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August 3, 2004 > Fremont Planning Commission Recommends Measures for Implementing the Hill Area Initiative of 2002 (Measure T)

Fremont Planning Commission Recommends Measures for Implementing the Hill Area Initiative of 2002 (Measure T)

by Jeff Schwob, Interim Planning Director, City of Fremont

On July 22, 2004, the Fremont Planning Commission recommended to the City Council various implementation measures for the Hill Area Initiative of 2002 (Measure T), which was approved by Fremont voters in 2002. As required by State law, the City must incorporate the Initiative's General Plan provisions into the City's zoning ordinance. The zoning ordinance sets forth more specific provisions and standards for review of development and which types of land use are allowable for a given area or parcel of land. The Planning Commission considered the following proposal from City staff:

  • Adoption of General Plan land use maps that reflect the area covered by the Initiative and their respective land use designations, and
  • Adoption of corresponding Zoning Maps that identify the specific zoning district applicable to various properties covered by the Initiative [with the provision that areas zoned Planned District will remain zoned as Planned District], and
  • Adoption of Zoning Text Amendments which provide more detailed rules and regulations for how development is to be reviewed and how much and what type of development may be permitted [including provisions that allow for homes destroyed by natural disaster to be able to be rebuilt to the same size and at the same location; as well as allowing remodeling or additions to homes where the cumulative size will be less than 7,500 square feet, to be reviewed by staff (not the Planning Commission)].

After a public hearing, the Planning Commission recommended the following actions be taken:

  1. That staff meet with the Avalon and Ponderosa homeowners, as well as other interested parties, prior to the next City Council meeting regarding the Initiative to further clarify the proposal and answer questions regarding the Initiative and proposed map and text modifications.

  2. That the City Council consider obtaining an independent consultant to review the principles that were used to arrive at the recommended Toe of the Hill line.

  3. That the City Council adopt the environmental documents, find that the proposal is consistent with the General Plan (which includes the voter approved Hill Area Initiative of 2002), and approve the implementation measures consisting of revised General Plan Land Use maps, corresponding zoning maps, and zoning text changes. In addition, to the extent the City Council does retain an independent consultant to review the Toe of the Hill line, or approve a Toe of the Hill line based on other principles, the General Plan Land Use maps, zoning maps, and zoning text changes would be modified to reflect any such subsequent decision.

  4. That the City Council direct staff to further enhance the application submittal requirement handout to include examples. In addition, staff should continue to develop definitions/evaluation criteria for undefined terms and phrases used within Measure T, including but not limited to terms such as "visibility from public places," "to the extent practicable," and "appropriate landscaping for the hill area." Finally, staff should continue to develop performance standards for the review of projects. Such standards should include development of appropriate Floor Area Ratios, determination of a minimum amount of usable open space for recreation and other outdoor activities, and other criteria by which to review how a project is or is not in compliance with the provisions of the Hill Area Initiative of 2002.

The recommendations made by the Planning Commission have not been scheduled for action by the City Council at this time. A City Council work session on implementation of the Hill Area Initiative of 2002 (Measure T) is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, September 21, 2004.

For more information on the Hill Area Initiative of 2002 (Measure T), please visit the City of Fremont website at or contact the Planning Division at (510) 494-4440,
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