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Marketplace Development Plan Concept Review Application
Posted on 02/18/2021

At the Planning Commission Meeting on January 5, 2021, the property owner of the Marketplace (130 Marketplace) presented a Concept Review of a potential redevelopment of the property.

A Concept Review is not an official project proposal, and allows the property owner/applicant to solicit feedback from City staff, the public, and the Planning Commission regarding a potential project.

The Concept Review process ends once the Commission meeting is complete and comments are provided by City staff, the public, and the Planning Commission.

The property owner may now decide to:

1. Proceed with the project as originally proposed,

2. Modify the project based on comments received, or

3. Pursue an additional Concept Review for more feedback on a revised concept, or

4. Abandon the project altogether and/or submit a new project.

To date, the Applicant has not indicated what they will do; therefore, no follow-up meeting is scheduled.

As discussed at the Planning Commission meeting, the Marketplace site remains a housing opportunity site in the General Plan, and the City will entertain any development proposal that is consistent with City policies, development standards, and State law.

Click here to watch the January 5, 2021 Planning Commission Meeting

Click here to view the January 5, 2021 Planning Commission Agenda Packet with Staff Report and Development Plan Concept Review Application

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Did the City initiate a proposal for a housing development at Marketplace?

The City of San Ramon did not initiate a proposal for a potential redevelopment project at the Marketplace.

The Property Owner/Applicant submitted a Concept Review application on November 20, 2020 to solicit feedback from City staff, the public, and the Planning Commission regarding a potential redevelopment project, including housing, at the Marketplace.

The Concept Review process for the proposed application ended when the Planning Commission meeting adjourned on January 5, 2021 and the Property Owner/Applicant was provided comments on the potential redevelopment project.

What is the status of the proposed changes to the Marketplace?

To date, the Property Owner/Applicant has not indicated what they will do; therefore, no follow-up meeting is scheduled.

The Marketplace site remains a housing opportunity site in the General Plan, and the City is required to process any development proposal that is consistent with City policies, development standards, and State law.

Has the Planning Commission or City Council approved the Marketplace Project?
No application has been filed with the City. The Planning Commission is the review authority for this type of development proposal. Appeals of any Planning Commission decision or a call for review by the City Council would result in a public hearing and a decision by the City Council.
How is the Marketplace designated under the City’s General Plan?

The Marketplace Center is designated as Mixed Use in the General Plan, which allows for a combination of residential and commercial uses.

What does “mixed-use” mean?

"Mixed Use" is generally defined as a compatible mix of residential and nonresidential uses and can be arranged in a vertical or horizontal configuration within a defined project area.

What can an owner of a mixed-use property do under the City’s General Plan and California law?

The Property Owner of a property designated Mixed Use by the General Plan may propose redevelopment of the site provided it is consistent with City standards and State law. It can allow the addition of residential uses to existing commercial sites or the addition of commercial uses to residential sites.

What percentage of a proposed project must be affordable? What percentage must be for very low, low, or moderate income households?

In April 2019, the City Council adopted an Inclusionary Housing Ordinance to require Below Market Rate (BMR) affordable housing units as part of new residential development.

Development projects with 10 or more rental units are required to provide 15 percent or more of the base residential units as BMR affordable units. The 15 percent BMR affordable units are split between the Low and Very Low income levels as established by the Area Medium Income. 

Moderate income units are not required for this type of development.

Is there a State requirement to build a certain number of new affordable units?

The State, through the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), has established the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) process to determine how many total housing units (by income category) each region (including the Bay Area) within the State will need in an 8-year housing cycle.

For the Bay Area, the regional planning agency, Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), allocates the Bay Area’s total RHNA (by income category) to each of the 101 cities and 9 counties within the Bay Area. State law requires all jurisdictions plan to meet the housing needs of everyone in the community.

The City of San Ramon’s RHNA for the current housing cycle from 2015 to 2023 is identified in the San Ramon General Plan 2035 Housing Element:

San Ramon RHNA for 2015 - 2023

Household Income Category*

RHNA Allocation

Very Low (31 – 50% AMI)

516 Units

Low (51 – 80% AMI)

279 Units

Moderate (81 – 120% AMI)

282 Units

Above Moderate (>120% AMI)

340 Units

Total

1,417 Units

* Based on County Area Median Income (AMI)

Recently HCD and ABAG have established new draft RHNA numbers for the City of San Ramon for the upcoming 2023 – 2031 housing cycle. The City of San Ramon has begun a comprehensive General Plan and Housing Element Update process, which will incorporate, among other revisions, the upcoming 2023- 2031 RHNA numbers for the City of San Ramon. The process will include public hearings with the Planning Commission and City Council throughout 2021 and 2022. 

