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Cuesta Villas Proposed Senior Housing Development

Updated August 23, 2011

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Custa Villas, click to enlarge Custa Villas, click to enlarge

On December 13, 2007, the Cerritos City Council approved a proposal to allow the private non-profit entity named Cuesta Villas Housing Corporation to construct Cuesta Villas, an affordable senior housing project. The project was approved by the ABC Unified School District Board on January 8, 2008.

Cuesta Villas, which will be located at the site of the ABCUSD administrative buildings at 16700 Norwalk Boulevard, will include 247 apartments with 207 units for moderate-income households, 15 for low-income households and 25 for very low-income households. A new 13,000-square-foot senior center and a 4.04-acre park will also be part of the development. (If additional school facilities are needed in the future, the 4.04-acre park would be made available for the development of a new school.) Residents of Cuesta Villas will also enjoy a swimming pool, spa, open space recreation area and lush landscaping.

In addition to meeting the housing needs of the community, Cuesta Villas will fulfill State laws governing redevelopment agencies and local housing. The Cerritos Redevelopment Agency is required to spend 20 percent of its tax increment revenue on the development of housing for low- to moderate-income households. In addition, the State’s Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) requires the City to provide its “fair share” of regional housing, including housing affordable to very low-, low- and moderate-income households. Cerritos has met its required allocation of very-low income and low-income units for the planning period of 1998 – 2005, but needs additional very-low, low- and moderate-income units to fulfill its most recent allocation by 2014. If the City fails to comply with the RHNA requirements, it could be subject to a suspension of its authority to issue building permits and approve entitlements.

The ABCUSD District office and kitchen/warehouse operations will be relocated to two buildings located on Moore Street and 166th Street in the Cerritos Industrial Park. The District will have an option to purchase these properties from the City of Cerritos during the term of the lease.  The City's purchase of these properties in 2008, in effect, eliminated an “Overlay Zone” residential development proposal for the Cerritos Industrial Park that had been proposed by the previous property owner.

In addition to owning more land as part of the new proposal, the District would maintain ownership of the developed Norwalk Boulevard property under a ground lease and would receive over $3 million in ground rent annually. After the 55-year lease with the Cuesta Villas Housing Corporation, the property would be given back to the District with the related improvements.

In early 2008, the City of Cerritos/Redevelopment Agency and the ABC Unified School District initiated a request to a court for a judicial determination that the final approved Affordable Housing, Financing, and Disposition and Development Agreement and all contracts and other evidence of indebtedness for the Cuesta Villas affordable senior housing development are valid and binding. Los Angeles County Superior Court released a ruling on December 4, 2008 that approved the proposal and denied all the stated challenges to the project. This determination was appealed in 2009. The Court of Appeal issued a court document known as a “remittitur” on June 22, 2010, which declares as final the lawsuit that challenged an affordable senior housing project in the City of Cerritos. As such, the decision of the Court of Appeal became legally binding, and the case is no longer capable of being appealed to or reviewed by the California Supreme Court. Construction of the Cuesta Villas project is currently on hold pending the outcome of legal appeals regarding State Assembly Bills X1 26 and X1 27. Said Bills relate to the State's attempt to address its budget deficit through the transfer of redevelopment funds that are currently used by California cities to complete important projects such as the Cuesta Villas project. Given uncertainty regarding the action the State Supreme Court will take concerning this matter and the potential impact on the availability of funds necessary to complete the project, the City has placed the project on hold.

News Release: Court of Appeal Cuesta Villas Decision
(July 2010)

News Release: Court of Appeal Cuesta Villas Ruling
(Apr. 2010)

News Release: Los Angeles County Superior Court Cuesta Villas Ruling
(Dec. 2008)

Documents for Download

The following documents related to the affordable housing project are available for download below.

Cuesta Villas Court of Appeal Opinion (April 20, 2010) (PDF)

Cuesta Villas Los Angeles County Superior Court Ruling Document (Dec. 4, 2008) (PDF)

December 13, 2007 Agenda Report (PDF), including Proposed Disposition and Development Agreement, as amended

For ease of download, the November 8, 2007 document is divided into five separate files. The files require Adobe Reader to view, and may take a few moments to download due to their large size.

November 8, 2007 Agenda Report and Attachments 1-5 (PDF)

Attachments 6-10 (PDF)

Attachments 11-16 (PDF)

Attachment 17 (PDF)

Attachments 18-19 (PDF)

November 8, 2007 Presentation (PDF)

Note: The proposed Agreement was subject to modification at the November 8, 2007 public hearing.

A hard copy of these documents is available for public review at the Office of the City Clerk in Cerritos City Hall. In addition, a CD containing the electronic files listed above may be obtained at the Office of the City Clerk.

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