We cannot ignore that we desperately need housing here in the Bay Area, and every city including San Bruno must do its part to add units and address the problem. I do believe that it is possible to encourage development that adds units while minimizing the impact on our existing neighborhoods. While on the Planning Commission, I advocated for a reduction in scope for the Mills Park development to address congestion issues for the surrounding neighborhood, and our Commission sent a unanimous resolution to City Council to ask them to work with the developer to achieve this. Unfortunately this proposal was rejected, and this contributed to the (temporary) death of the entire project. The project came back in June 2020 with a reduction in scope…specifically the removal of the Whole Foods store which reduced traffic impact on the surrounding neighborhood by 70%, and with over $5 million in additional guaranteed benefits to the City compared to the original plan that failed. This plan was approved unanimously by City Council.
I feel for our neighbors in Mills Park who live near this project and who will need to live through the construction and its aftermath, and if elected I will join my council colleagues in insisting that the developer take every reasonable step possible to reduce disruption in the neighborhood as construction proceeds.
It’s important to understand that I support smart development, and that I’m not a “build it, just not next to me” person. To illustrate, the Crestmoor High School will be up for discussion soon with a proposal to build hundreds of homes. Because I live nearby, I will be recused from voting on anything related to that project in my current position as Planning Commissioner or if I’m lucky enough to be elected to council. My family and my neighbors will see a substantial increase in traffic when those homes go in. But I will still speak out, as a resident, in support of responsible development at the Crestmoor site, because we need housing. My only caveat will be to insist that the new property owner save the sports fields for our kids.