Chan opts out of Kimber Park battle

This is tucked away in the council report, but I thought it was unusual enough to merit its own post. The council had the unenviable task last night of taking sides in Fremont’s fiercest turf war. Being the smart cookies that they are, however, they staked out some middle ground and left themselves lots of options going forward.

But noticeably absent in last night’s 3-1 vote was Councilmember Sue Chan. She doesn’t live in Kimber Park. She does have a relationship with the land owner, Sheena Chang, but that’s not why she said that she recused herself. Heck, she has close relations with Centerville district landowners David Beretta and Jack Rodgers, but that didn’t stop her from participating when they had business before the council.

Chan said she decided to stay out of the Kimber Park battle because her husband’s dentistry has lots of clients in Kimber Park and gets lots of referrals from Kimber Park. That would seem a carte blanche to back out of future politically bruising neighborhood battles that comes before the council.



Matt Artz


  1. This information is not correct. Chan did recuse herself in the Mattos Daycare issue, using the same (lame) excuse of a patient living in the triplex. Only problem, the patient moved out months before the issue came before the Council in November 2010. The vote had been scheduled for September 2010, but was conveniently postponed (by the Council)until:
    1. After the local election
    2. Ms. Chan was in China in November 2010.

    It’s good to have friends.

    Ms. Chan’s election motto was “I’ll fight for YOU!” Guess we should have asked her who she would fight for. It certainly isn’t the residents of Glenmoor or Kimber Park. She will run for relection next year. It would be prudent to hold her to a higher standard this time around.

  2. Was said beautifully on another board – if Chan opted out of voting for reasons of her husbands patient list, then she would have to opt out for every vote.

    Perhaps she should just resign now and allow someone on the Council who isn’t so worried about their spouses costumer base. It was a gutless move.

  3. In response to “So What,” I was referring to a council discussion on ways to spruce up Centerville that involved Rogers and Beretta, not the daycare dispute on Mattos.

  4. Very professional journalistic repartee there, Matt Artz: “So what?”

  5. I think Chan recusing herself is the same as siding with the developer.

  6. Matt wasn’t saying “So what”. He was addressing his response to comment #1 written under the pen name “Sowhat”. I suppose it’s possible comment #1 was written by somebody whose actual name is Sowhat.

  7. Thanks for the clarification, Matt. My point was to show that these recusals are a convenient excuse for Ms. Chan to “run with the big dogs” but not actually do anything significant. When rock meets hard place, she’s out the door.
    #6—it IS possible Sowhat is my actual name………..but not likely! 🙂

  8. Revised Kimber Park Open Space proposal moves to Planning Commission

    Staff Report to Planning Commission:

    In December 2011, the City Council adopted a comprehensive General Plan Update and established the Kimber Study Area on the subject property for a period of one year to allow the property owner time to process a development application. Initially, a Preliminary Planned District (PPD) application was submitted to allow development of 18 residential units and a Draft EIR was prepared for the proposed project.

    However, during the 45-day public review period for the Draft EIR, the applicant submitted a revised project for a new private swim and tennis club. Staff has reviewed the revised project for general acceptability of the land uses and their interrelationship, prepared a Final EIR that includes analysis of an alternative consistent with the revised project, and recommends that the Planning Commission recommend approval of the PPD to the City Council, including the establishment of PPD Regulations and Design Guidelines for the future facility.

    Save Kimber Park response:

    The owner submitted, at the 11th hour, a new plan that if passed would create a NEW PLANNED DISTRICT along with 42,000 sq. feet of building space, nine (9) hotel rooms, one (1) business center, two (2) conference centers, a 100 person members-only restaurant, removal of seven (7) of the existing 13 tennis courts, 107 or more parking spaces and the creation of two (2) new pools. Although some elements of the plan seem reasonable, the idea of a facility of this magnitude, intensity and with all the uses they are looking for in the middle of a quiet, open-space oriented neighborhood is not acceptable. It seems that if they can’t have the residential use they want then they will instead try to get as much recreation/lodging/business/commercial use as possible squeezed onto the property and expand their allowable permitted uses into different commercial areas.

