The Larkspur Planning Commission has called for amendments to the city’s general plan to guide policy through 2040.
Last updated in 1990, the plan outlines the city’s growth and development goals. The committee considered the document and related environmental analysis when it met on Tuesday.
The Commission’s amendment request includes zoning designations for two properties: the former wastewater treatment plant in Larkspur Landing and the mobile home park in Greenbrae.
The 10.7-acre site at 2000 Larkspur Landing is owned by the Ross Valley Sanitary District. The property is also listed as a Housing Opportunity Site in the City’s Working Draft Housing Element, a chapter in the General Plan expected to be approved later this year.
In a draft general plan presented Tuesday, the site will be zoned as mixed-use with a one-acre open space buffer to protect adjacent areas of Miwok Park and Tub Lake from development.
The open space designation was outlined on a map customized to the approved project proposal in 2007, including the hotel. But sanitary district attorney Riley Hurd said the agency hopes to apply the mixed-use designation to the entire site because that project is no longer under consideration.
“While we recognize the need for an open space buffer on site, it will very likely be a different configuration to better screen and accommodate the latest project designs.” said Hurd.
Commissioner Liam Campbell suggested amending the zoning map to specifically designate sensitive habitats as open spaces.
“I think it makes sense for the Ross Valley Sanitary District’s request to regulate open spaces if sensitive areas on the property are still protected,” Campbell said. “There seem to be several ways to do that.”
Another site is the Golden Gate Trailer Park at 2000 Redwood Highway. The property was to be considered for mixed use zoning. Residents of the trailer park objected, saying many residents would be forced to evict.
Given that the city was updating the housing element and had identified several other residential sites, the commission agreed that no zoning changes were necessary.
Larkspur resident James Holmes told the commission there were many concerns about the accuracy of information in general planning and environmental analysis, including transport statistics and impacts on traffic, aesthetics, water supply, etc. Told.
In a summary of the environmental impact report, Holmes said, “While there are no fundamental changes from the previous general plan, it is not accurate with respect to the housing component. The housing component is a dramatic change.”
“Our EIR should honestly acknowledge all the problems this poses, even if the law imposes it on us,” Holmes said.
The committee has asked staff to take his comments into account in the next draft of the general plan.
The general plan update process began in 2010, said Elise Semonian, the city’s community development director. However, the city derailed when she began work on the Larkspur SMART Station Area Plan, a planning document that was never approved.
The general planning process started again in 2016. After several years of work, the environmental review process will begin in 2021. A draft environmental impact report was released in his November.
The general plan update includes chapters called elements such as land use, circulation, conservation, open spaces, noise and safety, as required by law.
A residential component is also part of the plan, but must be updated every eight years and approved separately.
Semonian said staff will work with consultants to respond to feedback from the commission and the community. A final draft general plan will be submitted to the Planning Commission in the coming months for recommendations to the City Council.
For more information on the General Plan, please visit cityoflarkspur.org/144/General-Plan-Update.