By Ashly McGlone

SAN RAMON -- The San Ramon City Council has cleared the way for a mixed-use townhome development to be built by ACRE Investment Co. following an appeal of the project by the mayor.

City Council members voted 3-2 Tuesday to support the planning commission's approval of the project, which includes 42 townhomes and six live-work units. A resolution of support is to be formalized by the council Sept. 10.

Mayor Bill Clarkson and Councilman Philip O'Loane were opposed,

The developer initially sought approval for 48 townhome units on Ryan Industrial Court where semi-vacant older office buildings currently stand, which required a change in the city's zoning and general plan. When that failed to gain council approval in April, the project was changed to meet the area's current mixed use zoning plan.

Clarkson opposed the project then and now, saying the location is a poor place for residents. He appealed the commission's June project approval to the council.

"I still don't think it is going to be a great neighborhood," said Clarkson, a Realtor by trade. "My focus is on trying to create neighborhoods that work really well. That's why I felt I had to appeal this."

Tom Schulz, a partner with ACRE, said the project's ninth public hearing this week, a year after first seeking project approval from the city, lasted more than an hour.

"I think it's a good project for this city. It's been a long period of time," Schulz said. "In today's environment of development and planning, infill projects are what everybody looks toward."

As for neighborhood concerns, Schulz said a nearby office building plans to open a day care and noted that families won't be the only tenants.

Demolition of the office buildings and construction could begin as soon as spring, he said.

Ashly McGlone covers San Ramon. Contact her at 510-293-2463. Follow her at Twitter.com/AshlyReports.