Westgate project site in Fontana (Courtesy Map)
By Jim Steinberg, San Bernardino Sun
Posted: 02/05/17 – 11:09 AM PST |
FONTANA >> For about eight years, a revised plan for 964 acres in North Fontana has been winding through public meetings, workshops, and appearances before the planning commission and city council.
On Feb. 14, the Westgate Specific Plan, which would allow for the construction 3,751 residential units — potentially housing 15,000 people — returns to city council for a public hearing and a vote on a revision to the original development plan created in 1996.
“This is a significant chunk of land for us,” Ken Hunt, city manager, said of the property adjacent to the 15 and 210 freeways, located about five miles north and west of downtown Fontana.
“This is an area (Westgate and other nearby vacant land in North Fontana) where future growth will happen in a big way,” said Randall Lewis, a regional real estate expert and developer.
“But it won’t happen overnight. It will be gradual, strong steady growth over the next decade,” said Lewis, a principal of the Upland-based Lewis Group of Companies.
The revised plan reduces by 70 percent the land available for potential warehouse development from what could have been 4 million square feet, under the plan approved in 1996, to the 1.2 million square feet currently proposed.
“As this plan stands today, the developer could build 4 million square feet of warehouse space and there is nothing anyone could do to stop that,” said DiTanyon Johnson, a senior city planner.
The revised plan also creates an area for upscale housing, on quarter-acre lots, abolishes zoning that would allow rent-subsidized apartments and reduces the land available to high-density units as well.
The plan includes two new elementary schools and one high school. A portion of the Westgate area already houses the Falcon Ridge Town Center, at 15234 Summit Ave.
Beneficiaries of these reductions include land set aside for community parks and private parks, Johnson said.
The process began at the request of developer and principal land owner Long Beach-based Intex Corp., Hunt said.
The path to what will happen on the Feb. 14 council meeting has been anything but a straight line.
After the Westgate Specific Plan plan drew fire from members of the public at a City Council meeting in late 2015, the council decided to appoint an Ad Hoc Committee to reach a consensus about what the project should look like.
The committee was comprised of representatives from the city council, the planning commission and the public.
To read expanded article, click here.