By Susie Steimle

CORTE MADERA (KPIX 5) — There’s a fight brewing in Marin County where a developer wants to pave over a pond and build a hotel.

It’s behind the Best Western in Corte Madera, just off U.S. Highway 101. The pond known as Edgewater Lagoon was originally man-made.

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Environmentalists and some neighbors want the pond protected, but others support the developers.

The small pond has caused a lot of controversy.

Neighbors are divided on whether the owners of the hotel should be allowed to fill in this pond and build a Marriott hotel in its place.

It’s a fight that started more than two years ago.

Some worry about the bird population being displaced here, most recently biologists found proof of widgeon grass which could qualify it as an aquatic den and therefore make it worthy of protection.

Initially the city approved the project. But now it’s taking a second look.

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Ted Mackay said he was opposed to the construction.

Mackay said, “The whole environmental impact report is tailored for the owner. These mitigating factors are nonsense”

The mitigating factors Mackay is talking about is a deal the developer offered, to protect wetlands in Novato in exchange for approval to pave over the Corte Madera pond.

But not everyone sees this as such a bad deal.

Sean Webster lives near the project and said he doesn’t see the harm in it.

“There’s already a hotel across the street anyway. If it’s an upgrade I don’t really see the harm in it,” Webster said.

Both the town and the developer declined to go on camera for this story, but they did tell say a decision will be made on whether the project can move forward in early January.

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Public comment is encouraged between now and then.