Problem for Dr. Sandhu is the City Council. Twice Dr. Sandhu got Planning Commission approval for a 16,000 square foot mansion in the hills just south of the Union City border. And both times the Council rejected the project based on Fermont’s voter-approved ordinances that restrict hillside development.
Environmentalists are still opposing him, but it’s looking much more promising for Dr. Sandhu, who owns 80 acres of hillside property. He’s nearly cut the size of his house in half to just under 10,000 square feet. That includes going from an indoor pool to an outdoor pool and from a five-car garage to a four car garage. He’s also agreed to put it in a spot where just about no one will be able to see it.
A lot of those changes may not sound like much, but they help him conform much more with the hillside ordinances, and it was enough for city staff members to recommend that permits for the house be approved this time around.
Environmentalists say they’ll appeal this to the City Council, so we’ll find out soon if the third time is a charm for Dr. Sandhu or if it’ll be strike three.
BTW, I talked to Sandhu after the meeting. He said he’s spent more than $350,000 thousand just to get to this point of the approval process. But he said living in the hills is his dream. He grew up in the Seven Hills district of Union City, and the hills is where he wants to be.