Sustainable Mill Valley

Survey responses on the subject of housing
Affordable units and workforce housing, impact on neighbors and habitat, green building, limits on home size, infill.

Charles McGlashan

The lack of affordable housing causes long commutes, air emissions, and increased consumption of fossil fuels. It is also unfair, and bad for the economy as employees and employers leave for less expensive regions.

Actions & Accomplishments
  • Work on a taskforce of the Housing Council (Marin Environmental Housing Dialogue) to develop 17 criteria for green affordable housing, including: habitat preservation, access to transit, use of mixed use areas, reduction of car trips, increase of a personal and community connection with nature, community gardens, access to services and jobs within walking distance, and green building materials and techniques.
  • Analyze and publicly support projects that meet these criteria.
  • Served as the lead environmentalist who spoke in support of the Fireside Project at the recent Board Hearing.
  • Through SMV, supported 425 Miller Ave. and 8 Old Mill, two projects with good design features that reduce environmental impacts from materials and are located in mixed-use areas.
  • Active supporter of the San Clemente project during environmental reviews.
  • Work at the Economic Commission to support inclusionary programs that provide affordable housing when commercial projects expand the need for lower paying jobs
  • Advocated and lobbied successfully for additional workforce housing at the Strawberry village site.
  • Advocated for Affordable housing zoning overlay for the Miller Avenue Specific Plan.
  • Worked the General Plan to locate sites, define criteria and to streamline review processes for green affordable housing.
  • Will continue working to find mixed-use sites, change zoning, provide fast-track reviewing processes, and overlays to support green, affordable housing.
  • Will support policies to utilize already-developed areas (e.g. under-used shopping areas, parking lots and mixed-use areas) and NOT to bulldoze open space.
  • Will continue working with the Economic Commission on location criteria and inventories of suitable sites
  • Will continue my work on the Environmental Housing taskforce.
  • Will promote features such as PVs, cisterns, low VOC paints and carpets, and better insulation that make the units function with lower operating costs. Will also orient projects to fit in with local neighborhood feel and architecture.
  • Will actively seek federal and state funding for affordable projects that meet green criteria mentioned above.
  • Will work on partnerships and trust fund development with local employers.
  • Will work to raise funding from foundations and government sources for affordable projects.
Andrew Thompson

In my time on the Tiburon Town Council, I've actively pushed for and achieved a doubling of workforce housing within our community for our employees. I've also proposed that we have a mortgage support fund in order for employees to have a greater chance to obtain their own market-based housing within the community. I've pushed for building department policies that would make it easier for homeowners to deploy energy saving systems, as well design review leniency for homeowners seeking to install such systems. The Tiburon Town Hall roof currently needs repair; I've required that the staff research photovoltaic cells as part of the process. This is currently under study. These are real policy decisions that are making a real difference.

My vision is to take the success I've had with these policies, promote them countywide, and make them stronger. Our greatest opportunities for this are when approving new construction. We need a combination of both requirements for sustainable building and financial incentives to encourage adoption of sustainable technologies. I've already made a recommendation to Marin Community Development Director Alex Hinds that applicants for building permits who include energy-saving and other sustainability improvements receive a 10-15% discount on all their county permits for the specific job. I support the sustainability vision in the draft County Plan update.

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Last updated: 04/12/04