Only objection to this Redwood City housing project: 'Should be bigger'

A Redwood City first: Not enough in my back yard

in Featured/Headline/Infrastructure and

Housing crisis or not, any council meeting on the Peninsula is more likely than not to hear from NIMBYs (Not in My Back Yard) opposing new housing development.

And so it came as a surprise to members of the Redwood City Planning Commission last week when a townhouse development near downtown received nary an objection from the community, except for one: That it’s not big enough.

A three-story residential development featuring 10 townhouse-style units at 211 and 217 Vera Ave. received unanimous approval by the city’s Planning Commission. The development, which will feature units of about 2,000 square feet with garages and private porches, is set to replace aging homes at the site.

The project received no push back from neighbors. No protest signs were drawn up. No outrage was expressed in social media groups. All commissioners supported the addition of housing options near downtown.

However, there was one comment from the owner of three nearby properties that came close to opposition. In a letter to the city, Kevin Guibara, owner of three nearby properties, voiced “strong support for any type of new construction to help ease the housing crisis.” But he felt the project should have been five stories with at least 20-25 units.

“Zoning has failed to keep up with the population growth,” his letter stated.

The dissent was not unnoticed by the Planning Commission.

“It’s very rare we get letters from the public saying, ‘This project should be bigger,” Commissioner Giselle Hale said.

Photos courtesy of the City of Redwood City