April / May 2022 District 3 Newsletter

Supervisor Stephanie Moulton-Peters, District 3 Supervisor with picture and graphic image

April/May 2022 District 3 Newsletter

Dear Friends and Neighbors in the Southern Marin Community,

2021 was a big year for me, joining the Marin County Board of Supervisors after serving the City of Mill Valley for 12 years.  I was on a learning curve throughout my first year, and while there is always more to learn, I’m happy to report that I have my feet firmly planted and am fully engaged in the many aspects of this job.

I came into office expecting to jump into the particular issues I had identified during my months leading up to the election.  While I have made headway in those areas, there have been two areas that have required an immediate laser focus:  the revitalization of Golden Gate Village in Marin City, and coordinating with County departments, the City of Sausalito and the Richardson Bay Regional Agency on the homeless encampments and anchor-out community on the water.  More on these issues below.  

Making progress with any long-standing challenges requires trust between the parties.  I see building relationships and earning trust as the foundation for further progress.  Cities operate differently than Counties and look at problems through a different lens.  Given my years in City government and now my position as County Supervisor, I bring my perspective to these conversations.  Let’s focus on what we have in common, where we are in agreement, how each of us can contribute to the solution and move on from there.  We need to work together to resolve the issues we face.

There are other high priority issues including traffic through Tam Valley, wildfire prevention and development of evacuation routes that we are working on, and will report on in greater depth in our next issue. You may find this issue a bit lengthy, however, I want you to share with you the progress we are making on some of these longstanding challenges. 

I look forward to getting out more to our many neighborhoods and communities as we gain more distance from pandemic related restrictions.  In the meantime, I want to hear from you. Feel free to contact our offices whenever an issue arises where you think we can be of assistance. 

What’s Inside:

Housing Element

Golden Gate Village Revitalization

Earth Day 2022

Sea Level Rise and Climate Change

Flood Control Issues

Ember Stomp

Office Update and Calendar


Housing Element

Starting late last year, a process was initiated to share information and to solicit feedback on the process used to identify housing sites for inclusion in the Marin County Housing Element. Many Southern Marin residents in Southern Marin’s unincorporated areas have participated in this process. At a December 7th meeting[PDF], our Board provided direction on a set of guiding principles to guide the process. One of the principles directed for substantive public engagement. Between late January 2022 and mid-March 2022, the County provided a variety of opportunities and formats for the public to use to share their feedback through written and verbal comments and use of digital tools.

On March 15, the Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission reviewed a refined candidate sites list provided by County staff. After direction given by the Board and Commission following community input, the units count was reduced, and several candidate sites were removed from the list. To make up for that deficit, additional sites were suggested in Novato's Atherton and San Geronimo Valley.

On April 5, The Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission discussed policies and programs to address public safety with climate change and provide community members an opportunity to share ideas. View this document for more information about Safety Element programs and policies.

At both the March 15 and April 5 meetings, based on comments from our Southern Marin communities, I emphasized the following points in my comments to our Planners, and these points successfully changed the distribution and location of proposed housing units in Southern Marin:

  • The County and all Marin cities and towns are in a very challenging position with regard to accommodating the State housing numbers (RHNA) that we are required to plan for. Our appeal, along with the appeals of other Marin jurisdictions, to the Association of Bay Area Governments to reduce these numbers were denied earlier this year. However, we do need to do the best we can to identify locations for the housing or development will take place in areas where we do not want housing.
  • Environmental hazards, particularly when there are multiple hazards as is the case in Southern Marin, need to be considered in identifying potential housing sites. All acreage is not the same; we can’t do what the State has done and allocate housing numbers without regard to topography, environmental hazards, and evacuation egress. In Tam Valley, most particularly, we have high fire severity, current flooding and future sea level rise along with a very constrained road network that serves as evacuation routes for the community. I also suggested that Tam Valley’s Design Review Board’s recommended policies be incorporated into the Housing Element.
  • Infill development in some locations near major transportation corridors and transit routes, including the Hwy 101 corridor, is a viable option. The Hwy 101 corridor in Marin County has been identified in the County General Plan as the place for future development; allowing the open lands and small villages in West Marin to remain.
  • Creating additional housing on the water, as we have with our Southern Marin houseboat communities, is an option that is worth pursuing, though regulatory agencies such as BCDC may oppose it.

