Atherton residents Stephen and Ayesha Curry, the Golden State Warriors star and his entrepreneur wife, have weighed in on a site slated for multifamily housing development in the town's proposed state-mandated housing element, which is due to the state next week.
The town has opted to upzone a 1.5-acre lot at 23 Oakwood Blvd., where there is currently a single-family home. The property owner plans to develop up to 16 townhouses. The Currys sent a letter opposing the project, saying they had "major concerns in terms of both privacy and safety with three-story townhomes looming directly behind us." They asked the town, at minimum, to build taller fencing and landscaping to protect views into their property.
"As Atherton residents ... we have been following along with the housing element updates with special interest in the 23 Oakwood property," they wrote in a Jan. 18 letter to the town. "We hesitate to add to the 'not in our backyard' (literally) rhetoric, but we wanted to send a note before today's meeting. Safety and privacy for us and our kids continues to be our top priority and one of the biggest reasons we chose Atherton as home."
The family isn’t alone in its opposition to the project. Other neighbors have expressed concern about developing multifamily housing on the site in letters and public comments during town meetings.
Initially the town's growth plan had been to lean in on backyard accessory dwelling units, but town consultants, housing advocates and others made it clear that the state won't accept an element that doesn't include multifamily housing.
The couple noted that the town has already recognized that 23 Oakwood townhouses would not contribute to the very-low or low-income housing quotas required by the state, and they were pleased when it was previously removed from the housing element. Council member Rick DeGolia has said that it's not possible to build low-income housing in Atherton since land is worth about $8 million per acre.
"We kindly ask that the town adopts the new housing element without the inclusion of 23 Oakwood," the Currys wrote. "Should that not be sufficient for the state, we ask that the town commits to investing in considerably taller fencing and landscaping to block sight lines onto our family's property."
The plan is due to the state Housing and Community Development Department (HCD) on Tuesday, Jan. 31, and the Atherton City Council will vote on the final version of the plan at a Jan. 31 meeting at 2 p.m.