An Important San Leandro City Council Meeting On Monday, Feb. 5th, 7 pm

This message was posted on NextDoor by San Leandro resident Aaron Bukofzer:

"This coming Monday, February 5th, the San Leandro City Council will be holding a meeting at which they will be discussing a process for updating and improving the Zoning Code. Many of us from the community believe that we now have an opportunity to close some of the loopholes created by the prior Zoning Code amendments in 2016. We want to make sure that future development is of an appropriate scale that complies with the intent of the 2016 amendments that were enacted with substantial public input. To that end, we've met with with members of the City Council in recent weeks. Also, on Jan 8th, we attended the City Council meeting and raised three issues during the public comments section. Evan Adams spoke about ambiguities in the General Plan that could be interpreted as saying that all P-zoned properties should be consider "Downtown mixed use". Evan pointed out the absurdity of this interpretation by showing a P-zoned parcel next to Washington Elementary School, another in the Manor near Porky's Pizza and three more on Hesperian literally on the edge of San Leandro city limits. I spoke about the changes to the zoning code that opened up P-zoned parcels to residential development. These changes were made in 2016 as part of a normal update occurring roughly every 10 years, and also in response to community feedback from the first 1388 Bancroft proposal. The intent was to allow up to 24 units/acre on P-zoned properties. This was done by referencing an existing RM-1800 designation that allows 24 units/acre, however, RM-1800 also allows structures up to 50 ft when P only allows 30 ft. I highlighted an FAQ produced by Staff during the 2016 discussion clearly indicating the intent was to limit building heights to 30 ft in the P district. A copy of the FAQ is available at: https://www.sanleandro.org/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?blobid=25699 or click here for a pdf of the document.
Lindsay White spoke about the need for regulations regarding car stackers next to single-family homes. She and her fiance, Dave Ruedi, built a mock of a 13 ft fence and took pictures of it on their fence line that abuts 1388 Bancroft. This is visually very compelling as 13 ft is nearly the height of the top of their roof line. Our request to the City Council was to address the first two issues as clarifications of the intent of 2016 decisions. The car stacker issue is new topic. The Jan 8th City Council meeting was a working meeting so there was no avenue to immediately address the issues we raised. The next City Council meeting was Jan 16th and was a regular meeting. District 1 Council member Debra Cox made a motion that our issues be addressed. The motion passed and the matter was referred to Staff. Staff replied with a report stating they have numerous issues with how the current zoning code is written and have a list of 38 clean-up items they'd like to address. Staff also proposed a process for doing a major clean up of the zoning code. The proposal is a two-phase approach with a long timeline. The first phase includes dealing with updates to the residential section of the code and, likely, won't finish until the end of 2018. We are concerned about the timeline. The staff report is available at: https://sanleandro.legistar.com/ViewReport.ashx?M=R&N=Master&GID=191&ID=3330826&GUID=E662EF05-EE02-4943-884F-599363FCB9AE&Extra=WithText&Title=Legislation+Details+(With+Text) The City Council has placed this item on the Feb 5th agenda to direct Staff to begin this process. Updating and cleaning up the zoning code is a much needed step, however, we are concerned that clarifications around the 2016 decision to open up P-zones to residential are getting lost in a general clean-up. We feel the items that Evan and I spoke to on Jan 8th need be addressed in a timely fashion. We are not asking for new decisions, rather, to accurately record decisions that were made. We plan to attend the Feb 5th City Council meeting and propose a three-phased approach, where phase zero addresses items that are clarifications of existing decisions."

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