Glen Loma, Fee Waivers on City Council Agenda

The largest development in the city’s history will go before
council Monday night
Gilroy – A development agreement with major benefits for the city and developers of the biggest project in Gilroy history will go before city leaders Monday night.

The agreement is expected to give developers of the Glen Loma Ranch project greater flexibility in the timetable for construction of 1,700 homes over the next decade, as well as on design guidelines governing the style of homes.

In exchange, the developers have agreed to build a multimillion fire station free of charge to the city and to install parks before the majority of homes go up in the city’s southwest quadrant. Residents in other areas of the city have complained about moving into neighborhoods with children who grow up and move out long before a park is installed.

The development agreement also calls for the creation of a 10th Street bridge spanning Uvas Creek within the next five years. That provision was included at the request of city council members, who worried about the lack of access to the southwest quadrant if the bridge were not to be built for more than another decade, as current city plans envision.

In addition to the development agreement, council will discuss extending a policy credited for spurring downtown redevelopment.

For the last two years, developers working on downtown projects have not had to pay thousands of dollars in building fees normally associated with construction.

The “fee-waiver” policy, as it is known, is set to expire at the end of the year but council members have expressed strong support for a one-year extension.

Mayor Al Pinheiro views the policy as a last ditch incentive for those who own downtown buildings that fail to meet modern earthquake-safety standards. Pinheiro said he would lead the effort to condemn dangerous buildings if property owners refuse to take advantage of the fee waiver and other incentive programs.

The public will have a chance to comment on both the Glen Loma development agreement and the fee-waiver extension at Monday night’s meeting.

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