Category Archives: Development

Lennar Development Approved at Warm Springs

The big item on the agenda last Tuesday night was the Lennar project in Warm Springs. At 2,214 homes, this is probably the largest project ever approved by the Fremont City Council. When this project was first proposed we heard that development around the new BART station was going to be “jobs-centered”. I applauded that idea and liked the concept of a mixed-use development – even one that included a large housing component. However, I believe the proposal from Lennar is far from the ideal that was originally presented.

In short, Lennar got what they wanted – the right to build 2,214 homes/apartments. The City got vacant space where we may get jobs-centered development some day.



Dias Development Approved

The Dias development is a 20 unit development on Mission Blvd. just north of the I-680 interchange. The development preserved the historic Dias residence on site. The development is rather low density with larger homes expected to sell for about $1.7 million.

I was surprised at the level of opposition that the proposal received. A number of speakers, mainly those living on the other side of Mission Blvd., had several issues with the project such as school impacts, traffic impacts, removal of their views of the hillside, and increased noise.

I was not swayed by the arguments about school, traffic or views. The number of students generated by this development will easily be offset by the school fees that this development will have to pay. Not only will they have to pay the standard school impact fees, they will be paying taxes for Measure E at the full assessed value of their homes.


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Study Session for Warm Springs Development

There was really only one important item in Tuesday’s meeting – A study session of the Master Plan for the property to the west of the Warm Spring BART station. Lennar is currently in negotiations with Union Pacific to buy the property from them.

Their proposal consists of 2,214 homes and potentially 680,000 sq. ft. of office space and about the same amount of Research and Development space. About half of the residences would be rental units.

The bulk of the public discussion was around the 12.9% affordable housing that Lennar is proposing. Since there will be so many rental properties, Lennar is able to propose less than the standard 15%.


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Joint City Council / School Board Meeting

On Monday, February 2nd the Fremont Unified School District Board and the Fremont City Council held a joint meeting to discuss issues relevant to both organizations. Of course, the main issue of concern is what developments the City is approving and how these are affecting the ability of the School District to accommodate all of the resulting students.

On the bright side, the major developments planned near the future Warm Springs BART station, which include nearly 4,000 homes, should be able to be accommodated by the new school that is planned as a part of the development. I asked the Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Morris, about the student generation rates they expect from the development. The District’s demographer believes that a 750 student elementary school would suffice. The District is asking that the main facilities at the school (cafeteria, gymnasium, etc.) all be designed for 1,100 students in case the school does have to expand its capacity.

Chic-fil-a Approved on Auto Mall Parkway

The first item on January 13th was the Chick-fil-a building on Auto Mall. The Chick-fil-a currently under construction on Mowry did not go through Council because the land was already zoned for that type of use. However, that building does give us an idea of what the building on Auto Mall would look like.

I voted no given what I saw in the current building on Mowry. The building is a large, monolithic structure that goes right up to the sidewalk. It will dominate the streetscape as one drives down Mowry from the freeway. Right now, that section of Mowry is largely an old, suburban style of buildings largely set back from the roadway with large parking lots in front. I was hoping we could move away from that older design pattern into something more appealing.

I am all for moving buildings closer to the street to give more of an urban feel, as our General Plan calls for, but a large wall of fast food restaurant structures is not what I had in mind. The proposed building on Auto Mall is right next to the existing Wendy’s building so you will now have at least a full block of fast food structures there. Also, they decided to put the drive through on the street side making it even less of an inviting structure.

Below is what their restaurant on Mowry looks like. A few people have commented to me that they think it looks like a prison.