Inner Harbor Specific Plan Update
Background on Development of the Draft Inner Harbor Specific Plan
Redwood City’s 100-acre Inner Harbor area currently includes a wide range of land uses including public facilities, the Docktown Marina, open storage, and an aquatic center for rowing and paddling. The area contains wetlands, abuts heavy industrial uses and includes the vacant, former Malibu Grand Prix site. In order to improve the community’s ability to access and enjoy the City’s waterfront, plan for a waterfront-oriented neighborhood, and improve and create circulation linkages north of US-101, the City began work on the Inner Harbor Specific Plan (IHSP) in 2013.
To help develop the IHSP, the City Council appointed a 15-member Inner Harbor Task Force, which held a series of detailed public meetings in 2013–2014, and developed the Guiding Principles for the IHSP. City staff and a consultant team then created the Draft Inner Harbor Specific Plan, which was released in October 2015. A Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was also created which examined potential environmental impacts. Input on the Draft Plan and EIR have been taken in since that time, and several public meetings have been held. Broadly, the Draft IHSP focuses on the vision and policies related to land use, infrastructure needs, parks and open space planning, and developed a community benefits and impact fee framework.
Current Status of Draft Inner Harbor Specific Plan
The Draft IHSP was reviewed by the City Council in May 2016, and the Council recommended that the Planning Commission hold additional public meetings to refine the Draft Plan. Much of the feedback provided on the Draft Plan related to potential changes in land uses within the Plan area.
Typically, there are dozens of a development sites within a planning area, however the IHSP area is unique in that there are only two privately-owned land-based development sites in the Inner Harbor Specific Plan area: the land area adjacent to the Docktown Marina area and the former Malibu Grand Prix site and surrounding properties. The area also includes a water-based site commonly referred to as the “Ferrari Pond.”
Recently, both land-based property owners have decided to move forward with the review of development proposals for their properties under the current 2010 General Plan, rather than wait for the adoption of the IHSP. The property owners are allowed to do this by law, and the City is obligated by law to review the proposed developments in a timely manner. Since no land use changes in the Plan area have been approved since the adoption of the 2010 General Plan, which establishes allowed land uses for the area, these proposals will be reviewed in accordance with the 2010 General Plan.
The property owner of the site adjacent to Docktown Marina, Watt Communities, has submitted a proposal to develop 131 three-story townhome-style for-sale condominium units at the site; this development is consistent with the 2010 General Plan. More information about the proposal and the status of review is available here.
The former Malibu Grand Prix site property owner, Jay Paul Company, has requested a General Plan Amendment to allow for a 1.2 million square foot office development, Harbor View Place, on the site. More information about the proposal is available here. The area is currently designated for industrial uses, and an office development would require a General Plan Amendment. The Planning Commission will consider whether this General Plan Amendment should be initiated on November 15, 2016.
Consideration of both of these development proposals will be subject to a thorough public review process, land-use analysis and environmental review. The Planning Commission and City Council will consider each development separately in a series of public meetings (if either or both development proposals proceed that far into the process). Data developed in the creation of the draft IHSP will be used to analyze these proposals.
If the property owner of the water-based site opts to move forward, a General Plan Amendment would be required, which would trigger a public review process.
Given that both land-based property owners are seeking consideration of their development proposals now, rather than wait for approval of the IHSP, no further work on the IHSP is scheduled at this time.
The Inner Harbor Task Force completed a significant amount of work in helping to develop the draft IHSP, and the Guiding Principles developed as part of the planning process will continue to help guide future City decisions in this location. Furthermore, the information contained within the Draft IHSP and EIR will be used in several other areas moving forward:
· Infrastructure planning
· Parks and open space planning
· Development of impact fees and potential community benefits
· Future environmental impact analyses
We would encourage all those involved in the creation of the 2010 General Plan and the draft Inner Harbor Specific Plan to continue to stay involved.
Individuals may receive meeting notices and periodic updates on the two current development proposals by contacting Karen Vaughn at email@example.com (Watt Communities proposal) or Lisa Costa-Sanders at firstname.lastname@example.org (Harbor View Place proposal).
As noted above, the Planning Commission will be considering a General Plan Initiation request for the Harbor View Place proposal at their November 15th meeting.
For more information of the Inner Harbor Specific Plan process, please visit this page.