New slope rules could apply to schools, churches

An effort to place limits on the subdivision of hilly parcels could soon extend to the city’s school campuses and church grounds.

Belmont officials are racing to approve new subdivision limits that would use a parcel’s slope to guide the number of homes that can be built on that parcel — limits now applied only in the San Juan Canyon and Western Hills areas. The Planning Commission on Tuesday asked for a more relaxed ratio that would allow for subdivision on smaller lots, particularly on slopes of less than 15 percent, but recommended the rules apply to institutional properties if and when they are sold to residential developers.

Councilmember Coralin Feierbach introduced the proposal to the City Council on July 25, fearing that if it isn’t adopted before the Nov. 7 election, Proposition 90 will remove officials’ local control over future subdivision densities. It returns to the City Council on Sept. 12 for potential adoption.

Applying the ratios to institutional sites, such as churches, could prevent them from becoming impossible to redevelop, according to Commissioner Jacki Horton.

“Some of these may not be viable institutional uses in 15 years … If a church decided it didn’t want to exist in that location anymore, I would want to see them be able to sell the property,” she said.

If approved, the extension could apply to up to a dozen campuses and churches, including the 45-acre Notre Dame de Namur property, according to Community Development Director Carlos De Melo.

Commissioners balked at De Melo’s recommendation that, on a 10 percent slope, developers could create new lots no smaller than 15,146 square feet. Instead, they recommended a minimum lot size of 10,000 square feet on slopes up to 15 percent.

Resident Anthony McTasik, who is currently subdividing his property, said the changes would undermine his plans.

“We have abided by the rules, and in midstream this would effectively annihilate my project,” he said.

Under De Melo’s recommendation, approximately 20 lots met all the requirements for subdivision, including slope, total square footage and street frontage. He has not determined how many would be eligible under the new

recommendation.

bwinegarner@examiner.com

Bay Area NewseducationLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

District Attorney Chesa Boudin announces charges against former SFPD Officer Christopher Samoyoa in the 2017 fatal shooting of Keita O’Neill at a press conference outside the Hall of Justice on Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
DA Boudin charges fired SFPD officer with manslaughter over fatal shooting

Ex-Officer Christopher Samayoa to face criminal charges in killing of Keita O’Neil

The area near the Castro Muni Metro Station is expected to be affected by construction work on the Twin Peaks Tunnel, with lane closures on Market Street and some loss of parking. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Construction on Twin Peaks Tunnel to begin November 30

Area around Castro Muni Station will see greatest impacts including lane closures on Market Street

(Genaro Molina/Pool/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Newsom calls latest surge of COVID-19 cases ‘unprecendented’

By Eli Walsh Bay City News Foundation California’s latest surge of COVID-19… Continue reading

Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, during a news conference on March 10, 2020. (Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
LA County suspends outdoor dining at restaurants as coronavirus surges

By Alex Wigglesworth Los Angeles Times Los Angeles County public health officials… Continue reading

Renderings of the main entrance to upcoming Mission Bay elementary school on Owens Street. (Courtesy photo)
SFUSD offers first look at planned Mission Bay elementary school

San Francisco school officials this month unveiled the design of a planned… Continue reading

Most Read