The community group known as "Save Pete's Harbor 2012" filed an appeal Wednesday of the Redwood City Planning Commission's Oct. 30 unanimous approval of a 411-unit luxury waterfront housing development.
The development will be in the hands of the Pauls Corporation, led by Paul Powers, who is also developing One Marina Homes not far from Pete's Harbor.
In a statement sent out by the group Wednesday, members say they have been hard at work gathering more than 1,600 signatures, both online and in person, on a petition urging the City Council to "slow down and scale back the development, and to keep the historic use-case of a commercial marina and harbor open for the public."
Alison Madden, a lawyer and tenant of Pete's Harbor, filed the appeal under her name on behalf of the group. Madden is just one of many who will lose her home if the development of Pete's Harbor moves forward.
In the group's statement, Madden said, "The 2010 General Plan specifically lauded live-aboard floating communities as a feature to be protected at Pete's Harbor and elsewhere in Redwood City, and the Housing Element and other policies repeatedly refer to the value of this alternative and affordable housing option for dozens, and formerly hundreds, of Redwood City residents."
Madden said that, with the destruction of more than 400 slips at One Marina - formerly called "Peninsula Marina" - and the ejection of more than 300 tenants from that marina, "this out-of-state developer has come in and eviscerated the charm of this inlet off Highway 101."
"Housing is important and necessary, but it can be blended with existing use of the harbors and marinas," she said. "Pete's Harbor is historic and valuable to Redwood City residents, and the outer harbor is state land held in public trust for the people. It should not be privatized for luxury residential exclusive slips."
Madden and many members of Save Pete's Harbor 2012 say they are angry that the City changed the land use designation of Pete's Harbor to "Mixed Use-Waterfront" when it updated the General Plan in 2010. "Mixed Use-Waterfront" falls in line with the characteristics of Pauls Corporation's proposed housing development.
"Under the [proposed development], the Pauls Corporation of Denver, Colorado is entitled to lease the 263 existing boat slips only to residents of the high-end, very high-density condo complex," Madden added. "Those slips have been open to the public for decades, and some residents have lived at Pete's for over 20 years."
The basis of the group's appeal
According to the group's statement on Wednesday, the group has several points in the basis of its appeal, including:
- "The General Plan statements to include liveaboards in new development at Pete's Harbor;
- Other Plan, Vision and Housing Element policies to generally encourage and advance affordable and alternative housing options via floating communities;
- To protect historical elements of the City;
- Insufficiency of the 10-year-old EIR that is being updated via Addendum rather than Supplement, which would require public circulation; t
- The proper land use designation; and
- The public trust issue."
Madden added, "Normally, the process from application to approval takes four to six months under the General Plan, as stated therein. This process was fast-tracked and ready for Commission approval within three months."
"And, [there is] the fact that the July 23, 2012 filing was concealed from residents by Mrs. Uccelli, the developer and the City by failure to post notice at the site, failure to mail notice to any tenants, and failure to conduct adequate public outreach to residents of Redwood City in general."
The group's statement further included disappointment that the Planning Commission would approve such a development that they felt had overwhelming opposition to it by residents of the City.
What happens next?
Redwood City Planning Manager Blake Lyons told Patch Wednesday that, now that an appeal has been filed, the City Clerk and City Manager will work together to find available dates for public hearings with the City Council regarding the appeal.
Legally, the City has 90 days from the date of appeal to place the item on the City Council's agenda, Lyons explained.
When asked if he had any comment in response to the group's appeal, Planning Commission Chair Ernie Schmidt told Patch, "I believe and stand by Redwood City's process, and part of that process is to be able to provide the opportunity to continue to voice one's concerns."
See past coverage of this issue by Patch:
- Planning Commission Unanimously Approves Pete's Harbor Development (Oct. 31, 2012)
- Fate of Pete’s Harbor Could Be Decided Tonight (Oct. 30, 2012)
- City Aims to 'Set the Record Straight' About Inner Harbor Precise Plan
- Op-Ed: Pete’s Harbor Tenants Are Not Anti-Development (Oct. 25, 2012)
- (Oct. 18, 2012)
- (Oct. 16, 2012)
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