DUBLIN – The builder’s proposal to build 573 houses in the eastern hills of Dublin is expected to be approved by Dublin City Council on Tuesday, just two months after reluctantly canceling the project.

A petition by a group of residents opposing the plans forced the council to revoke its previous approval of the project by Trumark Homes, a developer from San Ramon. However, according to state laws designed to encourage housing in areas that cities have previously designated as housing, the latter proposal cannot be rejected by the city council, city staff reports said.

Trumark plans to build houses on 165 acres of land on a site called East Ranch, formerly known as Croak Property, which stretches along Croak Road, adding even more housing to an area where thousands of homes have risen over the past two decades.

The land is located north of Interstate 580, east of Fallon Road and the Jordan Ranch housing estate, south of the Positano residential complex and extends to the city’s eastern border.

A review of the proposal on Tuesday will mark the third time in the last six months that Trumark’s plans have been the focus of Dublin council meetings.

In December, the council unanimously approved the developmentas council members said they liked the design of the houses and were pleased with the affordable housing deal the developer and city staff have struck.

Under this previous deal, Trumark will identify 18 of the 573 homes as affordable, as well as 50 grandmothers, and will transfer part of the land nearby to a nonprofit that will be used for up to 77 affordable apartments for people with disabilities and with on-site support services. The developer will also pay fees worth about $ 5.4 million instead of limiting more homes as affordable.

The deal would provide “superior affordable housing compared to the type of affordable housing that will be provided” according to the city’s standard affordable housing rules, according to an employee report. These rules require developers of projects with more than 20 homes to reserve 12.5% ​​of them at below-market prices, which means that Trumark will have to identify 72 homes as affordable in its project. Deputy Mayor Sean Kumagai said the maintenance home would be a “huge” benefit to the area.

Council members also noted that they are unlikely to reject the project, as it largely meets the city’s development guidelines for the area, with the exception of a personalized plan for affordable housing.

The approval came after an approximately four-hour discussion that included comments from about 20 people who opposed the project.

Some were residents of nearby buildings that have been built in stages over the past two decades, who said they were concerned that the environmental impact report for the wider land area was made nearly 30 years ago. Others said they believe the new homes will contribute to congestion and crowded schools in the area.

Following approval in December, a group of residents called Dubliners Against Overdevelopment, organized by Arunabha Chakma, collected about 5,200 signatures on a petition from anti-development residents, enough to force the council or put the whole draft to a vote. voters, or withdraw their approval.

The council elected in early March revoke approvals. City officials warned at the time that the likely net effect of the petition and repeal would be that Trumark would return with a very similar project, but the personalized affordable housing deal was likely to be lifted.

According to the state Housing Accountability Act, the city cannot refuse construction that meets the city’s general plan and other “objective” development standards that the city has already established in the area where the project is proposed.

The only part of Trumark’s proposal where the council had “significant judgment” was approving a personalized deal for affordable housing, city reports said.

DUBLIN, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 8: Land near Croak Road, where Trumark Homes proposes to build 573 houses, was filmed in Dublin, California, on Wednesday, December 8, 2021 (Anda Chu / Bay Area News Group)

In its latest proposal, Trumark plans to follow the “objective standards” of affordable housing rules in the city in order to “limit the city’s judgment” on the project as a whole. Trumark is proposing to pay fees that meet 40% of the requirement, or 29 homes, and will identify 43 homes in the project as affordable for low- and middle-income households, representing the remaining 60% of the requirement, the city said.

“Once the city has identified a place for housing in its overall plan, it must allow housing, except in very limited circumstances, including immediate threats to public health and safety,” the city staff report said.

“As none of the exceptions are present here, the approval of this application is required by the (Housing Accountability Act),” the report said.

The regular meeting of the Dublin City Council will start at 19:00 on 3 May and will be broadcast live on Comcast TV Channel 28 in Dublin, and will also be broadcast live on the city’s website at dublin.ca.gov/ccmeetings. Anyone wishing to attend the meeting electronically can make a public comment via Zoom, but must complete a lecturer form, which will be available from 10 a.m. on May 3 at dublin.ca.gov/ccmeetings.

Dublin City Council expected to approve 573-home development in the hills

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