Town Center begins to take shape

The much anticipated Town Center Project is starting to take shape.

Last week the Scotts Valley Planning Commission approved the first two buildings for the Town Center Project.  On the former site of Suburban Propane adjacent to the K-Mart Shopping Center at 260 Mount Hermon Road, two commercial buildings gained all the necessary approvals to move forward to final consideration by the City Council next week.

The smaller of the two buildings facing Mount Hermon Drive is designated as a drive-thru Starbucks. Directly behind the 2,412 square foot coffee shop will be a much larger, 13,318 square foot building with an interior floor plan for restaurant use and tap room, and other retail tenants. The larger building is designed as a modern rendition of an airplane hangar, with a high arched ceiling and roll-up, industrial sized doors, respecting the history of the site as the former Sky Park Airport.

The Planning Commission approved a use permit for live entertainment at this restaurant along with design approvals of the building. The restaurant will have outdoor patios on both the east and north sides of the building. The project, known as the “Hangar at Sky Park”, will share parking between the buildings. The plan includes 69 parking spaces for both buildings, which exceeds the number required in the Town Center Specific Plan by 21 spaces.

Traffic circulation in and out of the drive-thru Starbucks and the larger restaurant will be right turn only driveways into the project, with egress by right turn only onto west-bound Mount Hermon Drive.  A traffic study for the project projected about 1,460 separate trips into the project site daily, with 117 trips expected in morning peak hours, and 90 trips at evening peak hours. The right turn only exit from the drive-thru will require a U-turn on Mount Hermon Drive to go east-bound toward Highway 17.

The development objectives, design standards, parking and circulation of the town center project are specified in the Town Center Specific Plan, adopted by the City Council in December 2008. This plan is the “guiding document” that will regulate the development of the town center into “a pedestrian friendly, economically vibrant destination in the heart of Scotts Valley,” according Scotts Valley Community Development Director Taylor Bateman.

“So here we are a decade later, and we’re finally getting started,” Bateman said as an introduction to the Hangar at Sky Park project to the Planning Commission on March 8. The Hangar at Sky Park required an amendment to the Town Center Specific Plan to allow for the proposed drive-thru restaurant, which the Planning Commission approved.   

Developers Corbett Wright and Rob Stuart are the principals of the Hangar at Sky Park LLC, who bought the 1.5 acre property for $1 million from the successor agency of the city’s redevelopment agency, approved in September 2016.  Formally the site of Suburban Propane, the site had been undergoing significant soil clean-up and mitigation for arsenic found in the soil.

“We’re happy about the Planning Commission approvals,” Wright said. “We think this project will be a good benefit for the community, and we’re looking forward to the consideration of the City Council.”

Wright is also cooperating in the Braddock and Logan proposal for the much larger town center project.  The city council is currently considering two proposals for the town center project; one by Braddock and Logan, and the other by Palisades Builders. With the absence of council member Randy Johnson at the Feb.21 meeting of the city council, the council deadlocked with a two-to-two vote, two votes for each proposal.

The full city council is expected to reconsider and make a decision on the developer of the town center project at their meeting of March 21, in which the Hangar at Skypark project will also be considered.    

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