As you are probably aware, the 5.3 acre property on the corner of El Camino and Fremont known as Butcher’s Corner, has been sold to a real estate developer, De Anza Properties.
We have seen a proposed development package, have heard about 196 housing units plus 45,000 square feet of retail space and have all heard many rumors about 7 and 10 story buildings. See one plan submittal
and the SV Business Journal article
Here is what I believe was learned/accomplished (at the study session).
a) Council and residents heard a staff report that explained a lot of the technical information. Some highlights were that the El Camino Precise Plan allows up to 75 feet. The El Camino Precise Plan calls for a required FAR of 20% commercial space which is what is driving the 45,000 square feet of retail.
b) Staff said that the El Camino Plan does not actually call out density, but its vision calls for a) a mixed-use corridor, b) a transit corridor, c) a handsome street, d) the importance of the interfaces between lower density and higher density groups.
c) Staff said an EIR would be required
d) Staff said that the Tapadera condo’s do not qualify for the ‘no more than 30’ in height for a distance of 75’ from the property line’ requirement that is made for single family residential since they are multi-family residential.
e) R3 supports 125 units. The preliminary plans are way above that, so an up-zone to R4 would be required. R3 is not automatically consistent with the vision laid out in the ECPP, and council would have to rectify the policy differences.
f) Staff said that the options for lowering the zoning were to initiate a study and perhaps revise the zoning and/or the El Camino Precise Plan now, down-zone with the annexation or down-zone after annexation. However, after annexation, state law says that you may not change zoning for two years after annexation unless substantial changes are found. Substantial changes could be an EIR finding.
g) The applicant submitted a pre-application and staff produced a PRC, Project Review Committee report which was circulated yesterday that the council members obviously were not aware of. Hhhmmm.
People spoke about a general dissatisfaction with the developments going into Sunnyvale and residents not being heard. Some people asked for down-zoning to R2 prior to annexation.
Mr. John Vidovich appeared and spoke. He said the R4 and mixed-use is a challenge, he said the site has difficult El Camino access, he said he really wanted to work with the Kingfisher Terrace residents on a solution and even offered an orchard buffer zone as a possible solution, he said he preferred not to do an EIR, he said he wanted to do a quality development.