Condo community planned near Petaluma’s Steamer Landing Park

The project, with about 20 units designated as affordable housing, would encircle McNear Canal on D Street.|

Portions of a property near Steamer Landing Park could see the construction of a condominium community, as Petaluma looks to increase its housing inventory and boost connection to its historic downtown district.

The 132-unit project, to be called Oyster Cove, would run the perimeter along the McNear Canal on D Street, southeast of the Petaluma River. Featuring 5-8 units per building, it would include 11 multi-story, multi-use units, about 2,100 square feet in size, and 121 multi-story attached, two- to three-bedroom residential units ranging between 1,345 and 1,995 square feet.

“We’re excited to work with the community to create a great project that adds to and builds upon Petaluma’s wonderful downtown,” said Scott Ward, founding partner of San Francisco-based UrbanMix Development.

The property, owned by Barbara and Michael Lind, is adjacent to the Steamer Landing Park property that has drawn attention in recent months as the city of Petaluma looked to remove a homeless encampment of nearly two dozen people near the SMART tracks off D Street. Developers hope to revitalize the area to increase public access to the park.

The project proposal includes about 20 units designated as affordable housing to meet the needs of low-income residents, and would also include up to 12 accessory dwelling units, or granny units, on the ground floor.

It is also expected to “preserve and enhance pedestrian connectivity in existing neighborhoods and require a well-connected pedestrian network linking new and existing developments...,” said planning manager Andrew Trippel in a Wednesday email. The active transportation network includes a bike trail to provide more connection to the downtown.

Additionally, Ward said the project will have space for commercial use, and there are plans to adapt the Watershed warehouse for use as “river-focused commercial space,” possibly including a boat house, a coffee shop and restaurant space.

Trippel and Ward also addressed concerns raised in the past over riverfront development that could result in flooding of nearby communities.

“The project is designed to provide long-term protection from sea level rise,” Ward said, adding that the project will take into account possible sea level rise of more than 6 1/2 feet, or according to projections of sea level rise by the year 2100.

Ward said all proposed buildings will have a ground floor elevation of 14 feet or higher to provide protection against a projected rise in sea level. The trail system around the site will also be designed to allow for future adaptive measures, such as raising the trail or floodwall construction.

Trippel added that an environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act is being prepared.

At this point a date has not been set for a Planning Commission review of the project. It would have to be approved by the commission before seeking City Council approval.

Ward said Oyster Cove is expected to be a “legacy project” for Petaluma and its riverfront, calling it “a worthy goal that we’re doing our best to achieve.”

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article mistakenly identified the property’s owner and project location.

Amelia Parreira is a staff writer for the Argus-Courier. She can be reached at or 707-521-5208.

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