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San Ramon: Commission to review plans for 284 apartments at The Marketplace

Original post made on Jan 4, 2021

The San Ramon Planning Commission is set to hold a workshop Tuesday to discuss the design concept for a five-story, 284-unit apartment complex on part of The Marketplace Shopping Center property in central San Ramon.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, January 4, 2021, 2:40 PM

Comments (18)

Posted by Franette Armstrong
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 4, 2021 at 6:41 pm

Franette Armstrong is a registered user.

This development will have a detrimental impact on the entire area surrounding the Marketplace center. Not only will the five story building overshadow the single-story stores that will remain and create darkness in the parking lot during the daytime, but the additional traffic of 286 units times probably two cars each going in and out at rush-hour will turn the intersection on Bollinger Canyon Road near there into a bigger zoo than it even is now.

Sadly, because of the way our zoning laws are written, there is virtually nothing that the planning commission can do to prevent this from happening. The developer has a right to do what is within the mixed use zone that the marketplace is zoned as. He can build up to five stories he can put Residential in the middle of a commercial area and as far as I know there really isn’t much the city can do about it or the aesthetics of what they’re proposing.

The architectural design is What has become cookie cutter urban Redevelopment. We see examples of it crowding around the BART stations in Dublin and the Hacienda shopping area. The slogan for this kind of architecture should be “building tomorrow slums today.”

Until we regain the power to control the density of our cities and rewrite our zoning laws to protect charming areas like the marketplace has been, we can look forward to more of this everywhere a developer sees a chance to make a higher return on investment.

I will miss the marketplace and her terribly.


Posted by Sally
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 5, 2021 at 6:33 am

Sally is a registered user.

I am definitely not in favor of this change of market place! I shop at Nob hill regularly. It will ruin my experience of living in San Ramon with the change of this additional apartment complex


Posted by David M
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 5, 2021 at 8:37 am

David M is a registered user.

This is a terrible idea for San Ramon. Another out of town developer is trying to shove this down our throats so they can line their pockets, while ruining part of our city.

I encourage everyone to object to their council member.


Posted by Coach
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 5, 2021 at 9:28 am

Coach is a registered user.

I thought part of the City Center plan included building very dense condos on the existing lot west of the Marriott Residence Inn, not actually on the parking lot of the Marketplace. I am against that development, but this new proposal from TRC Retail is much, much worse, for all the reasons Ms. Armstrong listed above. How does this proposal work with the other ones from Sunset Development? Are all of these projects going to be shoved down our throats, essentially ruining the charm of the Marketplace and increasing air pollution by alarming rates? We are not Alameda County or Dublin - we should not accept this.


Posted by ConcernedCitizen
a resident of Danville
on Jan 5, 2021 at 12:51 pm

ConcernedCitizen is a registered user.

Dear San Ramon Neighbors,

I feel sorry for you because you would lose an icon of your city that has been one of the most charming places to shop, eat, and get services from for decades. You are once again getting bamboozled by your Planning Commission because your commissioners just approved a 32 pump Costco gas station replacing Office Depot. I live in Danville, but I have been going to The Marketplace to eat and shop for a long time. Your home property values would go down considerably due to low income apartments that are needed, but why at that site—ask your San Ramon Planning Commission. I bet they don’t live anywhere near that area.

What you could do is start a petition opposing building these apartments at The Marketplace and get your Planning Commission to build these at another location. You need to gather all the signatures you could get online by contacting SaferSanRamon.com for help on this issue, as well as writing letters of opposition. You need to start attending the SR Planning Commission’s meetings to voice out your opposition to this project. Much luck to you.

Sincerely,
Your Concerned Danville Neighbor


Posted by Franette Armstrong
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 5, 2021 at 1:06 pm

Franette Armstrong is a registered user.

