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Developer unveils alternative to Mallard Pointe apartments

Larger plans to redevelop the private Mallard Pointe complex between the Belvedere Lagoon and City Hall include demolishing a duplex and fourplex in the residential island along Community Road. The owners are now putting forward an option with 23 units across five fourplexes and a triplex instead of a 23-unit apartment building. (via Mallard Pointe 1951 LLC)

Belvedere staff, consultants and legal advisers are largely recommending that the Planning Commission and City Council approve controversial plans that would tear down the duplexes at Mallard Pointe — but a new option for redevelopment is now on the table.

The seven-member Planning Commission will ultimately decide on the project’s fate and is scheduled to hold its first public hearing on Nov. 14. At that meeting, it will have the chance to consider the developer’s new alternative plan, which would use five fourplexes and a triplex instead of a single 23-unit apartment building in the residential island across from City Hall and Community Park. The total number of units in the overall project would still increase from 22 units to 40, but the fourplexes would rise to 45 feet — more than 10 feet taller than the proposed 34½-foot apartment building.

The 34-page staff report, prepared by contract planner Tricia Stevens of community-development consultant MIG Inc., was reviewed by the city’s planning and building director and city attorney, as well as two consulting attorneys from special counsel Goldfarb & Lipman LLP.

Released for public review ahead of next week’s hearing, the report largely concludes that “the city’s discretion … is substantially limited due to the adoption of over 100 state laws since 2017” and that Belvedere has no grounds to deny waivers or incentives that would allow for an apartment complex, additional building height and reduced open space and lot sizes, among other requests. It follows a staff recommendation released the week before that the project not be subject to environmental review.

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