The proposal, if approved, would give a San Jose developer the go-ahead to build 51 houses, three commercial buildings and several private streets on 18.22 acres.
The overwhelming bulk of the five-hour meeting Dec. 15 was devoted to talks about the size of lots and the availability of parking in the proposed high-density area.
The proposal by San Jose-based developer Jim Sullivan asks the City Council to allow 17 individual exceptions to the city’s municipal code, to fit more buildings into the space.
“My goal (with this project) is to create something on the higher density of things and make it architecturally pleasing,” Sullivan told the council.
According to the planning commission report, the plan calls for each of the 51 houses to have a two-car garage and no driveway. Additional parking would be in the form of 50 spaces in residential parking areas.
During the comment period, several people applauded Sullivan’s efforts to develop the site.
“(The development) will fix an eyesore that we have right now on that parcel,” said Paul Broughton, who owns several buildings on Scotts Valley Drive.
Cliff Barrett, a former member of the City Council, said that although the project proposal is creative, “it’s too much on too little. There’s no privacy, no yards and no parking.”
Scotts Valley Police Chief John Weiss echoed Barrett’s unease about parking, saying it is “unrealistic” to assume two-car garages would provide everyone with sufficient parking.
The plan also calls for each parcel to have 5 feet of yard on either side of the house. However, the plan also calls for one 5-foot side yard belonging to each house to be combined with the next-door neighbor’s adjacent side yard via an easement, to create a shared 10-foot yard.
Councilman Jim Reed, citing the high number of easements and limited parking, asked developers whether building fewer houses might alleviate some of the community’s concerns.
“You can’t park on the street, because it’s illegal, and there’s no driveway,” Reed said. “It seems to me the logical thing to do is take out one of these (rows of houses).”
Reed also noted that he and a friend had each received an anonymous phone call singling out his perceived opposition to the project.
The meeting ran until 11 p.m., when, by law, the meeting must adjourn, unless the council voted to continue.
Citing the need for further consideration, Reed and Councilman Randy Johnson voted against continuing that night, postponing further discussion until the council’s Jan. 19 meeting.
For complete information about the Woodside development proposal, visit the city’s website, www.scottsvalley.org.