Marina housing project OK’d

A scaled-down version of one of the most controversial projects in city history won unanimous support from city leaders, but groundbreaking could be a year or more away.

Peninsula Park, the project formerly known as Marina Shores Village — the high-rise residential project overturned by voters in 2004 — includes a plan to build 796 townhouses, 10,000 square feet of retail space and a 200-room hotel on Peninsula Marina, near Pete’s Harbor.

The Redwood City Council on Monday unanimously approved an environmental study of the project’s potential impacts, zoning changes that would allow residences to be built on the site and an agreement with developer Glenborough-Pauls that would ensure that the company provides its fair share for roadway and school improvements and builds 40 affordable units within the site.

“We’re pleased we’ve gotten as far as we have, but we have a long ways to go,” said Glenborough-Pauls partner Paul Powers. Now, Powers must obtain federal and state permits to build on Peninsula Marina, which is a federal and state waterway. The permit-securing process could take another year, said Redwood City planner Blake Lyon.

If all those permits go through, construction could begin in 2009 and build-out could take 10 to 15 years, depending on the housing market, Lyon said.

The Friends of Redwood City, the resident group that fostered the referendum against Marina Shores Village, criticized the project’s plan in 2004 for 1,930 residential units in 17 towers up to 240 feet tall. Leaders of the group say Peninsula Park is a better plan, but maintain that it’s still too far from public transit.

“It’s a step in the right direction, but we shouldn’t have housing in an isolated spot like that,” said resident Ralph Nobles.

Powers sees the project as an opportunity to bring more housing closer to the 52,000 jobs in Redwood City. Right now, 43,000 of those are held by people who live outside the area, he said.

“The jobs/housing imbalance is a real problem on the Peninsula, and we will reduce vehicle-miles traveled and carbon dioxide dramatically if we place housing in close proximity to existing jobs,” Powers said.

As Peninsula Park is built, the first preference for home sales will be given to buyers who live within four miles of the marina and who agree to commute via public transit four days a week or who have no commute, Powers said. The developers will also provide a shuttle to the downtown Redwood City Caltrain station.

bwinegarner@examiner.com

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