Belvedere aims to build 160 resi units to satisfy state housing goal

Marin County municipality eyes 18 sites recommended by consultants

San Francisco /
Apr.April 19, 2022 03:17 PM
Belvedere (Brocken Inaglory, CC BY-SA via Wikimedia Commons)
Belvedere (Brocken Inaglory, CC BY-SA via Wikimedia Commons)

The upscale city of Belvedere is looking at 18 potential housing sites in which to squeeze as many as 160 residential units to meet the state’s housing goals.

A team of consultants hired by Marin County municipality say topographic constraints and modifications to density laws will be likely components of any housing development in Belvedere, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

The well-heeled city of about 2,100 residents on two islands on the Tiburon Peninsula plans to balance strategies such as changes to the general plan, rezoning and adopting new policies in order to promote the development. The average home in Belvedere sells for more than $3 million and lagoon-front homes sell for anything between $5 million and $10 million

ELS Architecture's David Masenten (LinkedIn)
ELS Architecture’s David Masenten (LinkedIn)

City officials are preparing a report for the state showing it can permit 160 more residences between 2023 and 2031. David Masenten of Berkeley-based ELS Architecture said 160 homes was “not an enormous number comparatively to a lot of other communities. ”So, I think it is possible,” he said.

Of the 160 homes Belvedere must accommodate, 49 would be very-low-income residences, 28 low-income, 23 moderate-income and 60 moderate-income.

The state’s housing element, a policy document designed to remove regulatory barriers to creating new homes, expires Jan. 31, 2023.

The state wants to zone for 2.5 million new homes by 2030 to help solve its housing crisis, more than double its goal from the last eight-year cycle and four times as many residences than were built during that period.

Belvedere plans to have its housing element draft available for public review this summer, to be submitted to the state in January.

Its consultants said accessory dwelling units and lot splits allowed under Senate Bill 9 would also be useful strategies.

The consultants have suggested 18 sites in six areas of the city. The potential sites are Tiburon Boulevard, the St. Stephen’s Church parking lot, the proposed Mallard Pointe development, and sloped hillsides along Bayview Avenue, West Shore Road and Belvedere Avenue.

The proposed Mallard Pointe development, along Belvedere Lagoon, calls for adding 22 new residences. It also calls for demolishing the current housing site and building 23 apartments, three accessory dwelling units and 16 single-family and duplex residences.

Some residents pushed back on the proposals, characterizing increased housing density as a safety concern, the newspaper said. Others said they would seek to protect designated public space from development.

“I feel like you’re trying to solve the problem by just figuring out where to put these units, but is it really realistic to build 160 units in Belvedere?” said Jill Barnett, during a city presentation on housing. “I don’t feel comfortable that you’re not listening to the community.”

[San Jose Mercury News] – Dana Bartholomew





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