The city is at its final crossroads on the SunRidge development and a critical point on whether to change zoning rules governing housing developments/rehabilitation throughout the entire city.
Currently the city has rules mandating the amount of "open space" (e.g. green space-yard space/parks/playgrounds, etc.) that must be provided by developers in order to ensure that "housing" provides "quality living spaces" and attractive neighborhoods where families can safely raise their children. By allowing the downsizing of housing lots by 40-70 percent from those in the surrounding area and adding multi-family row houses and apartment complexes that have little to no natural green space, like those proposed for SunRidge, "quality" living space is jeopardized.
Unknown to most, the developers of SunRidge conditioned the council's approval of their "affordable housing" final plat and annexation by demanding "approval of text amendments to the city's Uniform Development Code 11-602 regarding open space requirements." The council is entertaining that demand by making rule changes that would eliminate the definitions of open space, as well as the tables and percentages that are used in determining adequate green space.
If the council succumbs to developer pressure and removes these open space requirements from the city's rules, where will the children play; in the apartment hallways/sidewalks,parking lots or streets? Where will you plant the grass, trees and brushes or provide space for parks to make the area attractive and livable? Obliterating the mandated open space rules impairs the safety and quality of living that should be afforded to all neighborhoods across the city. These rule changes will affect the entire city for years to come and they certainly should not be made just to accommodate the demands of the SunRidge developers.
Fremont needs affordable housing, but the city council should not compromise its principles or authority, or its mandated commitments to the public to protect and serve and to preserve the character and quality of the neighborhoods built throughout the city.
Please contact your council representatives; ask them to leave the "open space" rules intact. Bette yet, attend the next city council meeting an tell them in person.