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Alan Dep Marin IJ

Friends of Corte Madera File Legal Comment on Madera Inn Draft EIR

Land use attorney, Edward Yates (Marin Land Law) has filed a legal comment letter on behalf of Friends of Corte Madera, a local community group that is contesting the pending approval of the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the proposed redevelopment for the Corte Madera Inn, in Corte Madera.

In his letter, Mr. Yates points out the serious inadequacies in the DEIR. The current proposal would almost double the size of the exiting hotel and fill in the existing wetlands area, and the existing pond. The scale of the proposed project and its visual impacts would add to the out of scale development occurring on Tamal Vista Boulevard, and would add to the traffic congestion created by the Win Cup project, nearby.

The Friends of Corte Madera believe the DEIR is inadequate in meeting the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The significant environmental, habitat, wetlands, water quality, wildlife, biological, traffic and other impacts must all be properly addressed, analyzed and if found to be significant, must be mitigated. The Town Council must make specific findings on each impact and a specific mitigation plan must be provided by the developer.

In a situation such as this, where a private landowner is asking for significant increase in allowable development density, height, and floor area ratio (FAR), to such an extent that it will require a special General Plan Amendment, just for this property, these considerations are not trivial.

Cities are not obligated to change their General Plans or ordinances, provide up-zoning for added density, or offer variances to private, for profit lands owners and commercial developers, regardless of the revenue enhancing potential of their proposals. It is reasonable for residents and taxpayers to expect legal compliance, appropriately scaled design, and compensating public benefits for such “entitlements.”

We all support property rights, but there is no right to “extra” property rights for anyone.

Being able to submit a comment on an EIR is something that everyone should take advantage of regardless of their opinion. For more information, please please click on this link to read the Comment Letter.