SUBJECT: PDC02-029. PLANNED DEVELOPMENT REZONING OF THE PROPERTY LOCATED AT THE SOUTHWEST CORNER OF ALUM ROCK AVENUE AND MCCREERY AVENUE.
COUNCIL DISTRICT: 5
The Planning Commission voted 5-0-0-1 (Godbolt abstained) to recommend that the City Council adopt an ordinance rezoning the subject site as proposed by the applicant.
On May 22, 2002, the Planning Commission held a public hearing to consider a Planned Development from R-1-8 Residence and CG Commercial to A (PD) Planned Development Zoning district to allow up to 93 multiple-family attached residences, 12 single family attached residences, and 7,600 square feet of commercial use.
The Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement recommended approval of the proposed .
Bill Zavalaris, representing the Community Housing Developers spoke in favor of the project.
Nine people, including local residents, representatives of the Alum Rock Business Association, and affordable housing advocacy groups also spoke in favor of the project. Two members of the Mayfair Community and Jaime Alvarado (representing the Mayfair Initiative) indicated that they were very supportive of the project since it would provide housing which would be affordable to the existing community and provide an opportunity for existing residents in the area to improve their housing conditions and standard of living. They indicated that the existing housing in the area is in short supply leading to overcrowded conditions.
Bud LoMonaco, representing the Alum Rock Business Association (HOA), supported the project and was very pleased to have the retail included in the project.
Two people spoke against the project.
Brenda Collins (President of the Rock Creek Home Owners Association) was concerned that the density would be too high and indicated the Association felt that there are already too many rentals in the area. She stated that the community believes they have had problems with renters being disrespectful of private property, and that this project would worsen that problem. She also indicated concerned about traffic and parking and asked about the number of 2- and 3- bedroom units in the project.
Betty Usher (Rock Creek Condominium Project) also spoke against the project. She was very concerned about the density being too high, the potential for parking and traffic impacts, and that the City had not yet installed the traffic signal at McCreery and Alum Rock Avenue as was promised.
Several other people spoke in favor of the project and strongly endorsed it. They stated that it would be a good addition to the neighborhood and would provide much needed affordable housing. They also endorsed the developer, Community Housing Developers, as a reliable group that has done a good job with their other City housing projects. Those who spoke included: Charlotte Casey (Housing Action Coalition), Phyllis Ward (Affordable Housing Network), Betty Feldheym (Urban Interfaith Council on Religion, Race, Economic and Social Justice), and Laura Shuchinsky (Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group).
Staff responded to these issues by providing the following information: The project’s proposed density of 49.5 DU/AC is at the low end of the density range consistent with the Urban Transit Oriented Development Corridor designation of 45+DU/AC. The project will include 60% 2-bedroom units and 30% 3-bedroom units, with a small number of 1- and 4- bedroom units. The Traffic Report, prepared by an independent traffic consultant, and the in-house traffic analysis, prepared by the City Public Works Department, both concluded that the project will not result in a significant traffic impact to the area. As part of the project, the applicant will construct a new 48- foot residential street, provide Eco-Passes or other comparable program to encourage transit, and contribute $35,000 toward the new traffic signal at McCreery. Staff also indicated that the applicant would provide adequate parking for the project in conformance to the City Zoning Ordinance, and would be required to provide a private security program that will help discourage crime and property defacement in the neighborhood. Public Works staff indicated that the traffic signal at Alum Rock Avenue and McCreery is planned for installation in the summer of 2003
Commissioner’s James and Levy indicated that they were originally concerned about the proposed density being too high, but after hearing the community testimony, they became convinced that the density would be appropriate for this area.
Commissioners James and Chun Hoo expressed concern about the applicant’s proposed change in the Zoning requirement for Eco Passes to something more general, and recommended the language to require the developer to provide Eco-Passes or other comparable incentive for transit use remain.
Commissioner Zamora asked about the status of the “Orange” (Mark’s Hot Dogs) relocation, and staff indicated that they are still working out the details of the storm drainage requirement with Public Works and that the Conditional Use Permit to allow the move to its new location on Capitol Avenue is expected to be approved soon.
Commissioners James, Chun Hoo, Zamora and Levy indicated that they thought this was a very good mixed-use project, and very well designed. They were pleased to see that the project addressed the light rail corridor by including a commercial element. Commissioner Chun Hoo indicated that she had seen the developer’s Canoas Gardens project and felt it was beautiful and very well maintained, and that she supports the project’s mixture of 2- and 3- bedroom units as needed for families in the area.
The Planning Commission then closed the public hearing and reviewed and considered the Negative Declaration adopted on May 22, 2002, and found it in conformance with CEQA. The Commission approved the project by a vote of 5-0-0-1 (Godbolt abstained).
A notice of the public hearing was distributed to the owners and tenants of all properties located within 500 feet of the project site. A community meeting was held on April 25, 2002.
This project was coordinated with the Department of Public Works, Fire Department, Police Department, Environmental Services Department and the City Attorney.
STEPHEN M. HAASE
Secretary, Planning Commission
c: Bill Zavalaris, Community Housing Developers, 255 North Market Street, San Jose, CA 95110