On Tuesday April 12th, the Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission will meet on two Housing Element related items:

  • 2pm, Housing programs and policies: The Board and Commission will review and provide feedback on staff recommendation for programs and policies in the Housing Element. Review the board packet for this item for more information. Additional information is available on the County’s Housing and Safety Elements Programs and Policies webpage.
  • 5 pm, Continuation of sites discussion: The Board and Commission will review and provide comments on staff’s recommendation for candidate housing sites that address the State-mandated Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA) for the 2022-2030 planning period. Review the 041222_boardpacket_sites.pdf.

April 19, 2022, 5:00 PM or thereafter: Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission Meeting: Overview of safety programs and policies.

Submit any comments about safety policies and programs by email to the Housing Element program or the Board of Supervisors Board of Supervisors by April 18, 2022 at 3:30 PM. You may also comment during the meeting. Suggestions may be emailed to the Housing Element program by this same date.

Draft List of Housing Element Sites: Please note that this is not the final list of recommended sites. The final list of recommended sites will be brought forward after the environmental review process.

Frequently Asked Questions and Interactive Atlas

Golden Gate Village Revitalization

At the March 22nd, 2022 Marin Housing Authority Board meeting, the Board voted to approve the “Rehabilitation Revitalization Plan for Golden Gate Village. The Board chose this policy option, which aligns with the Golden Gate Village Resident’s Plan. I advocated for this option and appreciated the Board’s support. I also know there is much more work ahead to develop renovation plans that will meet HUD’s requirements to address overhousing, relocation, and financial feasibility. I am committed to working towards a successful project with the advisory group that we are putting together now with membership that includes the Golden Gate Residents Council and their consultant team, as well as members of the Marin Housing Authority.

You can read the Resolution (Agenda Item 8C) the Board passed to approve the Renovation Revitalization Plan.

Marin City is the heartbeat of the African American community in Marin County.  Originally providing housing for families of Marinship workers, Golden Gate Village is a great asset to this county, and in fact, has been named an historical landmark due to its origins, designed by a protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright, Aaron Green. Unfortunately, due to chronic underfunding of capital from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD, there is significant deferred maintenance at Golden Gate Village which has been decades in the making.  We are not alone. It is estimated that this is the case across the country for the 1.2 million families living in public housing.  The Board of Commissioners of the Housing Authority has committed to working with the residents to renovate Golden Gate Village for its 296 low-income residents.   The challenge we face is doing those renovations at the same time keeping the residents in the community.  We are committed to doing that.

At the January 25 meeting of the Marin Housing Authority (MHA) Board of Commissioners, the Golden Gate Village Resident Council (GGVRC) presented their Plan for renovating Golden Gate Village.  This was the first opportunity for MHA staff, the Board of Commissioners and the public to hear in detail from the GGVRC and their consultants their plan for a rehabilitation-only option for Golden Gate Village.  We deeply appreciate the work that went into that presentation.

Over the last several years MHA solicited and reviewed plans to develop additional affordable housing on that site but given funding challenges and the priorities identified by the residents of GGV, we are moving forward with analyzing the renovations-only plan. 

Since the presentation of the GGVRC plan, MHA staff have met with the GGVRC and their team to discuss next steps, analyzing the details of their plan and reporting back to the Commissioners.  We have also sought and received clear direction from HUD on the federal rules, including addressing the issue of over-housing.  As the demographics of our residents living in Golden Gate Village have changed over the years, we currently have many households that need a one-bedroom unit to qualify under HUD rules and these are in short supply in Golden Gate Village. HUD has directed that we must come into alignment with HUD regulations before moving forward with renovations. As the Housing Authority is working to address the over-housing status, we are looking into some promising opportunities with other Marin City property managers who could potentially provide appropriate size units that would keep residents in the community.

We are fortunate to have Kimberly Carroll as Interim Executive Director at this point in time.  She is committed to working with the GGVRC, the community, the Board of Commissioners, and HUD to improve living conditions of our public housing residents, provide additional services to the community, and create an environment where everyone can thrive. We are confident we have the right team together to comply with HUD timelines and guidelines.

To see the GGVRC Presentation online, below is the link to the Board of Supervisors Meeting page.

Search or Watch a Meeting - Board of Supervisors - County of Marin (marincounty.org)

When you go to the Agenda for the 01.25.22 Board of Supervisors meeting in the Archives – Item 10h in the Agenda has links to the 4 slideshows that were presented and the two documents that make up the Plan.  Part A is the Plan Narrative, and Part B contains the Appendices.

