San Ramon again pushes back debate on City Village 404-unit residential project | New


Rather than pushing forward the demand for an ambitious housing project this week, as planned, the San Ramon Planning Commission chose to extend public hearings for the City Village development project of 404 units until next month.

After discussion in a public hearing on Tuesday evening, the commissioners voted unanimously to continue until October 5 the hearing on the proposed changes to the project, guided by an updated staff report addressing the issues and providing clarification from the meeting that night. Another meeting on October 19 will focus on discussions and public hearings on general project design issues.

“It seems to me that some commissioners are saying that they are not comfortable voting on these changes without seeing the graphic changes for the streets,” Planning commissioner Rick Marks said at the September 21 meeting. . “So that makes me think we need to take a look at it one more time before a vote is taken.”

While the commissioners reviewed the proposed changes to the project in detail, with around two hours in total spent discussing City Village, the complexity and scope of the ambitious mixed-use project, how it fits into other existing and planned projects in the Bishop park area, along with the general city plan and pedestrian precinct master plan, proved too difficult to deal with overnight, before a vote.

The proposed City Village project would lead to the construction of 404 units on 31 acres of land in part of the Bishop Ranch business park. The proposed distribution of units was initially 114 detached townhouses, 154 detached yard units and 136 townhouse units.

The proposal also includes a 2-acre park, which commissioners considered moving from its originally planned location on Tuesday. About 15% of housing units should be classified as affordable housing, according to San Ramon’s inclusive housing requirements.

City Village’s “work from home” model would ideally reduce traffic and commute time, while complementing planners’ visions for Bishop Ranch as part of a centralized downtown. However, this poses challenges and complications in terms of zoning, which was one of the talking points on Tuesday. Additionally, travel to area offices, environmental sustainability, and limited parking already pose challenges, as noted by public commentators.

The Commissioners sought to balance and alleviate these concerns in their recommendations on the project, which include relocating a proposed park, mitigating parking limits posed by lanes and driveways, and incorporating guidelines. in the environmental impact report of the project to best determine the appropriate housing density.

“If the Commission supports the proposed changes on October 5, the revisions to the specific plan modification policy will then be submitted to city council for review,” Planning Services Director Lauren Barr said in an email. Thursday after the meeting.

In general, the Commissioners weighed favorably on City Village and seemed eager to move forward with the application process, with Marks adding that “the applicant has a good idea of ​​where we are going, or at least where we are going. where most commissioners go. “

Barr told commissioners staff had enough information about the night’s discussion to present a revised report, clarifying some aspects of the change to the specific North Camino Ramon plan and responding to questions raised that night. He noted that the staff preference was to present this in a separate discussion, before going ahead with the review of the application on October 19.

The commission was set to consider forwarding the request to city council at Tuesday’s meeting. However, policy questions remained, in particular regarding the revisions to the proposed modification of the specific plan of North Camino Ramon. These will be addressed by Barr and other staff at the October 5 meeting. The next meeting, on October 19, will focus on discussions and public comment on broader and more design-related issues regarding the project.

“The final decision on the planning commission’s proposal will not take place until city council has reviewed and approved the standards changes associated with the specific North Camino Ramon plan,” Barr wrote.

Staff will present an updated report to the committee on October 5. Commissioners are expected to resume consideration of City Village’s amended application on October 19.

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