October 17, 2003

Planning Department Ignores Pleas of Point Richmond Residents

By Fred H. Arm
On the 16th of October, the Planning Department offered their somewhat muddled view of how the Economic Development Agency proposed to develop substandard lots in Richmond. After Lisa Hamburger presented her proposals primarily for the “Infill Program”, the Planning Department was queried regarding some of its technical aspects.

Their responses seemed somewhat ambiguous and less than adequate to make any kind of proposal that far-reaching. After hearing serious presentations concerning the inconsistencies of a blanket citywide ordinance from at least seven speakers from the Point Richmond Community, the Planning Commission chose to totally ignore our concerns. The ordinance they proposed would seem to allow sub-standard lots to be developed throughout all of Richmond, without consideration for the geographic and historical characteristics unique to the Point.

The only redeeming feature was the 5% slope limitation to the ordinance. However, notwithstanding this limitation, the flat areas of Point Richmond would be fair game for low-cost housing developers to push the City’s prepackaged designs through the permitting process without public oversight by the Design Review Board or the need to apply for a variance to the Planning Commission, essentially leaving our flatlands vulnerable to indiscriminant, cheap housing development. Once this operation is in place, I doubt whether it will be long before the powers that be set their sights on lots with more than 5% slope and reconstruct this picturesque village into another Daley City.

Nevertheless, the City Council will still have the last word on whether this proposed ordinance flies. So, keep your eyes peeled for the City Council Agenda that will announce this next battlefront. I will be there. How about you?

Posted by fredarm at October 17, 2003 04:20 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?