|Marin Conservation League | 175 N. Redwood Dr., Ste. 135 | San Rafael CA 94903 | Tel 415.485.6257 | Fax 415.485.6259
Marin Conservation League has issued comments on the Final EIR for the Hanna Ranch site, a project which was approved by the Novato City Council on December 13, 2011. This 19.7 acre site is located east of Highway 101, just south of Vintage Oaks shopping center. The property is bounded by the Beverly Ehreth Ecological Pond, the railroad tracks and the Petaluma Marsh Wildlife Area on the east, a 4 acre parcel on the south entitled for office use, and highway 101 on the west.
MCL commented on the adequacy of the DEIR (refer to Documents and Correspondence, below), pointing out the need to suppress and direct night lighting to avoid disrupting wildlife in the contiguous wetlands, not having any construction within the 50 foot setback of the Beverly Ehreth Pond, and preserving the floating easement for potential circulation improvements at a later date.
Proposed development – five new structures
The proposed project is a commercial development that includes a maximum total of 136,500 square feet of development, including: 34,700 square feet of retail use, 21,200 square feet of office use, 10,000 square feet of restaurant use, a 70,600 square-foot (116 room) hotel, and associated grading, parking, landscaping, and the extension of infrastructure.
Two commercial buildings are proposed for the panhandle area at the northern end of the site, in close proximity to the Vintage Oaks Shopping Center. The retail component is anticipated to be a mixture of both neighborhood and regional serving uses. Building A would be an approximately 13,570 square-foot, single story retail building. Building B would be a two-story building and would include approximately 21,050 square feet of ground floor retail use and 21,190 square feet of office use on the second floor.
Building C, a restaurant, would be in close proximity to the retail and office/retail buildings and restaurant Building E, a second restaurant, would be west across from the motor court of the hotel. The approximately 70,600 square-foot, 116 room, three- and four-story hotel (Building D) would be located centrally on the project site, between the three knolls. It is anticipated that the hotel would be affiliated with a nationally recognized hotel company. The anticipated hotel amenities include a high-ceiling lobby space, continental breakfast dining area, a small meeting room, fitness center, business center, snack shop, a guest laundry facility, and an outdoor pool.
A Class I bike and pedestrian path would be included as part of the proposed project and would generally begin at the northern end of the site and continue south to Hanna Ranch Road. Some segments of the path would be located off-site, within the SMART right-of-way. Two potential alignments for the proposed bike path are evaluated in the document; therefore, two conceptual site plans have been prepared to depict the proposed project. Upon conclusion of the environmental review process and prior to project approval, the project applicant will select one of the alignments and grant that alignment to the City in the form of an easement/offer of dedication. An existing floating easement for a four-lane arterial street that the City currently holds over the property is proposed to be vacated.