Shared Vision Begins to Take Shape
First Meeting on Future Development Held
DECEMBER 5 – Saranap residents last night took the first step toward defining a shared vision for future development in the commercial area along Boulevard Way and Saranap Avenue. About 50 community members attended a meeting organized by Second District Supervisor Candace Andersen on what is called the Saranap Avenue / Boulevard Way Planning Process.
The plan will determine what types of development will be allowed and address the size, scale, and impacts of future projects in the designated area. This will help developers avoid lengthy, and costly, application processes – and help the community avoid the kind of divisiveness that occurred around Saranap Village. The SCA and Saranap Homeowners Organization are collaborating with Supervisor Andersen in the planning process.
Initial boundaries of the area under discussion are Saranap Avenue from where it becomes Old Tunnel Road (by Price Storage and Hull Funeral Home) down to Boulevard Way, and along both sides of Boulevard Way from the Saranap intersection east to Palana Court, near Valley Glass. The area covers 24 properties on 16.3 acres. These boundaries may change, based on community input in the planning process. Here’s a map of the plan area with current zoning.
Current property owners won’t be required to make changes to their existing properties; these guidelines will apply only to new development in the area.
Andersen explained that the process grew out of discussions she had with residents during the contentious Saranap Village approval process. She noted that no proposals for development in the plan area are in the works and that the purpose of the planning process is to have guidelines in place before that happens.
John Kopchik, director of the Department of Conservation and Development, and Will Nelson, the department’s manager of advance planning, discussed potential elements of the plan and available planning tools. Here’s a PDF of their presentation.
Following half an hour of questions and comments, attendees broke into small groups to discuss specific aspects of the plan, based on a detailed community survey developed by DCD. Topics include priorities; types of development; boundaries of the planning area; possible amenities, such as a playground, community garden, picnic area, and lawn and trees; street improvements, such as sidewalks, crosswalks, diagonal parking, and bike lanes; and the planning process itself.
Click here to complete the survey online. Interested parties are asked to complete it no later than December 31.
The SCA and the SHO haven’t always seen eye to eye on development in the neighborhood, but board members from the two organizations met privately before the December 4 meeting and agreed to collaborate with Supervisor Andersen and her staff on the plan. “We have far more in common than we have differences,” the two groups said in a joint e-mail to their members.
This link will take you to the page on the DCD website devoted to the Saranap planning process. It includes PDFs related to the December 4 meeting and planning resources.
Last night’s meeting, which took place at Parkmead School, is expected to be the first of several. The SCA and SHO will inform their members of future meetings, and we’ll publish meeting times and dates when they become available.