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Larkspur Residents Concerned Over Proposed High-Density Housing

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MILLBRAE (KPIX 5) – Residents in Larkspur are concerned over a proposed high-density housing project, saying it would become a nuisance.

It’s a small town with some big issues to face, including the biggest of Bay Area concerns. At issue: upwards of 900 residential units, along with offices, retail, and a hotel near the Marin County Mart, directly across from the Larkspur Ferry Terminal. A commuter train from Sonoma is also proposed at the site.

“It is near transit. This was an opportunity to study the possibility of adding housing in that area…potentially above and beyond what our current general plan allows,” said Larkspur Planning and Building Director Neal Toft.

That’s the idea: the Bay Area is growing and needs more places to live. But there are residents don’t like the idea.

Patricia Steele of the group Larkspur Fights Back is among those leading the charge against the idea which was born out of grants from regional transit and housing groups. And she bristles at the idea it’s just people don’t want more development in their backyards.

“We’re not talking about affordable housing for schoolteachers, and firefighters find affordable places to live. These are market rate houses that are just going to bring commuters from the city. Which our roads can’t handle,” Steele said.

It’s the talk under the driers at the Magnolia Avenue Salon, where almost everyone knows about the project and has an opinion.

“At the ferry they want to build more parking, and the ferry is just ripping and tearing that marsh, that valuable, precious marsh, to bits,” said Joyce Bonfield of Larkspur.

“It is really challenging to find someplace to live. 20 people looking at one apartment,” said Brittany Fay of Larkspur. “I think it could definitely be good for the growth of the community.”

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