Doom and Gloom or Rosy Paths at Hanna Ranch
- Category: Government
Hanna Ranch gets a green light... community of Novato stuck with a legacy of housing, transportation, and environmental concerns.
If you listen to the video of the meeting, the community was 14-1 against this proposal, 'as-is'. No one of the 14 said that it was not the right thing to do in the big picture. It was how. Many items in the EIR being suspect, projections of revenue (including assumptions of existing businesses/hotels needing more competition in this economy) based on faulty assumptions, questions of why our city officials are so easy to give up our right to an important easement, and lastly no accommodation for any of the possibly 300 new low-income workers which ABAG will insist be accounted for by Novato were just some of the tangible and valid reasons why asked for a delay. If these issues could be dealt with fairly, I doubt we would be in any position to say no to such a potentially wonderful project for Novato.
However, with the only dissenting voice being stiffled by Mayor Denise Athas, it appeared that the council had made up its mind before the meeting. Jeannie MacLeamy, with a careful analysis across 4 areas (Environmental, Land Use, Access and Financial Benefits) , seemed to be on-point with many of her items she considered, but to simply say 'clustering low-income housing in a single area is discriminatory' was not sufficiently addressed.
Did she even consider pushing the developer to consider off-site housing within Novato? Doubtful, as it appears from her comments that we should not 'burden' a project coming to the city with the costs that their employees will place on top of our existing residents.
Unfortunate, but it appears that Jeannie has flopped back on the side of business, and Eric's first key decision found him on that side as well. As several speakers said, letting the Hanna Ranch project off without ANY attempted mitigation both for increased emissions and jobs, then the council lines up solidly on the side of developers and against the people. We cannot have the existing housing requirements added to, simply because Staff is enticed by revenue potentials.