MARTINEZ — A hotly contested housing improvement that has been on-again, off-again ever because it was proposed a couple of years in the past is again on monitor to be constructed on a golf course that closed in 2015 .
The Martinez Metropolis Council on Tuesday unanimously accredited a last map of the deliberate improvement, permitting Harmony-based developer DeNova Properties to start grading the location, laying pipes and assembling the infrastructure wanted to assist 65 properties and an 8.2-acre public park on the former Pine Meadow Golf Course.
The council’s choice was a giant step ahead following years of public debate that generated lawsuits and an election with competing poll measures.
It got here after a protracted standoff between DeNova Properties and metropolis officers, who wouldn’t log off on the venture out of concern the proposed park’s basins for capturing stormwater runoff have been poorly designed and will ship water flooding onto Vine Hill Method.
In response, DeNova Properties in November sued Martinez for “dragging its toes” and sought $35 million in damages, which if awarded might have bankrupted town. The developer contended its concrete drainage basins would scale back total flooding on the park.
A compromise subsequently was reached over the dimensions and placement of the basins, although the design has not been finalized. Nonetheless, DeNova has not withdrawn its lawsuit and continues to be in search of damages for the delay.
The council on Tuesday directed a metropolis fee to now give attention to the proposed park’s design and schedule public hearings for enter.
“This marks a watershed second we’re about to embark on,” Councilman Mark Ross mentioned. “It’s a legacy in the way to finally, if thornily, come to an settlement on the way to use property in an city setting sooner or later.”
Public debates about whether or not the land at Vine Hill Method must be developed in any respect predate the shuttered golf course’s creation, Ross mentioned in an interview.
At boards to be held by town’s parks and recreation fee, the general public will get some say on what facilities the park ought to supply, reminiscent of basketball courts and playgrounds.
Although the location presently is open area, stormwater that drains off the properties and walkways to be constructed there’ll should be caught by giant drainage basins.
At Tuesday’s assembly, Tim Platt, a member of Buddies of Pine Meadow, urged the developer to make the park as pedestrian-friendly as doable.
“Our first new park in 20 years is of nice significance to Martinez residents and we’re trusting you to face up and do what’s in the perfect curiosity for all of us,” Platt mentioned.
Buddies of Pine Meadow is a group group that originally opposed the housing improvement however entered right into a settlement agreement in 2019 with town and DeNova after the developer promised to pay $1.5 million to construct a big public park on the former golf course website.
The proposed improvement was also contested in a 2018 election. Residents accredited a poll measure that requires any modifications to open area designations to get the OK of voters; the dropping measure would have exempted non-public land from the voter requirement. Though the non-public golf course property was designated open area/leisure in metropolis paperwork for about 40 years, the Metropolis Council had modified its designated use to permit housing.
In 2019, an appellate court docket dominated towards DeNova and town in a profitable effort by group preservationists to overturn the developer’s original plan for a 92-unit improvement over 27 acres.