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Tiburon stands firm on downtown, Paradise Drive sites for housing

Downtown buildings will remain limited to three stories, and a Paradise Drive property will stay on Tiburon’s housing list.

The Town Council last week bucked recommendations from the Planning Commission and a parade of Paradise-area residents, ruling to stay the course with approval of its eight-year roadmap for housing, saying its top priority is ending exposure to the so-called builder’s remedy and giving the state a plan it will accept.

“Everything you’re concerned about the town allowing would be on the table, with no constraints at all … built with almost no supervision,” Councilmember Jon Welner said of the risks of making major changes. “Tiburon will not be the same, no matter what we do.”

However, the council and later the Planning Commission left the door open to delays in rezoning — the next step to in changing local rules to accommodate new housing — to explore the use of a newly offered site just outside town limits.

Procedurally, the council in a special meeting May 22 voted 4-0 to adopt the town’s General Plan 2040 — a 20-year blueprint for growth with 11 elements including land use, noise, conservation, parks and recreation, safety and other requirements — and its accompanying environmental-impact report. The general plan also includes two new leading-edge elements that address diversity, inclusion and equity and environmental sustainability.

But a major goal of the vote was to adopt the general plan’s housing element, which Tiburon couldn’t do without the impact report, and self-certify the town as being in compliance with state laws.

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