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November 22, 2005 > Patterson Ranch development notes

Patterson Ranch development notes

Comments of Richard Frisbee, Frisbee Planning Co.

Representatives of the Patterson Ranch and interested citizens met on October 26 to discuss plans for the large parcel of land under consideration for development. One of the last open spaces left in Fremont, and located adjacent to Coyote Hills Regional Park, plans are of high interest to many community interests. Richard Frisbee, principal of the planning firm representing the Patterson family spoke of the recent meeting and several misconceptions which may have resulted from reports of that meeting.

Frisbee: Although reported as 439 acres, there are actually 428 acres at the site. The property, zoned agricultural, can be subdivided into five acre residential lots. While the land has a General Plan designation as "open space," that designation in Fremont allows a density of .25 to 1 dwelling unit per acre on land that is not "constrained." The only constraint on the property is a small area of wetlands. We could, although we do not plan to do this, put 5 acre estates or clustered residences on the property.

The easement area is a private open space easement of 136 acres. The amount of land we are talking about donating to the East Bay Regional Park District is 212 acres including those 136 acres. The area of open space easement is available for agriculture, riding stables, shooting club, animal husbandry and farm buildings. It is important to know that when the easement was put into effect, the city had a policy for the owners to be compensated for the land under easement. When the city adopted a new housing element of the General Plan, the procedure to compensate the family for that land was eliminated. If this project does not move forward for some reason, the city would have to figure out some way to set up a new policy to compensate the family or vacate part or all of that easement. If we end up with a suitable plan to develop, that easement question will go away.

The area referred to as a sports complex is actually preferred by the city to be designated as a community park. The city is not planning lighted and striped fields. What is being planned is two cricket fields with underlying soccer or football fields, a large play area, some hard surface courts, a passive picnic area, two parking areas, restrooms and a small meeting room. A large buffer would abut the 212 acre gift that would separate it from the more natural-looking areas. There would not be night lighting. Staff is trying to meet the needs of the environmental groups and sports groups at some midpoint. This will be a council decision. Another buffer is at the other side of the Patterson Slough near tree growth. A small lake exists there to discourage domestic cats from intruding on Coyote Hills.

The primary buffer is the almost 300 acres of land we are giving away. The residential area is something like 128 acres of the 428 acre site. We will have schools, parks and urban uses that are different from residential use. At the corner of Paseo Padre Parkway and Ardenwood Boulevard, the city asked us to consider a neo-traditional small commercial center. We have about 30,000 square feet of commercial space plus a series of live/work units that primarily front on Ardenwood Boulevard with some fronting on Paseo Padre Parkway.

I believe we had a pretty good reception from the approximately 130 people who attended our last meeting. We have been trying to meet issues that have been raised and want to make sure the information released is accurate.

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