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Belvedere commission: Mallard Pointe must face environmental review

Updated: Nov 22, 2023

More than 100 people packed Belvedere City Hall’s council chambers (pictured) and the Community Center below on Nov. 14 as the Planning Commission conducted its long-awaited first hearing on controversial plans to redevelop the Mallard Pointe complex across the street. (Francisco Martinez / The Ark)

Belvedere’s planning commissioners say a controversial proposal to redevelop Mallard Pointe needs environmental review, but the owners say the move may force them to return with twice the density — up to 84 units, and maybe more — to ensure the project remains profitable.

At a seven-hour meeting that began Nov. 14 and carried into the next morning, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to require review, bucking city staff’s recommendation, while it punted staff’s advice to approve the project to a future hearing.

“(The) commission and opposition may be unaware that they essentially just required the doubling of the size of the project,” land-use attorney Riley Hurd, who represents the developer team, said by email last week. “Whether it’s the current version or a larger project, it ultimately still cannot be denied under state law.”

Bruce Dorfman of Mill Valley-based developer Thompson Dorfman Partners LLC said he plans to appeal the commission ruling to the City Council. The 10-day appeal window was extended to Nov. 27 due to the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend, he said.

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