Apartment building approved even though it violates height limit

A developer is seeking approval to build this apartment complex at 353 Main St. in Redwood City.
A developer was granted approval to build this apartment complex at 353 Main St. in Redwood City.

By the Daily Post staff

The Redwood City Planning Commission yesterday (March 6) approved a seven-story apartment building on Main Street even though it surpasses the height limit and some commissioners wanted more low-income housing.

The project, slated for 353 Main St., will have 125 apartments, with 19 set aside for renters with low and medium incomes.

Commissioners Ernie Schmidt and Muhammad Safdari both asked representatives from Santa Clara-based developer ROEM Corp. if they would increase the amount of low-income apartments from 19 to 25. But ROEM’s representatives said because they had to redesign the proposal after FEMA flood zones changed, they are constrained in what they can do.

The building will be taller because flood-plane construction rules prevent them from building underground parking. As a result, parking will be on the first and second levels.

The commission approved the project 5-0, with commissioners Shawn White and Giselle Hale absent.

The development will be 78 feet tall at its highest point, which is 18 feet above the height limit in the area. But the project was granted a waiver because it included low-income housing.


  1. Good!! These made-up nonsensical rules in the name of public safety is hugely responsible for such massive housing crunch. Increase heights, relax zoning, open up all these idle lands and let people build as much as they want/can. Well paid people here are going homeless because there is just not enough housing!!

    • Self-absorbed blowhard, you think housing rules are responsible for the housing crunch? Insane. Ever heard of mass immigration? What was California’s population 25 years ago? Where did the ten million people who arrived since come from?

  2. Go to Tokyo and see for yourself how high one can build even in high earthquake areas. Technology exists to build much higher. Anything that helps building more houses and lower housing cost needs to be done!

  3. Older generations need to be more empathetic and support their city’s plans to allow building new houses or extending old housing. They can enrich their lives by having more younger people live among their neighborhoods. Younger people are again leaving the area in droves only because there is no affordable housing, even for highly paid ones. Please tell your city officials to relax rules and allow more home building.

  4. I like this. I don’t have a problem with going higher if it means more homes. We need more of this in order to increase the supply of homes. Good job, Redwood City.

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