Redwood City Tries to Stop Developers Building ‘Monster Homes’ for Maximum Profit

As more developers raze starter homes to build extravagant monster homes in Redwood City, the City Council has escalated its approach to protecting the city’s landscape and its diversity.

Redwood City Council on Monday night voted unanimously to add a layer to the city’s permit approval process by requiring that new homes that cover 45 percent of a lot or are 3,000 square feet or more go before the planning commission for review.

Several proposed projects and homes built by developers recently have caused an uproar among some residents who complain that the new projects lack compatibility with existing neighborhoods and are making it more difficult for young families to live in the city.

“My hope is that, by doing this, the developer will actually adjust the projects. That they will downsize them to a reasonable size that the neighborhood can live with and that will still meet the needs of a large growing family,” Mayor Ian Bain said at the council meeting Monday night.

Even so, the council’s decision fell short of what the city planning commission recommended as part of the city’s multi-pronged plan to modify its zoning ordinances and residential design guidelines. The commission had called for an outright limit on the size of single-family homes to 40 percent of the lot area or to a maximum house size of 2,500 square feet — whichever was greater.

The council made the decision after a nearly five-hour meeting in front of a divided, standing-room-only crowd of about 150 residents.

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Redwood City Puts Up Extra Hurdles For Development of Large New Homes

Redwood City’s leaders are imposing new rules that add an additional hurdle in the city’s permit approval process for the development of large new single-family homes, the Mercury News reports, though the new rules stop short of going as far as the Planning Commission’s recommendation to place an absolute ban on single-family homes above a certain size.

The City Council voted unanimously Monday night to approve the new ordinance, which requires new homes 3,000 square feet or above or those that cover 45 percent or more of a lot to be reviewed by the planning commission, in additional to the regular approval process for single-family development.

“My hope is that, by doing this, the developer will actually adjust the projects. That they will downsize them to a reasonable size that the neighborhood can live with and that will still meet the needs of a large growing family,” Redwood City Mayor Ian Bain said at last night’s meeting, per the Mercury News.

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June 2019 Pre-Application Meeting Memo to Neighbors

Note that the paint store is 2 stories tall. The condos would be 3. Go take a look and visualize it. Almost the Tallest building on Woodside road!

HELLO NEIGHBOR! YOUR HELP IS NEEDED

PLEASE ATTEND IF YOU CAN AND SHARE THIS WITH YOUR NEIGHBORS
DOWNLOAD THE WORD FILE OF THIS POST HERE: June 2019 Letter to Neighbors

Meeting Forum: Pre-Application Workshop
Meeting Date: Monday, June 3, 2019
Meeting Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Meeting Location: San Mateo County Government Center
455 County Center, Room 101
Redwood City, CA  94063
Project File Number: PRE 2018-00054

In November or 2004 we asked the County Planning Commission to “Rezone, by ordinance, lands in the R-1/S-7 zoning district in the Selby Neighborhood (Sequoia Tract) to R-1/S-74” (Single Family Housing)

Stating: “… several modest homes have been torn down and replaced with substantially larger houses. Some large parcels have been subdivided and developed with large houses. These new houses range in size from 3,000 to 6,000 sq. ft. They now sporadically appear from block to block. Residents are concerned that the character of the neighborhood will be significantly altered if larger and larger houses continue to be built.

Several meetings have been held in the neighborhood to discuss this issue. Residents have agreed that new zoning regulations are needed to control house size, height, and bulk. County planning staff was asked to bring the new regulations and the proposed rezoning to the Planning Commission for a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors.”

It passed 5-0. Now, the property owner wants to rezone, tear down the houses and put up 3 story condos.

From a 2017 Email: There is no precedent for changing the zoning from R1 at the request of a developer.  Why should this developer be exempt from the building regulations, but I am still subject to them?  What is to prevent an unfair advantage to developers who curry favor with county officials?”

All other arguments aside – Sewage, Speeders, Infrastructure, Architecture, Traffic, Parking, Daylight Planes, Size, Height, Etc. – And please note – This is NOT “Affordable Housing.”

I suggest focusing on the most fundamental point. If this can’t be answered, the application should be denied:

WHAT IS THE COMPELLING REASON TO REZONE WHEN WE JUST DID SO IN 2004 TO PREVENT THIS EXACT THING FROM HAPPENING?

Redwood City Weighing Regulations On Home Size

Selby Acres was re-zoned S-74 in 2004 to preserve the area from this exact issue! Now Redwood City is considering the same types of regulations to be adopted while Selby Lane residents are fighting to keep our zoning as it is.

Redwood City officials are weighing regulations on single-family home size as well as the height of accessory dwelling units in response to deep concerns over a growing number of projects many feel are excessive and incompatible with their surroundings….

