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Melanoma Cases Soar in Marin County

Pressure Eases on City's Housing Quotas

City manager shares lower targets from Association of Bay Area Governments.

Good news for those opposed to force-fed housing quotas for Novato: Those numbers are going down.

Novato City Manager Michael Frank announced at Tuesday's Novato City Council meeting that targeted figures from state and regional governing bodies are significantly decreasing for the city, alleviating pressure to provide shelter for people expected to move into Novato in the coming decades.

The Association of Bay Area Governments released fresh numbers for the Sustainable Communities Strategy's preferred scenario for housing units and job creation as well as a draft of the Regional Housing Needs Assessment numbers for the next eight-year cycle that starts in 2014.

"In both cases, Novato has significantly decreased numbers," Frank said.

The 30-year housing needs projections for Novato dropped from about 1,600 units to 890 in the Sustainable Communities Strategy report, representing the lowest growth grate for any jurisdiction in Marin County. On the jobs front, the report projected that 3,400 new jobs will be created in Novato over the next 30 years, down from a previous estimate of 6,400.

Last year, Novato was forced to pinpoint locations to zone for 1,241 new housing units in the current Regional Housing Needs Assessment — a quota that prompted a public outcry against forced high-density, low-income complexes that would be needed to meet the state-mandated figures. But the RHNA numbers for the 2014-22 cycle will be 411 units, or about one-third of what the city is zoning for in the 2007-2014 cycle.

Novato residents have been vocal at city and regional meetings about future housing needs, and many opponents will consider the fresh ABAG numbers a major victory. Others who have recognized the need for low-income housing so that people who work in Novato can afford to live in Novato might consider the numbers a huge setback.

What's your response?

For more coverage on this issue, see the article in the Marin IJ.

Lloyd March 15, 2012 at 09:15 PM
gee I thought most housing of the market variety was a by product of that ancient yet effective principle known as supply and demand. One Bay Area and its so called sustainable communities strategy are nothing more than the usurping of local control and community needs based mis-stated on very fuzzy math that is not reality based. Starter homes should be a product of local planning and zoning. There is no evidence that supports all communities being one and the same have a benefit in fact diversity in each community is what buyers seek. Home values in Novato have no relation to any downtown/transit based development. Suburban sprawl are already controlled through a growth boundary and car dependency can only be curbed when you have viable alternate transit in place. We understand the need for affordable housing for seniors and our working force. I believe when we are treated honestly and openly by ABAG & HCD we can self-determine solutions that are achievable and beneficial for all concerned.
The Surgeon General March 15, 2012 at 09:32 PM
Warning: Persistent belief that One Bay Area is "for all housing" may be a sign of more serious dementia. Consult your physician.
Eleanor Sluis March 15, 2012 at 10:47 PM
People who are espousing about urbanism and sustainability for large populations have a romanticized viewpoint. One view is that high density is only about jobs and walking, while listening to music and shutting out the rest of the world. People with a more realistic, down to earth viewpoint have observed that over-crowding near railroad tracks with diesel engines running on them has meant that neighborhood schools are also over-crowded and ill equipped to handle the many needs of low-performing students. Add to this the higher rate of health issues and an increase in traffic not a decrease. High density in Oakland and Richmond are good examples of issues with school performance, crime, and lack of infrastructure. Living near railroads isn’t like living in the green countryside. The real need is to remodel and switch to green building with non-toxic paints, windows, wood, and water and energy efficient appliances.... continued
Eleanor Sluis March 15, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Having organic gardens and planting trees is another way to reduce CO2. Inventing new technologies to reduce the use of rubber tires, gasoline, and plastics emitting toxins into the water and soil will have a large impact on the environment. Skilled technicians are needed to implement changes in the chemical industries. Using tax dollars for schools and tuitions for higher education is better than overcrowding, subsidized housing near trains and buses. It is a matter of federal and state priorities. Keeping Napa, Sonoma, and Marin Counties suburban and organic is more realistic than changing into urbanized space. The romanticizing of sustainability and creating a fantasy and myth about urbanization is a dangerous lack of awareness of reality, which points low-paid workers and others into not analyzing the repercussions of this false ideology.
Jerome J Ghigliotti Jr March 16, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Zero is a nice number for subsidized low income, high density, welfare felon housing. People should live where they can afford to live. There is no Constitutional right to live beyond your means at taxpayer expense. The elderly have paid into the system all of their lives, and deserve a discount.

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