Project and Community Updates

Community Development Agency

Beginning Fall 2019, Opticos Design coordinated with the County of Marin and 10 jurisdictions to develop a toolkit of Objective Design Standards (ODDS) for multi-unit and mixed-use development. These standards do not require interpretation and provide a clear review and approval process. This allows Marin County to specify the design and aesthetics of developments that address topics such as architectural style while accommodating current and future legislation requirements. Recent State housing legislation, including Senate Bill 35Senate Bill 330 and the Housing Accountability Act (HAA) have established mandates for cities, towns and counties to streamline the review process for multi-family housing projects.

The Marin County jurisdictions pooled their resources from the State’s SB2 grant to create this shared toolkit. The grant presented an opportunity for the jurisdictions to work together. The scope was crafted so that each jurisdiction would receive a base ODDS toolkit that they could use additional funds to customize, do site testing, and/or additional technical studies.

Marin County staff worked with Opticos to further define the toolkit to create the Form Based Code. On January 24, 2023, the Marin County Board of Supervisors adopted the Marin County Form Based Code, which has been incorporated into the Development Code, including the creation of a new Form Based (FB) residential zoning district. 

Visit the County's Partner Websites webpage to learn more about specific progress made for each Marin jurisdiction.