…“The data only reinforces what many of us see happening to our neighborhoods with our very own eyes: profit-driven developers bulldozing what has historically been starter homes or that missing middle and replacing them with enormous home with no regard for the neighborhood or neighbors,” said longtime Mt. Carmel resident Kris Johnson. He claimed that since 2017, Redwood City has seen 11 homes with an FAR greater than .60 and two homes with an FAR over .70.

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Massive Redwood City Housing, Retail and Office Development Up For Final OK

We are about to get into the next round of defending our properties from developers and county boards that don’t listen to their constituents .

WHAT IS THE COMPELLING REASON TO REZONE?

THERE IS NO HOUSING SHORTAGE. THESE ARE NOT AFFORBALE UNITS. WHY SHOULD WE REZONE?

It’s not for lack of building in the area. Here is the latest:

Nearly three years in the making, a massive development that could transform a neighborhood near Redwood City’s downtown into a vibrant hub of housing, stores and offices is poised to get the final green light this week.

The proposed development will include 400 market-rate residential units, 120 affordable units, 420,000 square feet of office space, 26,000 square feet of retail space, a 10,000 square-foot child care center and shared underground parking for residents, employees and retail customers.

A 1.6-acre open space area — complete with a dog park, water feature and a shaded plaza with seating — will separate the residential and office buildings.

Massive Redwood City housing, retail and office development up for final OK

2 Years Later – Rutherford Estates Zoning Battle Round 2

So this is exhausting but here we are again.

Refering to a 2017 email:

3. There is no precedent for changing the zoning from R1 at the request of a developer.  Why should this developer be exempt from the building regulations but I am still subject to them?  What is to prevent an unfair advantage to developers who curry favor with county officials?  This proposal would set precedent that gives power to the county to make discretionary exceptions that affect the economic well being of residents and property owners in the county.

Yet here we are again in 2019:

NOTICE OF PRE-APPLICATION WORKSHOP

A public workshop will take place on Monday, June 3, 2019, to allow for public comment on a proposal submitted to the San Mateo County Planning Department (Planning Case File No. PRE2018-00054) to merge two parcels (APNs 069-311-340, 069-311-250) located at 1301 and 1311 Woodside Road in the unincorporated Sequoia Tract of San Mateo County.

Project DescriptionThe subject parcels are currently zoned R-1/S-74 (One-Family Residential; S-74 Combining District) and are proposed to be re-zoned to R-3/S-3 (Multiple-Family Residential; 5,000 sq. ft. minimum parcel size) to allow for higher density housing.  The applicant has also provided conceptual plans for six (6) three-story townhomes (18,550 square feet total) to illustrate potential development under the proposed R-3/S-3 Zoning.  The two (2) existing single-family residences are proposed to be demolished.

The meeting details are as follows:

Meeting Forum: Pre-Application Workshop
Meeting Date: Monday, June 3, 2019
Meeting Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Meeting Location: San Mateo County Government Center
455 County Center, Room 101
Redwood City, CA  94063
Project File Number: PRE 2018-00054
Project Applicant: Moshe Dinar, AIA, Dinar & Associates
P.O. Box 70601
Oakland, CA  94612
Project Owner: Kardosh Mounir
800 South B Street, Suite 100
San Mateo, CA  94401
Project Address: APNs 069-311-340, 069-311-250
1301 and 1311 Woodside Road
Redwood City, CA  94061

Purpose of WorkshopThe purpose of the Pre-Application Public Workshop is to provide for and foster early public involvement and input on a major development project and, to the extent feasible, identify potential issues before the applicant submits the necessary Planning applications initiating the County’s formal review process.  The public workshop is for informational purposes only and shall not confer or imply any approval or rejection of the proposed project by the County of San Mateo.  A workshop was held on June 21, 2017 for a previous version of the proposal which included 10 apartments and re-zoning of the parcels to an R-3/S-3 zoning district (PRE2017-00012).  The proposal was revised to propose townhomes.  The goal of the public workshop is to collect review agency and public input of the significantly revised proposal.

Surrounding Land Use and Land Use History of Project Site:

The subject parcels are zoned R-1/S-74 and are directly bordered by Rutherford Avenue to the north, Woodside Road to the west, single-family residences to the east, and a commercial building to the south.  Across Rutherford Avenue to the north is an apartment complex and to the west across Woodside Road is an apartment complex and commercial development.  The greater surrounding area is comprised of single-family residences, commercial buildings and apartment complexes.  Along Woodside Road, all of the areas on the west side and many parcels on the east side are located within the incorporated areas of Redwood City rather than the unincorporated San Mateo County areas.  Each subject parcel is currently developed with a single-family residence.

