Legislative Public Meetings

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Bookmark and Share
File #: 17-0768   
Type: Report to Council Status: Passed
Meeting Body: City Council
On agenda: 8/15/2017
Title: El Camino Real Corridor Plan: Selection of Preferred Land Use Alternative and Review of the Draft Vision Statement
Attachments: 1. Report to Planning Commission 16-1122, 7-24-17, 2. Draft Vision Statement, 3. ECR Plan Area and Existing Zoning Designations, 4. Assumptions Map, 5. ECR Land Use Alternatives Maps, 6. Comparative Descriptions of Alt-C, Alt-M and Alt-R, 7. Alternative R Plus Additional Residential Options, 8. Development Potential Comparison of Alternatives, 9. Fiscal Impact Analysis, 10. ECRPAC Meeting Summary, 11. Community Workshop Summary, 12. Survey Responses, 13. ECR Profile - Existing Land Use and Circulation Analysis, 14. El Camino Real Corridor Market Study, 15. Affordable Housing and Anti-Displacement Strategy, 16. 2007 Precise Plan for El Camino Real, 17. Public Comment Letters, 18. Excerpt of PC Minutes 7-24-17, 19. Additional Letters from the Public, 20. Staff Presentation 20170815 (17-0768)
Related files: 16-1122




El Camino Real Corridor Plan: Selection of Preferred Land Use Alternative and Review of the Draft Vision Statement



Project Planner: Rosemarie Zulueta, (408) 730-7437, rzulueta@sunnyvale.ca.gov



The Planning Commission considered this item on July 24, 2017 (see Attachment 1, Report to the Planning Commission). Several members of the community spoke on the item, with many supporting the Alternative R Plus option that includes additional housing through higher density options in select areas of the corridor. The Planning Commission discussed concerns with the potential increased costs to service residential uses in the City compared to the potential sales tax revenue from additional retail uses.


The Planning Commission voted to recommend that City Council select land use Alternative M for the El Camino Real Corridor Plan (ECR Plan) (see Attachment 18 for the Planning Commission public hearing minutes). The vote was 6-0, with Commissioner Sue Harrison absent.


Before ultimately voting for Alternative M, three members of the Planning Commission were interested in developing a community benefits program for the ECR Plan and selecting a flexible range between two alternatives (Alternative M as the minimum development capacity to Alternative R Plus as the maximum, or Alternative R to Alternative R Plus), similar to the flexible zoning framework adopted for the Lawrence Station Area Plan. Having a range with higher densities could further incentivize redevelopment along the corridor, facilitating implementation of the ECR Plan while achieving community benefits.


Public comment letters received after finalization of the Planning Commission report are provided in Attachment 19.



Public contact was made by posting the Council agenda on the City's official-notice bulletin board outside City Hall, at the Sunnyvale Senior Center, Community Center and Department of Public Safety; and by making the agenda and report available at the Sunnyvale Public Library, the Office of the City Clerk and on the City's website.


Email notices were sent to the interested parties list, neighborhood associations, homeowners associations, El Camino Real business owners with emails on record, and posted on the project website at PlanSunnyvaleECR.m-group.us.



1.                     Select Alternative R (Residential Focus) as outlined in Attachments 5, 6 and 8 as the preferred alternative to include in the preparation of the Sunnyvale El Camino Real Corridor Plan and related environmental review.

2.                     Select Alternative R with modifications.

3.                     Select another land use alternative (e.g., Alternative C, Alternative M or Alternative R Plus).

4.                     Provide comments on the Draft Vision Statement.

5.                     Do not select any of the land use alternatives in consideration for the Sunnyvale El Camino Real Corridor Plan and provide further direction to staff.




Alternative 1: Select Alternative R (Residential Focus) as outlined in Attachments 5, 6 and 8 to the report as the preferred alternative to include in the preparation of the Sunnyvale El Camino Real Corridor Plan and related environmental review.


