MVCSP submits comment letter to Environmental Planning Commission regarding 801 El Camino Real West development project
The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 3rd. See Calendar for more details.
5. STUDY SESSION
5.1 405 SAN ANTONIO ROAD
Study session to discuss a mixed -use development consisting of 100,000
square feet of commercial, retail, and restaurant; 53,000 square foot cinema;
377,000 square feet of office; and a 165 -room hotel at 405 San Antonio Road.
6. UNFINISHED BUSINESS —None.
7. NEW BUSINESS —None.
On January 16, the EPC voted unanimously to recommend to Council that two
El Camino Real apartment development proposals they were reviewing, at
1720-1730 and 865-881, be required to provide (VTA bus) EcoPasses for all
residents, for the life of the project. This is a major embellishment of
the standard TDM requirement. They also recommended unanimously that
Council direct Staff to negotiate with the developers to provide BMR units
instead of housing impact fees.
3.1 ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING COMMISSION CANDIDATE
Interview five candidates for the Environmental Planning Commission.
Details on City web site:
Tonight, tonight, there's only you tonight (and the members of the Environmental Planning Commission)
Come to City Hall tonight, June 27th at 7pm to make comments on the General Plan at the Environmental Planning Commission meeting. This is the last time the EPC will discuss the document before sending it off to Council. The question of whether or not there will be housing allowed in North Bayshore still hangs in the balance. Use the MVCSP General Plan Action Guide found below for tonight and for the Council meetings on July 3rd and 10th.
General Plan Issues and Action Guide
North Bayshore Housing
Originally, retail, housing, and office were considered for North Bayshore sopersons could live close to where they work while supporting expanded retail services.
North Bayshore was envisioned as a mixed-use boulevard with frequent transit serviceconnecting to downtown, retail on the ground floor, and apartments and office above.
Allowing housing would give people an option to live close to their jobs, supportexpanded retail services, and justify frequent, all-day transit service between Downtownand North Bayshore. However, City Council recently removed housing from the mix dueto concerns that housing would impact wildlife and exacerbate transportation problems.
The Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) recently stated that allowing housingwould have no additional impact on wildlife compared to existing development (pg82,
B6-4), and additional policies in the General Plan call for concentrating newdevelopment along Shoreline Boulevard which would restore previously built-upon landto wildlife.
1. Ask Council to restore housing to the North Bayshore area in the General Plan.
2. Consider asking that additional study on housing’s impact on wildlife beconducted in the North Bayshore Precise Plan, but we should not be eliminatinga major solution to our traffic and emissions challenges this early to the process
3. Consider asking that the impacts for a range of housing units be studied in theNorth Bayshore Precise Plan, since additional units may have a positive impacton emissions and traffic.
Flexible Mixed Use
Council recently added a draft policy that would allow greater intensities along ElCamino Real at “key locations” coupled with “significant community benefits.” Thesecriteria would be defined through the zoning, not in the General Plan, but they areexcellent mechanisms to locate growth near transit, jobs, and services. Additionally, it’s
an opportunity for the city to leverage development interest to get new civic amenities
and create great places.
1. Support the proposed policy
2. Ask that it be expanded to other change areas in addition to El Camino Real
3. Remind Councilmembers that the criteria of “significant community benefits” and“key locations” will be defined during the zoning process.
Most of the transportation policies are solidified and unlikely to change prior toadoption of the General Plan. Major studies of new transit service are likely to beundertaken in later, more focused planning efforts. However, there are opportunities toadd some language to existing policies to strengthen outcomes.
1. Ask that additional language be added to Draft General Plan bicycling policies todefine the city’s ambition as a “leader in bicycling.” Language supporting this
vision could include “development of innovative infrastructure conducive to a low-
stress bicycle transportation network comfortable for all ages and abilities.
2. Support the city’s continued work on the pedestrian master plan and
interventions that make the city more walkable.
Avenues of Action
Attend the Council and/or EPC public hearings on the Draft General Plan andspeak to the above issues during the public comment period.
Write a letter to EPC members prior to their 6/27 meeting addressing theseissues
Write a letter to City Council Members prior to their 6/3 Study Session on theDraft General Plan
Public Hearing Dates
June 27: Environmental Planning Commission meeting– 7PM @ City Hall
July 3: City Council Study Session– 5PM @ City Hall Only time for onemeeting? This is the most important one to speak at.
July 10: City Council Final Meeting– 6:30PM @ City Hall
Councilmember Contact Information
Mayor Mike Kasperzak: firstname.lastname@example.orgVice Mayor John Inks: email@example.comCouncilmember Margaret Abe Koga: firstname.lastname@example.orgCouncilmember Ronit Bryant: email@example.com
Councilmember Laura Macias: firstname.lastname@example.org
Councilmember Jac Siegel: email@example.comCouncilmember Tom Means: firstname.lastname@example.org
EPC Member Contact Information
Chair Todd Fernandez: email@example.comVice Chair Lisa Matichak: firstname.lastname@example.orgCommissioner Eric Anderson: email@example.comCommissioner John McAlister: firstname.lastname@example.orgCommissioner Kathy Trontell: email@example.comCommissioner Chris Clark: firstname.lastname@example.orgCommissioner Rachel Grossman: email@example.com
At the end of a six hour meeting, the EPC decided in a 4-3 straw vote to go against Council's direction and revisit the idea of allowing housing in the North Bayshore neighborhood, through the policies in the General Plan. This was not a decision to be taken lightly; allowing housing in North Bayshore brings up a lot of unknowns and even potential drawbacks for things like wildlife. But MVCSP firmly believes that last night's decision was a sounds one for environmental, economic and community creating reasons. We look forward to navigating the complex but exciting challenges that this decision will open up.
The members of the EPC deserve a huge thank you for considering this matter long and hard. That thanks is extended to all members of the EPC regardless of where they fell on the decision. An extra special thanks to the four EPC members who decided in the end to express support for mixed use development in North Bayshore: Rachel Grossman, Chris Clark, Eric Anderson and EPC Chair Todd Fernandez. An extra special thanks goes to Rachel Grossman for leading the charge on this topic (we admire your boldness and conviction!), Todd Fernandez, for being brave enough to publically change his mind on a heated topic (that really does take humility, intelligence and confidence) and Chris Clark for making a hard decision with an election ahead of him (that's brave too!). Eric don't feel left out; thanks for being you. :)
Finally, a huge thanks to all of the advocates who turned out last night, especially the crazies that stuck around until almost 1:00am to make a public comment. Thanks to those who wrote letters to your representatives. We've said it before but big milestones call for sappy repetition; it's people like you all who put the time in and speak up that make change happen. Thank you! You are our heroes!
- The Core Team
Overall Comments on the General Plan
Talking Points on North Bayshore