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Posted on 11/05/2021

Marketplace: Preliminary Housing Development Application

Current Status

The Property Owner of the Marketplace Center (130 Marketplace) has presented potential redevelopment proposals to the City of San Ramon.

Marketplace PHD Site Plan

November 2, 2021: Preliminary Housing Development Application Received

On November 2, 2021, the Planning Services Division received a Preliminary Housing Development (PHD) application for a new horizontal mixed-use development proposal located at the San Ramon Marketplace Center (130 Market Place).

A project submitted with a PHD application is subject to State law (SB 330) which limits the scope of local review. The proposed PHD application is a revised project concept from the previous Concept Review application reviewed by the Planning Commission on January 5, 2021 for a multi-family apartment proposal. The proposed PHD project is not associated with the previous Concept Review application, and if ultimately approved, would:

  • Demolish approx. 55,636 sq. ft. of existing retail tenant space (Nob Hill Foods, Sports Clips, cleaners, pharmacy);
  • Construct 40 single-family detached condominium units (5 Floor Plans: 1,917 sq. ft. to 2,112 sq. ft.);
  • Construct 4 Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (1 Floor Plan: 277 sq. ft.);
  • Renovate an existing 1,869 sq. ft. building for an existing Eating & Drinking Establishment (Starbucks); and
  • Subdivision of the existing 12.43 acre parcel into three parcels

Planning Services will respond to the Applicant within the allowed 30 days for the streamlined PHD application completeness review. No public hearing review process is required for a PHD application.

A PHD application allows the Applicant to maintain the zoning, design, subdivision, and fee requirements in effect as of that date, if the Applicant submits a formal Development Plan application within 180 days.

If a formal Development Plan application is submitted within 180 days, the project will be considered through a public hearing review process by the Planning Commission, subject to State law (SB 330) limitations.

History

November 20, 2020: Concept Review Application

On January 5, 2021, the Planning Commission conducted a meeting for a Concept Review application for a multi-family apartment proposal. The Concept Review process ended once the Planning Commission meeting was complete and comments were provided by City staff, the public, and the Planning Commission.

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 originally 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.

On November 2, 2021, the Property Owner/Applicant submitted a Preliminary Housing Development (PHD) application for a new horizontal mixed-use development. The proposed PHD application is not associated with the previous Concept Review application reviewed by the Planning Commission on January 5, 2021 for a multi-family apartment proposal.

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

On November 2, 2021, the Applicant submitted a Preliminary Housing Development (PHD) application for a new horizontal mixed-use development. The proposed PHD application is not associated with the previous Concept Review application reviewed by the Planning Commission on January 5, 2021 for a multi-family apartment proposal.

Planning Services will respond to the Applicant within the allowed 30-days for the streamlined PHD application completeness review. No public hearing review process is required for a PHD application.

A PHD application allows the Applicant to maintain the zoning, design, subdivision, and fee requirements in effect as of that date, if the Applicant submits a formal Development Plan application within 180 days for consideration with a public hearing review process by the Planning Commission, subject to State law (SB 330) limitations.

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?

Only a Preliminary Housing Development (PHD) application has been filed with the City. No formal Development Plan has been filed.

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 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 single-family residential project, they would be required to pay Park and Recreation Facility Impact fees.

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.

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.

If you have questions about this project, please contact Ryan Driscoll, Associate Planner at [email protected] or 925-973-2568.