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Mallard Pointe kills two units to set up key waivers

The developer behind the Mallard Pointe project in Belvedere has “removed” two accessory units from its plans rather than add one more affordable unit, an effort to obtain key state waivers in an apparent protest of the city’s repeated findings that it didn’t otherwise qualify.

The revision — which the developer’s attorney said “involves nothing more than a labeling change” — means the project now officially has 40 total units, or 39 plus one accessory dwelling unit, down from 42 total, or 39 plus three ADUs, though the proposed design itself is unchanged.

All the second units were designed to sit above attached garages on three of the proposed single-family homes on the Belvedere Lagoon, the only properties intended for sale at market rate, with the rest of the complex reserved as rentals. Eric Hohmann, principal at Mallard Pointe 1951 LLC, said the two attached non-ADU “structures” can either act as second units or be absorbed as bedrooms into the main home.

The move means the redevelopment project’s four low-income rental units make up 10 percent of the total by any calculation, likely making the proposal eligible for a density bonus, which provides key waivers and concessions for zoning, height, setbacks, construction time limits, parking and other items on which the plans ultimately rely. With those waivers, if the project otherwise complies with city requirements it would also qualify for expedited review and approval under the Housing Crisis Act of 2019, which limits conditions on projects with affordable housing and allows just five public hearings.

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