City of Laguna HillsA preliminary application was recently filed with the City of Laguna Hills by Nick  Buchanan, with La Paz Village Investors, LLC, for a proposed high-density senior housing development project, to be located at 25250 – 25254 La Paz Road, replacing a portion of the existing La Paz Village shopping center, in the City of Laguna Hills. The City’s General  Plan designation for the property is Community Commercial and the property lies within the City’s Community Commercial zoning district. The proposed senior housing project is inconsistent with both the General Plan and zoning designations for the site. 

The development project is proposed on the rear 2.44-acre portion of the La Paz Village site, with 190 senior housing units, including 38 (20% of total) low-income units, proposed in a 58-foot-tall, five-story building, with 273 parking spaces provided in a basement level and the ground floor level, covered by four levels of dwelling units, with a total building area of 294,139 square feet. The project is proposed with a mix of studio, one-bedroom,  and two-bedroom units, at a density of 77.86 dwelling units per acre. Three existing commercial buildings, fronting along La Paz Road, would remain. The renderings below are from the applicant.

Applicant Nick Buchanan, with La Paz Village Investors, LLC, located at 1010 South El  Camino Real, Suite 200, in the City of San Clemente, states in the preliminary application that La Paz Village Investors, LLC intends to pursue the application as a Builder’s Remedy project under the State Housing Accountability Act (HAA) and thereby attempt to limit the City’s authority.  

Under the HAA, the City adopted a substantially compliant Housing Element update on  June 28, 2022, and is working cooperatively with State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) staff in good faith to include certain additional requested policy statements, programmatic adjustments, and minor text changes in the Housing  Element.  

According to Mayor Janine Heft, “the City has retained special legal counsel to advise the City as to its options and to address its concerns regarding this Builder’s Remedy  proposal.”

Rendering of senior housing project in Laguna Beach

Rendering of senior housing project in Laguna Beach