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April 14, 2021 - Study Session on Workforce Housing


Redwood City, California


April 14, 2021


1. Call to Order

President Alisa MacAvoy called the study session to order at 6:00 p.m. via Zoom Teleconference Meeting.

Present during the study session: President Alisa MacAvoy, Vice-President María Díaz-Slocum, Trustees Cecilia I. Márquez, Janet Lawson, Mike Wells and Superintendent John R. Baker.

Others Present: Deputy Superintendent Wendy Kelly, Chief Business Official Priscilla Aquino-Dichoso, Assistant Superintendent Linda Montes, and Assistant Superintendent Liz Wolfe, Peter Tsai, Sierra Sousa, Peter Ingram, Antonio Pérez, Dennis McBride, Footsteps Childcare, Jorge Quintana, Julia F., Leslie Stafford, Naomi Hunter, Indra Hernández, Amy Barstad, and 18 other attendees. 

  1. Welcome

2.1 Welcome

President MacAvoy welcomed those present. The School Board dispensed with the Pledge of Allegiance. 

  1. Changes to the Agenda
  • Changes to the Agenda

There were no changes to the agenda. 

  1. Approval of Agenda

The School Board approved the agenda as submitted, (Díaz-Slocum, Márquez; 5-0).

  1. Oral Communication


  1. Study Session

6.1 Update on Workforce Housing at 750 Bradford Street

On June, 2019, the Redwood City School Board approved for the school district to move forward with a feasibility study that would transform the current District Office into affordable housing for teachers and staff. 

Since June 2019, the School District has created the RCSD Workforce Housing Committee, which is comprised of Trustees Alisa MacAvoy and Janet Lawson. Trustee Lawson joined the committee in January 2021 after the retirement of former Trustee Dennis McBride. 

Consultant Peter Ingram, provided the School Board and Superintendent Baker with a Power Point presentation, which provided a current status of the project, employee survey results, unit count, governance and management and next steps. 

Mr. Ingram noted that the MOU with The Sobrato Organization is fully operational and the gatekeeper application has been approved by the Redwood City Council. The Redwood City School District Workforce Housing Committee has been active with added specialty consultants and a project timeline has been established. Furthermore, the initial development application is currently under construction. 

After conducting a survey with Redwood City School District staff, it was determined based on its results that there is a high interest in School District sponsored rental housing. The survey asked staff about their interest in housing and the ideal unit size and the smallest units’ staff could live in. Of those who responded to the survey, 10% of staff could live in a studio apartment, 28% of staff could live in a 1-bedroom apartment, 40% of staff could live in a 2-bedroom apartment and 22% of staff could live-in a 3-bedroom apartment. The City of Redwood City accepted a joint gatekeeper application on October 2020, which would allow for 6 studio units, 37 1-bedroom apartments, 25 2-bedroom apartments, and 0 3-bedroom apartments. Based on the survey results, the current target has increased the number of residential units for the May 2021 joint development application. We hope to apply for 5 studio apartments, 50 1- bedroom apartments, 25 2-bedroom apartments, and 6 3-bedroom apartments. Mr. Ingram noted that the unit count continues to change as design opportunities and constraints are worked out. Furthermore, the final count and designed will be optimized via input from stakeholders and the community. 

Mr. Ingram outlined the proposed, following steps. Submit the joint development application with the City of Redwood City in May of 2021. In August 2021, the School Board will be scheduled to receive comments from the City of Redwood City. In September 2021, the Redwood City School Board will take action and submit a revised development application to the City of Redwood City in October 2021. Once the City of Redwood City deems the joint application complete, it will file a Notice of Intent, California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Trustee Díaz-Slocum asked where the District Office will be located? 

In response to Trustee Díaz-Slocum’s comment, Mr. Ingram replied that it has not been yet determined where the District Office will be located.

Trustee Díaz-Slocum thanked The Sobrato Organization for their hard work and collaboration with the Redwood City School District.

In addition to Trustee Díaz-Slocum’s comment, President MacAvoy expressed that the School District would need further assistance with the location of the District Office and this has been brought up in conversations with Sobrato and others.

In response to President MacAvoy’s comment, Peter Tsai commented that housing and office architects have been added to the District Office study.

Trustee Márquez expressed that hearing details about the project has been quite exciting and she proceeded to ask what will be done about the need for additional parking spaces? Trustee Márquez noted that although the thought might be that by 7:00am many residents will leave to work, there might be others that remain at home, thus limiting the amount of available parking spaces.

In response to Trustee Márquez’s comment and question, Mr. Tsai commented that one of the synergies of the project is shared parking and the associated costs with the parking. Mr. Tsai continued to mention that one of the most expensive costs of the project is parking. Mr. Tsai added that once the Office employees vacate, there will be plenty of parking for residents in the afternoon and evening. Mr. Tsai cited that parking is becoming more of a design consideration and have been looking at mechanizing parking or offering partial valet parking options. 

President MacAvoy added that there will be additional bicycle parking.

Trustee Wells commented that he would like for additional units to be added to the gatekeeper application. Trustee Wells thanked Trustee Janet Lawson, former Trustee Dennis McBride and Board President Alisa MacAvoy for serving in the Workforce Housing Committee. 

President MacAvoy commented that she and former Trustee Dennis McBride were part of the working committee from the start and expressed that it had been great to have Trustee McBride on the team who made so much of the work presented possible. And, It has been great to have Trustee Lawson join the committee with Trustee McBride's departure. The District has made a lot of progress since the beginning conversations.

In closing, Superintendent Baker expressed that he looks forward to continuing to collaborate with The Sobrato Organization and thanked all the committee members for their hard work in the project. 

7. Adjournment (Action Required)

The board adjourned the study session at 7:00 p.m. (Lawson, Díaz-Slocum; 5-0).


Cecilia I. Márquez, Clerk