Plan still calls for tall buildings

This letter is the third in a series to inform Redlanders about the city’s plans for the future of their city. Friends of Redlands has been studying the city of Redlands General Plan, Downtown Specific Plan and Transit Villages Specific Plan Draft.

On March 3, voters in Redlands defeated Measure G by a resounding 64.8%. Every district voted the measure down by more than 60%.

Much of the objection to Measure G was because it would allow high-rise apartments, and therefore more population density in the downtown Transit Villages Area (from Judson Street on the east to Alabama Street on the west and Colton Avenue on the north and Citrus Avenue on the south including the old Redlands Mall).

Apparently, the Redlands City Council and Redlands City Planning Department are not listening to the voters.

Upon reading the Transit Villages Specific Plan, dated April 20, 2020, we see that the plan specifies building heights on page 4:18 of the specific plan, under Development Standards section 4.3.2 Downtown, a three story building can be as high as 58.5 feet. On page 4:16 of the Development Code 4.3.1 Urban Center, a four-story building could reach a height of 78.5 feet.

For a comparison, the City Bank Building at 300 State St. is 85 feet and the Wood Springs Suites building is four floors at 49 feet, the Kaiser Redlands Medical Offices at three floors is 37 feet and the Ayers Suites is two floors is 24 feet.

The General Plan states that “the growth management system is the city of Redlands’ commitment to effectively manage growth and preserve the quality of life for current and future residents.”

The building heights specified in the specific plan and resulting population increase appear to be a contradiction to the above statement.

Friends of Redlands urges the council and Planning Department to reconsider the building heights as specified in the Transit Villages Specific Plan and recognize what the overwhelming number of voters decided in March — that height and density limits must remain intact.

Nicole Rinehardt for Friends of Redlands