I just want to be clear that my position is based on the look and size of the development creating more traffic congestion, potentially limiting the parking for the remaining stores even more than it now is, and the loss of the architectural charm that it would replace. 32 below market units is not going to affect our property values, result in more crime or have any other detrimental effect on us. The presence of this development will lower property values for those of us who live anywhere near it.

The planning commission does not build developments and does not have the right to tell a developer to go build a project elsewhere. all I can do is insisted the developer follow our zoning regulations to the letter and unfortunately our zoning regulations are overly permissive. some of the laxity was demanded by state laws but I don’t think all of it was.

If we put ourselves in the shoes of the landowner which is probably a consortium of investors, potentially even in a REIT that some of us might own shares of,
They want to maximize the value of their investment and legally they have a right to do whatever is described in our zoning regulations. In other words private property rights swing both directions: we want them to protect our own properties and what we can do with them but we also have to acknowledge that they protect others who do things with their properties that we don’t like. and sadly for San Ramon we have a developments in existing neighborhoods that aren’t compatible with what was there before them.


Posted by Not a NIMBY racist
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 5, 2021 at 6:25 pm

Not a NIMBY racist is a registered user.

This country is so doomed with all these NIMBYs everywhere. You have your land, protect it NIMBYs. But you have no right to dictate how a neighborhood should evolve.

Don't like it, sell it and get (removed) out.

This is not 1960s where we will tolerate this racism anymore. We want dense communities that is pro-growth and pro-environment.

And someone get the names of all these NIMBYs and take their prop 13 subsidy away please.

This country needs to tax single-family homes 3x to make sure that the world that we so cherish survives. And all types of people can be a part of our communities. Not just racist NIMBYs.

And have these NIMBYs ever wondered where those employees that would work in these stores they so cherish live? Nope. Let them die on the streets so that they can protect their property values. That's what we have come to.

Trump is out. NIMBYism will be out soon.


Posted by 50 year resident
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 6, 2021 at 11:17 am

50 year resident is a registered user.

I am having a really hard time not responding to "not a NIMBY racist." It's best I don't.


Posted by Not a NIMBY racist
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 7, 2021 at 10:01 pm

Not a NIMBY racist is a registered user.

To the '50 year resident' of San Ramon, of course you've nothing to say. God forbid middle class and poor people might want to move into our communities.

Imaging what that will do to our property values. And what about that neighborhood character that we so help preserve where only the wealthy and/or the whites can live in.

How about we make a deal '50 year resident' of San Ramon. Show us your property tax bill to see how much you really contribute for the greater good of the community you so want to 'preserve'.

I'll show you mine if you show me yours because I know your motives. If you let the markets work and let supply come in, your property value will go down. But if nothing gets built, there is only upside for you, all thanks to the scam that is prop 13.

What we, the enlightened generation, really want are walkable, bikeable, public transit rich communities where we don't have to kill the environment to live happy lives. We want communities, not spread out jungles of concrete. Oh and we also want to leave the rest of the space for nature.

But that's not going to happen with the racist NIMBYs that show up to these meetings.

And as you are aware '50 year old resident' of San Ramon, this planet is not just for us humans. It is for all the species that we are literally killing off by encroaching into their habitats just because you were sold on this scam of a single family home with a white picket fence.

See I made it easy for you to respond.

Trumps out, NIMBYism will be out soon and slowly and then suddenly we will save this planet.


Posted by Franette Armstrong
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 8, 2021 at 9:57 am

Franette Armstrong is a registered user.

To the person who is calling all of us NIMBYs:

Many of your arguments are solid but when you call us all racists you lose all credibility. In fact I don’t know what racism has to do with your argument.

I do believe that infill development is the way to go so that we can preserve what is left of our open space. That is why I was in favor of the CityWalk project. But all that density is going in a place that already has multi story office buildings.

What is proposed for the marketplace is a five story monolithic structure being plopped down in the middle of a neighborhood shopping center of one story buildings. it replaces retail which provides jobs and services for hundreds, if not over a thousand, people. It creates what will be ungodly traffic congestion at an intersection that is already a nonstop traffic jam from six in the morning until nine and 4 PM until 6 or 7 at night.

