• Marin Builders Member, Seagull Prime Real Estate Fund IN THE NEWS: San Rafael Approves Terra Linda Apartment Project

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    February 09, 2022
    By ADRIAN RODRIGUEZ | arodriguez@marinij.com | Marin Independent Journal
    PUBLISHED: February 8, 2022 

    A proposal to bring 192 apartments to North San Rafael sailed through approvals Monday.

    The San Rafael City Council voted unanimously to OK the “Neighborhood at Los Gamos” project, situated on a 10-acre lot along Los Gamos Drive west of Highway 101 in Terra Linda. The applicant is the Hart family, which runs a real estate company in San Rafael.

    Vice Mayor Rachel Kertz called the project a “unicorn” because it’s such a large mixed-use complex that has garnered community support, rather than amassing critics.

    “This project is meeting so many needs we’ve talked about for a long time,” Kertz said, noting the proposed 20 affordable units, the sustainable features such as rooftop solar panels and a plan to electrify the buildings and add no natural gas hookups.

    Mayor Kate Colin praised the applicants for their community outreach that consisted of dozens of meetings to get resident input and design a project to fit in with the neighborhood.

    “It’s extra icing on the cake when the community calls in and says, ‘yeah, we want this,'” Colin said.

    This project could become a beacon, she said. “We want to say, hey, look at this, density can be had in a way that makes sense.”

    Plans include a 5,600-square-foot grocery store, a 5,000-square-foot community center and five apartment buildings.

    The housing will include 36 studio apartments, 48 one-bedroom apartments, 90 two-bedroom apartments and 18 three-bedroom apartments. The apartments will range from 496 square feet to 1,153 square feet.

    The buildings will be clustered to minimize grading and environmental impacts. The project also calls for 213 resident parking spaces and 12 commercial parking spaces for the market.

    Council approvals included a general plan amendment to allow commercial mixed-use on the site, a zone change, environmental and design review, a density bonus and concessions for parking.

    While there was a near unanimous showing of community support, some residents told the council they were concerned about fire safety, bicycle storage for the residents, backup power in case of outages and potential subleasing through companies like Airbnb.

    Ali Giudice, the city’s community development director, said the fire department has reviewed the ingress and egress and that it is appropriate for the type of hillside development.

    Applicant Chris Hart said they will have indoor storage areas to safely store bicycles, that they are committed to electrifying the complex and have backup storage batteries onsite.

    Becky Rosales, superintendent of Miller Creek School District, called it an exciting project that could provide housing for district staff. However, she was concerned about the impact the new residents with children would have on the district.

    Riley Hurd, attorney for the applicant, said they would be responsible for about $1.1 million to $1.2 million in school impact fees. Additionally, there could be an influx of new students who, through attendance, would be generating funding for the district.

    Overall, residents said they favored the project because it would provide workforce housing.

    “It will be a beautiful place,” said resident John Reynolds. “Let’s get on with it.”

    For more information about the project: The Neighborhood at Los Gamos
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