January 2, 2018 > Shape Our Fremont Developers ask for General Plan Amendments
Shape Our Fremont Developers ask for General Plan Amendments
Three General Plan Amendment (GPA) Screening Requests are tentatively scheduled to go to the Fremont Planning Commission in January and the City Council in February. Each involves a proposed change to the land use designation of one or more properties in order to use the land for a different purpose than originally intended.
Amending the General Plan for a specific development proposal is a major change, and the request has to undergo a screening to determine if the City even wants to consider it before the developer is allowed to submit a formal application for the project. This screening is not an approval or disapproval of either the General Plan Amendment or the project itselfÑitÕs just an indication the City is willing to consider making the change. Comments from Fremont residents are part of the screening process and are welcome and encouraged.
Here are the three latest GPA Requests:
Ice House Terrace
By far, the biggest proposal is Robson HomesÕ request to change the land use designation of two lots at the corner of Ice House Terrace and Fremont Boulevard from Regional Commercial to Urban Residential in order to build 141 market-rate apartments in several three-story buildings. The land is near Home Depot on Auto Mall Parkway and is surrounded by other existing commercial operations, including Glacier Ice Company, which is across the street.
Although all of the proposed project will be market-rate housing, the developer claims it Òwill be FremontÕs most affordable market-rate housing project.Ó Over 80 percent of the apartments will be studio and junior one-bedroom units with 480 to 700 square feet floor areas that will rent for an initial estimate of $2,050 to $2,400 per month. According to the developer, these units Òwill serve primarily singles and couples making $84,000 to $98,300.Ó
The reason the proposal requires a GPA is the General Plan clearly states that residential uses such as this project are not allowed in areas designated for Regional Commercial.
Robson Homes is also requesting a GPA to change the land use designation of two vacant properties on Ellsworth Street in Mission San Jose from Town Center Commercial to Medium Density Residential in order to build 20 market-rate townhouses. The project site is located across from the post office and is surrounded by a mix of one-story commercial buildings and one-and two-story residences.
The townhouses in the interior of the project will be a full three stories with those around the edges being two-and-half stories. Eight will be attached duplexes, and the rest will be detached standalone units.
A GPA is required because the current Town Center Commercial designation would allow residential units only as part of a mixed-use development with some commercial space, which the developer says is not viable for the property.
The final GPA request is from the Betchart Family Trust to remove four properties they still own from the Irvington BART Station Special Study Area on Osgood Road and designate the land as Medium Density Residential in order to develop the area with 99 condominium/flats, which the owners are contemplating building.
The major issue is that the properties are where Fremont plans to build the Irvington BART station. Representatives of the family trust point out that Fremont has stated it does not intend to use city funds to buy the properties and cannot guarantee if the station will actually be built.
What do you think?
Residents should ask whether it is in the best interests of Fremont to consider such changes to the General Plan. Do we need to make a change at all, or is the current land use designation just fine? Would the proposed use fit with the surrounding area? Is it the kind of use you want to have there, or, would it be out of place and cause problems?
Residents may express their comments and concerns about any of these proposed General Plan Amendments to City Staff Planner Wayland Li at firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about all proposed housing developments and related issues in Fremont, go to www.ShapeOurFremont.com