Letter to Editor: Copy of Letter to SSF City Council re: clarification of “high density” at the PUC site

South San Francisco, CA   July 9, 2018  by SSF Community Leader Cynthia Marcopulos

Good day, Madam Mayor and Council Members,

What does “high-density” mea​n​ as it pertains to ​the PUC site development?

How many stories and what is the height of the development?

I have received the notification of the Joint Council meeting/Successor Agency which is scheduled for Wednesday, July 11, 2018 at 6 p.m. concerning the property commonly known as the PUC site 6 acres.

I agree with Councilman Addiego, as I have stated previously, the burden of housing is being placed exclusively on the west side of the city as Genentech and the biotech/science industr​ies​ claim the east side of our city as theirs, not allowing housing for their employees, especially considering 11,000 workers  will be coming to our city soon with the new Genentech campuses being considered for approval.

My concern, of course, as well as other residents who you ​witnessed attended meetings,​ ​who ​emailed you and​ who signed petitions, is that a developer will not bid on a project (blindly) unless they can get the most return from it, i.e., the height and density must have been discussed in a meeting or privately with the developer so the developer will know what the company will realize in profits — that just makes good, sound business sense.

In the PUC  ENRA dated 7/11/18, on page 15, it states:

“Development Type​:​ High-density, mixed-use development.”

In a posting on a social media page, Mayor Normandy indicated:

“Point of Clarification: Last night City Council provided staff with direction to work with the Developer AGI/KASA with a concept of five stories vs the high rise of 15 stories.. “no high rises”…this reduction will assist the City to meet the min. State Mandate and also to let the Community know that we were listening. The Council spoke about 3 stories on Mission roads with 4/5 stories via setback..t/u”

Therefore, I respectfully ask:

What does “high-density” mean in terms of the PUC site development?

How many stories and what is the height of the development?

Thank you,

Cynthia Marcopulos

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Cynthia Marcopulos
Cynthia Marcopulos
4 years ago

Here is the reply I received from Mayor Normandy:

Thank you for your email. The item on Wednesday’s Council agenda is simply to memorialize the Council’s prior decision to negotiate terms with AGI/Kasa, a developer interested in partnering with the City to develop the PUC site, through execution of an Exclusive Negotiating Rights Agreement (ENRA). No decisions regarding height or density will be decided on Wednesday. I encourage you, and others in the community, to attend Wednesday and contribute to the discussion on this item.

The ENRA ensures AGI/Kasa that the City will not negotiate with any other developer for a period of 12 months, and that during the 12 months the City will negotiate in good faith to reach a Development Agreement (DA). Over the next 12 months there will be many community meetings to discuss height and density, and through this community involvement it is hoped we will reach a “happy medium” where we are meeting the State’s mandate to develop this property, while still being sensitive to community concerns.

I am mindful of the State’s mandate that this land be developed as housing, and that the State plan calls for a minimum density at the site. The term “high density” is used loosely to refer to zoning and the State mandated density, as opposed to single-family homes which are not allowed by the State at this site. The Council’s previously stated direction still stands, however — that there will be no high-rises on this site, and that the height should be limited on Mission Road with perhaps somewhat higher at the rear of the property near Kaiser Hospital. Rest assured, however, that no decisions will be made without full community participation and input.

I look forward to partnering with you, the developer and others in our community over the next year as we together design something which adds to our community in a positive way. Thank you again for contacting me, and I hope you will stay engaged in this process.


Mayor Liza Normandy
City of South San Francisco