At the Corte Madera city council meeting tonight at 7:30 a high density development at Tamal Vista and Wornum next to the freeway with 180 units will be discussed. That’s at least 200 more cars commuting, driving to schools, shopping, etc.
As a member of the Larkspur Citizen Advisory Committee working on the 20 year general plan, I can tell you there is pressure and even ABAG-imposed quotas for towns to BUILD, BUILD, BUILD under the trendy bureaucratic theory that if you build high density housing near transportation and shopping…. instead of car trips, there will be bucolic errands and commuting through walking, biking, and bus rides. In my opinion, these ideas will choke us with exhaust from cars idling in traffic and the real winners in what they call “intensification” are the developers cloaking themselves in the label of being ‘green’. The sustainable community emporer is wearing no clothes and the only thing green about deals like this is the money. For academic stats on the real-world effects of what a utopian ‘high density’ planning policy’s effects on a community actually are, find “The Paradox of Intensification” on YouTube. I will try to link it here when I get a chance. Very dry statistics on Portland but the presentation demonstrates the obvious: Build a lot of a housing in a small space and the local community experiences more traffic jams and more pollution. I’m all for property rights and the rights for developers to make a profit– but I say keep the developments within common sense zoning parameters.
If you’re interested in whether Larkspur changes the 20 Year Plan to “encourage” high density building to meet the ABAG goal of 382 NEW units by 2014, please let me know privately at JLeitzell@apr.com and I’ll put you on an update list. By the way, the total Marin County new units to be built as set by the Association for Bay Area Governments (an agency we have funded to the tune of several hundred million dollars) is 4,882. For the ‘sustainable community’ vision check out the illustrations at OneBayArea.org. Then think about what almost 5,000 new housing units will look like here.