Earth Day 2022

Marin City Earth Day Community Wide Clean Up Day April 22, 2022


Sea Level Rise and Climate Change 

As each of the Supervisors do, I sit on a number of local and regional boards and commissions, as well as Board subcommittees. Two of my assignments in the area of sea level rise and climate change are the Climate Action Plan Subcommittee and BayWAVE Sea Level Rise Subcommittee.

BayWAVE is Marin County’s coordinated planning vehicle for sea level rise along the bay shoreline.  Our Adaptation Planning for the coastal areas is being done through C-SMART Collaboration: Sea-level Marin Adaptation Response Team (C-SMART).

Adaptation planning is led by multiple local and regional agencies, partners, and municipalities, including the county. Some of the county’s adaptation efforts include preparing for the next update to the Marin Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan, updates to sections of the Countywide General Plan, and on-the-ground implementation of adaptation projects on county lands in Novato, San Rafael, and Richardson’s Bay. Adaptation requires several approaches to address the crisis for all.

The BayWAVE Steering Committee meets bimonthly to build our collective knowledge on the science, share adaptation work, and take actions to increase our resilience to sea level rise.  All cities participate on this committee as well as the County Board of Supervisors and staff from Parks and Open Space, Department of Public Works, and Community Development Agency. Transportation Authority of Marin also participates.

The Marin Shoreline Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment documents the risks to the entire bay shoreline with three sea level rise scenarios (10-, 20-, and 60-inches).

The Vulnerability Assessment (VA) evaluated the eastern Marin shoreline from the Golden Gate Bridge to the northern end of Novato, the extent of impacted assets, assessing the sensitivity and adaptability of selected assets and working with the local cities and towns to plan implementation of adaptation strategies.

You can find reports and information on the BayWAVE website.

Please go to the County’s website on Sea Level Rise to see all that is going on both bayside and our coast.

Visit the new Richardson Bay Resilience story map for more information about sea level rise in Southern Marin.

There are several informational presentations at the April 7BCDC Board meeting including two on SLR and Adaptation.

Flood Control Issues

Flood Zone 3 encompasses watersheds draining to Richardson’s Bay from Marin City to Sutton Manor. These areas are subject to flooding from tidal intrusion in low-lying areas, which is where much of our transportation infrastructure was built, as well as stormwater runoff and overflow from local creeks and drainages. Many of the creeks and drainage ways are privately owned but, where Flood Zone 3 has accepted easements or owns the land, the District conducts periodic vegetation management to keep them clear.

Within Zone 3, the District maintains the concrete channel and levee along Coyote Creek in Tam Valley, and 5 stormwater pump stations; 1 is in the City of Mill Valley on Ryan Creek and 4 are in unincorporated Tam Valley and Seminary. The District also maintains one silt basin, 80 tide/flow gates, 5 weather/precipitation gauges, and 13 trash racks, as well as 1360 ft of concrete flood walls on Coyote Creek levees. The District is also responsible for vegetation management in and along creeks in unincorporated County and reimburses the City of Mill Valley for work it does along approximately a mile of drainageways and creeks within its boundaries.

In addition to annual and prescribed maintenance programs, the Flood Zone has several larger infrastructure investments that are in the study and design phases.

Marin City: The privately owned stormwater pond adjacent to the Gateway Shopping Center serves as the collection point for most of the Marin City watershed drainage and has been subject to flooding because the existing connection between the pond and the bay is insufficient to handle larger storm events without flooding. The District has submitted a grant application to FEMA to design and build a project to install a new pump station at the pond along with a floodwall and drainage system upgrades to reduce flood risk from more frequent flood events. The District has also requested funds for a new and significant storm drain upgrade that will reduce flooding at Drake and Donahue streets in Marin City.

Flood District staff have been working with California Office of Emergency Services and FEMA to increase the budget for the existing grant from $1M to almost $12M. This request is still in progress and currently unknown if FEMA will fund all or part of this request for additional funds.

If approved, the new pump station would discharge into the existing culvert under Highway 101 and outfall into Richardson’s Bay. Plans to improve drainage through the culvert under 101 via a trenchless culvert installation has been studied, but test trenches revealed large rocks that would make this type of installation infeasible.  This suggests that any improvements or increased capacity will be done as Caltrans implements its near and long-term improvements to the freeway.

A pump station will provide additional flood reduction benefits over the existing gravity system under both the current conditions and especially under sea level rise conditions because it can push water against higher bay tides. The proposed pump station will be designed with room to install additional pumps in the future with greater capacity.

