1. Land Use Program (Priority)

A. Objective Description:  Complete the Zoning Code Update (Implement the General Plan Update – “GPU) 

Pursuant to state law, the Town of Colma is required to amend its zoning code and zoning map after the adoption of the Town’s GPU 2040. The GPU and zoning must be consistent with one another.  Colma planning staff began the zoning code update process in late 2022 and is scheduled to make two presentations to the City Council in the spring/summer of 2023 (Study Session & Public Hearing). 

B.  Objective Description:  Engage with Property Owners – GPU Commercial Core Opportunity Sites 

Staff’s primary focus has been on the “Town Center” site, and specifically Kohl’s long- term intentions for their Colma store. With the help of The Retail Coach we have been tracking Kohl’s “right-sizing” initiative across their national retail portfolio. Because of the size of the Colma store (90,000 sq. ft.) and the expanse of the property’s parking lots, we believe that this store may be a good candidate for an internal feasibility assessment by Kohl’s real estate team. To that end, The Retail Coach initiated discussions with Kohl’s several months ago and has provided a Colma land use information package to their real estate executives. We are anticipating follow-up discussions over the next three to six months.

C.  Objective Description:  Facilitate Card Room Expansion Process 

The City Manager has maintained regular communications with Lucky Chances ownership and management with focus on industry trends and Lucky Chances evolving ideas of their future business model.

D. Objective Description:  Advance Hotel Development Feasibility 

An analysis of recent public/private hotel projects on the Peninsula was carried out in the summer of 2022. Staff then met with a local economic development consultant who had facilitated several competitive processes for cities who desired to enable hotel developments via land leases and a mix of financial incentives. A phone interview with a specialty hotel deal-maker revealed that the single most effective tool to bring hotels to cities is to provide land at deeply discounted sales prices or land lease terms. Since Colma does not own a property suited for a hotel use, it was suggested that the Town secure the services of a commercial real estate company with a specialized hotel market analysis team to determine the viability of Colma’s market sphere to attract and sustain a hotel enterprise – to be located on privately owned land, on a site to be determined. In recent conversations with The Retail Coach, they have indicated that they can help with an initial market assessment and advise on subsequent feasibility steps.

E. Objective Description:  Hillside Blvd. Commercial Overlay District 

Staff began discussions with the landowner in late 2021, with the intent to confirm interest in the creation of a commercial overlay district on lands North and East of Hillside Blvd. By the time the General Plan Update (GPU) was approved by the City Council in March 2022, staff had determined that the Town would need to create and provide a process roadmap or “development framework” to the landowner for the creation of the Overlay District, once the GPU was in place. By Fall 2022 the framework was finished and Town staff had completed most of the tasks associated with the Town’s authority as the land use agency. A summary of the Framework’s tasks:

  • Define the purpose of the District (completed – Colma GPU)
  • Identify the areas that make up the District (completed – Colma GPU)
  • Clarify the Town’s land use priorities (completed – Town staff)
  • Standards anticipated to apply to new uses in the District (completed – Town staff)
  • Identify the capacity of the District (completed – Town staff)
  • Complete due diligence with utility providers (Town staff – in process)
  • Continue to work with landowner developing a Master Plan for the overlay district

At this juncture staff understands that the property owner has initiated an internal planning process to determine long-term land use requirements for their core business, which should in turn define available land that could be utilized for new commercial uses.

F. Objective Description:  El Camino Real Commercial Overlay District 

This newly established overlay district is associated with a three-acre vacant land parcel fronting El Camino Real, near the Colma Bart Station. Staff has engaged the property owner in discussions leading up to the City Council’s recent adoption of the Housing Element. Ultimately this property was not included in the Town’s potential housing sites inventory. However, should the property owner initiate a development master plan for the property in the future, some housing could be included in a mixed-use development plan.

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