No one is stopping you from living where you want to live and if you want those kinds of amenities there is a city right next to ours that offers them. And soon we will have exactly what you described right here in San Ramon, with or without the marketplace project.

But you have to realize that the cost of living in these dense developments is hardly low. It is lowER. And the 32 below market rate units proposed for the marketplace are geared to people making $45,000 per person a year to $65,000 a year. That is not what the government defines as low income by a long shot.

There are many ways that we could get truly low income housing in this city if the city leaders have the will to do it. They could buy distressed properties and turn them into below market rate rentals or for-purchase units using state and federal loans. they could insist that developers, instead of getting density bonuses for including a few below market rate units in their structures, buy these kinds of properties elsewhere in the city. this would have the advantage of allowing people with families to live in neighborhoods if they so choose. The city could require that anyone who rehabs a retail or commercial structure in San Ramon add below market rate units over it. So we could, for example, convert all of our little strip malls and commercial streets into mixed use with housing above businesses and stores. All of these ideas take advantage of existing properties without adding 5-story buildings in the middle of neighborhoods.

I would advise you to start thinking creatively and get involved in city politics to push your ideas for how these problems can be solved to your satisfaction, instead of attacking all of us who bought here because we wanted to live here I want to good schools for our children or have been living here for decades and don’t want to move. I’m assuming that you want to live here too so let’s find a way to live peacefully together without attacking one another. Problems are there for solving and there’s always a way if good people with good intentions put their heads together and figure it out.


Posted by Sally
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 8, 2021 at 11:57 am

Sally is a registered user.


Well said Franette.
Thank you


Posted by Not a NIMBY racist
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 10, 2021 at 12:51 pm

Not a NIMBY racist is a registered user.

To Franette Armstrong,

"But you have to realize that the cost of living in these dense developments is hardly low. It is lowER. And the 32 below market rate units proposed for the marketplace are geared to people making $45,000 per person a year to $65,000 a year. That is not what the government defines as low income by a long shot."

What government are we talking about? Median San Ramon home price is $1,075,500. You are telling me that a person making $65,000 a year can afford to live in San Ramon?

Basically what you don't want is any new development to come in so that the price stays where it is or goes up so that you can maintain your neighborhood 'character' of only letting the 'right' kind of people live around you. You might not think that's racism but racism it is.

"No one is stopping you from living where you want to live and if you want those kinds of amenities there is a city right next to ours that offers them. And soon we will have exactly what you described right here in San Ramon, with or without the marketplace project."

Really, so you don't want 'them' in your neighborhood. Just dump the poor and the middle class someplace where I don't have to see them. That's classic "I am all for the poor and the middle class until they show up in my neighborhood".

"All of these ideas take advantage of existing properties without adding 5-story buildings in the middle of neighborhoods."

You don't want density because imagine being able to walk/bike/take public transit to work/school/stores. The horror that we have to give up our Chevy Suburban.

"all of us who bought here because we wanted to live here I want to good schools for our children or have been living here for decades and don’t want to move. "

So you bought a piece of land, keep it. You have no right to dictate how a community should evolve because if everyone thinks like that, it will never change. Cities don't just remain static. Cities evolve and neighborhoods should evolve with that. Just because you were here before does not mean you don't allow anyone new to come live in those same neighborhoods.

All your arguments are classic NIMBYism. That has to stop. We want bikeable/walkable/public transit rich communities across the Bay area. And density is the way we are going to achieve that.

The fact that a 5-story building is a disaster for a neighborhood is crazy. All your arguments around traffic etc is exactly because we didn't allow for density in the first place.

And developers are an easy scapegoat because the existing homeowners don't pay a price for obstructing new housing all thanks to prop 13. And no developer is going to eat up the cost of providing affordable housing because that will be passed down as a cost to the poor and the middle class.

