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What is the role of Lucas Valley for Responsible Growth (LVFRG)?
LVFRG was formed to help residents be informed, updated and engaged on developments of Marin County’s Housing Element in our area. Our work is particularly focused on advocating for growth that does not exceed the numbers needed for public safety, environmental protection, and evacuation in the event of a wildfire or other natural disaster. We are also committed to the preservation of Lucas Valley Park, which includes the open space and accessible-to-all walking path off Jeannette Prandi Way. This park is extensively used and appreciated by residents of Rotary Village, and Upper and Lower Lucas Valley. Further, Lucas Valley Park provides safe passage for children to school and wildlife to water and habitat.
What is the Housing Element?
California state law requires all cities and counties to adopt a General Plan for development, including a Housing Element that identifies how it can meet projected housing needs at all income levels. Its purpose is to assure availability of housing for all Californians.
Does LVFRG oppose affordable housing development?
LVFRG does not oppose development. We support responsible growth that ensures public safety and preserves access to the natural beauty of Lucas Valley for both current and future residents.
How much housing does Marin County need to plan for, per the State allocations? The number of housing units each city and county must plan for is determined by the California Department of Housing and Community Development every eight years, referred to as housing cycles. In the eight year period from 2023 to 2031, all of Marin County is expected to develop a minimum of 14,405 housing units, an increase from 2,298 over the previous period. The allocation for unincorporated Marin County, including Lucas Valley, is 3,569 units compared with 185 for 2015 to 2023.
What does the proposed Housing Element update mean for Lucas Valley?
Lucas Valley is slated for a minimum of 80 low income units at 2 Jeannette Prandi Way, 58 low income units at 7 Mt. Lassen Drive, and 26 moderate income units at 1501 Lucas Valley Road. These numbers may likely increase due to state density bonus rules allowing developers to add additional units to a given project.
Why is evacuation planning an essential factor in development decisions for Lucas Valley?
Lucas Valley is part of the wildland urban interface, in a High Fire Hazard Severity Zone, and one of the thirteen Marin communities CAL FIRE has identified as having high risk of damage from wildfire. Public safety requires that new development take into account both current and realistic future investment in infrastructure and resources to combat wildfire and provide safe evacuation routes.
What further evacuation factors should be considered?
Lucas Valley is served by only one primary ingress-egress route — Lucas Valley Road. Over 3,000 current residents must access Lucas Valley Road in the 2.7 miles from Westgate Drive to Miller Creek Road. The proposed Housing Element would increase this number by 14% to 25%. Residents age 65 and older represent 26.4% of the population in the Lucas Valley–Marinwood vicinity, and many of our senior residents require more assistance with evacuation..
Lucas Valley for Responsible Growth is actively engaging with Supervisor Sackett and the Marin County fire agencies on ways to improve our fire preparedness and evacuation capabilities. We also will be working to raise awareness in the community of the importance of individual preparedness for evacuation with a plan and a go-bag, and assisting with fire prevention via home hardening and creating defensible space surrounding residences.
What does LVFRG consider to be “responsible development”?
To assure that public health and safety are a prerequisite for every housing development project, LVFRG members advocate that:
• Developers and the public should have clear guidance on the requirements to meet these conditions.
• Our elected representatives and public agencies must be accountable for public health and safety as their first priority.
• The review and approval of development proposals must be fully transparent with the opportunity for, and consideration of public comment.
What happens if Marin County does not submit its Housing Element for state approval by Jan. 31, 2023?
There are financial and jurisdictional control implications for failure to comply with Housing Element law.
• State funding programs for transportation, infrastructure, and housing often require or consider a local jurisdiction’s compliance with Housing Element Law.
• County authority to disapprove affordable housing projects is limited under the Housing Accountability Act.
If a city or county fails to meet the State mandated deadline of approving a housing element that includes meeting mandates for affordable housing, developers may utilize what is called a Builder's Remedy. Simply stated, under Builders Remedy, developers would not have to meet local planning or zoning requirements and the community would lose significant local control of what is built, where it is built, and the density at which it is built.
What if I oppose more housing in Lucas Valley?
Whatever your viewpoint on this important issue, we strongly support community engagement. Our elected and appointed representatives are interested in the views of all of Marin County’s residents.
How can I make my voice heard on these issues?
If you agree, sign the petition on the home page of this website before Tuesday January 24th.
And/or contact the following:
District 1 Supervisor, Mary Sackett, MSackett@marincounty.org
Board of Supervisors at email@example.com
County Officials at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are the next steps in this decision?
On January 24, the Marin County Board of Supervisors will vote on whether to approve the proposed Housing Element. Your voice before this vote IS influential.
Following the vote, a new phase will begin during which developers, over time, may come forward and their respective proposals will be evaluated by the County. Community engagement throughout this long process will be critical to ensure the best outcome for Lucas Valley.
The public is invited to attend the Supervisors zoom meeting on Tuesday, January 24 and make a 2-minute comment. Click here for details.