And now the current version of that proposal – featuring a Sprouts Farmers Market, a 175-unit senior housing complex and two other retail developments on 6.3 acres at San Pablo Avenue at Monroe Street – faces key votes Wednesday night by the Albany Planning & Zoning Commission.
The item, which includes a public hearing, was carried over from the Nov. 20 commission meeting. Up for action are approval of the tentative parcel maps and approval of design review.
The meeting, at Albany City Hall, will start earlier than usual at 6 p.m. to accommodate a large agenda. The UC plan is the first item on the agenda, which includes multiple attachments that can be viewed on the city's website.
The proposed Sprouts market has generated the most controversy, including a "Boycott Sprouts" campaign supported by Occupy the Farm. Opponents want the now vacant property to be used for a community farm, which they say is consistent with the property's use as "historic farmland."
Albany City Councilman Michael Barnes, in a blog post on Dec. 7, criticized the objections, saying there's no evidence that the property was ever used as farmland.
University Village, along with property now being proposed for development and the neighboring agricultural research fields, were all once part of the original 104-acre Gill Tract, which was owned and used as a nursery by Edward G. Gill, who died in 1909. His family sold the property to the university in 1928.
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