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Lawsuit from Strawberry resident says Marin housing element dilutes local controls

Updated: May 23, 2023

A longtime Strawberry resident who says Marin’s eight-year housing roadmap has “gutted” the 24 community plans that shape development in unincorporated areas has now sued the county, alleging it broke state law.

In the suit filed in Marin Superior Court last month, plaintiff Bruce Corcoran said California general plans have an “internal consistency” requirement that supervisors upended Jan. 24 when they approved the state-mandated 2023-2031 housing element. The approval package included several amendments to the larger countywide plan — Marin’s name for its general plan — that Corcoran said elevated the housing element above others.

That created an illegal “precedence clause” that tossed aside years of work by residents to guide the shape of their communities, Corcoran said.

“Everyone is so afraid to have their name on a lawsuit, but if you don’t stand up … and say enough is enough … there will be consequences,” he said in an interview last week. “There is risk, but I think it’s worth it.”

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