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Funny business in County development code amendments - Transit corridors?

ALERT: On Monday, February 11th, the Marin County Planning Commission is looking to change and amend its development code in ways that will directly impact all Marin County residents.

Please consider attending this hearing and make your thoughts known.

One of the changes revolves around increased density for housing and lower parking requirements along what are defined as “high quality transit corridors.“

Instead of using the established State definition of having bus service that has intervals “no longer than 15 minutes during peak commute hours,” as referred to with State Code 21155, the County staff has changed that to “fixed transit bus routes that operate at least eight times a day.” This is not the same at all!

See Item #5 in the posted Agenda for the February 11, 2019 Planning Commission meeting:

The state definition of a "high-quality transit corridor" is … “a corridor with fixed route bus service with service intervals no longer than 15 minutes during peak commute hours.  A project shall be considered to be within one-half mile of a major transit stop or high-quality transit corridor if all parcels within the project have no more than 25 percent of their area farther than one-half mile from the stop or corridor and if not more than 10 percent of the residential units or 100 units, whichever is less, in the project are farther than 1/2 mile from the stop or corridor.”

For reference, see:


From what I can tell, “peak commute hours” are defined as being between 6 a.m. - 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.

This is not a local definition set by the County, but one set by State and used for traffic studies.

Over 95% of Marin residents have a car, and transit use on the decrease. There is NO fixed transit bus route I could find in Marin that would meet state definition for those two 4 hour periods.

Here are the two routes for Mill Valley that would NOT meet state definition of transit corridor but would quality under the made-up County definition they propose.

Route 4 - Mill Valley (Manzanita)

Route 17 - Mill Valley to Sausalito

Also, according to Marin Transit’s latest data, Marin Transit have missed target performance goals for their four fixed line routes (150% of equivalent auto travel time) and are notoriously off schedule. Staff continues to brush off questions about reporting on real-time arrival data, which was promised to be available “in six months” in 2012-2013. However, it is yet to appear in any report… six years later.

In addition, The County also appears to be taking out the requirement for public hearings for Administrative variances. There also seem to be a strange changes under the flooding sections of their proposed changes. Apparently, ABAG/MTC did do flood studies along highway 101, but did NOT take their high density sites off the maps in floor zones. Is the County following MTC’s lead?