County of Marin - News Releases - Parking Ordinance

For Immediate Release
November 28, 2018

County Parking Ordinance Expected to be Revised

Requirements to be updated for specific developments in unincorporated areas

San Rafael, CA – The County of Marin is considering changes to parking development standards in order to reduce parking requirements for most facilities other than single-family detached units.

Parking spaces in front of a housing complexThe potential parking and loading ordinance revision would change requirements for all sorts of developments in unincorporated Marin.
The potential parking and loading ordinance revision would change requirements for developments in unincorporated Marin that qualify as either mixed-use, special needs, group homes, convalescent homes, multifamily, seniors-only facilities, accessory dwelling units, affordable housing, or are located in areas with easy access to public transit.

On December 4, the Marin County Board of Supervisors will conduct a first reading of the potential ordinance changes and confirm a merit hearing for December 18. The proposed changes are intended to encourage a variety of housing types, reduce vehicle dependency and reflect updated state-level regulations. Additionally the revision will help facilitate housing and development goals under the Countywide Plan.

The Marin County Department of Public Works (DPW) and the Community Development Agency (CDA) enlisted the services of Dyett & Bhatia, an urban and regional planning firm located in Oakland, to assist in the review of countywide parking and loading standards in comparison with other jurisdictions. A review of affordable housing policies, including those pertaining to public transit-oriented areas, was conducted as part of the project.

The review found that compared to 14 jurisdictions analyzed, Marin County either matches or exceeds the amount of parking requirements for the wide range of developments. Based on the research and statewide policy changes regarding affordable housing requirements and electric vehicle parking, DPW and CDA have proposed replacing the County’s parking ordinance (specifically Marin County Municipal Code’s Chapter 24.04, Division III) with a new set of standards.

The proposed changes include reduced parking space requirements that reflect new state regulations for affordable housing and other developments located near public transit; tandem parking for residential uses; increased requirements for bicycle parking and access; and the allowance for electric vehicle parking to count toward traditional parking space needs. The proposed ordinance also addresses new standards for parking lots with 10 or more spaces, such as improved lighting requirements and environmental considerations. 

In line with the Countywide Plan, a long-term benefit of reducing parking is to encourage the use of alternative means of transportation. By encouraging public transit and non-motorized transportation, as well as fostering more pedestrian-friendly urban developments, vehicle emissions are expected to decline, resulting in improved air quality for Marin County.

The Board of Supervisors will hear the agenda item sometime after its meeting begins at 10 a.m. The Board chamber is in Suite 330 of the Marin County Civic Center, 3501 Civic Center Drive, San Rafael. Meetings are webcast on the County’s website, archived for later viewing and shown live on Comcast Channel 27.

All public meetings and events sponsored or conducted by the County of Marin are held at accessible sites. If you are a person with a disability and require information or materials in alternative formats – or if you require accommodation to participate in a county program, service or activity – please contact department staff at (415) 473-7331 or (415) 473-4381 (voice/TTY) or e-mail


Berenice Davidson
Principal Civil Engineer
Public Works

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 304
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-3770
Email: Berenice Davidson
DPW Website