REPORT TO THE PLANNING COMMISSION
Peery Park Specific Plan - Draft Project Description, Draft Vision, Guiding Principles, Goals and Policies and Conceptual Policy Framework Diagrams and Maps
REPORT IN BRIEF
The goal of the Peery Park Specific Plan (PPSP) is to physically reshape Peery Park over time through a program of public improvements and private investments in redevelopment to create a thriving workplace district that also provides benefits for the surrounding area.
The next step in the process is to obtain direction from the City Council on the project description and conceptual policy framework so that a draft Specific Plan and draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) can be developed for further public review.
Staff is recommending that the City Council direct staff to move forward with the draft Specific Plan and draft EIR based on the draft project description (Attachment 2), draft vision, guiding principles, goals and policies (Attachment 3) and conceptual policy framework diagrams and maps (Attachment 4). Once Council gives staff direction, the draft Specific Plan and draft EIR will be developed. It is expected that these items would be available for public review in summer 2015 and would return to the Council in fall 2015.
The City Council is scheduled to consider this item on April 28, 2015.
Preparation of the PPSP has been a longstanding uncompleted study issue; the attached study issue paper (Attachment 1) discusses the original rationale for the specific plan. The study issue was highly ranked by the City Council in 2009, but was deferred in subsequent years when the budgeted funds were transferred to update the Land Use and Transportation Element (LUTE) and to prepare the Climate Action Plan (CAP).
With the economic downturn in 2008 and the lack of significant development activity in Peery Park, it was not urgent to begin work on the specific plan at that time. However, this situation has changed considerably in the past three years. Interest in higher density Class 'A' office buildings has intensified throughout the City and particularly for properties in Peery Park. The proposed (and recently approved) projects indicate a high interest in Class 'A' office space with a higher floor area ratio (FAR) than what is currently allowed with the base zoning in the industrial zoning district. At the same time, Peery Park is still an important location for research and development/industrial buildings that occupy the existing Class 'B' and 'C' buildings that were mostly built in the 1960s and 1970s.
The City Council approved the budget for the PPSP on October 16, 2012 and Freedman, Tung & Sasaki were chosen as the PPSP consultants in early 2013. Preliminary preparation of the PPSP began shortly after the selection of the consultant and included community outreach, traffic analysis and stakeholder discussions.
Land Use and Transportation Element
Goal LT-4 Quality Neighborhoods and Districts - Preserve and enhance the quality character of Sunnyvale's industrial, commercial and residential neighborhoods by promoting land use patterns and related transportation opportunities that are supportive of the neighborhood concept.
Goal LT-6 Supportive Economic Development Environment - An economic development environment that is supportive of a wide variety of businesses and promotes a strong economy within existing environmental, social, fiscal and land use constraints.
Preparation of the PPSP includes preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR). It is anticipated that the Draft EIR (DEIR) and draft Specific Plan will be released for public review in summer 2015.
Obtaining feedback on the preliminary policy framework and project description from the Planning Commission and City Council does not require CEQA review. Rather, the preliminary recommendations and outcome from these public hearings will be further developed in the Specific Plan and analyzed in the EIR. Action on the Specific Plan would only occur after an EIR has been circulated and certified.
The purpose of the PPSP is to guide future development of the existing industrial business park, addressing the type, location, intensity, and design of industrial and commercial buildings, as well as transportation and infrastructure improvements. The Plan would include land use changes to allow for redevelopment of under-utilized or under-developed industrial properties to provide new commercial, industrial, and research and development space for technology-based business development, as well as supporting uses within defined activity centers, such as mixed commercial and residential uses along San Aleso on the east side of Mathilda. The Specific Plan would include development policies, land use regulations, design standards, a capital improvement program and a financing program concisely within a single document to define and guide development within the Project area over the next 10-20 years. The Specific Plan may also include amendments to the Sunnyvale General Plan and the Sunnyvale Municipal Code.
