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State rejects Belvedere’s second attempt at 8-year housing plan

Belvedere will have to revise its eight-year housing plan for a third time as state officials continue to question whether the city’s chosen sites can realistically be developed.


That includes continued criticism of Belvedere’s use of accessory dwelling units, churches, a school and small parcels to meet its regional mandate of accommodating 160 new units — 77 of which must be affordable.

City officials and consultants were expecting the March 29 rejection from the California Department of Housing and Community Development. They conferenced with agency officials on March 20, but even before submitting the 231-unit second draft of their 2023-2031 housing element for review on Jan. 30, City Manager Robert Zadnik acknowledged they hoped the draft would make “great strides” toward eventual compliance.


Belvedere’s element is more than a year overdue, but the city is not alone, as 40 of the Bay Area’s 109 jurisdictions remain out of compliance — including five of 12 in Marin — at The Ark’s press time April 8. Tiburon’s element was accepted on the fourth try in October.


The housing agency’s eight-page review letter for Belvedere focuses on 18 compliance issues, including the city’s efforts to overcome systemic fair-housing challenges, evaluate the effectiveness of the previous housing element, eliminate land-use and policy constraints and create programs to encourage development.


In several cases, such as addressing residents with special needs, realistic development capacity and a full breakdown of what can be accomplished in the next five years, reviewers said the city made no progress since the first draft.

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