Mike Koozmin/S.f. Examiner File photoDevelopers for the Pete’s Harbor redevelopment project in Redwood City were asked to address concerns about parking impacts

Redwood City works to address concerns on Pete’s Harbor redevelopment

After several delays and a controversy that resulted in several evictions of boat owners, redevelopment of Pete’s Harbor in Redwood City is inching toward breaking ground.

Over the past several months, city officials have conducted a series of open houses and public forums aimed at informing residents about the project and receiving community feedback, said Redwood City Planning Manager Blake Lyon.

“We want to ensure people are a little more involved in the overall process,” Lyon said.

The revised development plan includes 411 units and 65 boat slips, which will be available for rent, Lyon said. The project also includes several amenities, but no longer covers the outer harbor area.

The planned transfer of the lease on the outer harbor to developer Paul Powers collapsed after the former property owner, Paula Uccelli, terminated the lease due to difficulties with the State Lands Commission.

Powers has not applied for an outer harbor lease, according to state officials.

During the community meetings, residents expressed three primary concerns: project parking, rising sea levels and affordable housing, Lyon said. The residents asked officials to explain how the revised Pete’s Harbor plan would address those concerns.

In regard to parking, the project would provide 883 spaces, which complies with the requirements set out in the zoning ordinance, Lyon said.

The concerns on sea-level rise may be more complex, he said, noting that there’s uncertainty as to exactly how much levels will rise over the next century. Lyon said the site’s long-term viability will be dependent upon grading and filling, as well as berms and sea walls, but he believes the project addresses concerns on the issue.

Although affordable housing remains a frequently discussed topic on the Peninsula due to skyrocketing rents and home valuations, Redwood City does not have an ordinance that requires developers to build a set number of affordable units in each new development — or to pay an in-lieu fee.

“We do have other projects that do provide [affordable units],” Lyon said.

The planning manager added that an addendum to the project’s environmental impact report will be revised based on the changes made in the past several months.

The plans to redevelop Pete’s Harbor generated controversy earlier this year after a group of boat-dwelling residents who leased slips at the marina was evicted by Powers. Some of those residents simply moved out, while others fought the evictions by taking legal action, lobbying City Council or attending eviction hearings.

Ultimately the boat-dwelling residents were evicted last month. The revised project is set to be presented to the city’s Planning Commission, likely in the first quarter of 2014.

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