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Petition in Opposition to Proposed Blithedale Terrace Project

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 (rendering of proposed development at 575 E. Blithedale -
the vacant lot just west of Camino Alto)

To:       Mill Valley Planning Commission and City Council
From:   Mill Valley Residents
Re:       Proposed Blithedale Terrace Project

We, the undersigned residents of Mill Valley, hereby submit this petition requesting that you a) reject the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for the proposed development of 20 residential units at 575 East Blithedale Avenue known as Blithedale Terrace; b) deny the application for a General Plan amendment to rezone the site for inappropriate density; and c) ultimately reject the project itself unless it is downsized to be consistent with the character of the surrounding neighborhoods and the scale of the neighboring residential structures.

Developer Phil Richardson has applied to the City for approval of a General Plan Amendment which includes rezoning of the parcel, a Tentative Subdivision Map, and Design Review to construct 20 attached residential units up to three stories in height (with a total elevation of 80 feet above street level due to the steepness of the slope) on a 1.2 acre site northwest of the intersection of East Blithedale Avenue and Camino Alto (Parcel #30-021-47).

In order to accommodate residential construction, the lot would have to be rezoned from its current designation as PA – Professional Administrative Office to a Planned Development (PD) designation.

We believe the FEIR should be rejected and the request for rezoning denied because:

  • The project as proposed would result in unacceptable adverse impacts on public safety and traffic congestion due to the increased number of vehicles attempting ingress and egress onto East Blithedale, at what is already the City’s most congested intersection.
  • The project proposes height, unit density, and building massing that is grossly inappropriate and out of character with the surrounding neighborhoods and structures, which would result in significant adverse visual and aesthetic impacts to those neighborhoods, and be in direct violation of the City's Design Guidelines and General Plan policies for the area.
  • The conclusions of the EIR that the project will have no significant impacts which cannot be mitigated, particularly with regard to traffic and visual criteria, are unrealistic and without basis in fact.
  • The project’s density would result in the complete loss of valuable open space, the obliteration of vegetation on the final foothill of Mt. Tam, and a loss of the aesthetic quality of the natural entry to Mill Valley.

THEREFORE, we the undersigned do respectfully request that the Planning Commission and the City Council reject the FEIR, deny the applicant’s proposal for the rezoning of the property, and ultimately reject the proposed project itself as wholly inappropriate for the site.

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