SAN RAMON — Eleven years after it was first formed, and with two major residential/commercial projects already well into the planning process, the city’s blueprint for how its northernmost business district is transformed may change, at least a bit.
On July 25, when the City Council and Planning Commission had been set to talk about decreasing the maximum housing density for new projects in the 128-square-acre Crow Canyon Specific Plan area, discussion took a turn into more broadly ranging territory — specifically, whether that plan should be revisited in general, its main tenets reconsidered.
“We’re really questioning whether that’s the vision of what we want in San Ramon,” said Planning Commissioner Jeanne Benedetti.
The 2012 abolition of city and county redevelopment agencies, like San Ramon’s, means less tax money is available for streets, pipeline and other infrastructure, said Planning Commission Chairman Eric Wallis. Economic changes after the 2008 recession have also changed needs, he said.
Council and commission members indeed did direct staff to reduce the allowed density of housing within this area, from a maximum to 50 units per acre (up to 67 with a “density bonus” developers can earn) to a maximum of 35. Council members said they wanted to rein in the size of apartment developments there, and wanted tighter restrictions in place before more projects make their way to city planning staff.
Putting a lid on housing density will change how the area gets developed, city leaders acknowledged. Wallis said housing density determines whether a project is feasible for a developer. “At some point, density requirements will dictate different…
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