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Fiscal study released for Riverfront project

The next step in a major development proposed for Petaluma, the fiscal review, was recently released, indicating that the large project could bring new jobs to town and a boost to the city's coffers.

The recently released economic analysis for Basin Street's Riverfront project is set to go before the City Council for review on April 1. The report describes a mixed-use development on about 36 acres at the intersection of Highway 101 and Lakeville Highway that would consist of 273 residential units, 90,000 square feet of commercial space, and a 120-room hotel.

According to the report, the project is expected to generate a net financial impact of about $616,000 to the city, mainly stemming from Transient Occupancy Tax. In addition, it's expected the project would add 348 full-time equivalent jobs.

The developer also plans to donate land to the Petaluma Small Craft Center Coalition to be used for a boat house.

Basin Street Properties, which developed Petaluma's Theatre District and owns many commercial properties around town, says it has been working closely with the city's contracted planners since it first submitted a preliminary application in February of 2011. It has previously tried to develop the land — first as a 424-home project in 2005, and later as a mixture of high-end stores, a boutique hotel and residences.

The goal, said Basin Street's Paul Andronico, is to create a project that fits the city's needs and is well within the parameters of the Central Petaluma Specific Plan and General Plan, which might negate the need for a full-scale Environmental Impact Report.

It won't be clear whether or not an Environmental Impact Report is required until the city finishes conducting its initial environmental study of the project, which is expected to happen in the next month or so.

According to city Planning Manager Geoff Bradley, staff has not yet identified "significant impacts" from the project that would require an EIR. Some community members, meanwhile, have expressed concern about the size of the project and potential impacts on the surrounding area.

Previously, the Petaluma Fire Marshall raised concerns over emergency access to the property. Bradley said that the developer has worked with the Planning, Fire and Public Works Departments to come up with a solution, a second access road. A third party consultant has also reviewed the solution and found it satisfactory, Bradley said.

To learn more about the project or read the report, visit this webpage: http://www.cityofpetaluma.net/cdd/riverfront.html.

(Contact Jamie Hansen at jamie.hansen@ar guscourier.com)


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