Developer Sues Millbrae Over Proposed Housing at Historic El Rancho Inn – CBS San Francisco

MILLBRAE (KPIX) – Millbrae, a peninsula town that failed to meet its residential goals in the past, is now being sued for it.

“Bringing a housing project together has become incredibly difficult in the last 10-15 years. And I don’t expect it to be any easier, ”says Andy Davidson, Managing Partner of Anton Development.

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Davidson and Anton’s team are trying to redesign the historic El Rancho Inn near the San Francisco Airport.

The bureaucratic back and forth between Anton and the city lasted four years and neither side has anything to show. Now Anton is suing the city of Millbrae.

“We’re really looking for a referee; Someone to call the piece what it is and we’ll be on our way, ”Davidson said.

It all started in 2017. Anton intended to build 220 units at market prices and 50 units of affordable living space as well as a hotel on site. But then the hotel partnership failed.

Anton says that is because the city has progressed too slowly with the approval process.

“So if it takes too long to apply, you will lose all engagement with the hotel brand you are working with,” explains Davidson.

In the midst of it all, the state passed SB 330, also known as the Housing Accountability Act. The law was designed to streamline the trend in which cities are stepping back against affordable housing.

Since the project includes an affordable housing component, Anton invoked the new law and said it would allow them to bypass the rezoning process and save a lot of money.

“The developer wants to try to pull a quick one,” said Sam Singer, a spokesman for the city of Millbrae.

Singer means that the developer is using the new law as a loophole to avoid paying the $ 18 million development fee.

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The presence of the singer is intended to signal how serious the argument has become. He is nicknamed “Master of Disaster”; a public relations professional who says this case doesn’t stand up in court.

“You can’t expect taxpayers to subsidize a very wealthy and successful developer,” Singer said.

Singer says when the hotel contract failed and Anton came up with new plans, it became a different project with higher fees.

“I hate it when tax dollars are wasted on such a lawsuit,” said Davidson.

“It pisses me off,” said Jodie, a woman who lives in Millbrae.

She stopped by the hotel while KPIX was interviewing Davidson to complain about developments.

“Rich people argue about[expletive[thatwewishwecouldgettheirhandsonthem”saidJodie[expletive[thatwecouldgetaholdof”Jodiesaid[Kraftausdruck[vondemwirunswünschenwirkönntenihnindieHändebekommen“sagteJodie[expletive[thatwewishwecouldgetaholdof”Jodiesaid

Jodie has been on an affordable housing waiting list for several years, she came over to yell at the developer because only 5% of the project is affordable, she says it doesn’t make a dent.

In their words? These “rich people need to stop fighting and build a place for them to live”.

“They say they have programs, but there are thousands on the waiting list. Home is hard to get when you are not on a wealthy site. Poverty is real, ”said Jodie.

The state weighed in and threw its support behind Anton. Singer says Millbrae supports the project, but Anton has to stick to the rules.

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Both parties say they want to see this apartment built but right now they are going to court instead of breaking the ground.

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