City Council sends plans for apartment complex back to drawing board

Developers of a high-end apartment complex in east Petaluma will need to reconsider their plans if they want to continue with their proposal before the City Council.

After a hearing Monday night that lasted past midnight, it appeared there weren't the necessary four votes to win approval for San Francisco developer JDA West's 144-unit complex at 35 Maria Drive, southeast of the Washington Square shopping center off South McDowell Boulevard.

The hearing was continued to an undetermined date to give the company an opportunity to determine whether a project that would satisfy the council's concerns would pencil out financially.

In August, the Planning Commission recommended approval of a general plan amendment and a zoning change to allow the complex, billed as a luxury development where 1,000-square-foot units would rent for $2,000 a month.

Following the commission's recommendations, a group of neighbors urged the city to require a full environmental impact report beyond what has been analyzed. JDA West argued the group hadn't met the legal burden to prove additional environmental study was needed.

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