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Tiburon puts hold on staging of construction at Blackie’s

Use of the Blackie’s Pasture lot to stage construction projects may not be legal without a permit under requirements for passive recreational use. (Elliot Karlan photo / For The Ark)

Tiburon has placed a moratorium on allowing the gravel parking lot at Blackie’s Pasture to serve as a staging area for public construction projects after neighbors complained about noise and parking issues from a current project that’s been staged there for nearly a year.

The Town Council at its April 20 teleconference meeting voted unanimously to prohibit the overflow lot from being used by construction crews until staff explore alternative staging sites, both in and out of Tiburon, as well as the legalities of using the site for staging.

The overflow lot has been the only option for construction staging within town limits for more than a decade, since the town stopped using the unpaved apron across from the Lyford Drive parking lot for staging because of complaints about dust and noise from condominium and apartment dwellers just uphill.

Typically, Blackie’s is used for staging no more than 40-60 days total throughout the year, said Town Manager Greg Chanis. The town uses the gravel lot up to four times a year for public projects, such as street paving and drainage-improvement projects, and also allows other public agencies access to it, including the Marin Municipal Water District and Tiburon Fire Protection District. The fire agency holds Chipper Days there in conjunction with the town’s Department of Public Works to help residents dispose of vegetation ahead of the fire season.

However, equipment for the Hawthorne Terrace utility-undergrounding project has been staged at the lot for 10 months, and residents of the Belveron West neighborhood say they’re tired of the noise and dust and of seeing their small bay view blocked by an unsightly array of construction vehicles and other equipment, including portable toilets and workers’ barbecue grills, all wrapped by a diamond-link fence with a torn, solid green liner.

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