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Ripon RDA rejects building townhouses
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RIPON – Single family housing vs. townhouseS.

The Ripon City Council discussed those options on what to do with the property at the corner of Fourth Street and Acacia Avenue at last Tuesday’s Redevelopment Agency session.

Located at 439 S. Acacia Ave., the corner lot currently has an aging home built back in 1944. The City paid $79,000 for the structure on the 8,000-plus square foot property just a few months ago.

The option to remodel the 624-square-foot home was not recommended due to the poor condition of the house, according to the staff report.

One plan called for razing the existing property to make way for town houses – specifically, two three-bedroom, two-bath units – to not only accommodate one moderate-income family and one low-income family but to boost the City’s regional housing needs assessment numbers.

“As much as I like taking care of the housing needs for two families, there’s not too much of a demand for town houses (in Ripon),” Councilman Charlie Gay said.

Instead, he and his colleagues favored the single family unit to be done in the Craftsman-style home to match the existing neighborhood. At about 1,750 square feet, the three-bedroom, two-bath structure with the detached garage would replace the aging home.

“This, to me, is a real popular step,” Councilman Garry Krebbs said. “We’re saving our downtown and preserving this neighborhood to its looks of the 1940s and ‘50s.”

 The single family unit also came more acceptable to the neighbors, in particular, since the townhouse, a two-story unit, would have stuck out in the area consisting predominantely of single-story homes.

Besides, Ken Zuidervaart, the director of planning, noted that the neighborhood already has an over abundance of duplex and multi-family homes.

 He added that the Redevelopment Agency currently has nine such homes on the market. “We’re in the process of getting rid of some of these homes,” Zuidervaart said.

 Cost for the single family unit plan – marketed to the moderate-income buyer – is estimated at $259,000. That’s assuming the $95 per square foot for construction ($166,250) and the cost of the original lot ($79,900).

The estimated sale price could come to about $190,000 with subsidy totaling $69,063.