Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The City of Lancaster California is Proposing Land Development Changes to Establish Three Separate Mixed Use Zones

The City of Lancaster, Ca. Planning Department is forwarding new recommendations in conjunction with their 2030 General Plan. The focal point of their recent meeting is to draft new zoning changes for the city, and to incorporate several mixed use proposals. The City of Lancaster, Ca. currently doesn’t have mixed use development, while cohabitating residential and commercial zoning has been implemented in numerous cities across America. A typical mixed use would be street level retail shops on main roads with single family or multiple family dwellings above. Most of Lancaster Ca. has been single family dwellings in proximity to commercial buildings. It has been a typical small town growing without the future planning of the needs of the community. It’s a sort of plan as you grow, instead of planning growth. The mixed use proposal will make Lancaster look more like Orange County’s growth and development, which has been the new normal.

The three proposed mixed use zonings will be Mixed Use-Neighborhood (MU-N), Mixed Use-Commercial (MU-C), and Mixed Use-Employment (MU-E). The mixed use neighborhood zone would incorporate residential housing in close proximity to commercial, offices and services. It would include multi-family housing, such as apartments and condominiums, small-lot single-family subdivisions, and smaller commercial and office space. The streets patterns would allow better traffic flow, and it would offer pedestrian connections, community space with trails and neighborhood parks.

The mixed use commercial would integrate residential and commercial space together. The commercial space would most likely be along major artery streets, with modern landscaping. It will also have multi-storied buildings which must contribute to the areas surroundings. The third zoning change proposal is mixed use employment. This zone is intended to provide an area for non-retail employment in close proximity to residential housing. It would likely include multi-family residential dwellings with office professional, business parks, and some light industrial uses. This zone is not intended for heavier industrial uses.

The two major target areas for this new zoning will be south of Ave H from 20th to 40th Street West, and also along Sierra Hwy and Division south of Ave I. As the city grows so does the opportunity for land investors. We think this is a very positive step toward the future for land buyers in Antelope Valley. Most of these areas are currently vacant land parcels, but it will be a future location for a developer. Many large chain stores wish to locate their business near residential neighborhoods as it has been part of their business model. Land prices today are far less then they were just three years ago, so this is a good time to look at vacant land deals in Antelope Valley.

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