    Last Thursday [October 11, 2012] city staff held a “study session” with Planning Commissioners and about 10 SKP supporters attended. Very little new information was shared at the study session and some of our questions were evaded and we were told it would be “in the staff report the next day.” On Friday [October 12, 2012], at 5 p.m., the city staff released their report for the Planning Commission meeting on Thursday, October 18th. A copy of this Staff report is available online at: http://www.fremont.gov/DocumentCenter/View/18767. Please take a few minutes to carefully read this 18 page report in detail.

    Shockingly City Staff is recommending approval of this “Preliminary Planned District” as is with no changes. This would change the zoning to a new Planned District with its own set of special rules and create a new general plan designation for the area as well. City Staff states that if approved the tennis/swim club section on the western portion of the property would be designated “General Open Space” and the eastern “undeveloped” portion would be designated “Private Open Space”. If the area where the club resides is designated “General Open Space” then it will NOT BE SUBJECT TO THE INITIATIVE. Only areas designated as “PRIVATE OPEN SPACE” are subject to the initiative.

    So… How do we best proceed to ensure this parcel does not become a “Clubsport” commercial facility in the middle of our quiet neighborhood and receives permanent protection so future generations don’t have to fight this same battle?

    The Planning Commission meets this Thursday (10/18) at 7 p.m. and could recommend to City Council that the parcel should be changed. This is a very important meeting… although City Council has the last say, the opinion of city staff and planning commission are big factors. The meeting will be held in City Council Chambers at 3300 Capitol Avenue.

  9. #8…The way to best proceed would be not to elect a phony to represent you on the City Council. Dutra is correct on this issue and is a sensible choice. Beware of those who have chased thousands of job and billions of dollars *out* of Fremont!

  10. “This was seen in terms of not being so restrictive on building inspection, plan checking, subdivision maps, and those kinds of things” (Mission Peak Heritage Foundation 1989, p.116). In other words, a developer’s utopia! Consequently, this new laissez-faire policy encouraged a major building boom in the city through much of the 1980s . . . . ”

    Take a look around. If you like what you see, putting another member of the Dutra family into another council seat is a great idea.


  11. How many jobs has the Dutra family chased out of Fremont? More than your guy? Has anyone *ever* cased as many jobs out of our city as Vinnie and the FCNs have?

  12. Susan Chan, What has She done for Fremont, nothing. Susan Chan is a nice person, just not a effective council person.

  13. While Morrisson did his best to silence criticism of Sue Chan’s obvious “U” turn at last nights Council meeting, the facts of this matter speak loudly for themselves.

    Fortunately, we’ve got some coverage by local media which begins to expose this rather obvious misappropriation of power –


    In her own words, Chan recused herself as a result of “… financial relationships that involved many residents of Kimber Park at that time.” and now (post elections) claims that “..the factors that would have had the potential to bias my decision-making no longer exist. “

  14. Now that the holidays have come we should be thankful that Sue, Bill and Anu were able to lock down Whole Foods deal before Bacon was elected and opposed it as is his custom. As you know *evil developers* and a city council working for what was in the best interest of Fremont made this a reality. Ground control to all the Baconites…do you care?

  15. Something perhaps random I recall. There was an article asking council members about their favorite restaurants in Fremont. All but one mentioned existing and well known local restaurants (e.g. Spin-a-Yarn, El Patio). That one council member mentioned she was looking forward to The Counter at The Block (Pac Commons). What struck were two things: (1) the council member did not actually answer the question correctly. (2) That property I believe is owned by Sheena Chang. The council member was Sue Chan.

  16. It is time to forget all the bull, bad politicians, mentally challenged bloggers


  17. #23 Do you really mean “TO ALL”…Would that include the *evil developers* your leader continues to demonize? Fremont needs leaders who embrace sensible development and won’t chase away jobs. “Bad politicians” chase away jobs. GOBBLE GOBBLE!

