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Find out what's happening in the blog. Below is a list of blog items.

Jan 21

Housing Element Updates - January 21, 2023

Posted to City Manager's Blog by grodericks grodericks

Housing Element Cover The Town submitted its Draft Housing Element for the 2023-2031 Housing Cycle to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for its initial review in 2022. Comments were received at the end of October and over the past several months, the Town has been hosting several public meetings to discuss and consider revisions to the Draft Housing Element to address the State's response. ADU

The use of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) continues to be a significant resource for compliance; but the Town also has to address mandates that require the identification of multi-family opportunities in Town. Please take a moment to complete our ADU Survey that will assist the Town in its presentation to the State HCD as part of the 6th Cycle Housing Element process. 

Recent public meetings on Housing: 

This proposal identified 17 properties along El Camino Real - properties that were adjacent to or back up to El Camino Real along Cebalo Lane and Gresham Lane - from Stockbridge Avenue to the Town's Redwood City border - as part of an Up Zoning to Residential Multi-Family @ 20 units per acre. In addition, the proposal identified 1 property at 23 Oakwood for inclusion as Residential Multi-Family @ 10 units per acre. In addition to trying to meet the State's mandate to identify opportunities for multi-family, the Council felt that these parcels were along or within a 1/2-mile from a major thoroughfare with multi-modal transit, closer to denser development or higher density development, closer to commercial development or had an interested developer. 

This proposal identified all properties along El Camino Real, on both sides of El Camino Real - one lot deep - from the Town border in Menlo Park to the Town border in Redwood City. These properties were identified to be a part of a Residential Multi-Family Overlay Zone @ 20 units per acre. The proposal also identified all properties along Valparaiso from El Camino to the western Town border - one lot deep - to be included as part of a Residential Multi-Family Overlay Zone @ 10 units per acre. In addition to trying to meet the State's mandate to identify opportunities for multi-family, the Commission felt that these parcels were along or within a 1/2-mile from a major thoroughfare with multi-modal transit, closer to denser development or higher density development, closer to commercial development. The Commission remained neutral with respect to 23 Oakwood. .

"Up Zoning" - Upzoning occurs when the Town rezones parcels to allow a higher density or different use than already exists on the parcel. When a parcel is up zoned, the existing use is allowed to continue; but, the Town can incorporate restrictions on the property owner's ability to expand the use. If the existing use is discontinued (i.e. abandoned or demolished), the property would be required to be developed consistent with the new upzoning. In the situation proposed in the January 18 Housing Element, parcels are being considered for up zoning to a higher density to allow multi-family. The development requirements for multi-family are not yet developed and the upzoning itself would all occur over the next 36 months.  Development standards would address height, setbacks, lot coverage, parking, fence heights, screening, etc. as well as minimum and maximum density requirements. When up zoned to a higher density use, development standards could establish a minimum density between 1 and whatever maximum is proposed (in this case 20).  The Town would also review its Exceptions to Non-Conforming Uses Ordinance to address any exceptions that would allow the continuation or expansion of the existing single-family uses. Upzoning does not prevent the existing uses from continuing, does not force property owners to sell properties, nor does it impose a requirement to tear down existing structures. 

"Overlay Zoning" - Overlay Zoning occurs when the Town identifies parcels to be a part of an Overlay Zone that would allow a different density or use than already exists on the parcel. When a parcel is part of an Overlay, the existing use is allowed to continue; but the property owner can choose to demolish and rebuild at the new use. In the situation proposed in the January 19 Planning Commission recommendation, parcels are being considered for an Overlay Zone at a higher density to allow multi-family. The development requirements for multi-family are not yet developed and the Overlay Zone itself would all occur over the next 36 months. Development standards would address height, setbacks, lot coverage, parking, fence heights, screening, etc. as well as minimum and maximum density requirements. With Overlay Zoning, the existing use is not considered non-conforming as it is a lawfully permitted use in both the current zone and the Overlay Zone. In other words, the minimum density allowed in an Overlay Zone would be a single-family home. Overlay Zoning does not prevent the existing uses from continuing nor does it impose restrictions or exceptions to expanding those uses. Overlay Zoning does not force property owners to sell properties, nor does it impose a requirement to tear down existing structures. 

For more details, visit the Town's Housing Webpage. Available videos from Council Meetings are available here. To stay engaged on Town topics and issues, sign up for the Town's E-News here. Comments may be sent to council@ci.atherton.ca.us.

GeorgeThanks for reading!
 
 George Rodericks
 City Manager
Town of Atherton
grodericks@ci.atherton.ca.us


Jun 05

Town Center Update - June 5, 2020

Posted to Town Center Project Activity Blog by grodericks grodericks

Civic_Court
Atherton Town Center - Project Activity

Construction continues in earnest on both City Hall and the Library. Floors have been poured for the new City Hall - both 1st and 2nd floor. Work continues now on installation of the utility systems, roofing systems, and fire systems. On the Library, most of the work is dedicated to the new rammed earth walls. 

