Yesterday in the San Mateo Daily Journal this article was written. Click Here. Below is Stephen Seymour’s response to this article, he is a candidate for San Bruno City Council.
“I believe we can redevelop our downtown and maintain harmony for the surrounding neighborhoods. We must have a litmus test for new development. Does the new development compliment and respect the adjoining neighborhoods? If it does not do both, I would not allow it to go forward. I live on Mastick Ave one of the streets bordering the students design project. At the top of San Mateo Avenue is 406 – 418 San Mateo Ave, it was approved by 4 of the current council members. This is the project under development now. It will have devastating consequences for the business district and the surrounding neighborhoods. It has 83 units and 106 parking spaces. The city waived the requirement to provide parking for the retail that will be at this site. Where do they think the employees and the customers will park? Why would any business want to lease space in this building if there isn’t parking for their employees and customers? The student projects had more parking spaces per unit then our city requires. More than 50 cars will pour onto already overcrowded streets. In an article in the SM Daily Journal on March 4th Connie Jackson, our City Manager was quoted as saying ” the essential problem is that there are simply more cars in some neighborhoods then there are spots “. Click here to read this article. Until our city figures out the right mix of parking spots for new development I would suggest that no new building permits for the transit corridor be approved. These neighborhoods were built over the last 100 years and if we don’t protect them now, we could devastate them in the next 10. I’d like to know if the Stanford and Berkeley students designed their plans with input from residents. Our city has a track record of failing to bring in the voice of those who live here. I applaud the effort by both student teams, but my advice would be to design future projects with the voices of the residents who live near. I am a candidate for city council and I will promise every resident of this city that if you elect me I will protect your neighborhoods. I believe in smart development that improves the quality of life for San Bruno, but I do not support projects like 406 – 418 San Mateo Ave that fail to provide adequate parking. This project isn’t good for the surrounding neighborhoods or the businesses. Its not good for the developer. They will be addressing complaints about the lack of parking for years to come. David Woltering who is quoted in this article is the cities Director of Community Development, he works for Connie Jackson. Connie already admits we have parking problems, why would we consider new development that complicates life for those working and living near downtown? If you live near the transit corridor and want to protect your quality of life, vote for me for city council. I want a vibrant downtown, I want new and exciting businesses, I believe in development, but not at the expense of the existing neighbor’s quality of life. The only way we can protect our downtown to ensure it becomes the vibrant, walkable, business district we want is to ask our elected officials to change the parking requirements in the Transit Corridor Plan or the ( TCP ). The current requirements work against the outcome that protects and promotes strong neighborhoods and businesses. Businesses need to attract customers. Do you remember the last time you struggled to find parking to patronize one of our neighborhood businesses? Let our city manager and city officials know we want progress on the avenue, but not at the cost of our quality of life. The development authorized through the passage of Measure ” N ” should improve our quality of life, not devastate it. ”