I believe deeply and hold a firm commitment to taking the right approach to development proposals in our community –and that approach is centered around proactive community engagement, and a complete flow of information on all proposed project between applicants and the community. My job in representing the interests of the community is to make sure that any proposal is viewed in the context of the cumulative impact on the entire area, and not just in isolation.
I’ve set up dedicated email lists for news and updates around development proposals that garner great community interest in District 1, and you can sign up to receive these updates using the links below. You can also sign up for future updates on specific geographic planning areas from the Community Development Agency using the links below:
- Marinwood Plaza: Since taking office I have been engaged with both community members and current Plaza ownership to do everything that I can to facilitate a successful transition of the property from a dilapidated shopping center – with a stellar market – into a valued part of the Marinwood community that fulfills the property’s great potential. Currently, Plaza ownership is seeking offers from a range of potential developers.
A major obstacle to any project has been the issue of toxic remediation from the former dry-cleaning business. Reports dating back to 2007 have shown concentrations of PCE, a commonly used dry-cleaning solvent, around the property. The standard approach of aligning cleanup with redevelopment of the property has resulted in unacceptable delays that drew this process on for too long.
Thankfully, this process is taking a major step forward with the demolition of the building and the excavation of contaminated soil, which is required to be completed and reported upon by February 1, 2017. Demolition and excavation are the only means by which we can address the source of the contamination with certainty and finality, and thus fully eliminate the presence of toxins on the site that pose a threat to our neighborhoods and community.
Throughout this process I’ve taken an active role on behalf of neighborhood interests in mediating between Plaza ownership, the community, and the Regional Water Board, the governing agency that is charged with overseeing the cleanup. I’ve organized and mediated meetings between the various parties involved, as well as community meetings to share information and allow an opportunity for questions to be addressed.
Just as we’ve worked to build public input and engagement into the cleanup process, we must take the same approach to planning for a successful project at the Plaza.
Looking ahead, we are well-positioned for a number of reasons, and can use the lessons of past experience to our benefit.
For example, we benefit from the “Marinwood Village Guiding Principles,” developed by the community in 2005-06, which lays out a vision for a mixed-use project featuring community serving retail, a public gathering space and housing with up to 50 percent affordability. We know that senior housing is a great and growing need in Marin County.
We remain in contact with the Plaza owners, and will continue to play an active role in working with the community towards a project that is a valuable addition to the neighborhood - and something we can all be proud of.
- Grady Ranch: On June 23, 2015, the Marin County Community Development Agency responded to the Pre-Application filed for Grady Ranch in April, 2015. Since then, there has been no further action in the application process.
The Pre-Application that was filed in 2015 is highly conceptual and minimal on the details regarding traffic, infrastructure, the specifics around the Environmental Impact Report (EIR), and the rest of the critical information that would be the focus of evaluating a Master Plan Amendment Application should the applicant file one in the future. The EIR process which would follow a Master Plan Amendment Application would be the formal opportunity for members of the public to catalogue and record all specific concerns with the project based on actual proposals. Particular issues of focus for an EIR evaluation would include cumulative impacts and infrastructure constraints.
- Oakview: In 2005, the Marin County Board of Supervisors approved a Master Plan for a project called “Oakview Senior Living,” which approved 150 senior living apartments in the area south of Marinwood Plaza on a building area of 94,400 square feet. This was approved in conjunction with 28 single family homes, with an average size of 3,000 square feet further south.
Recently, there has been interest expressed in the property by a potential senior housing developer, who has held community meetings in regard to the project and worked with County staff in reviewing potential draft plans. These discussions have included analyzing whether proposed plans would require a Master Plan Amendment, or whether they met “substantial conformance” and could move onto the Precise Development Plan.
No official plans or applications have been submitted, so no official process has yet begun, and we are awaiting further action