The Redwood City Council sided with city staff Monday night as it denied an appeal to stop a housing project on Laurel Way and another appeal by the developers that limits the size of the homes.
The Planning Commission had previously approved the construction of 16 homes for the Laurel Way Joint Venture Project but not before limiting the size of the homes that could be built on the land.
Another group that opposed the project outright called Save Laurel Way also appealed the Planning Commission decision to try to prevent the construction of homes on the 4.75-acre plot on steep hillsides.
Opponents of the project decried the loss of heritage trees and the construction of a new road to access the development while the consortium of land owners intended to build much larger homes than the commission would approve.
The council unanimously denied both appeals Monday night as staff had recommended.
The proposal, which has changed over the years, was first brought to the city in 2007.
The applicant asked to build homes ranging from 3,300 square feet to 4,500 square feet but the Planning Commission approved a range from 2,400 square feet to 3,432 square feet, based on current lot sizes.
The City Council approved a range from 2,000 square feet to 3,432 square feet.
The formula to determine individual home size for the project uses a sliding scale based on lot size and average slope so some of the homes may be larger than others depending on the lot and how steep it is, according to city staff.
The council unanimously voted to certify the environmental impact report that in effect clarifies that city staff followed proper procedure in processing the Laurel Way application.
Some residents, however, such as Jane Hanigan said that turning a natural open site that can be restored into a crowded subdivision would constitute a failure of municipal government that is supposed to serve and protect its residents.
Another resident, Enrica Poggio, wanted the council to deny the project because of the potential liability the city could take on due to mud slides, soil slippage and other problems.
Fourteen people want to build 16 individual homes on the existing lots. It is only one application because they banded together to pool resources, as the process such as the environmental impact report can be costly, according to city staff.
In other business: The council agreed to settle with council candidate Corrin Rankin in closed session Monday night for a lawsuit she filed against the city clerk and fellow candidate Ernie Schmidt for a job description Schmidt use on his ballot statement. Schmidt called himself the chair of the Planning Commission as his profession but Rankin challenged the designation in a lawsuit. Schmidt voluntarily agreed to change his profession to businessman.
“Although the City Council felt that there was not a public interest served in Ms. Rankin’s writ, members of City Council voted to pay Ms. Rankin’s attorney fees in the amount of $6,117.50 so that the city and the community could get back to focusing on important city business,” spokeswoman Sheri Costa-Batis wrote the Daily Journal in an email.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 106