  18. Yes Michael

    TO ALL: I couldn’t be more thankful for the developers in the area. They have brought so many of us together to fight them…

    …and the parties are sensational…


  19. #25…Looks like Dan-O has issues with more jobs and tax revenue for Fremont. Nice to know the chip on Vinnies shoulder speaks for the few it has brought together… stay nasty my friend!

  20. With all this space and with surrounding communities seemingly doing a good job of *attracting* businesses, dont we have to question whether or not this “…developers utopia…” we’ve built is, in part, the reason that responsible businesses dont choose Fremont?

    What is it that, for example, Pleasanton and Livermore have that we dont have?

  21. Pleasanton and Livermore have downtowns. It may take a century or two before we have one, if ever.

  22. #27…*attracting* businesses means that you just have to work for and compromise for what would be in the beat interest of all. sorry to say the usual suspects are not about to compromise for what is in the best interest for the *majority* of us. the election of bacon is a big red flag for the what would be in the best interest of all. expect more nasty emails demonizing developers.

  23. Fremont got to where it is, by past Politicians. Some may say that is bad or some would say that is good.
    I have lived in Fremont a long time. I have seen good restaurants run out of town.
    Where do you go to have dinner and live music, dancing? Where do you go to hear Jazz and a glass of wine
    The answer to the above is San Jose, not Fremont.
    Fremont is the most boring city in the Bay Area. and some think that is good!

  24. Sorry all – I have a minute and wanted to get back to you all. I cannot speak for Vinnie but when I have been shoulder-to-shoulder with him fighting a development, that development has ALWAYS been development on the edge of town. Never infill. I know that there will never be a “meeting at the fence” by many of you, but that is exactly what you have in common with some of us. Those issues that I personally have been involved: Developments on Patterson Ranch; Area 3/4 in Newark and the Masonic development in Union City have always been ill-conceived developments that have (IMO) done nothing but add to sprawl; invade the eroding nature around Tri City; adding miles to the average car trip for all of us.

    The focus – and I am agreeing with you guys here – is on downtowns. Those cities that you have mentioned (add to that Palo Alto/ Los Gatos) all have a “anchor or anchors” that have attracted people to a CENTER. Not spreading those anchors around their city’s borders. Look at San Jose – they have every reason to have a vibrant downtown. Why not? Because they caved and okayed developments like Santana Road that (again IMO) should have been placed in the city’s center. In my past posts, I have advocated investing in things like the Center Theater as this has proven in many, many cities across America to be one of those anchors – theaters.

    Here is a dated re-post as I am out of time (and most of you are already typing your rebuttal):

    (have a great day)

    ….good albeit dated article about how historical theaters revitalized Connecticut cities. Some will say Apples to Oranges…
    Or is it Apples to a smaller Apple:

  25. Some People think any Development, is good. If you are in doubt go, look at the mess in Northern Fremont. Springs Development is suppose to enhance our lives in some way or another.
    In Fremont Development is to enhance the real estate developers pocket book. That is why they are the major contributers to Politicians campaigns
    There needs to be a middle ground,but the developers run Fremont……..

  26. Some People think any Development, is good. If you are in doubt go, look at the mess in Northern Fremont. Development is suppose to enhance our lives in some way or another.
    In Fremont Development is to enhance the real estate developers pocket book. That is why they are the major contributers to Politicians campaigns
    There needs to be a middle ground,but the developers run Fremont……..

  27. #33 Bruce please…Vinnie Bacon is not the person to carry your cross. Developers are not all evil. You and Dan-O need to get a grip. Fact is if Bacon keeps up with his uncompromising act he might just get recalled. It would be very wise for Vinnie to tone down all the anti-developer crap and work for what is in the best interest of Fremont… if his ego will allow it. And thank you for finally taking down you campaign signs!

  28. As of this morning, there was a Harrison sign still up at the intersection of Maple and Peralta.

  29. #34

    Michael – please re-read my entry and tell me it is anti-development.

