Letter: ‘Shovel ready’ shouldn’t mean carte blanche for developers to increase housing density fourfold

The City Council is scheduled to hold the public hearing and
vote regarding the proposed

shovel ready

project on Wildflower Court at Mesa Road on Monday, Jan. 10, at
6 p.m.
Dear Editor,

The City Council is scheduled to hold the public hearing and vote regarding the proposed “shovel ready” project on Wildflower Court at Mesa Road on Monday, Jan. 10, at 6 p.m.

This property currently holds a Special Project Exemption for 12 units or less and the applicant is requesting an increase in density to 42 units. We support the current status of this project as a 12-unit subdivision and believe it is appropriate for this property. It is contiguous with the adjacent properties on Dawn Way, Mesa Road and Wildflower Court, it serves as a buffer between existing neighbors and the high-density Mesa Ridge project, provides low impact to traffic and privacy, provides environmental considerations and mitigations for tiger salamander and red legged frog populations and is harmonious with the rural atmosphere in the surrounding community.

We take exception to the new “shovel ready” concept. This property with its current status is truly “shovel ready”; they could begin construction there tomorrow. The new “shovel ready” exemption would allow this project to increase density fourfold with no consideration for its value to the community. There would be a new design and review process including more public hearings. This process will take months or even years depending on public resistance. Hardly “shovel ready.”

The five simple requirements of this exemption are based solely on the speed by which a project can be built; which can be up to three years. Hardly “shovel ready”. There is no consideration for how this change will affect the surrounding community in this review process. We believe this change will be a detriment to the community.

A development of this type has been rejected through the Residential Development Ordinance competition on four separate occasions proving it to be inappropriate on this property.

Please join us at the City Council meeting on Monday Jan. 10, at 6 p.m. where we will be asking the mayor and City Council to deny this request and maintain the current status of this property.

Thomas and Becky Fischer, Gilroy

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