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News Release —
Revised Plan Reduces Marin City Housing Proposal

County, developer negotiate solution to address neighborhood concerns
An aerial view of the Marin City neighborhood. (Google Earth photo)

Body of News Release

Marin County, CA – A new affordable housing project in Marin City could now be significantly smaller – a maximum of 42 units instead of the originally proposed 74 – in response to concerns expressed by the Marin City community. 

The Marin County Community Development Agency (CDA) has negotiated an innovative solution with a developer that proposes development of a property at 825 Drake Avenue in Marin City, across the street from Rocky Graham Park. The solution includes an agreement that approximately 32 units taken off the Drake Avenue plans would be considered for another location outside Marin City.

“This project has concerned me from the outset,” said District 3 Supervisor Stephanie Moulton-Peters, who represents Marin City. “After a lot of work based on community input and collaboration with the developer, I believe this proposal works to better balance the clear need for new affordable housing while better fitting within the surrounding neighborhood that has for too long been overlooked. Within the limits of state law, this new proposal reduces the size and scale of the project, including more parking spaces and improved landscaping, in a community that has uniquely suffered decades of inequitable policies since World War II.”

In 2020, the County approved a proposal from developers Pacific West Communities and Affordable Housing Land Consultants for a five-story, 74-unit affordable housing project. The project is being developed under the provisions of Senate Bill 35 (SB35), a 2017 state law that allows certain projects to bypass normally required environmental review, move faster through the review process, and restricts local agencies from rejecting projects if they have minimum affordable housing guarantees. 

The revised proposal would allow initial grading for the new building and parking area to begin while the County and the developer work toward  permitting of both a smaller building at 825 Drake and a building at the second site outside of Marin City. Interested community members can review all updates and information about the project online. Next steps will include bringing the revised term sheet to the full Board of Supervisors to formally approve the new agreement between the County and the developer. 

CDA Director Sarah Jones said the County and the developer have negotiated extensively over the past few months to address community concerns and reduce the size of the proposed development. The solution factors in the unique circumstances and history of Marin City, as well as that the project was approved before the 2023 adoption of an updated countywide housing plan.

“We feel this change gives Marin City the voice they didn’t have a chance to express when the project was originally proposed and approved,” Jones said. “We appreciate the dedication of Marin City leaders to convey to the County their concerns and desires. We are now making sure that housing opportunities are distributed around the county and this new proposal helps carry out that goal.”

The developer will start grading the 825 Drake this spring but will require additional approvals before building beyond the foundations. While that work is underway, CDA and the developer will take the necessary steps toward permitting a second site for a portion of the units elsewhere. Both parties are committed to a final outcome of 74 new affordable homes in Southern Marin and hope these will be distributed over two sites and in two communities instead of in one.


Page updated May 1, 2024