What is the height limit for building a residential project on the Marketplace property?

The Zoning District for the Marketplace Center is Mixed Use (MU). The maximum height limit in the MU Zoning District is 60 ft. and a must comply with the Daylight Plane Requirements intended to minimized daylight and shading impacts to adjacent properties.

What is SB 330 and how could it affect proposed development at Marketplace?

SB 330, the Housing Crisis Act, applies to all cities and counties in California and aims to boost homebuilding in the State through expediting the approval process for housing development on sites where the General Plan and Zoning have already contemplated housing. SB 330 also limits the number of meetings/hearings and streamlines the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and environmental review process. This law can be coupled with other laws, such as the State Density Bonus standards to increase production of housing and affordable units.

SB 330 goes further by eliminating subjective judgement as part of the review process and ties approval to uniformly verifiable standards. As such, a project either meets a standard established by code or it does not, there is no discretion to require changes to a project based on opinion, personal preference or community desire.

What if San Ramon doesn’t comply with SB 330 for a project proposal?

Failure to comply with SB 330 or improper denial of a project can result in significant monetary penalties of $10,000 to $50,000 per unit if a court determines an inappropriate denial of a project.  The local denial of a SB 330 project can only be based on quantified public health and safety standards, not the more general “welfare of the Community” concerns.  Additionally, the court can approve the project despite the local agency’s determination.

If the owner of the Marketplace property submits an application:

Will the public have the opportunity to provide input to the applicant?

In response to a formal Development Plan application for redevelopment of the Marketplace, the City will conduct a technical review and hold public hearings, as allowed under State law (SB 330), which limits the number of public meetings/hearings and streamlines the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review process. The public will have an opportunity to provide input to the Property Owner/Applicant as part of the public hearing process or by direct correspondence submitted into the public record.

What is the process for the City to review the application?

The Development Plan application review process may vary depending on the details of the proposal.  Once the technical review by staff is complete, the proposal may proceed to Architectural Review Board or other City Committees as appropriate.  The process is completed by a public hearing process with the Planning Commission or City Council as appropriate.  SB 330 limits the total number of public meeting/hearings to five.

Will there be an architectural review?

Yes, the public review process of a formal Development Plan application begins with the Architectural Review Board (ARB) at a public meeting. 

Given that ARB comments are generally aesthetic and subjective in nature, SB 330 projects and the associated limitations result in the ARB comments being advisory in an effort to make the project better.  The ARB review counts as a meeting under the SB 330 limitations and must be weighed against additional meetings with the Planning Commission and Council

Will there be a traffic or air quality study?

A California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) determination is required for all projects.

Traffic and air quality are among the items considered during that review and it must be determined that that the projects impacts are less than significant based on established thresholds of significance.   

Do they need to provide parking?

Yes, the Property Owner/Applicant must provide parking as required by the City development standards for the specific use(s) on-site and subject to applicable State law standards.

Do they need to provide parks?

If the Marketplace project proceeds as a rental project, they would be required to pay Park and Recreation Facility Impact fees. Land dedication is not required for rental projects.

How does this proposed project tie in to the CityWalk Master Plan and development the City core?

The projects are not related; however, the Marketplace site, along with areas within the CityWalk Master Plan are located in the City core and are housing opportunity sites in the General Plan.  Housing in the Core has been a General Plan and City Council priority that locates housing, jobs, retail, services, and transportation in close proximity to each other while reducing development pressure on residential adjacent to open space areas.

Will the developer be required to develop a master plan for the entire Marketplace area?

The City General Plan encourages joint redevelopment and a Master Plan analysis between the Marketplace Center and the Orchard Supply Center parcel (1041 Market Place – now Sports Basement). The analysis could facilitate improved circulation, access, visibility, and broaden the mix of uses on one or both sites in a way that better supports successful retail at one or both sites. Ultimately, the Planning Commission will determine the level of analysis required of the Property Owner/Applicant to satisfy the General Plan policies.