Update: Greenbelt Alliance is thrilled that Belmont’s City Council approved the Firehouse Square residential project! This project will make 80% of its units affordable for low- and extremely-low income households.
The 81-unit residential development, on the site of a long-vacant and currently unusable firehouse building, meets Greenbelt Alliance’s strict endorsement criteria for sustainable urban development.
In addition to its commitment to affordability, which will be supported by public financing from the County of San Mateo, the City of Belmont, and potential State funding, the project is being designed to meet the rigorous environmental standards of Build It Green’s gold program. These include low-impact development techniques like the use of drought-tolerant landscaping, greywater reuse, rooftop solar energy panels, and permeable paving. In a nod to its historical location, the project intends to incorporate the façade of the old vacant fire station building into the design of the affordable apartment building.
The project also features convenient access to public transit: the Belmont Caltrain station, which is just across El Camino Real and Sam Trans bus lines. Being located on El Camino Real provides convenient transit access to the project’s new residents. In addition, there is also a large shopping plaza across the street from the development and the site is located in Belmont’s Village Core downtown area.
With sprawl pressure mounting throughout San Mateo County, Firehouse Square is another example of smart growth and infill development, adding appropriate residential density to a neighborhood close to transit. It also supports the local economy, relieves development pressure on the region’s open spaces, and offers a host of other environmental and quality of life benefits.