Most striking about the city of Belmont’s approval of the 250-unit “Artisan Crossing” project were the adulation heaped on the developer and the dismissal of the concerns of the only speakers who would be personally and negatively affected by the project: the owners of adjacent property and businesses (“Belmont OKs 250 apartments” in the May 16 edition).
They correctly pointed out that with only one parking space per apartment, and only eight parking spaces for the visitors to those 250 apartments, there will be a very substantial and permanent street parking problem that will hurt their employees and customers. The city took no action to address those concerns, such as requiring the project to have more than one parking space per apartment. Councilmembers appeared too smitten with the project.
Over and over, Councilman Charles Stone, Vice Mayor Warren Lieberman and Mayor Davina Hurt lavished praise on the project, which will generate huge profits for its owners. Belmont will get to “change and update” their downtown, but it will be with expensive crammed apartments that most people of modest income of less than $80,000 a year cannot afford. One reason given by the council was that “we” need to build more housing, so that the large corporations stay here rather than build new facilities “in the East Bay.” It would be strange to believe that the majority of current Belmont residents want their city to have more traffic and more crowded living condition so that there would be less job growth in the East Bay.