Construction of the hotly debated Transit Village in San Carlos will mean hundreds of thousands of dollars for a nearby park under a recommendation coming before the City Council Monday night.
The council will consider designating all the park development facility fees, also known as park in-lieu fees, paid for by the Transit Village to Laureola Park. The last economic analysis of the project in 2013 estimated the fee at $515,000 based on the $1,000-per-bedroom charge but that figure has since been bumped to $1,887 per bedroom while the development’s overall sized was reduced. Currently 200 units are on the drawing board but the number of bedrooms is not yet determined.
During the lengthy process of approving the Transit Village around the existing Caltrain station, the Greater East San Carlos group raised a number of concerns including impacts to nearby Laureola Park. The council was not able to make designation of the in-lieu fees a condition of project approval so is instead now considering the idea of allocating the funds specifically for park improvements including its expansion to Holly Street. Other possible improvements included in the city’s master plan for Laureola included replacing the Laureola Building and addressing the ball field, bleachers and restrooms. The costs of building replacement is estimated at $2,253,300 although improving the existing building is $425,000.
The GESC also asked for other items that aren’t included in the master plan which would need to either be added or funded separately. Those include improving vehicle entrance and parking improvements and creating a community garden and swimming pool.
The City Council approved the Transit Village development in November after reducing its size significantly in response to concerns like shadowing, traffic and noise. As approved, the project will sit on El Camino Real near Holly Street around the current historic train depot and include a new transit center as well as the three-story residential and retail buildings.
Funding upgrades isn’t the only Laureola Park item before the City Council at Monday night’s meeting. The council will also be asked to establish a three-hour parking limit zone at the park daily between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. excepting for Sundays and holidays.
The City Council meets 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24 at City Hall, 600 Elm St., San Carlos.