Friday, March 15, 2013

Does Supervisor Susan Adams still care about the people of Marinwood?


I find it ironic that Supervisor Susan Adams, once a champion of managed growth for Marinwood/Lucas Valley is now at the forefront of the ABAG plan to urbanize Marin and especially the Marinwood Priority Development Area. The supervisors voted and approved special provisions for high density/affordable housing developers that weaken environmental protections for us all ("streamlining" CEQA).

It is my greatest hope that she will reconsider housing development at Marinwood Plaza and encourage
commercial development like the Farm to Table Market (see for an example) that will serve the whole community. Once we have a true walk/bike friendly community again, we can consider additional housing in the valley.

Please help us save the community for ALL of us . If we lose the Marinwood Plaza site to housing and offices, we will have lost the only viable commerical site next to the 101 corridor. 
Let Susan Adams, Steve Kinsey and the rest of the Supervisors know that you want to keep our community whole.

St. Vincent’s and Silveira Ranch

When viewed from Highway 101, the bucolic St. Vincent’s and Silveira ranchlands remind people of the way California once looked. The open vistas of a working dairy, grazing cows and a pastoral landscape extending to San Pablo Bay was once a common sight in the North Bay. One by one, over the years, these vistas have been replaced with housing and commercial development. The approximately 1,110 acre St. Vincent’s/Silveira properties serve as an important community separator between northern San Rafael and Novato.
The 1994 Marin Countywide plan presumed that the City of San Rafael would annex these two properties and they would be developed as a new neighborhood within the City. Some San Rafael elected officials backed an aggressive plan for large scale development of the area with up to 1,800 housing units and several hundred thousand square feet of commercial space. There was a tug-of-war of sorts between the County of Marin and the City of San Rafael regarding which government agency would have jurisdiction over the site.
When I first ran for office, the City of San Rafael was processing a development application from Shapell Industries that proposed 856 homes and assorted commercial buildings on only the St. Vincent’s portion of the properties. Shortly after I joined the Board of Supervisors, the San Rafael City Council voted to drop the Silveira/St. Vincent’s properties from the city’s sphere of influence, transferring full control of the land use planning to the County of Marin.
I have long been committed to curtailing, as much as possible, large scale development of these lands and I believe the voters supported this position when they elected me to the Board eight years ago. I believe Marin County residents do not want to see the type of growth, which the business and construction industries support and which is evident in so many other areas of California where one city or town sprawls into the next.
As the Countywide Plan was in the beginning stages of a major revision, County planners, Supervisors and the public were in a position to take a fresh look at the future use of these properties. A comprehensive analysis by the County found that there were a number of extremely important resource areas on the St. Vincent’s/Silveira lands, including tidelands; diked baylands; Miller creek and its riparian corridor; large areas within the 100-year floodplain; and the hills leading up to Pacheco Ridge at the northern edge of the site.
As part of the new Countywide Plan approved in 2007, a fourth planning corridor was created. This new “Baylands Corridor” was established to protect important baylands and large adjacent undeveloped uplands (including St. Vincent’s and Silveira) along the bay shoreline. In the new Countywide Plan these properties are assigned the land use designation: “Agricultural and Environmental Resource Area”. Potential uses include agriculture and related uses, limited residential development, education and tourism, places of worship, institutional uses, and small-scale hospitality uses.
The Board of Supervisors set the planning guidelines for these properties to include up to 221 dwelling units for the combined St. Vincent’s and Silveira sites. This equates to 121 market-rate dwelling units plus up to 100 additional units for low income households. Dwelling units would be allocated proportionally to the respective St. Vincent’s and Silveira areas, based on the total acreage of each property. Any new development would be located to protect resource areas and be concentrated in locations that minimize interference with the view corridor from Highway 101 to the bay.
To date, no formal development plans have been submitted to the County for either of these properties.


  1. It is time to vote Susan Adams out. She does not have our interests in mind, not even in the slightest. She is pushing a radicalized agenda that forever will destroy our Marinwood community. I don't think anyone in Marinwood (other than Susan) wants their property values to drop, taxes go up, violence, crime, drugs, and everything else that comes along with low income housing which is occupied by welfare recipients. Plus, where are these people going to work (hypothetical, they don't work as why would they when the gov't gives them free checks)? The master plan cites Audoesk, Kaiser, and 1 other company. Autodesk is about to pull out of Marin for their move to SF (CEO/CFO/etc is are in SF now), Kaiser isn't expanding. And oh, these places require people whom want to work and are educated.

    And why is the government building this stuff? To raise our taxes, punish us for working hard, saving our money, and NOT sucking off the system.

    This housing which Susan loves to say will house our fire, police, and EMTs, will not house any of these people, it never does. It will house welfare people who will be paid by the government to move here from Oakland, Richmond, and in some cases even Watts CA where they will simply sit around and do nothing except cause trouble, burden the services of taxpayers (police, fire, emt), all while we pay for it.

    Do you want this in your community?

    1. "It is time to vote Susan Adams out."
      Good luck with this. Before wasting your time with a recall petition please note that the current petition, which asks for nothing more than a 6 month delay, is nonetheless, unable to garner a paltry 200 signatures.
      I can only conclude that opposition to subsidized housing in Marinwood Plaza is woefully inadequate. So after 30 years here, my wife and I will be leaving this neighborhood of Adam's sycophants to be hoisted upon their own petards by their local representatives and their, soon to arrive, new neighbors.

    2. I hope you'll stay. I don't think you should read too much negativity into the petition. Remember, Susan Adams only won with 700 votes. 125 votes to delay is statistically significant. The reason for the meek response is not because people are opposed. In fact, if you relay the facts about the coming housing, people are in total disbelief the massive change that may come to our community. It doesn't help that so called "Neighborhood Leaders" and CSD Board Members have been complicit in their silence. I think our greatest challange as a community is that we are basically very happy and tend to mind our own business. Many of us moved here to ESCAPE local politics. Unfortunately, we have been thrust into a housing crisis. Other communities are fighting against much smaller housing allocations because they know what it will bring.

      I ask you to join us and "give the good fight" to secure responsible planning for the community.