What’s going on next to the Garden Court Cafe?
Two apartments under construction at Railroad and Carquinez in Glen Ellen
By Melissa Dowling
Residents of the new apartments at 13647 Arnold Dr. are settled in, the eggs benedicts at the Garden Court Cafe are selling like hotcakes, shoppers are buying gifts for themselves and others at McCormick’s Mercantile, and passersby are admiring the beautiful murals by artist Maria de Los Angeles since renovation of the building finished earlier this summer.
So what’s with the construction next door, which started in June? Once completed early next year, it will be three private garages that will accommodate up to 11 cars with two accessory dwelling units (ADUs) upstairs. The garages will provide flexibility to the tenants in the current building and the ADUs above to park one or two cars and have significant storage. Each garage will have electric vehicle charging facilities. The apartments above will have three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and balconies that provide a panoramic view of Glen Ellen and Sonoma Mountain.
Project owners Stephen and Holly Sorkin expect that the new units will be ready for occupancy by late winter by families who work in Glen Ellen and applied earlier this year.
The project benefited from the new state ADU law (and the upcoming Sonoma County ADU ordinance) designed to make it easier for property owners to add apartments or “granny units” to their properties and increase available housing. The law makes certain types of ADU construction completely ministerial, which means that approval is not discretionary and must take place within 60 days of a complete application. “Since we designed this project to be completely consistent with the objective standards of the Limited Commercial zoning district, we were able to proceed quickly,” said Sorkin.