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Challenges to Housing Development

Posted on August 30, 2019

Housing Development Challenges

Back in August 2018, the City Council was presented with an informational report on the state of housing in San Rafael.  In response to that housing report, the City Council directed staff to follow-up on four, specific housing topics and issues.  One of these four topics/issues was to identify what changes could be made to facilitate housing development.  To accomplish this, staff completed the following tasks: a) conducted interviews with numerous stakeholders; b) reviewed practices and actions by other cities/towns that have been successful in approving and developing housing; c) gathered data and pertinent information; d) reviewed and critiqued the City’s inclusionary housing requirements and entitlement process; and e) completed an air rights study of seven City-owned lots. As a result, staff has identified 11 key challenges to the approval and construction of housing in San Rafael, which are outlined in this staff report. In addition, the staff report lists 13 recommended measures to facilitate the approval and development of housing.  Some of these recommended measures are underway, some are being implemented, and some require further study and future action by the City Council. At Tuesday’s meeting, staff will present this informational report to the City Council and will seek feedback and direction on the list of challenges and the recommended measures.


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