The following letter has been sent to the Mill Valley City Council, regarding the recent DEI Task Force housing policy recommendations.
Dear Mayor McEntee and Members of the Council
I’m writing in regard to that section of the report from the MV DEI Task Force regarding affordable housing, and more specifically, the section calling for all single family housing in MV to be rezoned for 2 units (p 11 #1 and p 40 #2d). While I agree with the Task Force on the subject of heavily regulating short-term rentals (p 11 #2), I cannot agree with their other housing recommendations.
As a builder and provider of housing for over 40 years, and having worked here in Mill Valley for most of those years, I have seen lots of housing ideas come and go, and have proposed quite a few myself to the Council, the Marin Board of Supervisors, the SF Board of Supervisors, etc, and I can say that subdividing single family lots is one of the worst I have ever heard. It is poorly thought out, presuming as it does that subdividing our neighborhoods will increase affordability, with no consideration to the burdens it would place on parking, traffic, schools, police and fire services, etc.
The Task Force also recommends rent control (page 40), an ill-conceived idea that virtually 100% of economists reject as actually exacerbating the very problem it purports to solve. It has never worked, yet idealogues keep suggesting it as low-hanging fruit. I could write (and actually have written) an essay on the various ways it harms rental markets.
Please reject these ideas out of hand. Thank you.