Marin County Housing and Safety Elements Environmental Impact Report

Community Development Agency



The project location is in unincorporated Marin County, which is located across the Golden Gate Bridge from the City of San Francisco, in the northwestern part of the San Francisco Bay Area.



Project Summary

Draft EIR Presentation Summarizing the Project (11/16/2022)

For more information, please refer to Chapter 2 of the Draft EIR (linked in the "Environmental Review Documents" section below).

Planning Project Page

Marin County Housing and Safety Elements Environmental Review

Project Description

The proposed Project consists of amendments to two elements of the Marin County General Plan (also referred to as the 2007 Countywide Plan), as described below.

Housing Element:

Article 10.6 (Housing Elements) of the Government Code requires the County to adopt a sixth revision to the Housing Element for the eight-year planning period 2023 through 2031 to accommodate the County’s regional housing need allocation (“RHNA”) of 3,569 housing units. The Housing Element is a required element of general plans pursuant to Government Code Section 65302(c). The County has prepared an update to the Housing Element that would facilitate development of up to 5,124 new housing units, which meets the County’s RHNA as well as additional units for applicants requesting a density bonus and a buffer to ensure that the County maintains adequate sites at all income levels throughout the Housing Element planning period. The Project also include rezoning of sites at the identified locations as necessary to accommodate and enable development of these new housing units.

Marin County, like other communities in California, initiated a planning process to identify how to meet the County’s housing needs at all income levels. This process involved updating the County’s Housing Element, which is part of the Countywide Plan (the County’s General Plan). Marin County’s Housing Element Update has identified adequate sites for 5,124 new housing unit to meet the requirements described above. Sites are distributed throughout the unincorporated areas of the County consistent with goals to affirmatively further fair housing and meet site requirements stipulated by HCD. The Housing Element also presents programs and policies to meet the housing needs of unincorporated Marin County.

According to State housing element legislation, all local governments must adopt land use plans and regulations that provide opportunities for, and do not unduly constrain, housing development. Because housing availability is a critical issue with statewide implications, and most housing decisions occur at the local level, State law requires housing elements to be updated on a regular cycle. Accordingly, the timeframe addressed by this Housing Element update is the planning period of 2023-2031. The State also mandates that housing elements, unlike other elements of the general plan, be reviewed and certified by the State.

Safety Element:

Marin County has initiated a planning process under State law to update the Safety Element in the Countywide Plan (the County’s General Plan) to address climate change resilience. SB 379 requires all counties and cities to review and update their general plan safety elements with climate change adaptation measures. The update consists of the following three parts:

  • A vulnerability assessment that identifies the risks climate change poses to the local jurisdictions;
  • Identification of adaptation and resiliency goals, policies, and objectives; and
  • Feasible implementation measures.

The Safety Element update also addresses other legislative mandates to reduce fire and flood risk and plan for emergency evacuation. The update will occur simultaneously and in conjunction with the Housing Element update, and will also occur in coordination with the update of the Marin County Multijurisdictional Local Hazard Mitigation Plan.

For more information about the Housing and Safety Element processes, please visit the Planning Division’s webpage. Related planning documents and reference information for the Housing and Safety Elements and environmental review are available on that webpage, where you can subscribe to receive email notifications and updates.

Public Hearings

The Marin County Community Development Agency has completed the Final Environmental Impact Report Volume (FEIR Volume) for the Housing Element and Safety Elements Update to the 2007 Countywide Plan, which includes responses to comments on the Draft EIR and text revisions to the Draft EIR. The FEIR Volume is available for review in the "Environmental Review Documents" section at the bottom of this page, in addition to a revised FEIR Amendment.

A public hearing on the FEIR was conducted virtually by the Marin County Planning Commission on Thursday, January 5, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. At the hearing, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend that the Board of Supervisors certify the FEIR, which consists of the DEIR, FEIR Volume, and FEIR Amendment.

A public hearing to consider certification of the FEIR was conducted virtually by the Marin County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, January 24, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. The Board voted unanimously to certify the FEIR as adequate and complete in compliance with CEQA, the State CEQA Guidelines, and the County Environmental Review Procedures. The Board also certified that the FEIR reflects the independent judgment and analysis of the County, and is adequate and complete for consideration in making a decision on the merits of the Housing & Safety Elements Update Project.

More information about the hearings, including agendas and staff reports, can be found on the Planning Commission webpage and Board of Supervisors webpage.

Public Notice

View Public Notice