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Longshot concepts give Tiburon a peek at high-density housing

A site concept from consultant O’Rourke and Associates shows what The Cove Shopping Center could look like if it were redeveloped by the landowner with two- and three-story buildings featuring 70-90 housing units and ground-floor retail and restaurant space.

While supporting the need to provide more housing, Tiburon residents in a public workshop last week raised alarm about the impact that high-density housing in downtown Tiburon and The Cove Shopping Center would have on views, quality of life, historic Main Street and local business.

The Feb. 22 forum, the second of two that focused on housing, was the latest in the series hosted by O’Rourke and Associates, the consulting firm tasked with updating the town’s general plan. The document acts as a 20-year blueprint of the town’s goals, policies and programs on land use, housing, parks and recreation, open space and conservation, transportation and mobility, safety, sea-level rise and, for the first time, sustainability and diversity and inclusion.

The first housing workshop was Nov. 9, and the firm hopes to have a draft plan ready for public and town review by the end of this year. Under Tiburon’s regional housing needs allocation for the 2023-2031 cycle, the town must identify sites where 639 new units can be developed and then rezone those areas to allow for it. Those changes must then be reflected in the housing element of the general plan.

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