    It is anti-idiotic development.

    (I again give up and am headin’ to bed…take a pill, say good night to the clowns in the attic and get some rest)

  30. My mistake .. .. . Harrison’s sign was still on display on Saturday morning – not Sunday.

  31. #35

    Dan-O you, Bruce, your leader Bacon and the rest of the anti-development crowd seem to have a spastic knee-jerk reaction whenever a developer is going to do build something grand and benificial for our community. Why must you demonize all developers?

  32. Developers aren’t bad.

    Ideas and plans when poorly managed end up with bad results.

    No one is “demonizing” developers – not sure where that rather bizarre extreme characterization is coming from.

    Perhaps a bit of guilt?

    Fremont has been characterized as a “developers utopia” so, it’s difficult to (successsfully) argue that “developers” as a group have somehow been restrained. Heck, just the Dutra’s net-worth alone is sufficient evidence that developers have not had a problem in Fremont.

    But the results of this free-for-all are visible to all. Cheap housing – tilt-up commercial space and a distinct lack of character and “vision” unique to each district (in most cases).

    Meanwhile our leaders continue to chase a singular “downtown plan” . . . . . .

  33. Developers Control Fremont, Check Fremont Politicians campaign contributions, they bought the city council, except Bacon that is.

  34. I don’t have much to say about development, except the person who thought suburban apartment residents would actually live above their businesses be banished from the city limits for life. This would be after a Salem style witch hunt involving stakes and fire.

  35. Golly Gee Marty, that means you’re against sensible development that benefits the entire community!

  36. #41 …I miss Marty.
    I so want to counter that with a carload of evidence but alas he is right. Unfortunately, there is a whole bunch of Y/Z gens that do indeed for his argument like to live above retail and not drive.

    Marty – you (we) are going the way of the push lawnmower.

  37. #42-44, I’m for coherent development. Nobody lives and works in these utopian taupe stucco crap boxes and you know it. We can’t all sell bagels and sandwiches from the ground floor of faux-urban wood frame erections. We commute to our jobs around the Bay Area then find another job. That’s the Bay Area way.

    Your replies will be entered in to evidence at the soonest Salem style trial.

  38. Sorry, but I’ll agree with Marty on this point. Just do the math on the number of businesses “downstairs” versus the number of occupants “upstairs” – – the other 92% have to be working somewhere.

    And, it’s certainly NOT a new fad.

    Take a drive thru downtown *anywhere* in a metropolitan area. “Flats” have been “upstairs” from “downstairs” businesses for as long as we’ve been building municipalities.

    There’s also a significant difference between Gen Y/Z choosing to live in these cracker boxes versus being forced to do so by economic necessity.

    If you had the choice – would you prefer a stand-alone house on a quarter acre or one in which you get to share the aural pleasantries of your digestively-challenged neighbors?

    These attitudes are definately those of a dying generation, but, let’s not confuse what the redistribution of global wealth is driving our future generations towards versus what they would choose for themselves – – – – if they could.

  39. #40 Bruce…Let’s hope the chip on Vinnies shoulder (now out of the closet) is fighting hard to get all the jobs and money back he’s already chased out of Fremont.
    Honestly, would you rather have a “developers utopia” or a “Palookaville” defined as a place characterized by stupidity and dullness wrapped in Bacon. We all know Box is living the dream guzzling tapioca on the Milpitas border. That’s what the Baconites like to call sensible development!

  40. It would be awesome if we could all make grip selling yogurt with toppings in stores below our studio apartments. We could just buy each other’s yogurt, and toppings. Then the proceeds from those transactions can pay the rent for another yogurt winner, enabling them live above a business where they sell yogurt with toppings to the rest of us.

  41. #49…Could it be, perhaps, Palookaville wrapped in Bacon? Golly Gee… this is what opposing sensible development will get you in the end. I hope Bruce, Dan-O and the rest of the anti development crowd are enjoying their holiday flavored tapiocas. Play ball!

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