UPZONE Foster City

Foster City \/ \/ \/ \/ \/

Current streetview of 551-565 Pilgrim Drive /\ /\ /\ /\ /\

Press Coverage

\/ \/ \/ Recap IRL \/ \/ \/

Monday May 18th, 6:30 PM

Tonight was a hearing for the city council to receive public testimony on a rezoning before the developer began the project. This is a new procedure in Foster City. The area in question was zoned for mostly office and retail, but the land owner wanted to build housing instead of office. No decision was made at this hearing.

Themes of public testony in order of frequency:

  • Traffic
  • School overcrowding
  • Look and Feel/ Quality of life
  • Water Shortage
  • Need for retail in Foster City

After an hour of public testimony the councilmen made their own speeches. Charlie Bronitsky came out most adamantly in favor of the rezoning. His main point was that Foster City needed money for infrastructure improvements, 1/2 of the Foster City budget comes from property taxes, property taxes on existing property can only rise < 2% per year, so Foster City needs to build housing for the income.
I was very surprised and impressed by the overall tone of the electeds' comments. They all emphasized that the decision had to be based on "facts" and not emotional responses. It become apparent that this was their way of saying that they believed the traffic analysis (housing would produce less traffic than would office) and that they were going to consider the upzoning, becuase it would generate the money the city needed. Several of them emphasized that traffic had been increasing in Foster City even in years when FC hardly built any housing at all.
When I initially arrived at the hearing I felt very discouraged because the public comment was 10 to 1 opposed to the upzoing. After the electeds' speeches, I felt rededicated to the SFBARF procedure. Even in Foster City the municipality is inclined to build. They need people to come out to show that popular support for building does exist. The fact that there are only a few of us doesn't mean our testimony is pointless. The opposite is true - it means if we don't show up, no one will.

  • City Council Chambers, 620 Foster City Boulevard. Agenda
  • Rezoning from 17 housing units to 70 units.
  • Currently there is no residential at the site.
  • Supporting Documents

Sares Regis Group of Northern California owns property at 551-565 Pilgrim Drive. Currently it is zoned for 172,943 sqft of commercial & 17 townhouses. They want to upzone to allow 65-70 for-sale townhouses.

Here is a picture to show the difference between the current plan and the proposed rezoning:

Background Infos

This is who's currently writing letters:

Date: April 29, 2015 at 7:08:05 PM PDT
Subject: Please No subsidized below market rate "affordable housing" in Foster City

Dear XXXX,

All my neighbors and friends in Foster City are deeply disturbed by your company's plan to build subsidized below market rate "affordable housing" in Foster City.

Can you please change your plan? Foster City residents would prefer job growing office space and market rate housing that is available for everyone to buy.

Please let your colleagues know that Foster City does not welcome subsidized below market rate "affordable housing". You can build subsidized below market rate "affordable housing" in San Francisco or Oakland, when subsidized "affordable housing" is welcomed. Foster City is a small suburban city for families and we are strongly against any subsidized below market rate "affordable housing".

Also city's requirement on mandatory subsidized below market rate "affordable housing" is unconstitutional. Your company can ignore any so-called requirement to build subsidized below market rate "affordable housing" since it is unconstitutional and is violating the private property rights.

Thank you very much for your kind consideration.