With the San Carlos City Council’s approval of a much-scaled down Transit Village project, the neighborhood group that spent years fighting it is shelving plans for a referendum and lauding the city for reaching an acceptable solution.
“We are pragmatic people and because of the efforts of us and the city and SamTrans, we now believe that we can live with this,” said Ben Fuller, president of the Greater East San Carlos group.
Fuller had threatened to take a referendum to the voters if the San Carlos City Council approved the originally proposed project of 280 units over eight buildings with some up to four stories. But just before Tuesday turned into Wednesday, the council voted 4-1, with Vice Mayor Mark Olbert dissenting, in favor of a plan that slashes the height to no more than three stories and 233 units. The council also voted 3-2 to waive its standard below-market rate requirements and allow Legacy Partners to build 10 percent of units with half each for moderate and low affordability.
“We might not even win a referendum under these circumstances,” Fuller said. “I don’t want to fight just for the sake of a fight.”
The effort now, he said, is resolving the remaining issues like expansion of Laureola Park using park in-lieu fees from the developer and cementing the move of taxis and shuttles to the west side.
The city effort isn’t finished either, as the project must still now go through design review to approve the architectural components.
Although there are still details to work out, Fuller said he and like-minded residents are happy with the “unbelievable accomplishment” of getting the project reduced.
“The sun will still shine. It will just be covered up 15 to 30 minutes earlier,” Fuller said.
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