A 131-townhouse development along Redwood City’s waterfront has been approved after officials and residents alike celebrated it for bolstering the city’s housing stock and bringing entry-level homes to an area in need of revitalization.

The Planning Commission unanimously approved the project located at 1548 Maple St. at a meeting Tuesday after years of reviews and design modifications. Commissioners Muhammad Safdari and Connie Guerrero were absent from the vote.

“There are very few three-bedroom units and ownership opportunities, and I think it’s a fabulous opportunity that’s not only adding supply, but variety to the existing housing stock we have here,” said Commissioner Giselle Hale. “It’s really activating this part of the waterfront to make it a destination.”

Developer Strada Investment group will construct 88 two-bedroom units and 43 three-bedroom units within 20 three-story buildings.

The 7.8-acre site is adjacent to Redwood Creek and the Docktown Marina, and is surrounded by the LifeMoves homeless shelter, Redwood City police station, Bair Island Aquatic Center and vacant city-owned property on which officials hope to build a future park, according to a staff report.

In addition to market-rate residents, the project will bring a new publicly-accessible waterfront park and watercraft launch area, a Bay Trail for bikes and pedestrians and a playground, each of which will be privately funded and maintained. The project will also extend Blomquist Street from Maple Street to Redwood Creek.

Other community benefits include a $5 million payment into the affordable housing fund and the relocation and maintenance of the historic water tank currently located on the site.

The commission granted the developer a rezone of the project site from tidal plain to mixed-use waterfront, though City Council approval is ultimately required.

That rezone would honor the vision for the area outlined in the city’s general plan, which includes housing and businesses.

The density of the project is also less than half of what’s allowed under the general plan. Some speakers felt the project was appropriately sized, while others expressed interest in greater density.

“The ceiling for development is there for a reason,” Hale said.

While few concerns were expressed at Tuesday’s meeting, one speaker criticized the development’s lack of on-site affordable housing.

Commissioners praised the aesthetics of the project and the developer’s outreach efforts throughout the application process; carpenter union members showed up to support it for bringing jobs to local workers, and another speaker hoped the project would catalyze development of a larger, vibrant neighborhood complete with nightlife. Speakers also praised the development for offering kayak and other boating opportunities.

“I really want us connected to the water, and a lot of our residents don’t even know we have the water, so I’m thrilled with this project,” Chair Nancy Radcliffe said.

In other business, Commissioner Guerrero announced her resignation from the Planning Commission Tuesday as she is relocating to San Carlos.

(650) 344-5200 ex. 102

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