Reworked project still causes outcry in Redwood City

Some neighbors continue to oppose a plan to build condominiums at 885 Woodside Road, saying the proposed complex remains too tall and too dense even after the developer scaled it back.

The 43-unit proposal from Ryan Lamb, which heads to the Planning Commission tonight, was reduced from an original height of 61 feet and a uniform five stories. Now, its top height would be 58 feet, while some sections would be four stories and39 feet tall, according to city planner Maureen Riordon.

In addition, the entrance and exit to the complex was moved from residential Horgan Street to Woodside Road after neighbors argued that traffic on Horgan is already heavy.

“There are 500 homes in the neighborhood — adding 40 to 50 more would make a bad situation worse,” said Peter Dayton, vice president of the Hampton Oaks Homeowners Association. “That [change] alleviated most of the broad neighborhood concerns … but a number of homeowners on abutting properties are very upset.”

Many say that the new building will cast shadows on their properties and violate their privacy, according to neighbor Rich Sequeira.

“Would you like a five-story building 20 feet behind your house?” Sequeira said. “It’s disgusting.”

Lamb first submitted a conceptual plan to build condominiums on the property in 2005, after two proposals for commercial buildings withered. Woodside Road’s position as a transit corridor, with plenty of nearby shopping, makes it an ideal spot for dense residential construction, according to Lamb.

“Density needs to be in places where people can walk to places like Safeway or Starbucks,” both of which are near the site, Lamb said. “Transit isn’t just buses; it’s bikes, it’s walkability — it’s how to we get people out of their cars.”

The condominium complex, if built, will offer a high-end storage room for residents to park their bicycles. It also sports enough parking for 92 cars — more than the city requires of a project this size, Lamb said.

If approved tonight, the project would require a green light from the City Council before construction can begin, according to Riordon. With those approvals, the project could be ready for its first tenants in the summer of 2009, according to Lamb. Prices have not yet been established for the one- and two-bedroom units.

In other business,the commission will consider historic designations for two homes on Hopkins Avenue and study plans for a condominium-conversion project in Redwood Shores.

The Redwood City Planning Commission meets today at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 1017 Middlefield Road.

bwinegarner@examiner.com

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