The goal of the PPSP is to physically reshape Peery Park over time through a program of public improvements and private investments in redevelopment to create a thriving
workplace district. A mixture of complementary innovation companies will be encouraged that includes both knowledge and production uses. Additionally, a well-integrated district is envisioned that accommodates both larger scale campuses and sites for smaller companies. The regulations would allow redevelopment of Peery Park properties to replace or modify existing one- and two-story structures with four- to six-story Class 'A' office and technology-based industrial buildings. New development would include functional open space to serve employee recreation demands and parking structures, including potentially subterranean structures.
Based on community feedback, stakeholder workshops and internal staff work, a vision, guiding principles, goals and conceptual policy framework have been created for the PPSP. It is important at this point in the process to confirm that the Council conceptually supports the draft policy framework and project description before staff and consultants expend budgeted funds to prepare the draft PPSP and draft EIR and prior to conducting further public outreach.
Overview of the PPSP Area
The Peery Park District is approximately 407 net acres and is made up of more than 180 properties, consisting of over 77 percent industrial uses, 12 percent commercial and less than 1 percent residential. The Project area has approximately 6.6 million sq. ft. of existing development with remaining buildout potential (under current zoning) of approximately 2.2 million sq. ft. (0.9 million sq. ft. is already under construction). The current predominate zoning for Peery Park is MS (Industrial and Service) with a maximum 35 percent floor area ratio (FAR). Combining Districts occur on select parcels in the Peery Park District and provide for potential increases in FAR (up to 100 percent on some parcels). FARs higher than that "maximum" may be approved through a Use Permit, or with the City Green Building density bonus. Currently, an average FAR of 34 percent exists throughout Peery Park's industrial properties. The typical industrial lot is a one to two-story concrete tilt-up structure with surface parking and ornamental landscaping, accessed primarily from commercial/industrial collector streets and internal networks of driveways and drive aisles.
Project Development Capacity, Environmental Project Description and Project Alternatives
The planned development capacity is based first on a market analysis projecting demand for 645,000 sq. ft. of office, 553,000 sq. ft. of industrial and 137,000 sq. ft. of retail within Peery Park over 10 years. This is the project area's capture (based on historic trends) of anticipated regional growth. Then, given various economic trends, the current increased level of development activity, and a new vision and regulations that could permit increase development capacity, the Plan anticipates that Peery Park will capture a larger share of that growth than projected in the market analysis. The planned development capacity for the Peery Park Specific Plan (that will be evaluated in the DEIR) was based on the following:
0.4 - 0.96
0.4 - 1.0
Planned Development Capacity
215 - 218
More development beyond the planned development capacity is theoretically possible under the project's proposed land use and development regulations. However, the intent of the Plan was to project a reasonable scenario within a reasonable time horizon for Specific Plans. This allows the project to identify impacts due to development, identify realistic mitigations for those impacts, and if necessary, set reasonable caps on development capacity based on the magnitude of the impacts and the timing of mitigations. It also anticipates monitoring Plan implementation over time and adjusting the development capacity or mitigation measures as necessary in response to actual impacts. Exceeding the development capacity would require an amendment to the Specific Plan and further environmental analysis. Ultimately, development capacity is a balance between developer/property owner interest in redevelopment and the City/community's concerns about traffic and other environmental impacts. Additional information on the development potential for Peery Park can be found in Attachment 5.
The environmental consultants for the PPSP, AMEC Environmental, have prepared a draft project description for the PPSP project (Attachment 2) which will be used in the DEIR. In addition to the project description, AMEC has also suggested project alternatives to the Peery Park Specific Plan Project (Attachment 6) for consideration by the Planning Commission and City Council. These project alternatives or variations thereof will be evaluated in the DEIR along with the project described in the project description. Environmental analysis and impacts of all of the alternatives will be clearly defined in the DEIR.
Visioning, Goals and Guiding Principles
The following vision statement, goals and guiding principles were created through the community workshops, stakeholder discussions and internal dialog between City Departments. Detailed information on each of the following guiding principles and further policies for each of the goals can be found in Attachment 3, staff will continue to develop these concepts further as the plan moves forward.
