San Ramon commission talking creek variance for memory care, education facilities

Bicycle Master Plan, two-story office building also up for discussion

The San Ramon Planning Commission is set to discuss proposed new memory care and education facilities at the Church of the Valley site along San Ramon Valley Boulevard on Tuesday night.

The conversation at the study session will primarily revolve around the church's application for a creek setback variance, to allow for the construction of the proposed two buildings within the 100-feet setback required by zoning code.

No action will be taken Tuesday -- the session is rather an opportunity for staff and the applicant to receive direction from the Planning Commission as they move forward with design revisions.

The American Baptist Church of the Valley, 19001 San Ramon Valley Blvd., is situated on a 5.45-acre lot just off Interstate 680, a plot of land crossed by a creek.

The church's proposed project would subdivide the property and construct a 23,000-square-foot single-story memory care facility on the 1.53-acre lot, and an 11,500-square-foot, two-story education facility on the remaining 3.92-acre parcel which also houses the existing church buildings.

The area's zoning code mandates a 100-foot setback from the existing creek.

"Nearly 80% of the proposed educational facility and 2% of the proposed memory care facility are within the 100-foot creek setback," associate planner Shinei Tsukamoto in a staff report.

Which led the applicant to apply for a creek setback variance -- a crucial component, staff says, for all future design considerations.

"The Architectural Review Board (ARB) supported the creek setback variance principle and recommended that the applicant’s design should further embrace and incorporate the creek into the design," Tsukamoto wrote. "While that was the philosophy of the original church development in 1987, regulatory standards have become much more sensitive to potential creek issues since then."

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the council chamber at City Hall, 7000 Bollinger Canyon Road.

In other business

* The commission will also review the current stage of the city's draft Bicycle Master Plan and offer comments to staff.

The plan is intended to determine how to best support cyclists' needs and promote bicycling as a transportation option in San Ramon.

* Commissioners will also discuss the proposed concept review for a two-story, 5,800-square-foot office building on a 0.39-acre site at 6 Boardwalk Place, right by the Crow Canyon Gardens. This item is also a study session, with no action taken at this time.

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