The Marin Post

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The Sausalito General Plan public process should not be circumvented

The following letter has been sent to the Sausalito City Council in anticipation of their upcoming hearing on February 9th, to adopt the new General Plan Update and certify the Final EIR.

Dear Sausalito City Councilmembers,

Community Venture Partners, Inc. (“CVP”) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports community-based projects, programs, and initiatives that demonstrate the highest principles of economic, social, and environmental sustainability. CVP is committed to the need for a transparent public process that incorporates under-served community voices into planning and government decision-making.

It has come to our attention that a petition has been circulating in Sausalito, entitled, “A General Plan for ALL Sausalito residents and workers.” Among other things, this petition urges the City Council “to take this rare opportunity through the General Plan update to create a pathway to much-needed senior and workforce housing in Sausalito,” and goes on to request substantive changes in the Final Draft General Plan to ensure the development of housing in the Marinship.

Although we certainly respect their right to petition for anything they wish, we are writing to ask the City Council to carefully consider that since the inception of the Sausalito General Plan Update process began, the City Council has unanimously voted (more than once) that decisions regarding where, when, and how new housing units will be accommodated in the City, in the future, including any potential housing in the Marinship, will be analyzed and considered in Phase 2 of the City’s planning process when the City's Zoning Ordinance is amended to conform with the Housing Element and current General Plan, and/or when the new Housing Element is updated.

That is the framework that the public has relied on and the City has committed to since the General Plan Update process began. Please also note that to the best of our knowledge, the Housing Element process has already begun, preliminarily.

Please also note that under the requirements of the Ralph M. Brown Act and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the City Council could not add a new major policy, such as this, to the current Draft General Plan Update, without additional assessments of impacts, re-doing portions of the FEIR, and holding new public hearings before the Planning Commission and City Council.

We would ask that the City Council thank the residents for submitting their petition, but advise them that this is topic will be considered, in-depth, in Phase 2, at future hearings.

Bob Silvestri is a Marin County resident and the founder and president of Community Venture Partners, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community organization funded only by individuals in Marin and the San Francisco Bay Area. Please consider DONATING TO CVP to enable us to continue to work on behalf of Marin residents.