Jun 11 2011

Opinion: 408 Linda Avenue Townhouse Development

Assumptions used for the PG&E substation project are questioned

June 9, 2011

Piedmont Planning Commission
c/o Kate Black, City Planner

Re: June 13 Commission meeting re: 408 Linda Ave. Development (“Proposal”)

PART I: SCOPING COMMENTS FOR DEIR:  [Draft Environmental Impact Report]
The DKS: Traffic Analysis Piedmont Townhomes entirely fails to examine street traffic traveling east bound down Linda Avenue right before the blind left hand curve in the road where traffic will be entering and exiting the new 408 driveway. Will a car be waiting in the lane for another car exiting?  This will be occurring right at the point where the school speed zone reverts to 25mph, a normal place for drivers to speed up. The critical traffic issue of cars traveling with no adequate sightline east bound immediately before the Proposal driveway must be analyzed.

The DEIR states: “The proposed project . . . would not substantially increase demand for parks and recreational facilities in the project vicinity.” Although the Developer is advertising these units as designed for “empty nesters,” the size of the units suggests families will move in and create a higher demand for parks and recreation facilities in the project vicinity. Realistic demand numbers should be used, instead of the zero demand condition concluded.

The DKS: Parking Analysis Piedmont Townhomes at page 2, Table II, based on the “Transportation Engineers (ITE) Parking Generation, Fourth Edition (2010)” shows an average per unit parking demand of 1.38; a total for the Proposal of 10. The DEIR at p. 90 finds: “Population and Housing. The proposed project would increase the net population of the City of Piedmont by approximately 20 residents.”  20 new residents, each having a car, is 2.86 cars per unit. Further the data taken from the ITE Parking Generation material makes no differentiation for a 1 bedroom 1 bath town home versus these large 4 bedroom 3+ bath units.  The 1.38 parking demand per unit is artificially low and contrary to other data in the EIR. The Parking Analysis should be redone with numbers accurately reflecting the parking demand created by the Proposal.

The general on-street Parking Analysis (supra) at page 2, Table I does not state the times of day the surveys were done. The DKS survey was evidently done during weekday work hours as the numbers show adequate spaces which is generally contrary to personal observation. The survey should include evening and weekend street parking analysis.

The Planning Commission should limit the units to 3 bedrooms and 2+ baths. The developer’s “empty nester” claim will be fully met, the overall height can be reduced by one story and all issues I addressed in Part I above will be substantially mitigated.

As proposed, the seven new units will have an average size of 190%-220% (2,130 to 2,445 sq. ft.) larger then the average per size unit (1,112 sq. ft.) in the neighborhood. The smallest unit of the Proposal is larger then the largest unit in the neighborhood. The developer has advertised these 4 bedroom, 3+ bath units as designed for “empty nesters” wishing to stay in Piedmont. That a retired couple needs 4 bedrooms strains logic. The Proposal is more the creation of a mini-village and all the activities that entails, especially as the site is adjacent to Linda playground and Beach School.

As proposed at the 35 foot height, the immediately adjacent four-plex at  1016 Oakland Ave. will be 80% covered on the west side, and 50% on the north side by several units of the Proposal. This will create a dense urban environment that is out of character with existing aesthetic values in Piedmont.


Rick Schiller
Piedmont, CA

(This letter expresses the personal opinions of the author. All statements made are the opinion of the writer and not necessarily those of the Piedmont Civic Association.)

One Response to “Opinion: 408 Linda Avenue Townhouse Development”

  1. The overview by Rick Schiller, seems very reasonable. Are there empty nesters who plan to leave Piedmont, who dwell in one of the smaller homes?

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