The pond is privately owned and lack of access to the pond and storm drains has significantly inhibited progress on engineering studies needed to support project design. County staff are working to obtain a right of way agreement from the Shopping Center, but this has proven challenging. Other complementary efforts in the Zone to address Marin City flooding include developing a Marin City Comprehensive Watershed and Flood Mitigation Plan and Emergency Response Flood Plan for the Donahue/Drake intersection area. 

Lomita Drive: Public Works and the Flood Zone 3 are partnering with the City of Mill Valley on a project design for Lomita Drive including installation of a 24” storm drain from Edna Maguire School to Shell Road to mitigate flooding at the school and adjoining properties.

In Tam Valley, District engineers and planners have been working with Marin Parks and One Tam on tidal marsh restoration and sea level rise planning for Bothin Marsh. Realignment of Coyote Creek is being studied to evaluate the benefits of routing sediment to the marsh to help it keep up with sea level rise. Staff are also evaluating a pilot scale dredge of the creek into the marsh using a more environmental approach that allows for natural regrowth of plants through the dredge slurry. At the same time, this would minimize flood impacts.  Creeks throughout the area need periodic vegetation management. Roads crews keep the roads passable which requires drainage systems along the roads to be cleared prior to weather events. This also requires trash capture devices to reduce trash in the storm drainage system.

On April 7, I joined our Public Works Director Rosemarie Gaglione, County Flood Control Engineers, Sea Level Rise Staff, and Marin City CSD to meet with State Senator Mike McGuire and Caltrans officials on a site tour and discussion of short term and potential long term solutions to flooding in Marin City and the Manzanita Park and Ride area.

Damian Morgan, Marin City CSD Chairman, Supervisor Stephanie Moulton-Peters, Caltrans District 4 Director Dina El-Tawansy, Senator Mike McGuire

From L to R: Damian Morgan, Chairman of Marin City CSD, Supervisor Stephanie Moulton-Peters, Caltrans District 4 Director Dina El-Tawansy and Senator Mike McGuire in Marin City

The next meeting of Flood Zone 3 is Wednesday April 13th 6-8pm at the Mill Valley Community Center, Mountain View Room, 180 Camino Alto. The agenda is available on the Flood Zone website or as a PDF.

Flood Zone 4: A new Advisory Board is now in place and looking forward to serving their community.

Stay Connected with Zone 3

Stay Connected with Zone 4

Ember Stomp

Ember Stomp Marin's 1st Annual Wildfire Prevention Festival May 28, 2022, Marin Civic Center, San Rafael


Office Update and Calendar

Stephanie Moulton-Peters │District 3, Marin County Board of Supervisors
3501 Civic Center Drive, Suite 329, San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473.7331

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District 3 Website       Newsletter archive

Office Update:

My Aide, Sarah Dobrovolny, is on maternity leave, experiencing the joys of motherhood to their daughter, Sadie James Dobrovolny.  While she is on leave, Susannah Clark is filling in.  You may contact her for any requests to get on my calendar.

Doreen Gounard came on board following Maureen Parton’s retirement.  Doreen and Susannah are here to respond to any questions or concerns.

Doreen Gounard                                                  Susannah Clark
(415) 473-3784                                                    (415) 473-7862
dgounard@marincounty.org                                   sclark@marincounty.org 

Please check out our website: District 3 Website

Important Dates in April, May and How to Participate

Board of Supervisors Board Meetings*:

April 12: Regular Meeting of the BOS, evening Joint Meeting of the BOS and Planning Commission re Safety Element Update, Policies and Programs

April 19: Regular Meeting of the BOS: Marin Housing Authority Commission Meeting in the afternoon evening Joint Meeting of the BOS and Planning Commission re Safety Element Update, Policies and Programs

April 26: Regular Meeting of the BOS

May 10: BOS Meeting

May 17: BOS Meeting and Marin Housing Authority Commission Meeting in the afternoon

May 24: BOS Meeting

Marin Housing Authority Commission Meetings are generally the third Tuesday monthly

I invite you to view and participate in Board of Supervisor meetings  You may attend the meetings in person, or online. You will see instructions online as to how to participate by zoom.

* Meetings of the Board of Supervisors are held in the Marin County Civic Center, 3501 Civic Center Drive, Suite 331, San Rafael, CA 94901.  The meetings generally start at 9:00am.  Agendas are published and available online on the Thursday prior to the meeting.

Marin Housing Authority Meetings are generally held in the afternoon following the Board of Supervisors meetings, and agendas are available online the Thursday prior to the meeting on the BOS website.

You can subscribe to the page and get notifications when BOS and MHA agendas are published.