August 15, 2007: Marin IJ Article

Trees cut to make way for Loch Lomond development

by Mark Prado
Marin IJ

The first work on the redevelopment of San Rafael’s Loch Lomond Marina started this week, with workers axing 71 trees to make way for the project.

The Village at Loch Lomond Marina will include 81 residential units, 22,250 square feet of commercial space, a new full-service grocery store and a shoreline park. The boat marina will remain.

Construction is at least a year off, San Rafael officials said.

“Right now, it’s just the trees that are being removed,” said Bob Brown, the city’s community development director.

In late spring, dirt will be placed to fill in the site. It will take up to a year for the soil to settle, Brown said. Only after that will work on buildings begin.

Robert O’Briant, whose home overlooks the marina, was sorry to see the trees – mostly cypress – go.

“There are so many songbirds that are affected,” he said. “I have walked down there for 30 years, and I’m concerned about the birds.”

The tree removal was approved by the city, Brown said.

Officials with Mill Valley-based developer Thompson Dorfman Partners, which is working on the project, could not be reached for comment.

The tree work follows six years of hearings and debate on the contentious project. It was approved by the San

Rafael City Council last year after sessions that drew capacity crowds as residents voiced concerns about noise, views, traffic and other issues.