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Downtown Dublin Housing Rejected by Planning Commission

DUBLIN, CA — A nearly 500-unit housing project in a proposed Dublin downtown area was rejected Tuesday night by the city Planning Commission.

By a 4-1 vote, commissioners opposed the five-story, 499-unit proposed residential development on 8.53 acres of land at 6700 Golden Gate Drive, next to the Outback Steakhouse and close to West Dublin BART station. Stephen Wright was the only commissioner in favor of the project.

Called the St. Patrick Way residential project, the project was met with some ongoing public outcry of too-fast development within the city, leading to overcrowded schools. Some community members sent letters to the commission, urging them to reject the proposal since the schools can simply not handle any more students.

“Our streets can not take the traffic and most importantly our schools do NOT have the capacity for more students,” wrote resident Kristin Speck in an email to the commission.

She said that families would purchase these condos or rent these homes, increasing the growth in schools. The city needs to catch up to accommodate the students that are in the city now, and slow down the growth, she said.

The city commission on Tuesday rejected the project’s site development plan and tentative vesting map, putting a stop to the project for now. Either the developers, or anyone, can appeal the commission’s decision and bring it before the full City Council, said Assistant City Manager Linda Smith.

The basis of denial of the project came from inconsistencies with the size and massing of the project, and the bicycle and pedestrian connectivity from east to west, Smith said. Nearby however, is Valor Crossing of similar height but fewer units, and the recently built Connolly Station, which is next to this project.

The commissioners also said the project lacked mixed-use square footage they were looking for. It contained 1,500 square feet of collaborative work space, to be used for public use.

Eric Morley, of the Morley Bros. developers of the project, said they designed a high-quality community that is compatible with the surrounding neighborhood, and even supported the efforts to revitalize the downtown.

“We are disappointed with the Planning Commission’s decision because our plan fully complies with Dublin’s general plan, downtown specific plan and zoning code, and meets all city requirements,” Morley said in an email.

The area’s downtown specific plan limits the growth of residential units to 1,900. So far, 688 have been built.

Proposed by developers Bayview Development Group and the Morley Bros., the project would have required a demolition of an existing 204,624 square-foot warehouse. Attached to the project would have been a community benefit agreement, such as acreage designated for affordable housing, which would require City Council approval.

Morley said they are weighing the commission’s decision and have not decided if they will appeal.

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