County of Marin - News Releases - Housing Element

For Immediate Release
December 09, 2014

Supervisors Approve Housing Element

Key portion of Countywide Plan to be sent to state for certification

San Rafael, CA – An updated inventory of Marin County sites that could be developed into housing will be sent to the State of California now that the Marin County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve it.

After nearly a year of research, outreach and feedback, the Supervisors reviewed and approved the Draft Housing Element on December 9 after hearing feedback from dozens of residents at the Marin County Civic Center’s Board Chamber.

The Housing Element, which addresses housing needs for unincorporated areas of Marin County for 2015-2023, will include 378 units, down from the 441 recommended in November by the Marin County Planning Commission. The total includes 221 at the St. Vincent/Silveira property east of Marinwood near San Pablo Bay, and 82 units just across Highway 101 at the Marinwood Plaza shopping center site.

All eight sites on the list are already zoned for additional housing. Forty units were planned for second units scattered throughout unincorporated Marin, and 198 units were included as a buffer – above the state-required minimum of 185 units – to help prevent County planners from having to reopen the Housing Element during the course of the eight-year plan duration.

In addition, the Board made changes to a number of programs, including elimination of a program to study density equivalents.

The Housing Element 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 new Housing Element identifies opportunities for significantly fewer housing units than the certified 2007-2014 Housing Element, which listed accommodations for 791 homes to meet the County’s Regional Housing Need Allocation of 773 units.

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 engaged in a community discussion about housing needs in unincorporated Marin for more than two years and has hosted 19 public meetings on the subject.

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