Here are updates on land use and transportation policy decisions in progress in cities along the Peninsula Corridor. Do you live or work in these places and have information and thoughts? Share ideas in comments. Would you be interested in reporting and blogging? Let us know…
San Bruno Height Limit Ballot Measure
On Tuesday night October 21st at 7:30, the League of Women Voters will moderate a forum on a San Bruno ballot measure to raise the height limit near the Caltrain station and El Camino. The city has seen minimal change in its downtown area since a ballot measure in the 70s set a 50 foot height limit. The event will be at 1555 Crystal Springs Road, San Bruno.
Millbrae Station Area Plan
In Millbrae, City Council held a meeting to review the process for the Millbrae Station Area Plan, and comments were due on the Environmental Impact Report on Sunday October 19th. Refresh this page for an update on the meeting and next steps.
San Mateo Downtown Plan
San Mateo is starting a process to update its downtown plan. The planning process may consider policies to increase housing for all incomes and age levels, policies to reduce vehicle trips, consideration to raise the current height limit, and better integration of the El Camino Real area to downtown. Next step related to the project will be a review of the city’s draft sustainable Streets plan by City Council on November 3.
Redwood City Community Benefits
On October 15, Redwood City held a meeting to solicit feedback on the community benefits that developers should help to fund. Staff’s project plan calls for Council to review a draft Community Benefits Ordinance by March. Such a plan would not apply to projects that have already been approved.
Update: at the meeting, community members gathered around four tables and shared ideas about what should be included in the community benefits menu. A variety of ideas included library, arts, affordable housing, “complete streets”, and vehicle trip reduction benefits programs. There was also a vocal contingent who attended the meeting expressing dissatisfaction with the changes in Redwood City’s downtown, and a desire to halt further change.
For folks not at the meeting, you can also contribute ideas in writing here, including funding for bicycle and pedestrian improvements, vehicle trip reduction benefits, and affordable housing with transit access.
Menlo Park Council requires Stanford project to reduce trips
Menlo Park City Council reviewed a traffic study conducted for a proposed Stanford development at 500 El Camino Real, with 199,500 square feet of office space, 170 apartment units, and 10,000 square feet of retail space, would exceed the city’s trip thresholds. The project will be therefore required to conduct an environmental impact report.
City Council members gave guidance that they want to see the excess vehicle trips reduced; approaches mentioned included stronger vehicle trip reduction programs or making the development smaller. However, the guidance to reduce trips would be moot if Measure M passes in November, which would require the Stanford development, and another proposed development on El Camino on the North side of the train station, to be redesigned.
Proponents of Measure M contend that it will reduce traffic, although evidence shows that offices near transit are the easiest vehicle trips to reduce, and more retail may generate higher traffic. Click here for material supporting Measure M, and here for material opposing Measure M.
Mountain View Council tones down recommendation for improved jobs/housing balance in San Antonio
On October 7, Mountain View City Council backed off of an earlier goal to improve the jobs/housing balance in the San Antonio Specific Plan area. Council moved forward with rules allowing about 3000 new jobs and 1245 new homes, and rejected a staff proposal to require phasing of offices and homes. The reasoning is to enable offices near the train station, where people are most likely to take transit.
Instead, Council members indicated they might be willing to reduce allowed office development in North Bayshore to compensate. And the large Merlone Geier development was removed from the plan, so its provisions will also be negotiated separately. Council members Bryant and McAlister opposed the changes, and Council member John Inks did not vote because he owns property in the area.
Update/correction: Council removed the prioritization of public benefits, since it is hard to determine years in advance. They did not remove the public benefits menu.
Next steps are an Environmental Planning Commission review of the plan is set a Nov. 17 meeting, and Council’s final vote is for December 2 – before new City Council candidates would be seated.