San Mateo Planning reviews mixed-use housing across from Hillsdale Caltrain

On Tuesday night, starting at 7:30pm, the San Mateo Planning Commission is reviewing Hillsdale Terraces, 74 condos and 14,000 square feet of commercial on El Camino Real near Hillsdale Caltrain, and even closer to the location that the station will soon be moving to (see staff report).  The developer proposes 8 of the 74 units to be very low income affordable housing using the state density bonus law.

This building is in a transit-rich location, supporting the goals of the city’s longstanding plans for the rail corridor and El Camino Real. It is near the Bay Meadows area which is filling in nicely, with all of the developments, including housing and office, below their city-imposed requirements for car trips.

However, the development has been getting resident pushback, including a petition with 200+ signatures, because some are concerned about not enough parking, too much traffic, and excessive height.

The building would be 5 stories tall and have 171 parking spaces (staff report attached).  This is greater than 163 spaces required by city’s area plan and much greater than the lower number allowed by the state density bonus and transit location.

The allowable height range for the location is 40-55 feet, with the higher level available if certain conditions are met; city staff support the height request. The developer is proposing a higher density bonus level in order to provide 8 instead of 6 BMR units (see staff report)  After design review, the building has been modified to address concerns raised.

Do you want to see San Mateo continue to add infill transit-oriented development near Hillsdale Caltrain, addressing the region’s housing shortage and helping more people live near transit, jobs, and services?  If so, especially if you live in San Mateo, come to planning commission, 7:30pm at San Mateo City Hall, 330 W 20th Ave, San Mateo, or write to planning commission at .  Feel free to copy us at

Hillsdale Terrace