News

SummerHill's 10-home proposal hits final stretch

City Council set to vote on plan for 525 San Antonio Road; school district eyes site for new school

A proposal by a local developer to build 10 homes on a highly coveted south Palo Alto site is expected to clear its final hurdle tonight (Monday) despite uncertainties over who will end up owning the property.

The City Council is scheduled tonight (Monday, Oct. 17) to consider approving a proposal by SummerHill Homes to subdivide a 2.64-acre site into 10 lots, ranging in size from about 8,000 square feet to about 11,000 square feet. At the same time, the Palo Alto Unified School District is proceeding with its plan to buy the land, which school officials envision as a possible site for a future school facility.

The property at 525 San Antonio Road stands adjacent to Cubberley Community Center and Greendell Elementary School -- a perfect location from the school district's perspective for a new school facility. According to a report from city planner Jason Nortz the district has agreed with the property owner to buy the property. But the pending sale has not stopped SummerHill from proceeding with its 10-home proposal.

"The applicant, however, wishes to proceed with the approval of the tentative map in the event the purchase is not consummated," Nortz wrote in a report. "The status of the sale is not relevant to the council's action on the subdivision."

Meanwhile, the Board of Education has called a closed meeting Tuesday morning to discuss the parcel, which it tentatively agreed to purchase last week.

The housing proposal under consideration by the City Council conforms to the existing zoning designation and is much smaller than SummerHill's original plan to develop the property. The homebuilder had earlier planned to build 23 homes and requested a zone change to allow greater density. That plan was panned by the City Council, the Planning and Transportation Commission and residents in the nearby Greendell and Greenmeadow neighborhoods. Critics claimed the area doesn't have adequate services to accommodate an increase in housing.

The new plan, by contrast, easily earned the backing of the planning commission, which voted 6-0 on Sept. 14 to approve it.

The City Council meeting will begin with a closed session at 5:30 p.m. today. The rest of the meeting will follow in the Council Chambers, 250 Hamilton Ave.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2011 at 9:52 am

Sounds like the left hand being totally unaware of what the right hand is doing.

Sounds typical for Palo Alto.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joey
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 17, 2011 at 11:14 am

Attention City Council Members:

You should act to delay the approval until PAUSD decides what to do about the land. Can't you just make a quick phone call to ask for this?
Or, are you totally unaware of what is going on?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by curmudgeon
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Oct 17, 2011 at 12:27 pm

"The applicant, however, wishes to proceed with the approval of the tentative map in the event the purchase is not consummated," Nortz wrote in a report. "The status of the sale is not relevant to the council's action on the subdivision."

I believe the "Palo Alto Process" allows this as a project goes through the approval process. Summerhill wants to proceed as soon as the bidding war is over.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Frank
a resident of Ventura
on Oct 17, 2011 at 1:59 pm

... into 10 lots, ranging in size from about 8,000 square feet to about 11,000 square feet...

The standard lot size is 5000 square feet - so even though we desperately need more affordable housing we block the earlier proposal in favor of more monster homes.

This is the real story of the left hand not knowing about the right hand - or perhaps more accurately the NIMBY of "high density" housing (although the original proposal was not all that high density).


 +   Like this comment
Posted by No give up
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Oct 17, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Summerhill doesn't give up; they see $$ signs with the building of 10 homes. I hope PAUSD doesn't just capitulate.


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