San Mateo condos stir traffic worries

Ocean waves, stooges and amigos often come in threes. In San Mateo, so do high-density housing developments.

Three new complexes are set to spring up within two blocks of each other just north of downtown San Mateo, but their combined impact on traffic, parking and general community ambience has neighbors concerned.

Members of the Tilton Terrace Homeowners Association have spoken out at public meetings on the San Mateo Drive and Monte Diablo condominiums and the as-yet-unnamed development formerly known as Tilton Place. While each project would increase traffic in its immediate area, neighbors such as John Margaroni say the combined impact of all three is too much for the neighborhood to handle.

Associate Planner Christine Usher said the city is making sure to look at the “big picture,” and will address the combined impacts of so many projects.

“A lot of those issues will surface in the environmental review, so that’s where a lot of discussion will take place,” she said

Two of the projects, Monte Diablo and the Tilton Apartments — which have to be renamed after another Tilton Place was found — are being handled by Mayor Jack Matthews’ architectural firm. Matthews has said that he will recuse himself from discussions if the projects reach the council while he is a member.

Monte Diablo architect John Lucchesi said the firm is aware of the concerns and will do any traffic or parking studies needed by the planning department for the projects.

“Nobody designs in a vacuum,” Lucchesi said. “We’re aware of the difficulties and we’re trying to be sensitive.”

At the first study session for the Monte Diablo project June 12, North San Mateo Drive resident Linda Lara said the area is already experiencing traffic congestion and that more homes will strain city services.

But Usher and Lucchesi both said that the area — zoned for high-density projects — is ripe for these developments because it is within walking distance of both public transportation and the amenities offered downtown.

Lucchesi said a second public hearing and community meeting for the Tilton development is expected within weeks, and any additional meetings required by the city for Monte Diablo would be scheduled later, although nothing has been planned for that project at this time.

jgoldman@examiner.com


What do you think of high-density development?

Share your comments below.

Bay Area NewsLocal

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

Giants second baseman Donovan Solano scores on a double in the seventh inning against the Dodgers at Oracle Park on July 29. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Will the Giants make the playoffs? Kris Bryant may be the answer

By Chris Haft Special to The Examiner You’d be hard-pressed to find… Continue reading

Tiffany Carter, owner of Boug Cali West Coast Creole Shack in San Francisco’s La Cocina Marketplace, was dismayed by gentrification she found when she returned to her hometown to start a business. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF Black Wallstreet: Helping residents build wealth, reclaim spaces they’ve had to leave

Tiffany Carter moved back to her hometown of San Francisco five years… Continue reading

A prescribed fire at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks was conducted in June 2016 to reduce hazardous fuel loading, increase watershed health, and restore the natural fire cycle in the Redwood Canyon area ecosystem. (Photo courtesy Rebecca Paterson/National Park Service)
Experts, UC scientists discuss wildfires in the state’s riskiest regions

Wildfires are nothing new in California’s history, but the magnitude and frequencies… Continue reading

Fourth-grade students at Lucerne Valley Elementary School don masks and Western wear for a “Walk Through California” history day during in-person instruction. (Courtesy of Krystal Nelson)
Confusion over mask mandate for California schools sparks tension between districts and parents

By Diana Lambert EdSource Shifting rules around mask mandates at schools are… Continue reading

Steven Buss, left, and Sachin Agarwal co-founded Grow SF, which plans to produce election voter guides offering a moderate agenda. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Grow SF: New tech group aims to promote moderate ideals to political newcomers

Sachin Agarwal has lived in San Francisco for 15 years. But the… Continue reading

Most Read