SummerHill homes okd by CouncilBy Heather Murtagh
Plans to build 70 single-family homes in San Bruno was approved Tuesday, giving new life to the long-closed Carl Sandburg School site.
Palo Alto-based SummerHill Homes plans to create 75 lots with 70 single-family homes, a cell phone tower, a new park, a sewer pump station and two common open spaces on the 10.3-acre space. The City Council approved the project with a few guidelines on lessening construction effects on the surrounding community Tuesday.
"We're pleased that a quality developer has been attracted again to our community. There certainly is a need for quality housing in San Bruno, as well as through the state. It's well situated to assist in that demand," said City Manager Connie Jackson.
The approval is good news for the San Bruno Park Elementary School District, which accepted a $30.5 million bid for the 10-acre property in Aug. 2005. Escrow can't close, however, until plans were approved, said property consultant Tom Shannon, president of Enshallah, Inc. The school was closed in 1978 and rented to the Hoover Children's Center, which moved in 2005. The sale was an option for the district to create income without going to the taxpayers.
"This project not only provides valuable resources to the school district but it has the support of the San Bruno community at large. We believe that when the homes are completed, this project will be a welcomed addition to the community; it will enhance the value of the surrounding homes. It will also generate annual tax revenue ... and provide substantial resources to benefit the city's parks and affordable homes," according to a letter signed by the Board of Trustees.
The development will clean up the forgotten area.
"When I toured the site last Tuesday, I realized I was unaware of the graffiti, the vandalism and the garbage. It's become a blight in the community. ... I really feel like the school district was a winner with this. The city will inherit 70 new homes that are quality and safer. We haven't had that," said Councilman Rico Medina.
The project was approved by the Planning Commission in September with seven conditions including designing more parking, creating another public access route, lessening construction traffic, restricting construction hours, preserving Cypress trees and clearing of tree debris.
SummerHill was appealing the public access condition. The proposed exit would have lead to South San Francisco. Both safety services in San Bruno and South San Francisco said the one entrance would be sufficient in this development. The council approved the appeal, passing the plans with six of the seven conditions in place.
This also means the city will get a bit of money from developer fees; $2 million for affordable housing and $1.8 million for parks.
SummerHill hopes to start demolition on the school in January, wrapping up the building two years later, said Planning Manager Aaron Aknin.
Copyright ©2006 Daily Journal. Published 11/30/2006.