• Marin Builders Member, Seagull Prime Real Estate Fund IN THE NEWS: San Rafael Board Clears Terra Linda Housing Development

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    December 20, 2021
    By ADRIAN RODRIGUEZ | arodriguez@marinij.com | Marin Independent Journal
    PUBLISHED: December 19, 2021 

    With strong support from workforce housing advocates, the San Rafael Planning Commission has approved a proposed 192-apartment complex on a Terra Linda hillside.

    The commission voted 5-0-1 on Tuesday, with Jon Previtali absent, to recommend that the City Council approve the Neighborhood at Los Gamos project. The vote follows the unanimous endorsement of the Design Review Board in October.

    The Hart family, which runs a San Rafael real estate company, hopes to build the mixed-use complex on a 10-acre parcel on the west side of Los Gamos Drive. The lot is adjacent to Highway 101 and the Marin YMCA.

    The project would include 20 apartments designated as affordable at below-market rates for low-income households.
    “As a community we must listen to and support our employers that continue to report that they cannot recruit and retain enough employees to grow their businesses,” said Michelle Hassid, chair of the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce board. “Additional affordable workforce housing is crucial to our economic success.”

    A 5,600-square-foot retail grocery store and a 5,000-square-foot community center are part of the proposal. The project also calls for 213 resident parking spaces and 12 commercial parking spaces for the market.

    The development would consist of five apartment buildings that include 36 studio apartments, 48 one-bedroom apartments, 90 two-bedroom apartments and 18 three-bedroom apartments. The apartments would range from 496 square feet to 1,153 square feet.

    The buildings would be clustered to minimize grading and environmental impacts. Other sustainable features include rooftop solar panels and stations to charge electric cars and bikes.

    “This is a wonderful addition, in our mind, to Los Gamos,” said Andrew Ward, executive director of Marin YMCA. “It does actually create the ability to have a true neighborhood on this street where wellness services through the Y and Kaiser are widely available.”

    The project requires approval of 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.

    Commissioners had concerns that the number of parking stalls might be inadequate, but overall agreed the project fit the bill for providing more housing.

    “This is a great location, a great project,” commissioner Mark Lubamersky said. “We desperately need this housing. I think it’s well done and I think it really fill a gap in the market, especially to help our businesses in San Rafael continue to grow and thrive.”

    Chris Hart, project sponsor, said the proposal is the culmination of two years of community outreach and meetings.

    “Our 10-acre site offers a rare opportunity to create badly needed housing in close proximity to jobs, transit, and nearby amenities,” he said after the meeting.

    “Every day, we encounter people in our local workforce who must commute into San Rafael from far away distances,” he said. “This project is designed to create new opportunities for them and others who will benefit from an increased supply of local housing choices.”

    A public hearing with the City Council is tentatively scheduled for January.

    More information about the project is at bit.ly/3sauowq.

    Chris Hart
    ckhart20@gmail.com, (415) 898-4802
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