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TURF WAR: Cerritos Files Lawsuit, Seeks an Injunction Preventing Artesia Live II Development

Staff Report

The City of Cerritos has filed a lawsuit against the City of Artesia and Artesia City Council challenging the Artesia City Council’s approval of the Artesia Live II development. The petition was filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Central District.

The Artesia City Council approved Artesia Live II, a mixed-use development proposed by Cornerstone Artesia Development, LLC, at its March 12, 2018 meeting. Artesia Live II is planned to be constructed at 18600 Gridley Road. The development would consist of a seven-story building measuring 85 feet in height to accommodate 130 residential condominium units, 3,605 square feet of retail use and a 20,211 square foot restaurant, all on an existing property of 1.3 acres.


Artist’s rendering of Artesia Live II at 186th and Gridley across from Los Cerritos Center. The project will bring much needed revenue into the City, with Cornerstone paying a City Development Fee of $3 million. The company will also invest $1.5 million to upgrade Artesia’s Public Utility System. At 75 feet tall, Artesia Live II will be seven-story mixed-use building consisting of 130 high-end residential condominiums with almost 30,000 square feet of commercial and restaurant space. The project will also include a rooftop garden, a swimming pool, fitness center, and outdoor seating and dining on the ground level, both on 186th and Gridley.

The project  was slated to bring in an estimated $500,000 to Artesia City coffers annually.

That is not counting the projected 550 jobs the project will generate via the Marriot Hotel, the 600 jobs created during construction, or other fees paid to the City by the developer.

Cornerstone Artesia Development, LLC (Cornerstone) will invest $45 million dollars into the 7-story residential and commercial building that will encompass 250,000-square-feet.

The development is the first of its kind in the City and will consist of the Marriott hotel, high-end condominiums, boutique shops, restaurants, and a two-level subterranean parking structure.

Contrary to the city of Cerritos’ claims, Cornerstone went the “extra mile” making certain the project cleared City parking requirements by building surface parking and a two-level subterranean parking structure, for a total of 331 parking spaces.

And the project will follow green energy guideline for “green structures.”

Features will include solar energy, electric car charging stations, a sustainable roof top garden to reduce heat, and water conservation fixtures & LED lighting throughout the building.

Cornerstone also consulted with many engineering companies conducting traffic, parking, and noise studies; air quality and greenhouse studies.

Despite their efforts, Cerritos filed its lawsuit.

Cerritos’ concerns about the project “relate to significant project impacts on surrounding residential and commercial uses, including traffic, traffic circulation, parking, privacy and aesthetics.”

Among the City’s concerns detailed in the lawsuit are:

  • The Traffic Impact Analysis pertaining to the project’s impact on the intersection at Gridley Road and 186th Street does not accurately reflect projected traffic volumes due to the use of outdated impact assessment methodologies and software.
  • The potential modification of the existing center median on Gridley Road is not acceptable to the City of Cerritos.
  • The proposed drop-off lane on Gridley Road immediately to the west of the project area would create significant traffic conflicts between vehicles exiting the drop-off area and vehicles traveling northbound on Gridley Road, thereby increasing the probability for traffic accidents to occur.
  • The height of the development will have a significant visual, aesthetic and privacy impact on adjacent residential and commercial uses. The seven-story building is not compatible or comparable with the existing one- and two-story residential and commercial developments found in the surrounding area.
  • The number of on-site parking stalls provided for the project is significantly deficient. This could likely cause patrons and residents of Artesia Live II who are unable to find parking on-site to be forced to utilize off-site parking in adjacent arterial and residential streets as well as at commercial sites in the City of Artesia and the City of Cerritos, including the Los Cerritos Center.

The City of Cerritos’ petition seeks an injunction preventing the City of Artesia from carrying out the project; a rescission of the all project approvals; compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act and development consistent with the Artesia General Plan and State Planning and Zoning Law.  The petition also seeks an award of attorneys’ fees and costs.

The City of Cerritos submitted extensive written comments outlining its concerns to the City of Artesia throughout the project review process, but those concerns were not addressed.

Cerritos Mayor Grace Hu said, “While the City of Cerritos looks forward to the future development of the property at 18600 Gridley Road, the project as approved by the City of Artesia has significant issues that need to be addressed. The City of Cerritos remains concerned about the traffic, parking and privacy and aesthetic impacts that the project is likely to have on residents and businesses of both Artesia and Cerritos.”

 

See lawsuit, click here.

 

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