Local developer Ryan Heater is planning a 14-story mixed-use development for Midtown Sacramento, called Yamanee. This would be the tallest building in the neighborhood — and in doing so, would also violate zoning ordinances.

Yamanee will be built at the corner of 25th and J streets. The condo development will be located in the Sutter District of Midtown, an area known for its eclectic restaurants and nightclubs, near Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park.

The project will include:

  • 134 residential units for sale, ranging from studios to three-bedrooms;
  • 11,000 square feet of retail space on the ground level, to be committed to local retailers;
  • 124 parking spaces in the underground garage; and
  • amenities for the residents like a pool, vertical garden, waterfall, exercise facility and outdoor spaces.

The local developer plans to incorporate environmentally friendly design aspects into the project and intends to meet the LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Platinum standard.

The problem? At 178 feet tall, Yamanee far exceeds Midtown Sacramento’s 65-foot height limit.

The site is to be located across the street from the nine-story senior rental housing building, St Francis Manor, which, at 100 feet, exceeds the limit but was built before the height ceiling was put in place. Allowing an even taller high-rise in Midtown makes some vocal community members concerned about losing Midtown’s character, as voiced in a recent Sacramento Planning & Design Commission meeting.

Many local business owners in the J-Street Corridor are in favor of the project, as it will bring live-in customers within easy walking distance of their businesses. They are also excited about the aesthetic quality of the project, which will contribute to the revitalization of the neighborhood.

Also in support of the project are former or further-flung Sacramento residents who wish to move into Midtown, and believe this high-rise will allow them to do so.

However, some nearby homeowners and preservationists are less eager to acquire more neighbors. They are generally in favor of adding more housing to Sacramento, but in the downtown area to the west, where high-rises conform to the zoning plan. Some members of the Planning & Design Commission are also concerned about creating an exception with this project and deviating from the general zoning plan.

The Planning & Design Commission initially reviewed the project’s application in a December 2015 meeting. They planned to return for a decision in March 2016, but have not yet revisited the project as of this writing.

Sacramento residents can attend a Planning & Design meeting to let their voices be heard.