County of Marin - News Releases - Housing Element

For Immediate Release
December 02, 2014

Supervisors to Review Draft Housing Element

Hearing on December 9 addresses key update of Countywide Plan

San Rafael, CA – After nearly a year of research, outreach and feedback, the Marin County Board of Supervisors will review the Draft Housing Element at a December 9 public hearing that addresses housing needs for unincorporated areas of Marin County.

A view of a Marin home with poppies in the foreground.The Marin County Planning Commission recommended the draft to the Board of Supervisors at the conclusion of their November 17 hearing. The Board is scheduled to take up the matter at 1:30 p.m. December 9 (time subject to change).

The Draft includes a sites inventory that lists eight existing sites in unincorporated Marin already zoned for additional housing. The Draft is not a development plan; rather, it identifies opportunities that already exist. For development on any site to move forward, a specific project has to be pursued by the property owner. No homes would be approved or built without land owners and developers being required to submit detailed plans subject to thorough review by the County and public input.

The Draft identifies opportunities for significantly fewer housing units than the certified 2007-2014 Housing Element, which listed sites to accommodate a total of 791 homes to meet the County’s Regional Housing Need Allocation of 773 units. The new state-required minimum for the 2015-2023 planning period is 185 units. To accommodate the allocation, the Draft carries forward a subset of the sites list from the certified Housing Element with a reduction in the number of units listed on specific sites. The Draft includes sites accommodating units above the minimum requirement of 185 units to be prepared for the possibility that development potential is removed or reduced on one of the listed sites during the planning period.

The purpose of the Housing Element, which is part of the Countywide Plan, is to achieve an adequate supply of decent, safe and affordable housing for Marin’s workforce, residents and special-needs populations in unincorporated areas. It assesses housing needs for a variety of income groups and presents a program to meet those needs. All California towns, cities and counties must regularly update their Housing Elements according to a 1969 state law; the County’s Housing Element has been updated five times.

CDA staff has been engaged in a community discussion about housing needs in unincorporated Marin for more than two years and has hosted 18 public meetings on the subject. As it continues the public outreach process, the County encourages interested residents to view the documents on the County’s Housing Element webpage, including answers to frequently asked questions. To receive the latest updates, sign up to receive email notifications.

Questions and comments can be emailed to staff directly at For more information, call the Planning Division at 415-473-6269.


Leelee Thomas
Planning Manager
Community Development Agency

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 308
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6697
Email: Leelee Thomas
Affordable Housing webpage