For both developer Phil Richardson and the of his proposed at the base of Kite Hill, the stakes are high.
They got a bit higher this week when those opponents raised the height of the that have overshadowed the debate about the project itself in recent weeks.
The fate of the , located at 575 East Blithedale Ave. at Camino Alto, may not become apparent until this fall, but strong local opposition, which involves six local neighborhood associations, continues to ensure that signs protesting the development remain visible, despite by erecting a fence on the Blithedale lot.
, which read “20 Houses Here = Daily Gridlock” and “Help Save Kite Hill,” are posted on the property of Stephen Gregoire, whose home stands next to the property at the base of Kite Hill near Camino Alto on which Richardson has proposed to build 20 homes arranged along three parallel rows up the hillside. Members of the "Friends of Kite Hill" organization raised the signs higher to avoid being blocked by Richardson's fences along the edge of Gregoire's property and to make them clearly visible to East Blithedale drivers.
Richardson, who believes the signs may not be legal, originally decided to build the fence because he was "tired of seeing them." His project hit a delay as opposition rose, so he decided to do something about the signs. He said he didn't have much of a reaction to opponents' decision to move the signs up.
"I just put up the fence - that's it," he said.
Richard DiMaio, a board member of the Freeman Park Neighborhood Association, confirmed that the signs were repositioned by "The Friends of Kite Hill." He said the group represents more than 1,200 Mill Valley households, the Friends of Mill Valley organization and 1,500 people who have signed a petition to save Kite Hill.
"As the signs were being repositioned, many people gave the thumbs up and honked supportively," said DiMaio. "Some people stopped to chat, and some even offered to help. It was an outpouring of support."