Applicable Regulations, Review, and Approvals Required:

 This project will require a Merger, General Plan Amendment, Zoning Amendment, Major Subdivision, and a Tree Removal Permit.  The project proposes to merge the two parcels and re-zone from R-1/S-74 to R-3/S-3 to allow for higher density housing.  The applicant has provided conceptual plans for six three-story townhomes (18,550 sq. ft. total).  The project would include the removal of several significant trees.  Twelve parking spaces would be provided as required by the Zoning Regulations.  The project will, at minimum, require a Negative Declaration per California Environmental Quality Act requirements.

After the Pre-Application Workshop and consideration of the comments submitted, the applicant may proceed with their formal application for the proposed development.  The Planning Department will prepare the appropriate environmental document, which will be posted with a commenting period for applicable agencies, members of the public, and other interested parties.  The next opportunity for public input will be when the Merger, General Plan Amendment, Zoning Amendment, and Major Subdivision application is brought before the Planning Commission for recommendation to the Board of Supervisors.  Public noticing will be provided prior to future hearings before the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors.

If you have any questions regarding the proposal or the Pre-Application Workshop, please contact Ruemel Panglao, Project Planner, Telephone:  650/363-4582 or
E-mail:  rpanglao@smcgov.org

The plans submitted by the applicant for this project are available to view at the County Planning and Building Department office at 455 County Center (2nd Floor), Redwood City, CA,  94063 and on the County Planning and Building Department’s website at:  https://planning.smcgov.org.  Please go to the “Permit Center” on the Planning and Building Department’s website and click on “Planning & Code Compliance” (no log-in needed).  Enter PRE2018-00054 in all CAPS and click “Search”.  Then click on “Record Info” and “Attachments” and click the appropriate link to view the plan set.

Here is a link to it: CLICK Here and under RECORDS INFO click ATTACHMENTS

Save you some clicks:

Personal side note: How many cars do you think are going to get T-Boned pulling out of that parking lot as people speed around from Woodside Rd. to Rutherford Ave.?

Bonus points – Hoiw many times have you as a resident been or almost been t-boned backing out of your driveway?  Send your answers to DanielCurran@RutherfordEstates.com

 

 

CML:RSP: ann –  RSPDD0227_WNV.DOCX

 

 

Redwood City Exceeds Housing Goals – NO to Rutherford Ave Rezoning!

Another nail in the coffin for anyone thinking there is a logical reason to re-rezone the Rutherford Ave / Woodside Rd parcel and allow the property owner to build condos when the area was rezoned less than 15 years ago to protect against that exact thing.

The county still needs to do a better job on affordable housing for sure, but market-price housing goals are actually being exceeded.

Redwood City has exceeded its Regional Housing Needs Allocation target for above-market rate units for the current RHNA cycle, which spans from 2014 to 2023, but is far from satisfying its affordable housing goal, according to the city’s annual housing report, which was recently submitted to the state.

To meet its affordable housing goal, Redwood City must construct 502 moderate-, 372 low- and 699 very-low-income units by the end of 2023 when the cycle ends.

 For “above moderate” units, Redwood City has permitted 1,645 units to date, nearly 500 units more than its 1,152-unit goal by 2023.

Mountain View to Add Almost 10,000 Homes – SAY NO TO REZONING OF RUTHERFORD AVE!

As if you needed another reason to contact the San Mateo County Planning and Building Department and tell them there is no reason to rezone Rutherford Ave in order to build condiminiums:

Mountain View City Council took a resounding whack at the Bay Area’s housing crisis last night (Dec. 12) by approving an updated version of the North Bayshore Precise Plan, adding 9,850 housing units to the area, including 1,970 units priced at below market rate.

Here is the 2004 Rezoning documentation they are trying to reverse: “Consideration of an amendment to the County Zoning Regulations to create the “S-74” zoning district regulations and consideration of rezoning lands zoned R-1/S-7 in the Selby Neighborhood (Sequoia Tract) to R-1/S-74 to control house size and height.

Full Story Here

 

Another Day, Another Crash on Montgomery!

Yet another crash on Montgomery.  This time, on San Carlos.

It was WAY past time to put stop signs at all of the Montgomery intersections to stop the speeding down the cross streets.

The 100 block of Rutherford needs either speed bumps (2) a stop sign, or both.

I have a radar detector on order.

Redwood City: City Plans to Turn El Camino into Travel Mecca

More affordable housing in the works on El Camino, another reason NOT to go against the will of residents and Rezone Rutherford Avenue for one person’s profit.

“The El Camino Real Corridor Plan, launched by the City Council in January 2016, envisions making it easier to travel by car, bike, transit or foot along El Camino Real to boost businesses and possibly reduce traffic congestion.

The plan, which emerged from six public meetings led by a 10-member citizens advisory panel that included Vice Chairman Kevin Bondonno and Commissioner Muhammad Safdari — place the highest priority on allowing all forms of travel while not reducing the number of car lanes. Other priorities include more ground-floor retail and housing, particularly affordable housing.”

Full Story Here.