PPSP Vision Statement
A cutting edge workplace district that has been physically re-shaped to align with 21st century workplace trends and the innovation economy
PPSP Guiding Principles
3. Transportation Demand Management (TDM)
4. Environmental Sustainability and Resilience
5. Public Spaces
6. Complementary Uses, Diverse Job Opportunities and Businesses
7. Economic Vitality
8. Respect Nearby Neighborhoods
9. Quality Design
10. Healthy Lifestyles
11. Community Benefits
Goals of the PPSP
1. Align both public and private interests with workplace and market trends.
2. Make Peery Park a center of knowledge and innovation.
3. Allow innovative businesses and workers to thrive.
4. Foster a dynamic mix of buildings and uses.
5. Provide settings that bring people together.
6. Provide new district amenities and uses.
7. Contribute to community sustainability.
8. Protect adjacent neighborhoods.
9. Place priority on TDM and alternative transportation.
10. Enable feasible development and provide clear direction for investors.
Key Implementation Concepts
1. Transportation Demand Management
2. Transportation Management Association
3. Parking Ratios
4. Community Benefits/Specific Plan Fees
Conceptual Policy Framework Maps and Diagrams
The following diagrams and maps can be found in Attachment 4 to illustrate the conceptual policy framework for the PPSP:
· Preliminary District Regulations Map
· Connectivity/Street Improvements Map
· Retail/Activity Uses Map
· Signature Space - Pastoria Avenue
· Streetscape Design Diagram
· District Streetscape and Public Space Concepts
Once the Council provides direction to staff on the draft project description and conceptual policy framework, work will begin on the draft Specific Plan and DEIR. It is expected that these documents will be available for public review in summer 2015 through additional community and stakeholder meetings. Planning Commission and City Council public hearings on the Peery Park Specific Plan and Final EIR would be held in fall of 2015.
It is important to note that all of the concepts discussed in the project description and framework will be evaluated in the DEIR. If significant impacts are found, the project may change to mitigate potential impacts. It is also important to note that Council direction on the policy framework and project description for the PPSP does not bind the Council to approve the Specific Plan.
There is no fiscal impact from obtaining preliminary feedback on the policy direction of the PPSP. Detailed fiscal analysis and market information will be included with the draft Specific Plan when it is released for public review and comment.
Public contact on the PPSP consisted of:
1. Posting the Planning Commission agenda on the City's official-notice bulletin board outside City Hall and by making the agenda and report available at the Sunnyvale Public Library and on the City's website;
2. Publication in the Sun newspaper, at least 10 days prior to the hearing;
3. Mailed notices to property owner's, at least 10 days prior to the hearing;
4. E-mail notification of the hearing dates sent to all interested parties and Sunnyvale neighborhood associations;
5. Three community workshops held in October 2013, December 2014 and January 2015; and
6. Two stakeholder workshops held in January and February 2015.
Three community workshops were held at the Washington Park Community Room to discuss the PPSP and present the project information. All three community workshops included a Q&A segment and a group exercise.
Community Workshop #1: October 16, 2013
The first community workshop included discussion of existing district issues and opportunities, economics and workplace trends. This workshop included an interactive exercise where community members commented on the preliminary framework maps and existing conditions diagram. Meeting notes from this workshop can be found in Attachment 7.
Community Workshop #2: December 3, 2014
The second community workshop included discussion of anticipated development types, public spaces and amenities, including an overview of the preliminary land use concepts. The workshop also included a group exercise to receive ideas and gain knowledge about the community's priorities, the concepts discussed in the meeting, traffic concerns and transportation demand management. Meeting notes from this workshop can be found in Attachment 8.
Community Workshop #3: January 21, 2015
The third community workshop included discussion and presentation of the preliminary traffic impacts, transportation demand management and the preliminary framework for the specific plan. This workshop also included two group exercises; one to help develop the guiding principles for the specific plan and the second to allow participants to comment on the conceptual policy framework diagrams and maps. Meeting notes from this workshop can be found in Attachment 9.
