Mill Valley resolution would oppose state housing mandates

By Lorenzo Morotti, Marin Independent Journal, January 27, 2021

“Mill Valley officials [were] considering a resolution that would oppose Senate Bill 35 and other possible statewide housing laws that remove local control.

“The council did not approve the resolution. Instead, it directed staff to include language requesting funding from the state to build low-income housing and bring it back to the council for future adoption.

“The council also agreed to include members of the Diversity Inclusion Equity Task Force in the working group after many called in to oppose the resolution. They argued it would be a barrier to increasing diversity in the predominantly White and wealthy city.

“Councilman Urban Carmel said the city has been working to solve its housing issue through accessory dwelling units. However, he admitted that promoting affordable or low-income housing has not been a consistent goal for the city over the decades. He said the last 100% affordable housing complex built was Pickleweed Apartments in 1983.

“The resolution also takes a stand against incoming housing mandates imposed by the Association of Bay Area Governments. Mill Valley met its 129-home quota for affordable housing in the last cycle, 2015-23. But according to the new Regional Housing Needs Assessment methodology, it must add 830 homes to meet its goal for the 2023-2031 cycle.

“About 33% of the city is in a ‘very high’ fire hazard zone, according to a city staff report. Carmel said the state is wrong in assuming that all cities are equally suited to handle such a density boom.”

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