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Zoning redo

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING – AGAIN    (The Long Story)

It is complicated. Here is a very simplified explanation.  In 2012, the city approved the owner’s plan for an expanded recreational club on the property after the owner gave up on residential plans which never got approval. Before that, the property had been put into a holding designation of "Kimber Study Area" in the newly revised General Plan for the year that they tried to get residential plan approval (from end of 2011 to end of 2012). The Kimber Study Area was defined so the property would go into the zoning that fit the plan that was finally approved. The default was to revert to being Private Open Space in the General Plan if no residential development was approved.

So, when the plan wasn't housing, just an expanded club and remodel, it still fit into Private Open Space as the BEST zoning for the land. No further action was required by the city for the land use designation to change to Private Open Space (POS). Because of our initiative, it is not possible to change the POS zoning, except with UNANIMOUS City Council vote or a vote of the citizens. 

The owner didn't like that outcome and sued the city. The owner tried to invalidate the Private Open Space Initiative and claimed she did not get due process in moving the property from "Kimber Study Area" to "Private Open Space".  The judge upheld the initiative.  However, since the process to change the land use designation was not the standard General Plan Amendment, he ordered the City of Fremont to go through the formal process of converting the property from "Kimber Study Area" to "Private Open Space" again.  This does not mean he thought the Private Open Space designation was wrong, just the process for getting there. So the city is now going through a formal General Plan Amendment process.

On March 17, the planning department held an informational meeting.  Thanks to all of you who attended even though many people did not receive city notifications. The planning department is gathering more input through the online survey. They will then write up a General Plan Amendment and present it to the Planning Commission on April 14, 2016. The Planning Commission will recommend to the City Council whether or not to approve the amendment. Finally in May, the City Council will vote on the General Plan Amendment. We need to let them know what the community wants at every step of the way.

We believe, Private Open Space is the land use designation most appropriate for the property for 3 reasons:
1. "Private Open Space" fits the plan submitted by the owner and already approved by the city.

2. "Private Open Space" was the designation originally given to the property when the development was built. The General Plan addresses the need to preserve existing neighborhoods. We would like to preserve this neighborhood.


3. Many of us worked on the Private Open Space initiative to insure once a property was given the designation of Private Open Space, it would remain Private Open Space unless it was changed by the voters or a unanimous vote of the city council. We would like to make sure this property remains as Private Open Space with a recreation facility on it. We would like the city to change the designation from "Kimber Study Area" to "Private Open Space".

The City is asking us for input. Please take the time to take the survey here: 

http://peakdemocracy.com/3499?source=qr1   and vote for "Open Space, Private".

Selection-Pic

 

WIDER ISSUES

Many at the Planning Department informational meeting expressed concern, to put it mildly, about the increasing pace of development in Fremont. Shape Our Fremont is an organization that has put together a wealth of information on the residential projects being built and proposed. Their website is a great place to track the issues and what the City Council is doing. It’s an election year and that is our opportunity to make our views known on the direction Fremont is headed. If you want to make a difference, the Shape Our Fremont website http://shapeourfremont.com/  is a good place to start.


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