Summary of Community Workshops
The most prominent concerns raised at the community workshop by residents were traffic impacts and the compatibility of the industrial development with the adjacent and nearby residential neighborhoods. As shown in the conceptual framework, the plan proposes to lower maximum heights in the neighborhood transition, grand boulevard, and innovation edge sub-districts that are nearest to the single-family neighborhoods and Mathilda Avenue. Traffic impacts will be fully evaluated in the EIR; however, strong transportation demand management strategies have already been discussed with the community and Peery Park property owners.
Discussions with Peery Park Property Owners
City staff conducted interviews with major Peery Park property owners in late 2013 to understand the demand for development in the Peery Park area. The property owners confirmed that trends are a demand for higher FAR, need for a mix of industrial and office space and the desire for district-wide improvements. These trends were incorporated into the workshops and visioning for the PPSP. In January and February 2015, two workshops were held with property owners that focused on the comments from the earlier interviews. At the second workshop staff shared a handout of discussion points (Attachment 10) that highlighted the need for a strong TDM program and introduced the concepts of a Transportation Management Association and a shuttle bus system. A letter (Attachment 11) has been submitted by Irvine Company, the major property owner in Peery Park that provides comments on the handout distributed at the stakeholder workshop.
Details of the Transportation Demand Management (TDM) program and other transportation/transit improvements will continue to be a focus of the draft plan and EIR and staff will continue to work with the stakeholders on this topic.
Study Session with the City Council and Planning Commission
On February 24, 2015 a joint study session with the Planning Commission and City Council was held to introduce the conceptual policy framework. The meeting summary for that study session can be found in Attachment 12. Many of the topics that the Council and Commission were most concerned about will be further vetted in the DEIR, draft plan and fiscal analysis; however, staff has already developed additional information on a few of the topics:
· Potential bike connection from the Peery Park area to the Moffett Park area - shown in Attachment 4;
· Additional buildout information - discussed above and in Attachment 5; and
· Pedestrian Connection from SNAIL neighborhood to San Aleso - shown in Attachment 4.
Recommend that Council:
1. Direct staff to prepare the draft Specific Plan and draft EIR based on the draft project description (Attachment 2) and conceptual policy framework (Attachments 3 and 4).
2. Direct staff to prepare the draft Specific Plan and draft EIR with specific modifications to the draft project description and conceptual policy framework.
Alternative 1: Recommend that Council direct staff to prepare the draft Specific Plan and draft EIR based on the draft project description (Attachment 2) and conceptual policy framework (Attachments 3 and 4).
Considerable time has been spent discussing the concepts and framework with the community, stakeholders and internally among City Departments. The concerns and issues that have come out of these meetings have been used to create the policy framework and preliminary ideas for the PPSP. Further environmental analysis will help refine the policies, goals, development standards, and planned development capacity for Peery Park, and will identify the significant impacts associated with the PPSP and feasible mitigation measures.
The high demand levels for new development in the Peery Park area emphasize the need for the completion of the Specific Plan for the area. The PPSP will help facilitate new development while also keeping the communities' desires and concerns in mind. While many details are pending further analysis and discussion, preliminary direction from the Planning Commission and City Council is important at this stage in the planning process prior to preparing a draft plan for public review.
Prepared by: Amber El-Hajj, Senior Planner
Reviewed by: Trudi Ryan, Planning Officer
Reviewed by: Hanson Hom, Director, Community Development
Reviewed by: Robert A. Walker, Assistant City Manager
Approved by: Deanna J. Santana, City Manager
1. Study Issue Paper
2. Draft Project Description
3. Draft Vision, Guiding Principles, Goals and Policies
4. Conceptual Policy Framework Diagrams and Maps
5. Specific Plan Buildout Information
6. Environmental Project Alternatives Memorandum from AMEC
7. Meeting Notes from the October 16, 2013 Community Workshop
8. Meeting Notes from the December 3, 2014 Community Workshop
9. Meeting Notes from the January 21, 2015 Community Workshop
10. Discussion Points Handout from the February 11, 2015 Property Owners Workshop
11. Public Comment from Irvine Company, dated March 3, 2015
12. Meeting Summary from the February 24, 2015 Joint Planning Commission/City Council Study Session
13. Link to the Peery Park Specific Plan Webpage: PeeryPark.InSunnyvale.com