From the City Web Site.

Railroad Corridor Guidelines

These are the guidelines that the SCTV project or any project in the railroad corridor must adhere to:

Resolution No. 2003-79

Resolution Of The City Of San Carlos City Council Adopting A Negative Declaration For An Amendment To The San Carlos West Side Specific Plan For The Railroad Corridor

The City Council of the City of San Carlos does hereby ordain:

Section 4.800 is hereby added to the West Side Specific Plan as follows:

Section 4.800 Railroad Corridor The following goals and policies shall apply to the area within the City of San Carlos south of the Taco Bell Restaurant southern property line to the San Carlos/Redwood City border between the existing railroad tracks and El Camino Real. This area shall hereafter be referred to as the Project Area.

Section 4.810 Land Use Goal

Plan for and facilitate development of land uses along the study corridor that will best serve the values and interests of the San Carlos community, promote transit use, and complement exiting adjacent uses.

Land Use Policies/Guidelines

Section 4.820 Land Use Policies/Guidelines

4.821 Promote mixed-use pedestrian friendly development. Housing may be permitted on the ground floor as well as on upper floors. Mixed-use development should be oriented and sited in a manner that reduces possible land use conflicts between mixed uses (i.e. noise, traffic, and lighting).

4.822 Incidental support retail services shall be encouraged as a method of reducing traffic and providing convenience to residential and commercial occupants as well as transit riders. Retail uses should complement and enhance downtown retail uses.

4.823 Promote public gathering areas throughout the project site that are designed to be accessible, visible and inviting to the public.

4.824 Encourage recreational facilities and/or other community activity options along the narrow lots to the south of Arroyo Avenue within the project area.

4.825 Encourage the incorporation of community amenities within the project area through flexibility in parking requirements.

4.826 Facilitate San Carlos Housing Element goals through incentives for additional affordable housing such as the reduction of and flexibility in parking requirements.

Design Goal

Section 4.830 Design Goal
Plan for and facilitate development of an overall architecturally exceptional, transit oriented development project that is economically viable. Further, development should reflect and complement the architectural style of significant buildings within the community (such as the Train Depot, the Drake Building and the Pacific Hacienda project), be sensitive to the scale and massing of adjacent and surrounding buildings, and incorporate pedestrian friendly features.

Section 4.840 Design Policies/Guidelines

Section 4.841 Require that the design of all new buildings constructed within the railroad corridor be reviewed by the Planning Commission’s Architectural Review Committee as a Landmark Site for compatibility with other architecturally significant buildings in the vicinity.

4.842 Provide a unified landscaped strip (feature) accenting the development along the perimeter of the project area. The concept is to give El Camino Real a distinct and pleasant feeling, and to provide pacing and relief, not necessarily continuous greenery. The Landscaping feature should not obscure the visibility of other open space or public gathering areas.

4.843 This entire railroad corridor shall be planned to appear as one integrated project. Project area architecture, colors and materials should incorporate elements of architecturally significant buildings within the surrounding area such as the Train Depot, the Drake Building and the Pacific Hacienda project.

4.844 Incorporate the City’s “Downtown Urban Design Guidelines” in building design as outlined in the report dated August 6, 2001.

4.845 The focal point of the Depot Area should be the historic San Carlos Depot, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This area shall accommodate community interaction and diverse activities. Additionally, development within the Project Area adjacent to the Depot should be sensitive to the massing and scale of the Depot.

4.846 Incorporate recommendations of the “Peninsula Corridor Plan” dated March 2003 into the project area and surrounding public rights-of-way.

4.847 Provide a comprehensive signage and lighting program for the project consistent with the San Carlos Municipal Code and the City’s Design Guidelines. All signage shall be part of a coordinated signage program. Project lighting shall not provide excessive glare or spillover onto adjacent properties or rights of way. All lighting fixtures should be of high architectural quality.

4.848 Provide interesting architecture incorporating tiering of building heights and articulation of building elevations from all views of the project. Building articulation should break up building massing and provide visual relief of all elevations. Windows and other architectural features should be delineated with accent materials and colors for architectural interest.

4.849 Project architecture should incorporate varying heights that are sensitive to the scale and massing of east side residential areas, and accommodate and preserve significant views.

4.850 The southern most end of the railroad corridor should include a design entry feature announcing entry into the City of San Carlos.

4.851 Buildings exceeding the City’s surrounding height limit may be permitted with incorporation of following elements:

  • Exceptional architecture
  • Significant public benefit
  • Additional affordable housing above that required under the San Carlos Municipal Code
  • Substantial view corridors
  • Accommodation and preservation of visibility from the train to the buildings on the West side of El Camino Real.

