This project involves the construction of a new three-story non-medical office building with two underground parking levels at 1010-1026 Alma Street. The 0.7-acre project site is part of the El Camino Real/Downtown Specific Plan. The development is at the Public Benefit Bonus level, which would exceed the Base level floor area ratio (FAR) for non-medical office uses on the subject site. The public benefit includes the provision of public plazas along Alma Street, a small pavilion for a cafe, two public electric vehicle charging stations, three public bicycle racks, and a one-time financial contribution to the City. The project also includes heritage tree removals and a BMR (Below Market Rate) Housing Agreement to pay in-lieu fees.
An initial public benefit bonus proposal was reviewed by the Planning Commission on May 18, 2015, where the Planning Commission provided feedback on the project and the proposed public plazas. On August 5, 2015, the Housing Commission recommended that the Planning Commission approve the proposed Below Market Rate (BMR) In Lieu Fee Agreement to allow the applicant to pay an in lieu fee to satisfy the project’s BMR obligations. On November 2, 2015, the Planning Commission unanimously approved the proposed development, including the BMR In Lieu Fee Agreement (staff report). The project is now under construction.
The proposal required the following actions:
Below Market Rate (BMR) In Lieu Fee Agreement
Environmental Review (discussed below)
Heritage Tree Removal Permits
The proposal requires consideration under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Staff prepared a conformance checklist (informed by detailed technical transportation analysis) that verifies that the proposed use conversion has been adequately considered by the program-level Environmental Impact Report (EIR) that was completed as part of the Specific Plan. These CEQA findings were approved as part of the overall project actions.