Urban Fold

Judge To City: Stop The Manhattanization Of Downtown!

In a huge blow to a city already polarized by a ballot-box planning initiative affecting open space on the November ballot, a judge has halted downtown redevelopment by rejecting the Environmental Impact Report in part because of the 'shadow effect'.

"San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Marie S. Weiner threw out Redwood City's certification of the Downtown Precise Plan's environmental impact report and said the city cannot issue any building permits under the plan until it fixes the deficiencies in the report.

Weiner sided with (plantiffs) who filed the suit claiming the city failed to consider the plan's potential to create shadows from tall buildings and impact the city's historic resources.

Weiner had issued a tentative ruling April 24 drawing the same conclusions about the documents for the plan, which she called an attempt to "Manhattanize" downtown with 2,500 new units of high-density housing plus retail and office space."
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From Oakland Tribune via BNET:
"Add the Redwood City Council to the growing list of opponents of a November ballot measure that would require referendums on open space land-use decisions.

With a formal resolution, the council Monday night made official its contempt for Measure W, also known as Open Space Vote, which would require two-thirds of resident voters to approve development in areas the measure defines as "open space."

Council members in recent months have lamented that proponents of the initiative -- environmental groups Save the Bay and the Friends of Redwood City -- didn't write a measure specifically targeting the Cargill Salt lands, a 1,433-acre area east of Highway 101 that the groups acknowledge is their primary focus."

Full Story: Redwood City faces decision on downtown plan

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