Although the history of his proposed 20-unit Blithedale Terrace residential project dates back to 2004, developer Phil Richardson has been quick to point to anyone who will listen that his oft-debated proposal has yet to have an actual public hearing over its specific merits.
That is set to change next month, when the Mill Valley Planning Commission is scheduled to both make a recommendation to the City Council regarding certification of the project's final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and deliberate over the project itself.
Before that happens, Richardson hopes to sit down with the project's neighbors, many of whom are vehement opponents of it, to discuss the project in a less formal setting than a public hearing. He's hosting a get-together about the Blithedale Terrace project in the Forest Room of the Mill Valley Community Center this Thursday, June 14, at 7 p.m.
"Let's just sit around a room and chat," Richardson said. "I'm happy to answer people's questions in a relaxed setting."
The project calls for the construction of 20 homes between 1,100 and 2,000 square feet arranged along three parallel rows up the hillside in the Kite Hill area near the intersection of East Blithedale Avenue and Camino Alto. Richardson bought the 1.2-acre parcel of land in July 2004. Of the 20 units, two would be reserved for lower-income households and two for moderate-income households. Richardson said he expects the development to house around 45 people.
The project is the subject of for a variety of reasons, including its possible impact on traffic and safety in the area. The Blithedale Terrace property was included in the city’s 2003 Housing Element update as a place for a 20-unit residential development as part of the city’s efforts to meet housing allocation requirements from the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG).