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May 20, 2011 > The price of open space

The price of open space

When is open space simply another property waiting for subdivision and development? The question has come before the residents of the Kimber Park community in Fremont who have lived for decades in single-family dwellings that surround several parcels reserved in the original grant deed, dated February 20, 1976 for a swim/tennis club and open space. Although several attempts by developers have ensued during intervening years, residents have successfully resisted their efforts.

Now another developer has surfaced to challenge the status quo. In response to a Preliminary Review Procedure (PRP) application to remove six tennis courts to "facilitate development of 44 single-family houses," and subsequent revision reducing the number of homes to 28, a Fremont staff planner noted from 1973 development plans, "...the parcel in question was provided as private open space, and that this private open space was an integral part of the overall design of the planned district."

Staff response goes on to say, "It is not appropriate to now remove a significant amount of private open space for the development of this residential project based upon recalculations of density applied in 1973 when the land use planning of the entire neighborhood took its provision into account with all other factors of the original project."

Kimber Park residents have formed an organization to continue their guardianship of the neighborhood and, so far, have been united in defense of the open space and tennis/swim club property. More information is available at www.savekimberpark.com.

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