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PITTSBURG, CA-Pittsburg planning commissioners approved two multimillion-dollar housing developments proposed by developer Albert Seeno III this week, despite numerous complaints about the potential environmental and traffic impacts.

In a series of identical 4-1 votes with two commissioners absent and Chairman William Glynn the lone dissenter, the commission gave Seeno’s Discovery Builders company its approval to build 386 housing units in an undeveloped area south of Buchanan road and another 779 in the city’s southwest hills.

The Sky Ranch II project, which sits on a 166-acre parcel, is slated for 386 houses, while the San Marco Meadows project is located on a 231-acre plot and will accommodate 779 houses in the city’s southwest hills.

Both votes were taken in short order after the commissioners heard from dozens of speakers on the developments, including state Department of Fish and Game biologist Janice Gan, who echoed opinions offered by others that the minimal environmental review offered by the city in defense of the developments was insufficient.

“The biological assessments completed for these sites are clearly inadequate,” Gan bluntly informed the commission in an Aug. 19 letter. “Intense development in these areas was not consistent with the City General Plan for a variety of reasons including ridge protection policies until the City of Pittsburg General Plan was amended in 2000 to accommodate the types of development now proposed.”

The developments will now go to the Pittsburg City Council for a final round of approvals. Pittsburg associate city planner Ken Strelo said that both matters would probably go before the council sometime in September.

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