Letter to the Editor: Special PUC Project Public Meeting Request

South San Francisco, CA   June 3, 2019  by Cory David, SSF Resident

I have been asked by a group of concerned members of this community to request a special publicly noticed meeting/study session with the PUC project as the sole agenda. This request was necessitated when the AGI/KASA project workshop on Tuesday May 28 made it quite apparent that the developer was not listening to the desires of the community. The last city administration led the residents to believe that the height limits were to be no more than five stories. {View video here} The developer presented his same plans with eight story buildings. The residents indicated that project densities of eight hundred units were inappropriate and yet the developer returned to the table with eight hundred plus units. The community indicated concern for inadequate parking allowances and yet the developer presented a parking ratio based on pure speculation. In a word, the community was not “heard.” I requested where the plans were for a “minimalist project” reflecting the lowest density and height requirements to satisfy oversight and to no surprise there were none. This developer is deciding the parameters for this project, not the community.

 

Several members of the community became agitated and voiced opposition to plans that were clearly misrepresented. I attempted to explain to these concerned citizens that while the developer ignored the will of the residents, he was doing exactly what would be expected. They have no stake in this community other than to exploit our land resources. Their promised amenities are merely tools to close the deal. Historically, I am aware that all these promises don’t always come to fruition. While the developer is behaving in an unsurprising manner, the fact that they have no vote in this matter makes our dialogue with them an act of futility.

 

The business of the residents of this city is with you, its elected and salaried officials. The city council will vote on the final configuration of this project with the counsel of the city manager’s office and other planning and development departments. To date, none of the residents have had an interactive dialogue with our city government. We are allowed three minutes to state our case in “public comments” at a city council meeting or our city officials are allowed to talk at us. We have not had an opportunity to have an interactive meeting where questions and responses are entertained. We have no idea how our officials stand on this project and we feel it necessary to hear their positions and rebut them, if necessary, in a “real time” manner. As you were elected or hired to represent the wishes of this community, this is a reasonable request. It needs to take place before any final vote on this project.

 

In closing, we are aware that there are specific measures that need be satisfied for compliance with oversight on the PUC land. What we don’t know is what the minimum requirement is. Can we scale back the heights or the density to achieve these ends? We have no idea and have been kept in the dark. We know that we can’t trust the developer to disclose this information as his interests are not necessarily in the best interest of this community. We are at “cross purposes.” We also know that our city officials were not put in place to represent the developer’s interests but to represent the residents that elected them and or pay their salaries. We will gladly give you the opportunity to reassure us of your allegiance in an interactive forum.

 

Please keep us apprised of the status of our request, Cory David on behalf of concerned members of this community.

 

Sincerely,

Cory David

South San Francisco, CA

3 comments for “Letter to the Editor: Special PUC Project Public Meeting Request

  1. your neighbor
    June 4, 2019 at 2:08 am

    The developer claimed the state oversight board wanted over 1000 units for that site because of the need for housing, not taking into account the thousands already built by the City !

    City residents have to use other means to blunt the forces of the people who are shoving this PUC project on the citizens.

    The renderings were nice, they put up a power point presentation to say that you told us “what your concerns were”, but not listed in the concerns were 8 stories residents DODN’T want. If you were there when the City went into closed door session that night awhile back, you heard that the then mayor said that the developer would work with the community on 5 stories.

    That councilmember is no mas in city government as she secured a cush job at the Chamber of Commerce that gave a scholarship to the City Manager’s son even while he doesn’t attend our SSF schools.

    The City manager was present that night and he could’ve cleared the air, but instead they brought police into the council chambers after a few cat-calls from people who were there that night awhile back.

    Lies to voters degrades the public trust in government.
    The City lies to the community a lot.

    Foster City is starting a petition for recall one of their city council people. There was talk that night for the same for SSF.

    It can be done.

  2. Barbara Ervin
    June 13, 2019 at 1:06 am

    Cory David
    I read the letter to the Editor, which is GREAT, and reflects MANY peoples frustrations at this particular City Council. They are NOT working for the citizens, but for themselves, and god forbid any kickbacks that anyone might receive on this matter. After some research I found a few things that might help you in going forward this matter. This is the RFP “Request for Proposal” for the PUC property, which was done in October, 2017. As I go on to read they wanted 1215 total units on that property

    file:///C:/Users/be/Desktop/PUC%20Proposal%20SSF.pdf

    Inserted in page 3 of the proposal is the following – which up until now, I had not even heard about from anyone in the City. “To the northeast of the site, the County of San Mateo is exploring the possibility of redeveloping its former County Municipal Court site into housing and other complementary uses. The County recently solicited qualifications from architecture and planning firms for the completion of a Master Plan for the site. The City anticipates the County will select a firm and begin the master planning process in late 2017.” So MORE HOUSING may be planned for that area. WHAT!!!

    Good Luck, this stuff makes me so sick. My Grandfather started a business in 1920 in SSF, raised a family, of which my Mom & Dad raised their family, and I have lived here my entire life. Almost 100 years of our family supporting this city, but I am ready to get the heck out of here.

    Like the previous writer, I think the City Council needs to be recalled, and since they are not listening to their constituents, a lawsuit filed to stop this development,

    • Cory David
      June 18, 2019 at 12:39 am

      Barbara, I appreciate your interest. City Manager Mike Futrell actually responded to my request by listing all of the future procedures and meetings that would be scheduled addressing this particular project. There are quite a few. I carefully re-read this communication several times in an attempt to determine if any of the forums would be interactive in nature. Specifically, questions and answers between the community and their elected representatives. It was beyond me to make that determination so I sent CM Futrell another inquiry asking him to clarify whether or not we would have a live, interactive forum with the council. I have not heard back from him. It is also worthy of note that none of the similarly addressed council members responded to the initial letter. Representative government? You be the judge.

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