An application was submitted to demolish the Fish Market restaurant in San Mateo and build 74 three-story townhomes, but not caused by the pandemic. This is symptomatic of what is happening to San Mateo.
I am seriously concerned about a dysfunctional/broken urban planning process and the ability to balance all the variables to maintain the character and quality of life in San Mateo. There are a lot of pressures at play here and when it’s all said and done I hope in 10 years we don’t have a real unsightly and unlivable urban mess. The state is mandating dense housing quotas in a top-down approach with no real understanding of each community with a one size fits all approach irrespective of existing zoning. The state even took the city’s parking requirement away for ADUs (accessory dwelling units) when a single-family house turns into a duplex/triplex. And last year, developers spent more than $1.4 million to advocate their dense housing agenda which gives them more profit.
I am not sure what the answer is to all of this, but I do know we need to keep the state and developers at bay and take back control of our destiny. Also, maybe the City Council can do a better job of representing the needs and wants of the whole community and legally push back on the state’s and developer’s agenda.
We need intelligent urban planning with balanced and smart growth, not unbridled growth, that does not suffocate along the way single-family neighborhoods, retail and restaurants. Also, one that allows a good quality of life with open space, sensible parking, traffic solutions and infrastructure to support it.