Council Review: Council Delays Decision on El Camino Real Specific Plan, Establishes Redistricting Process

By Robert Haugh

The City Council discussed the El Camino Real Specific Plan again. They had a study session on this plan in February, 2019 and March, 2020.  They still couldn’t make a final decision.  

There have been lots of concerns from neighbors about density on El Camino. The Council tried to address that by asking staff to come back with a modified version.  No surprise.

The new plan will restrict the following heights for buildings:

  • 4-story limit for all buildings
  • 2-story limit for residential
  • 3-story limit for mixed use

The Council also asked that the staff look at a possible El Camino shuttle program that could be coordinated with other northside specific area plans if they ever happen.

The vote was unanimous.

Redistricting Process

The Council made a series of decisions about the redistricting process that will happen after the City receives the 2020 Census information.

Here’s the projected timeline:

Councilwoman Kathy Watanabe suggested that the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force be appointed to handle redistricting. But only Mayor Lisa Gillmor supported that idea. The motion failed, 5-2.

Councilwoman Karen Hardy has had issues with the Task Force and expressed them publicly during a past Council meeting.

The Council then decided to pick an independent commission. It will consist of 3, 5 or 7 members. The goal is having one representative per council district and one representative at-large.

Those motions passed 6-1. Councilman Kevin Park opposed both motions.

The commission members will be picked in a random draw that will be done publicly. That motion passed 4-3. Council members Raj Chahal, Hardy, Councilmen Suds Jain and Anthony Becker voted yes. Gillmor, Watanabe and Park voted no.

The random draw should be interesting. But maybe not as interesting as this one. Maybe the City should offer cash prizes.

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