A proposed new general plan for Whittier would allow housing at higher densities along most of Lambert Road and Whittier Boulevard, including the Quad and Whittwood Town Center.
The proposed plan would allow for the potential development in the city of more than 6,000 new housing units over the next 25 years, Laura Stetson, owner of MIG, a firm hired by the city to develop the new general plan, said in a presentation last Tuesday to the City Council.
City Manager Brian Saeki said the city has no choice but to provide for more housing because of state rules, referring to theregional housing needs assessmentthe Southern California Association of Governments has adopted.
“We have to accommodate 3,400 new housing units within the next planning period, ” Saeki said, referring to October 2021 to October 2029. “Where does that need to happen? It would have to happen along the boulevard.”
But there’s no guarantee these changes will happen, he said. “We’re not prohibiting commercial; we’re allowing housing.”
Saeki said that while it is possible that the city could lose revenue, in particular sales tax, it depends on what properties turned over to housing.
The rules also say that nearly half of the new housing units Whittier must provide must be for low and very-low income residents.
The next step is to hold workshops for the public in each of the four council districts. The goal is to get it approved by the end of 2021, Saeki said.
The plan also calls for housing densities up to 60 units per acre.The 72-unit Catalina Apartments complex at 14339 Whittier Blvd. is at 37 units per acre, and Park Place, 14660 Whittier Blvd., now under construction is at 39 units per acre.
Developers also can get higher densities by providing affordable housing or additional park space.
The plan will help Whittier Boulevard, Stetson predicted.
“The direction we heard from the public and the council is to please fix Whittier Boulevard,” she said, referring to community meetings held in the past year. “There are advantages to putting additional residential on Whittier Boulevard.”