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Marin Voice: A real test for debate over housing densities

February 15, 2015

The apartments at the old WinCup site in Corte Madera are nearing completion. Once that happens, we will finally have the chance to determine which planning philosophy is more accurate in the real world.

For the 20 years that I was on the Larkspur City Council, there were constant battles between what I called the “social density agitators” and the “realists.” The social density agitators were constantly pushing the agenda of higher and higher density, elimination of parking spaces for occupants of new housing, more bike and pedestrian paths, etc.

The realists, which I consider myself, refused to buy into the fantasy that you can turn suburban Marin into high-density enclaves and in doing so, most if not all of the occupants would take public transit to work and walk or bike to do most of their everyday shopping, and their kids would either ride a bike or walk to school.

However, during my time on the council, the two opposing views clashed only in theory because Marin had no high-density, limited-parking housing.

Now that will change with the WinCup apartments coming on line very soon.

The apartment complex represents close to the ideal that the social density agitators advocate. There are 180 units, made up of one- and two-bedroom apartments and some three-bedroom townhouses. According to the Corte Madera planning director, there are supposed to be 295 parking spaces, some of which will be assigned as guest parking. How are they going to allocate the extra 115 spaces among the 180 units and guest parking?

If you rent a three-bedroom unit does that mean, by definition, you are entitled to more than one space?

Talk about economic inequality smacking right into the issue of parking!… (more)

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