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

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