San Mateo development moves ahead, provokes traffic concerns

San Mateo — A plan to demolish a Kmart building and replace it with a mixed-use development featuring homes, office space, stores and park land will go before the city’s Planning Commission this month.

The proposed development on South Delaware Street, called Station Park Green, could be open for public review in early 2010 if San Mateo officials’ concerns are allayed by then.

“We’ll discuss overall land arraignment, then do the environmental document and circulate it for public review, and then go on to public hearings,” San Mateo chief building official Ron Munekawa said. “We anticipate this to happen in early 2010.”

The development plan has been in the works for several years and has already been revised in response to complaints from residents that the project would have negative traffic impacts.

In September, a group of residents banded together under the name Delaware Corridor Neighborhood Coalition for Responsible Development and sent a letter to the city outlining their concerns about the Kmart site development and others in the area.

“Coalition neighborhoods … will experience the brunt of living in a construction zone for an extended time and, after construction, a much more densely populated community forever. During development, the coalition hopes new construction will add value to the area, improve the existing neighborhoods quality of life and improve traffic condition,” the
letter said.

Munekawa said issues related to traffic and noise are currently being evaluated and findings will be released when the developer is ready to move forward, which is typically following the meetings at the Planning Commission level.
Station Park Green is next scheduled to go before the commission Nov. 10.

Alan Talansky, executive vice president of development for EBL&S Development, said increased traffic is a main concern of local residents, but a recent study shows that the city is overestimating potential impacts.

He said the development, which is adjacent to the Hayward Park Caltrain station, is transit-
oriented, which also will curb traffic increases.

“Reducing parking is a somewhat major measure,” Talansky said. “If you reduce the number of spaces, you reduce the number of cars that can park there.”

Development plans also include space for some sort of shared-car transportation, such as ZipCar or City Share, along with shuttles to downtown San Mateo and cheaper Caltrain passes to encourage ridership.

“The project is consistent with the city’s attempt to have development take place in proximity to transit,” Munekawa said.

akoskey@sfexaminer.comame

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