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July 2001

Moo Town News

By Judy Borello

Dear Marin County Planners,

My name is Judy Borello and I am legally blind, so please excuse my handwriting; and I don't type, but please take the time to read this.

I have lived in the Point Reyes area for over 30 years and have served two terms as President of the Business Association and, for many years, as a Director of that Association. I also sit on the Board of Directors of the Marin County Farm Bureau. But, most importantly, for over 30 years I have owned The Old Western Saloon and Hotel, which is located directly across the street from the proposed E.A.H. low-cost housing project.

The logical facts of precisely why this project would be detrimental to our small village of Point Reyes Station are as follows:

1) It would populate this little town, overnight, by over one third of what it presently is. Parking is a big problem downtown right now, let alone adding to it in such a magnitude.

2) In the 1970's, the Point Reyes Business Association and the Farm Bureau worked with the former planners (Planning Commission) to set the Coast Guard Housing Development off to the right-hand side of the village behind the Whale of a Deli at the far end of town. the Coast Guard originally wanted to place their housing right where this project is going in today.

This E.A.H. project will overwhelm the little village, just as the Coast Guard Housing Development would have done were it not relocated, which has turned out well.

3) Please consider the fact that the 19 acres left inside the village will be the only land left for business or commercial growth. If housing takes up most of it, where will the town expand in the future for businesses which supply jobs. It will strangle the future potential of the village to grow as businesses. We are not just responsible for the village now, but whatever we decide, we should consider the ramifications 50 to 100 years down the road.

4) This E.A.H. project is a temporary bandage for a larger problem. Low-cost housing is very much needed, many in West Marin need a place to live that is lower-cost, but to sacrifice the middle of town and suffocate it with a housing development that will house maybe 15 local families is definitely not worth the trade-off.

I write for the Coastal Post Newspaper and investigated E.A.H. I discovered that, in other projects, they have brought non-community people into their housing developments.

5) Having spent the past 30 years across the street from this potential project, I can attest to the fact that, in most winters, The Old Western Saloon's basement pumps out hundreds of gallons of water which come underground from the knoll across the street. So far, the water has been clean and doesn't smell, but with 100 toilets flushing five times a day, I certainly don't want to start pumping out "brown" water that will stink to high heaven. If that happens, I will have no other option but to sue E.A.H., the County, and whoever else is responsible.

6) The Point Reyes Village Association held a vote on this project and the vote was No. A lot of people joined the Association because they were against the project and wanted to vote. After the vote was taken, many of us got discouraged with the Association for not honoring our vote. And may I vigorously add that Weilke Buxbaum is not representing the community, nor is Michael Mery.

If the project is allowed to go through, there would be a plus side for me. Being the commercial buildings would be scarce, my building would definitely go up in value. The septic from the project would probably be hauled to the sewage ponds at Borello ranch and the people who live there might meander over to the Saloon and have a beer. But in all good conscience, the town of Point Reyes Station has been very good to me, along with many people, and I feel adamantly that this project would overwhelm the town and should be, as most housing is now, located on the perimeters right outside the historic village itself.

P.S. As I write this letter, I jut got word that E.A.H. is redesigning its buildings and not letting the public know that they are changing much of what was already drawn up with some help from the community. Another breach of public trust which is very negative for the community.

 

 

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