All three land use alternatives being considered for the ECR Plan would have a net positive fiscal impact to the City, as each alternative anticipates an increase in commercial floor area over what is currently built. Staff supports Alternative R for several reasons:

                     It is generally consistent with the goals, policies and principles identified in the adopted Land Use and Transportation Element (LUTE).

                     It is the Alternative that the El Camino Real Plan Advisory Committee (ECRPAC) and many community participants support.

                     While the potential commercial buildout is lower than projected in the recently adopted LUTE, this alternative still provides opportunities to increase commercial uses along El Camino Real (compared to existing).

                     It responds to the call for additional housing in Sunnyvale, an issue raised several times in the last two years by community members, the Planning Commission and formally by the City Council.

                     This alternative would enable 900 residential units more than in the LUTE buildout of El Camino Real. Staff considers this number significant, but also a modest increase for a four-mile long corridor. The average density along El Camino Real, if buildout is achieved, would be 19 dwelling units per acre vs 16.5 units per acre in the adopted LUTE.


Alternative R helps to achieve recently adopted LUTE goals of locating higher density residential uses in proximity to transit and commercial destinations to reduce single-occupant vehicle trips and encourage other modes of transportation. Facilitating residential and commercial development on the corridor is also one of the City’s adopted Climate Action Plan strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Alternative R could help accommodate future population growth by targeting new development on a transit corridor and protecting existing lower-density neighborhoods.


Alternative R Plus would be a good option to maximize residential opportunities along the corridor. If City Council wants to maximize residential options in a manner that would provide compatibilities with adjacent properties, Alternative R Plus can be considered. The downside of this option is that it was not presented to the community as an option, so no feedback has been received on it, and the fiscal impact analysis was performed before Alternative R Plus was developed.


The Draft Vision Statement is found in Attachment 2. Page 7 of the Report to Planning Commission (Attachment 1) provides the background and context for its preparation. The City Council can provide comments on the draft, if desired.


Prepared by: Rosemarie Zulueta, Acting Principal Planner

Reviewed by: Andrew Miner, Planning Officer

Reviewed by: Trudi Ryan, Director, Community Development Department

Reviewed by: Walter C. Rossmann, Assistant City Manager

Approved by: Deanna J. Santana, City Manager



1.                     Report to Planning Commission 16-1122, July 24, 2017 (without attachments)

2.                     Draft Vision Statement

3.                     ECR Plan Area and Existing Zoning Designations

4.                     Assumptions Map

5.                     ECR Land Use Alternatives Maps (Alt-C, Alt-M and Alt-R)

6.                     Comparative Descriptions of Alt-C, Alt-M and Alt-R

7.                     Alternative R Plus Additional Residential Options

8.                     Development Potential Comparisons

9.                     Fiscal Impact Analysis

10.                     ECRPAC Meeting Summary

11.                     Community Workshop Summary

12.                     ECR Plan Land Use Alternatives Survey Responses

13.                     -El Camino Real Profile  Existing Land Use and Circulation Analysis <http://plansunnyvaleecr.m-group.us/s/ECR-Profile-Existing-Land-Use-and-Circulation-Analysis.pdf>

14.                     El Camino Real Corridor Market Study <http://plansunnyvaleecr.m-group.us/s/El-Camino-Real-Corridor-Market-Study.pdf>

15.                     Affordable Housing and Anti-Displacement Strategy <http://plansunnyvaleecr.m-group.us/s/Affordable-Housing-and-Anti-Displacement-Strategy.pdf>

16.                     2007 Precise Plan for El Camino Real <https://static1.squarespace.com/static/55f09921e4b09c801f7c4895/t/595ec6f4e110eb6b01e3ee37/1499383575876/FINAL+Precise+Plan+for+ECR+2007+WEB.pdf>

17.                     Public Comment Letters


Additional Attachments for Report to Council

18.                     Excerpt of Draft Minutes of the Planning Commission Meeting of July 24, 2017

19.                     Additional Letters from the Public