Tonight: 83 homes near San Bruno Caltrain at risk because of restaurant parking

Tonight, San Bruno City Council is reviewing a decision to axe an 83-unit mixed use apartment building on 406-418 San Mateo Ave, near El Camino Real and a 10 minute walk from San Bruno Caltrain, in the city’s Transit Corridor plan area.

The project was approved back in 2014, with an application showing space for five small take-out retailers like an ice cream shop or a deli. Then it was bought by a new owner, Sares Regis. The new owner is proposing to bring in a sit-down restaurant, the Sea Pot which has a popular location in San Mateo.

But the community development department turned down the building application, because a sit down restaurant is expected to need more parking than take-out shops.

According to a representative of the developer, Sares Regis proposed several options to mitigate the extra parking demand, such as signage to enable customers to find available parking, funding for a Neighborhood Parking Permit program to protect residents from overflow parking, and other measures to reduce car trips. But the City Staff did not accept these offers and is still proposing to deny the housing project.

Meanwhile, San Bruno is planning to add several million square feet of offices in the area where Youtube is located, with office space for thousands of new workers.

In a letter to the city, the developer contends that the city isn’t allowed to turn the project down, according to the newly strengthened state Housing Accountability Act, which doesn’t allow cities to turn down housing projects that meet the city’s zoning rules.

Do you think that a mixed-use housing development in San Bruno’s Transit Corridor area is a good thing, and the city and developer should find compromises to handle the additional parking needs – like signs, shared parking, and parking permit protection ?

The City Council meeting is tonight in a special location: San Bruno Senior Center, 1555 Crystal Springs Road, San Bruno, CA. The regular session starts at 7pm, and this is the main item on the agenda.