Word on the Street: December Edition

Lot splits to be voted on in San Carlos come January There will be more than just a New Year to ring in come January in San Carlos. On Jan. 9, the City Council will consider whether or not developmental standards on residential lot splits be reverted to pre-2011 standards.

On Dec. 8, the San Carlos Planning Commission voted 5-0 on the recommendation, a response to concerns that some lot splits increased density but did not offer much community benefit.

So, what might that mean? A vote in favor of returning to the pre-2011 standards would increase the minimum lot size for subdivisions to 10,000 square feet from 5,000 square feet and a minimum lot width to 65 feet from 40 feet. This means that in order to split a lot in two, the whole lot size would need to be a minimum of 20,000 square feet. Each lot this size would also have to be assessed based on its slope size too, meaning the steeper the slope of the lot (buildable area) the larger the lot would have to be.

Change could be in the air for San Carlos residents come early January.

The Belmont City Council in late November recently put an end to a lengthy debate in its city with respect to home size, although the rules were mostly tweaked instead of rapidly changed.

For years, residents have been on both sides of the debate – how big is too big for lots and homes. There were those in favor of the McMansions on small lots and those who favored preserving the small town charm with it’s smaller, more to-scale homes.

The new rules maintain a cap of 3,500 square feet for Belmont properties, although it allots for a sliding scale for lots larger than 10,000 square feet. However, it does retain the city’s maximum size of 4,500 square feet for single-family homes.

In both San Carlos and Belmont, city officials remain aware of the local housing crunch and see the need for more homes. It will be interesting to see what the City Council in San Carlos thinks is best for its residents and the city as a whole.