Redwood City Residents Push to Slow Construction Amid Building Boom
October 24, 2015 - storage organizer
Increased trade and mountainous construction, total with rising genuine estate costs, have stirred some-more than 500 Redwood City residents to pointer a petition seeking for a duration on capitulation of new blurb buildings.
In city formulation meetings, protesters are customarily perfectionist that officials rectify a Downtown Precise Plan, a skeleton for destiny expansion in a three-block radius surrounding a county’s Old Courthouse downtown.
The devise — authorized in 2011 and initial recognised during a 2007-2010 mercantile retrogression — approaching delayed civic expansion to take place over 20 years, permitting residents to sign a impact over time. But as a economy bloomed and conditions changed, a city reached 86 percent of a plan’s bureau top in a final 4 years alone.
Calls to solidify expansion come as cloud storage organisation Box prepares to pierce to a new domicile during 900 Middlefield Road, in one of a many poignant genuine estate deals on a Peninsula this year.
Box now has somewhat some-more than 1,300 employees worldwide and expects to have 1,000 employees in Redwood City when a pierce happens in November. The pierce is approaching to coax some-more expansion down a road, as it might attract shops, restaurants and travel systems catering to a incoming workforce.
Residents dissapoint about a tallness of a Box buildings — one structure is 7 stories and a other is 4 — are now perplexing to forestall another devise from gaining approval. Dostart Development Co. is proposing a nine-story bureau building and 270 parking spots during 601 Marshall St.
Redwood City’s Planning Commission says a 112-foot-tall building won’t dwarf ancestral buildings like a City Hall of Justice (143 feet) or a Old Courthouse (118 feet). But residents sojourn skeptical, arguing that a project’s complicated design will change a downtown demeanour and feel.
“It is simply too much,” pronounced Tania Sole, who is using for City Council in November. “Within reduction than 12 months, 4 outrageous buildings went adult and totally altered a impression of a city. We’ve left from a suburban sourroundings to an civic environment.”
Sole calls for a new accurate devise formed on a five-year setting that would comment for changes to a area, such as a drought and new services like Airbnb.
“These factors cascade down into society, and people don’t always consider of them until it hits them in a face,” she said. “And here, it strike people in a face unequivocally brutally, with a series of buildings that came adult all of a sudden.”
A construction bang is indeed underway: Fourteen new buildings have been authorized underneath a expansion plan, and 6 some-more are now being reviewed. From a 500,000 block feet designed for blurb buildings, usually 61,341 sojourn open. In contrast, 1,478 housing units were built to date, from a 2,500 capped — even yet a specific design of a Precise Plan was to yield some-more downtown housing.
For 30-year proprietor Dave Gahagen, organizer of organisation “Residents for Sensible Growth in Redwood City” and author of a “Too Tall, Too Fast” petition, a impact of a construction goes over downtown.
“My regard is with a neighborhoods surrounding a area, since as these apartments and offices start to fill up, we’re going to see a vast liquid of traffic,” he said. “And I’m fearful that a good understanding of that trade will go by my front door.”
Gahagen believes that a city should concede smaller buildings, and maybe some-more of them, during a slower pace.
“If this was a case, we don’t consider commissioners would face a kind of enmity that’s being raised,” he said. “To me, expansion is like salt in a cookie recipe. If we don’t have it, it tastes funny. But if we have too much, we hurt a recipe.”
For Ralph Garcia, owners of Ralph’s Vacuum on Main Street, a large partial of a problem is that residents don’t know how a expansion will impact them personally, and a gait is frightening.
“Obviously [the Precise Plan] is 5 years forward of itself and it held everybody off-guard,” he said. “But people in general, and I’m fearful I’m guilty of it, too, don’t like change.”