also approved professional service agreements for property acquisition and architectural services for the Department of Public Works and Capital Improvement Division through 2024 with several firms.

The council also awarded a construction contract to Eagle Paving Company Inc. for repaving roads citywide in the amount of $631,475.

Before the meeting started, Ndubisi Nwafor, a partnership development coordinator with the U.S. Census Bureau, was presented by Stewart with a proclamation from the city endorsing the upcoming 2020 census.

“My job is to make sure that all the cities in southwest Riverside are prepared to undergo the census count of 2020,” Nwafor said. “And you guys being council members and members of the community know how essential an accurate count is for the city of Temecula because we’re talking right now, really we’re talking about $800 billion that will be allocated over the next 10 years.

“We know how important this area is developing so fast and one of the fastest-growing areas in the country. Why do I say that? We need money for what infrastructure, roads, schools, fire departments and everything within this area. And it’s very important for us to have an accurate count in the Temecula- Murrieta area because whatever we count is the amount of money (that) at the end of the day you guys are going to allocate to the community to get providers resources,” he said.

Naggar thanked Nwafor for the work he and his team has ahead of them.

“Thank you for your service and also thank you for letting us know you’re going to be everywhere,” Naggar said. “And again, you got a hard job ahead of you.”

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at jpack@reedermedia.com.