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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Planning Commission Intends to Vote YES for Downtown Center

San Ramon, CA
The San Ramon Planning Commission is scheduled to vote yes on the downtown city center, giving Alex Mehran of Sunset Development everything he wants. (Three 100 foot tall, 681,769 square feet, seven story office buildings, and eight story residential buildings totaling 487 units, plus 635,042 square feet retail, 169 room hotel, Cinema, and parking structures to accommodate 7,531 spaces)

After San Ramon Planning Commission heard public testimony about the downtown city center project, the planning commissioners voiced their intentions to vote yes on the plan as presented at the next meeting.

City Staff intends to have the Draft Environmental Impact Report completed with the added public written and voiced comments and concerns addressed in writing for the commissioners to read before their next meeting scheduled for November 6, 2007 at which time they will vote "YES" for the plan as submitted.

The commissioners had concerns with no Iron Horse Trail overpass, and no direct Downtown Plaza pedestrian access to Central Park. The commissioners did not feel it was fair to the developer, Sunset Developement, to have to include the Iron Horse Trail overpass into the plan. The plan developer and city staff are looking at the logistics of having pedestrian access to Central Park from the plaza area. There is also a study going on into finding funding for an overpass at the Iron Horse Trail at Bollinger Canyon Road. The Planning Commissioners did not want to see traffic stopped on Bollinger for people pushing a button to cross the street at the trail. Their attitudes about the heights of the buildings and intensity and density of the project is that even though these heights and densities are greater than office buildings in other parts of San Ramon, that it was acceptable to the commissioners to have these at the Downtown Center as presented.

Many on the city staff and the Planning Commissioners talked about this being a "smart growth" policy and that this would give a "heart" to San Ramon.

During the public comments portion of the meeting, Michael Jones, resident of San Ramon stated, "That we should not sell our soul to gain a heart."

People have until October 11, 2007 and are encouraged to enter their comments and concerns into public record about the Draft Subsequent Environmental Impact Report (DSEIR) viewable at the San Ramon City website. Comments may be submitted by email and mail to:

San Ramon City Center
Draft Subsequent EIR
2222 Camino Ramon
San Ramon, CA 94583
(925) 973-2550

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