Green-lit project to bring green to city 

A once-controversial project that will bring hundreds of new residents and much-needed cash flow to the city of San Bruno has finally been given the stamp of approval nearly three years after it was first proposed.

The City Council recently approved construction of the Pacific Bay Vistas apartment complex, formerly known as the controversial Treetops housing plan. The new 14-building, 510-unit complex will replace a moldy, fenced-off building with 308 apartments on the site at 4300 Susan Drive. The old building will be demolished to make room for the new buildings, which will house high-end apartments that could turn into condominiums later.

The city will receive $1,000 per each new unit, or $510,000 total, once the building permit is approved, money that is sorely needed as the city is facing a deficit in excess of $1 million next year.

In addition, the city will collect more than $200,000 from the developer, AIMCO, out of Denver, to construct parks. If AIMCO turns the rental and lease apartments into complexes, as they are considering, the city would obtain an additional $900,000 for parks.

Construction should begin next year and take a couple of years to complete, said Patti Shwayder, AIMCO’s senior vice president of government relationsand communications. The developer does not yet have a price tag for the project but Shwayder said it would be "north of $100 million."

Residents had bombarded council members with e-mails and showed up at meetings to oppose the original Treetops project, said Councilman Rico Medina.

AIMCO changed its original design because it was too expensive and, in the process added a better parking arrangement, Shwayder said.

"We literally spent hundreds of hours with the community, all the neighbors, talking to them about their concerns," Shwayder said.

mrosenberg@sfexaminer.com

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