At the Planning Commission Study Session we were met with another dog and pony show from SamTrans and the Developer trying to paint a picture that they have listened and responded in a meaningful way to community concerns.

The residents of San Carlos are completely unaware of the size and scope of this publicly funded project that provides zero affordable housing and will impact the community on multiple levels from traffic, schools, services to name but a few.  This flyover only shows three of the Eight buildings that the developer and SamTrans are planning on cramming into this sliver of land between the Train Tracks and El Camino.

Notice the street level view only goes by 1 building and stops at the corner of the second building!  Now imagine a street level view of all 8 buildings!

Notice the total lack of open space and the near complete maximization of buildings to the property (use your browsers back button to get back to this post):

Partial Flyover

It would be humorous to listen to this feedback on the magical sound absorbing trees described by the developer if the impacts to our community weren’t so dire.

Magic Trees

Particularly appalling was the addition of three trees behind Building Eight.

Those three trees must be especially magical to reduce the increase in noise by the Block long 50 Foot high building:

Three Trees

The major takeaway was that there are no sound mitigations planned to reduce impacts to our community.  This is in direct violation of the Federal Transportation Authorities Guidelines the city is currently out of compliance.  Adding this complex with the additional noise it will create is clearly against FTA standards.

FTA Guidelines


Not only that but San Carlos’ own land use policies prohibit the building of projects if they will increase the sound exceeding the allowable noise limits set forth below:

San Carlos Noise Guidelines


Additionally a guiding principle is to “Maintain a noise environment that supports a high quality of life”

 Guiding Principles 

City Staff has conveniently ignored these guidelines and principles to rubber stamp this project, the largest  residential development ever undertaken in San Carlos.

Additionally all it would take is to reduce building Three by three units and it would be a three story building.  This is such a small compromise one wonders why the developer did not include it:

Three Units

I’m enclosing comments from Dimitri Vandellos who refutes and debunks the claims made by SamTrans and the Developer:

DV Comments Planning Commission

And these comments from Paul Magginetti:

Paul Comments

Lastly this is a poorly designed TOD and should be referred to as a Transit Adjacent Development.  Please read the article below to see how many of these so called TOD’s have become a huge disappointment to the communities that didn’t pay close enough attention to their design.

Transit Adjacent Article from Mass Transit Magazine