Tuesday’s Novato City Council meeting will include a discussion about the proposed commercial development at Hanna Ranch, an undeveloped property south of Vintage Oaks shopping center and just north of the highway 101/37 interchange.
The 19-acre development, which includes a hotel, restaurants and retail locations, in August by the Novato Design Review Commission. On Tuesday, the council is to accept or reject findings in the environmental impact report. A city source says Mayor Madeline Kellner will recuse herself from the discussion because of a possibility of a conflict of interest; her husband, biologist Clint Kellner, has relations with the company that did the EIR.
Proponents of the development have cited the additional choices for Novato residents to stay in town to spend their money, which leads to sales tax revenue. Also, the complex would lead to dozens of new jobs created and revamp a property that has been used illegally as an off-road motorcycle park.
Opponents have come down hard on the developers in the designs so that people who work in the hotel, restaurants or stores would have the option of living walking distance to their jobs. The city of Novato has to meet state-mandated quotas for affordable housing options, and grassroots groups are pressuring all developers to include housing to help acheive the quotas rather than creating the need for more high-density housing complexes around the city.
In addition to housing, opponents say additional traffic in the Vintage Oaks area would pose problems. Rowland Boulevard is to be the sole entry and exit road for the new development except for emergency access from Highway 37.
The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at .