Live webcams for Library
and City Hall/PD Building are active on the Town's website. There is also a project progress photo gallery

Naming and Donation Opportunities

New_RoadConstruction funding for City Hall, Police Building and Site Improvements ($28.7 million) consists largely of donations and the Town's General Funds. To assist with cash flow during the project's construction timeline, the Town issued a Certificate of Participation (COP). COPs are a short-term funding tools for projects and are used mainly for large, multi-year infrastructure projects. The Town would like to retire this short-term debt sooner than it would be obligated to do so (10-years). To do so, additional donations toward the project would be required.  

Recently, the City Council mailed a Naming and Donation Opportunities letter to all Atherton residents - this is available online as well. The Council invites the community to become a part of Atherton's history by donating with a Naming Opportunity. The Council identified unique Naming Opportunities connected to the project - some of which have already been selected but there are plenty more opportunities! The City Council considers awards of naming opportunities at their regular meetings as donations are received. 

Donations will assist the Town in reducing or eliminating the need for a short-term COP to bridge the revenue flow gap during construction. The opportunities for naming have various ranges with the most significant being the ability to name a new road that will connect Fair Oaks Lane to Ashfield Road and run next to the new Town Center. 

It is very exciting to see this long-awaited new Town Center and Library come to life. The projected opening is Fall 2021, absent delay associated with COVID-19. For more details on naming opportunities and donations and how to enhance your current donation or become a part of history by making a new one, visit the donation website.
 

City Hall and Police Building


The image below is from today as interior utility work continues on the City Hall Building. The Building is taking clear shape.   
City Hall June 2020

On the right of the image is the single-story Council Chambers portion of the Building. The Council Chambers also serves as the Town's Emergency Operations Center and connects directly to the Police Building. The second floor of the Police Building is set back from the first floor and includes the break room, training room, locker rooms and offices. The lower floor of the Police Building includes the briefing room, interview rooms, and evidence storage. 

Along the left side of the image on the lower floor is the lobby area and on the second floor is the walkway across the lobby to Community Development (Building, Planning and Public Works Offices). Administration is on the lower floor on the left. 

In the near portion of the image, you can see vehicles in the temporary Police Parking Lot. This area will eventually become the Civic Court of the new facility. 
 
Below is a Site Plan for the full project. 


Site_Plan

Historic Town Hall

Historic Town Hall InteriorMost of the interior work of the Historic Town Hall building is further down in the project timeline. There is currently no activity on the Historic Town Hall.

This building will ultimately become a part of the new Library connected via a deck and french doors that spill out from the side of the building onto the new deck. 




Library Building

The image below is from this week. Work this week focused on the forming of the new rammed earth walls for the Building.
Library Shotcrete  
 


Site Work

Site work continues for utilities and other required site improvements. 

Here's a view of the new entrance to City Hall coming in off of Fair Oaks Lane. Administration Offices are on the right. The first floor will be Town Administration and the Post Office. The second floor is the Building, Planning, and Public Works Departments. The bottom and top floors on the left are the Police Department. Secure Parking Lot entry is off to the left of the main building. 
Fair_Oaks

The Look Ahead


Work Areas for the Week of June 8
  • Installation of Fire Service and Water Lines
  • Installation of Power and Communication Conduits
  • Exterior Wall Layout/Deflection Clips
  • Install Steel at Mechanical Platforms
  • Installation of Utility Ductwork 
  • Installation of Overhead Plumbing and Piping
  • Rough-in Fire Protection
  • Install Stair 2-3
  • Place Forms and Shotcrete for Rammed Earth Walls
Work Areas for the Week of June 15
  • Exterior Wall Layouts
  • Installation of Utilities, Plumbing and Piping
  • Form Interior Curbs
  • Frame Coordinated Walls
  • Install Door Frames (Ancillary Building)
  • Place Forms and Shotcrete for Rammed Earth Walls

Project Financials

 Payment Request Period Town Share Library Share Total
Payment Request #1 June 2019 $983,533 $538,622 $1,522,155
Payment Request #2 July 2019 $540,673 $587,037 $1,127,711
Payment Request #3 August 2019 $605,478 $972,754 $1,578,232
Payment Request #4 September 2019 $997,235 $638,317 $1,635,551
Payment Request #5 October 2019 $969,456 $252,633 $1,222,089
Payment Request #6 November 2019 $1,318,002 $341,692 $1,659,694
Payment Request #7 December 2019 $1,346,738 $555,978 $1,902,716
Payment Request #8
January 2020
$1,289,498 $480,925 $1,770,423
Payment Request #9 February 2020 $1,042,792  $342,867 $1,385,659
Payment Request #10 March 2020 $1,242,721 $440,645 $1,683,366
Payment Request #11
April 2020
$309,292  $248,412 $557,694
Payment Request #12
May 2020
$1,391,401  $713,524 $2,104,924
Totals   $12,036,809 $6,113,406 $18,150,215
         
Initial Project Bid   $28,701,034 $18,375,966 $47,077,000
Net Change Orders   $41,168 $73,803 $114,971
Updated Project Cost   $28,742,202 $18,449,769 $47,191,971
% Complete based on $   42% 33% 38%
Target Based on 25-Month Schedule   48%

At 38% completion, approved change orders for the project are at 0.24% - $114,971 of $47.1 million. 

 
George Rodericks
City Manager
grodericks@ci.atherton.ca.us