4.852 The mixed-use aspect of project should be enhanced. While architectural continuity should exist throughout project, commercial and residential uses should be architecturally delineated.

4.853 Building materials should be durable and of high aesthetic quality.

4.854 Accent landscaping, including trees, shall be encouraged along the perimeter of buildings to provide a buffer between land uses and soften the visual impact of the buildings.

4.855 Garage entries and parking areas should be screened from public rights-of-way and neighboring properties.

4.856 Project architecture and amenities should be compatible with the width and purpose of El Camino Real.

4.857 Require the placement of utilities underground as a part of new construction to the maximum extent feasible.

4.858 Open parking areas should be plentifully landscaped and appropriately lit. Parking area lighting shall insure safety, but not create excessive glare or spillover onto adjacent properties or rights of way. Lighting fixtures should be of high architectural quality.

4.859 Encourage incorporation of National Pollution Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES) Best Management Practices into parking lot design to provide aesthetic relief and stormwater mitigation for open parking lots.

4.860 Screen telecommunications equipment from the public right of way and neighboring properties to the maximum extent possible.

4.861 New development should incorporate building systems and materials that help conserve natural resources.

Circulation Goal

Section 4.870 Circulation Goal
Provide for adequate pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular access to and from development parcels, avoid congestion on adjacent roadways and provide adequate parking conditions. Further, to encourage transit use by providing pedestrian friendly connections to existing transit facilities and public gathering spaces.

Circulation Policies/Guidelines

Section 4.880 Circulation Policies/Guidelines

4.881 Encourage the use of Transportation Mitigation Measures as outlined in the February 2003 “City of San Carlos Traffic Impacts and Mitigation strategies final Report” as a method of reducing project traffic impacts.

4.882 Consider the construction of buffers such as frontage roads, wider sidewalks, and landscaping on the east side of El Camino Real as a way to reduce impacts from through traffic to pedestrians, residents and local traffic.

4.883 Promote safe pedestrian links between East and West San Carlos and between East San Carlos and the possible residential development along the railroad corridor.

4.884 Consider new and improved transit shelters and waiting areas (such as train and bus shelters and taxi and shuttle bus waiting areas) to give higher visibility for transit, while making it more comfortable for transit riders.

4.885 Adequate parking for existing and future CalTrain and SamTrans needs shall be maintained.

4.886 Provide adequate sight distance at driveways to development sites.

4.887 Provide residential parking within close proximity to residential units.

4.888 Promote accessibility from all areas of the site through such techniques as reciprocal circulation and parking easements.

Noise Goal

Section 4.890 Noise Goal
Limit the exposure of existing and future residents and occupants to harmful noise levels.

Noise Policy

Section 4.900 Noise Policy

Require appropriate acoustical studies and appropriate mitigation of noise impacts for all new uses within the Project Area.

4.901 Require appropriate acoustical studies and appropriate mitigation of noise impacts for all new uses within the project area.

Historic Resources Goal

Section 4.910 Historic Resources Goal

The San Carlos Train Depot is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. As such, the property owner shall comply with all requirements of such registry.

Implementation Goal

Section 4.920 Implementation Goal

Implementation of the project shall be accomplished by rezoning the entire study corridor to the Planned Community Zoning District pursuant to San Carlos Municipal Code Section 18.104.050.

Implementation Policies/Guidelines

Section 4.930 Implementation Policies/Guidelines

4.931 Prior to development, the property owner should assure that the land (including the berm area on both sides of the railroad tracks) is maintained in a clean, weed free state. Landscaping and erosion control planting should be maintained.

4.932 The reserve strip for future additional track(s) may be utilized for temporary uses such as parking, screened storage, access roads, landscaping and similar uses.

4.933 Prior to plan implementation, interim Commercial Service Highway (CS-H) uses may be permitted. However, interim uses should not be permitted that would involve the construction of new permanent buildings.

Section 4.714 of the West Side Specific Plan shall be deleted in its entirety:

Encourage the expansion of automobile sales uses on the east side of El Camino Real, between Olive and Cherry.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the San Carlos City Council hereby adopts the proposed Amendment to the West Side Specific Plan for the Railroad Corridor.

I hereby certify that the foregoing resolution was duly and regularly passed and adopted by the City Council of the City of San Carlos at a regular meeting thereof held on the 11th day of August 2003, by the following vote:

AYES, COUNCIL MEMBERS: Tiegel, Doherty, Eaton, Grocott, Davids




/S/ Thomas Davids
MAYOR of the City of San Carlos

/S/ Christine Boland
City Clerk