Safety Element

Community Development Agency
three images, one of  flooded Highway 37 with a car floating in the water, one of an aerial view of the rising tide at Stinson Beach and one of Marin County firefighters fighting a wildfire.

Marin County is updating the Safety Element of the Countywide Plan.

The update is happening in coordination with the Housing Element Update and scheduled for hearings with the Board of Supervisors in late 2022 and early 2023. This site provides background on why the Safety Element is being updated, links to how you can participate, and frequently asked questions (preguntas frecuentes / Những Câu Hỏi Thường Gặp) with links to resources and information.

California State law requires that local governments prepare and adopt a general plan, which is a blueprint for meeting the community’s long-term vision for the future. Marin County’s general plan is called the Countywide Plan. The safety element is one of the nine State-mandated elements of the general plan. General plan elements are generally composed of background and technical information, goals and policies, and implementation programs describing action items for the future. Recent State of California legislation requires that safety elements be reviewed and updated as necessary alongside the Housing Element 2023 – 2031 update.

The main components of the Safety Element update are summarized below:

  1. A vulnerability assessment that integrates updated background information and mapping;
  2. Amendments to goals, policies, objectives, and implementation measures, especially as they relate to climate change resiliency; and
  3. Alignment of programs from other County planning documents.

Background Information and Mapping.

The State requires that general plans include background information and supporting exhibits within the safety element to identify potential hazards, including slope instability, seismic risk, flooding, wildland and urban fires, and to identify approaches to climate adaptation and resilience. Information on most of these hazards, including supporting exhibits, is currently included in both the existing Safety Element and 2018 Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP). This can create confusion, as the documents are updated on different timelines and maintained by different departments. To reduce duplication, the County will incorporate information from the 2018 LHMP into the Safety Element and new information generated for the Safety Element will be incorporated into the next update of the Local Hazard Mitigation Plan.

If you have additional questions or comments, send us an email at

Share your opinions on hazards, emergency preparedness, and potential solutions on our Consider-It discussion forum!

The County is initiating updates to the Housing and Safety Elements. Visit the County's Housing and Safety Elements page for the latest news and opportunities to engage.

To stay current on the County's Housing Element process and to receive updates and announcements regarding community engagement opportunities, subscribe to this page.

Healthy Communities

Housing and Safety Elements 2023-2031


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Housing Element


Healthy Communities

Countywide Plan


Safety Element Vulnerability Assessment

The Safety Element update will focus on new state requirements to plan for climate change resiliency. One such requirement is to prepare an analysis of the County’s vulnerabilities to the impacts of climate change, called a Vulnerability Assessment. Safety Elements are generally required to address a range of hazards. Only some of them are made worse by or are new as a result of climate change. Those hazards are the focus of this VA and include, drought, extreme heat, flooding, landslides and subsidence, sea level rise, severe weather, and wildfire.