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San Gabriel Valley Tribune “West Covina council approves development of housing project on church site”

WEST COVINA – The council on Tuesday unanimously voted to approve a 19-unit housing project that will be constructed on property adjacent to Immanuel First Lutheran Church.

The Planning Commission last month approved plans for Irvine-based developer Brandywine Homes to develop the new gated housing community, which will be built on a 2.3-acre site at 512 S. Valinda Ave.

The council took final action to approve plans and a zoning change.

“We’re very excited to be in the city of West Covina with our first project,” said Brett Whitehead, president of Brandywine Homes. “We’ve worked hand-in-hand with staff and I think we’ve come up with a really fantastic project. We’re excited to finally be at this stage.”

The church has been actively trying to sell a portion of its 5.1-acre land that includes a vacant pre-school through eighth-grade school, snack bar, walkways, grass athletic field and a sandlot with playground equipment. The site also contains trees that would be removed as part of the proposed residential project.

The sanctuary and the parking lot leased out to the East Valley Community Health Center will remain intact.

Officials with the real estate company said the cost of the homes will range from the high $400,000s to low $500,000s. It will take about 21 months for the project to be fully built out.