This came to the Council a while back as a General Plan amendment. I voted against this since I didn’t feel this was the right place for more residential. While it was touted as being a more walkable neighborhood, the fact is there is no retail within a reasonable walkable range.
The project is 46 homes in your typical suburban fashion that we see in Fremont – three story townhomes/duets packed in tight, thin streets with no on-street parking, and a roadway that is dominated by two car garages. I must admit the front part of the homes along Stevenson Place will look fairly nice. The interior roadway will be only 29 feet wide from garage door to garage door (22 feet for the roadway itself). The homes will be about 31 feet high. It will definitely have the ‘canyon’ look that these developments have.
Parking was a big issue. The applicant deliberately did not provide enough on site guest parking arguing that the adjacent street, Stevenson Place, did have street parking that wasn’t being used. I have to agree that there is street parking here that will likely be available. However, I feel this sets a bad precedent that we allow developers to consider on street parking as free to be used for their development, allowing them to develop even more densely. If we are to allow such a situation, shouldn’t we require an additional fee to the developer?
Another issue that got a lot of discussion at the Planning Commission hearing was bollards that will block the roadway between this development and the affordable housing development next door. There is absolutely no need for these except that it would prevent a “property management issue” of some other people driving in their neighborhood. I said that I found it offensive that this development feels the need to block off their neighbors from using their roadway.
The final vote on the development passed 3-2 with Lily Mei and I dissenting.
The photo here is of one of the first developments I voted against as a Councilmember near Washington/Osgood. Note the dominance of the garages, no driveways for people to park their car, and a thin sidewalk on only one side of the street. The ‘canyon’ effect is less in this photo as these are only two story homes. Unfortunately, this type of development has become the standard residential design in Fremont of late.