As I say Trump is gone. We need to stop with these segregationist policies around housing and hope for a future where all types of people can live happy and environmentally friendly lives in our neighborhoods.


Posted by Franette Armstrong
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 10, 2021 at 2:19 pm

Franette Armstrong is a registered user.

You completely misunderstood what I was saying: the developer proposes to add 32 below market rate units to his complex. there will be two tiers of income levels that can qualify for those units one tier has a maximum income at $45,000 a year for one person. The other chair has a maximum income of $65,000 per year for one person.

I am sorry but I just think you’ve got a problem with anger and you have decided to dump all over this post and you’re probably doing the same elsewhere.
I am sorry but I just think you’ve got a problem with anger and you have decided to dump all over those of us who are responding to the article about this development.. You’re probably ranting about something else elsewhere.

If you don’t want to be part of the solution then stop criticizing those who are attempting to come up with solutions that will prevent something we don’t want to have happen in our neighborhood. If you want it in your neighborhood why don’t you go and get a developer and have him propose it. Do something besides just dump your anger on people.


Posted by Not a NIMBY racist
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 10, 2021 at 3:01 pm

Not a NIMBY racist is a registered user.

Excuse me Franette Armstrong, this is not about anger. This is about our future. Calling me or anyone who is for increased density angry does not solve the issue.

And I live in San Ramon and I want my community to progress to where everyone can live including teachers, grocery store workers (the ones who will work in those stores that you so cherish), bus drivers, not just the wealthy and/or the whites.

The problem that is going to eat up our cities and the environment is that we have too much local control. "Our neighborhood", what is that supposed to mean? You mean only where your types should live?

And you want a developer to propose a solution for the housing and environmental mess we are in? Well, this one did and look what the developer got. Just obstructionism and more NIMBYism. Guess what the developer does next. Pick up and leave. And I know that's what you want.

That is not going to stand for too long. Change is coming and we the enlightened ones who worry and care for our planet will bring that on, one San Ramon community at a time.


Posted by Franette Armstrong
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 10, 2021 at 5:11 pm

Franette Armstrong is a registered user.

You don’t know anything about me. And your tone is so offensive. you won’t make any progress in getting what you want by talking to people that way.


Posted by Not a NIMBY racist
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 10, 2021 at 9:10 pm

Not a NIMBY racist is a registered user.

If allowing for regular folks to live in our communities sounds offensive, so be it. We will keep on fighting the good fight for our future.

We want our communities to be dense, affordable and public-transit rich, not acres and acres of mindless encroachment into wilderness.


Posted by Not a NIMBY (portion removed)
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 20, 2021 at 2:51 pm

Not a NIMBY (portion removed) is a registered user.

‘No Slums In The Sunset’: Backlash over affordable housing development intensifies in western S.F. neighborhood

Web Link

One more instance of utter contempt for the poor and the middle-class. That's what's been going on everywhere across the Bay area and CA and this has to stop.

An excerpt from this piece:

"Denise Daley, who has lived on 26th Avenue since 1974, said the seven-story building would turn her house “into a fishbowl.” She said she was suspicious of the fact that TNDC plans to have an on-site social worker. “What kind of apartment building needs a full-time social worker? Not one for families,” she said."

Come to find out that Mrs. Daley is paying a grand total of $2,600 / year in property taxes on her $1.5 million of little fiefdom that she calls home, all thanks to prop 13.

She's got hers. To hell with the rest of the people. So much for protecting grandma.

Prop 13 needs to go.

Or if you enjoy the prop 13 subsidy on the backs of the young and the poor, you should have no say in how the neighborhood evolves. Deal?


Posted by Gina M Channell, Publisher
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 21, 2021 at 9:32 am

Gina M Channell, Publisher is a registered user.

Since this has devolved into a conversation between 2 or 3 people, I am closing this topic.


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