After Revival, a land deal is pending | Petaluma Argus Courier

As the dust settles on Petaluma’s Steamer Landing Park following the Rivertown Revival gala, local officials are planning for the future of the land the annual gathering occupies — the McNear Peninsula.

The 32-acre peninsula has long been lauded by the city as a prime location for a park, and local agencies are now banding together to unlock the land for public use. The historic waterfront parcel is entangled in a complex web of ownership and is governed by stringent land use mandates that all but solidify its future use as a public park or open space.

The McNears, an early Petaluma family that’s credited with developing the city, have owned the middle portion of the plot since the 1850s. Last year, that 20.75-acre swath hit the market for $3 million, a price that stunned some local agencies hoping purchase and conserve the property.

The listing attracted significant interest from developers with aspirations for mixed-use projects, but the property was pulled from the market last month after it was clear zoning issues would impede development, according to listing agent Timo Rivetti.

“Literally in the first week, we had at least five (developers) contact us,” he said, adding that the property could have been built out as a “mini Manhattan” if zoning permitted. “One had a checkbook ready to go, but the zoning wouldn’t allow for it.”

The McNear’s property is also situated between two other parcels, the city’s 10-acre Steamer Landing Park at the base of the peninsula and a small plot at the end that’s owned by Basin Street Properties. A conservation easement over the park poses roadblocks to accessibility.

The McNear Peninsula has been designated as a public park in the city’s general plan since 1961. That zoning, which was altered by the city at an unknown time, halted the family’s plans of constructing a brick factory, said Debbie Seigworth, a member of the McNear family. Acknowledging the…

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