June Planning Commission Recap – Commissioner Cardoza Not Reappointed, Avalon Sign Permit, Nady Site Extension

Published On June 29, 2017 | By Christopher Bennett | Development, News & Commentary

The June 21st Planning Commission saw agenda items including proposed signage for the Avalon residential development at 6301 Shellmound Street as well as an extension request for the 6701 Shellmound street (AKA The “Nady” Site) development. The agenda was slightly overshadowed by the news that the meeting would be Commissioner Lawrence “Buzz” Cardoza’s last. City Council voted to not reappoint him in favor of BPAC committee member Miguel Guerrero.

Director’s Report

  • The June 6th City Council meeting included the approval of a construction management contract and building permit for 3706 San Pablo Ave., which we discussed in last month’s report. The City Council also approved the execution of a standard agreement with the State for the affordable housing and sustainable communities grant known as the cap-and-trade program
  • The June 20th Council meeting included the consideration of the appointments to the Planning Commission as Commissioners Gail Donaldson and Buzz Cardoza’s terms expire at the end of June. The Council voted to reappoint Ms. Donaldson while appointing Douglas Miguel Guerrero to replace Mr. Cardoza. Guerrero will be sworn in at the July 27th meeting
  • Also at their June 20th meeting, the City Council requested the City Clerk to compile a list of interested candidates from City boards and commissions for possible appointment as Council Standby Officers. Once compiled, the list would include designated officers who are willing to stand in for a councilmember who is unable to be present due to injury or inability to get to City Hall during an emergency to ensure a quorum is established and quick responses can be made

Commission Appointments – Miguel Guerrero replaces Lawrence “Buzz” Cardoza

The big news from the meeting was the confirmation that Commissioner Cardoza would not be returning to the Commission. Cardoza took the opportunity at the end of the meeting to thank his fellow colleague and reflect on his time on the Commission, which will come to an end after eleven years.

I enjoyed working with the planning commissioner for the last 11 years and it’s been interesting to see the changes that have occurred in our town. I hope you folks go forward and continue to do the same great stuff.”

Commissioner Cardoza’s seat will be filled by Douglas Miguel Guerrero. Mr. Guerrero is a communications assistant for the San Francisco Department of the Environment and currently sits on the Emeryville Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) where he has been a member since 2013.

Mr. Guerrero discussed his desire to join the Planning Committee at the June 20th City Council Meeting.

“[Emeryville’s General Plan] is what actually drew me to Emeryville. Before moving here I was really excited about the public market plans that were happening knowing that is one of the largest LEED Certified projects happening in the Country.”

Mr. Guerrero received 4 of the 5 possible votes from the City Council, beating out Mr. Cardoza who received only the vote of Councilmember John Bauters (a previous planning commissioner who served alongside Cardoza).

View the Entire Council Meeting and Agenda →


Public Hearing – Avalon Public Market Signs

The first order of business saw the Commission consider and ultimately deny a major sign permit for the Avalon residential project currently under construction at 6301 Shellmound Street. The residential building is on “Parcel D” of the Public Marketplace development, which had its PUD approved way back in 2008. Parcel D was approved in 2015 for residential development with an estimated finish date of 2018.

The requested permit would have allowed the developer to install three separate signs onto the residential building. Two of the signs would have been canopy top mounted  hanging over the two entrances to the building. The other sign would have been a forty-foot-tall, roughly four-story high blade sign mounted to the façade and facing Shellmound street at 63rd. The blade sign would also have included LED lights to help illuminate the sign.

The discussion focused on the blade sign as a majority of the commission took issue with its size. Commissioner Cardoza questioned the size and need of the blade sign:

“It’s not a destination…it’s not advertising a store or a hotel. I just don’t understand having this large of a sign on an apartment building.”

Commissioner Donaldson echoed Commissioner Cardoza’s concern:

“[we are] moving in the direction in the city where we have more signs then we need in more places than we need them.”

The commission’s suggestion was for the developer to decrease the size of the sign and reapply for the permit where the commission could review the new renderings and continue the discussion. A motion to continue the discussion was subsequently approved (Donaldson Nay, Kang not present).

View the entire Staff Report →
Watch the staff presentation and subsequent commission discussion above at 7:00.


Public Hearing –  “Nady” Site Extension Request

The meeting also included the request for a two-year extension of the conditional permit and design review for the 6701 Shellmound street development, better known as the “Nady” site project. We covered this development previously in a our May report when the commission pushed back on the maintenance of the property which had become blighted with dumping and tagging.

The Nady building has been a source of blight since it was abandoned.

The conditional permit and design review was approved by the Planning Commission back in March of 2016, but delays have impacted the timetable of the construction, and pushed it over the one-year term of the permit. The main cause of the delay has been the additional remediation that has been required in order to get the site approved by the Alameda County Environmental Health Department (ACEH).

The developer, Anton Development Company, has been required to address subsurface vapor concentrations that the ACEH found to be above the recommended levels. Such subsurface vapor intrusion occurs when there is a migration of vapor-forming chemicals from a subsurface source into an overlying building. This can lead to various health issues for occupants of the property.

The apartment project would include 186-units, 241 parking spots and 200 bike parking spots.

The current timeline is for the remediation efforts to conclude by February of 2018, and Anton anticipates applying for the building permit in June 2018. Rachel Green, Development Manager for Anton, was present at the meeting and elaborated on the cleanup efforts:

Ultimately this is a multi-phase remediation…and we do need to fully understand the context of the contamination locations before we move on…”

After review, the Commission unanimously approved the extension request, with Commissioner Donaldson abstaining due to a conflict, and Commissioner Kang not present to vote.

View the entire Staff Report → 

Watch the staff presentation and subsequent commission discussion above at 33:36.


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About The Author

was born and raised in the north bay and now lives on the Emeryville/Oakland border in the Longfellow neighborhood with his wife and two cats (Sherlock and Watson). When he's not writing, Chris works as an attorney who assist engineers and professional consultants navigate their contracts and related business issues.

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