By Robert Haugh
So we thought it would be a light agenda. We were wrong by about 7 hours. Wow. It was a long meeting.
There was a lot of discussion about the Gateway Crossings development. The project at the southwest corner of Coleman Avenue and Brokaw Road includes:
- up to 1,565 residential units and 45,000 square feet of retail in four multi-story buildings,
- a 152,000 square foot high-rise hotel with parking on a separate parcel,
- 6 acres of dedicated parkland, and
- 7,500 square feet of commercial space for Police Activities League (PAL) youth programs.
The developer, Hunter Storm, requested an amendment of the Development Agreement (DA).
The original DA required the construction of the hotel in Phase 1. But because of COVID-19, there’s been an economic downturn in the hotel and travel industry. So, the developer requested that the construction of the hotel happen in Phase 2 of the project development.
The City Council voted unanimously to move the hotel development to Phase 2.
As a bonus, the developer will increase the affordable units from 10 percent to 15 percent in Buildings 3 and 4.
Briarwood Traffic Calming
In January, residents on Briarwood Drive turned in a written petition asking for traffic calming. They were mostly concerned about cars speeding on their street. Many residents suggested that the City install speed humps.
City staff did a traffic study and here’s what the report concluded:
Although traffic volume levels were in the range allowing the installation of some level of traffic calming, the speeds that were measured do not meet the Council approved Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program (NTCP) requirements to install Level 2 and Level 3 traffic calming measures (which include speed humps). However, due to some of the resident concerns, Council may consider making an exception to the City’s Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program allowing the installation of these types of traffic calming measure in this area of Briarwood Drive.
The City Council voted unanimously to waive the requirements of the NTCP.
Staff will look at installing speed humps and waive both the 70% and 100% approval requirements for written petitions from residents.
More affordable housing is good. What about rent control? My friends have it in San Jose and Santa Monica. It’s great.
The reporting here on Gateway has a slight error: The hotel is STILL in Phase 1. It was just moved to after buildings 1 and 2. Community members fought very hard to get the developer to add an additional 5% affordable housing to phase 2 against staff recommendation which was to simply accept the developers recommendation. Kudos to the Adam Thompson for crunching the numbers to show how much the developer stood to gain by bundling construction of buildings 1 and 2 together. The residents of the Old Quad really came out to fight for these additional affordable housing units. PAL got exactly what they wanted because now they get their space a little earlier — before the hotel. Another “win” was that Hunter Storm is willing to entertain adding more units to phase 2. Shows the power of community engagement to get a better deal for the City and it’s residents.