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Bay Area Mayors Seek To Carefully Balance Development With Community Concerns

How do policymakers position cities for future development while ensuring construction doesn’t snarl their communities? Bay Area mayors spoke at Bisnow’s recent Peninsula Boom event to underscore the development challenges they confront and opportunities they plan to seize.

Jeffrey Gee, Jim Ruane, James Kilpatrick, , Cameron Johnson,Mark Addiego, Joe Goethals

Above are Jeffery Gee, Jim Ruane, moderator James Kilpatrick, Cameron Johnson, Mark Addiego and Joe Goethals.

Redwood City Council member and former mayor Jeffery Gee said Stanford’s recent move to the city was a positive development.  “Finding a good chunk of land was difficult,” he said, referring to the landlocked university’s plans to grow. Stanford provided various community benefits, such as a speaker series, a park and other educational improvements in exchange for building office and administrative space in Redwood City.

James Kilpatrick, Jeffrey Gee, Cameron Johnson, Joe Goethals, Mark Addiego,Mark Addiego

San Carlos Mayor Cameron Johnson (third from left) stressed the importance of maintaining the city's existing character. A recent citizen survey in San Carlos found the top problem confronting residents was “too much development.” In response, the city instituted a conditional use permit system that favors small, independently owned stores over larger “formula retail” store chains.  

Mark Addiego and Joe Goethals

South San Francisco Mayor Mark Addigeo spoke of his city’s continued embrace of the biotech industry. He reported sustained interest from East Asian firms looking to expand into the city.

San Mateo Mayor Joe Goethals took a slightly different approach, emphasizing the safety and growth of his city. The key to both was a development plan that encouraged density and leveraged transportation infrastructure. In a bid to incorporate younger voices “with open minds,” the city reduced the age of the planning commission. 

Jim Ruane and Alan Dibartolomeo

San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane (with Alan Dibartolomeo) also underscored the importance of transit. Mayor Ruane also discussed the importance of listening to the community in planning future development efforts.

Winner of Ipad Paula Deliso

Paula Deliso won the iPad giveaway sponsored by NAI.