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Strawberry leaders say county has undermined residents on housing

Neighborhood leaders in Strawberry say Marin supervisors have “gutted” the 23 community plans that shape housing and development across the county’s unincorporated areas, with the Design Review Board now preparing to join residents and other groups in filing a letter of protest.

In a draft reviewed April 3, the letter asserts the county and board “have long upheld the Strawberry Community Plan as representing the vision and will of the residents” but that supervisors have “undermined the land-use policies that have been embraced through extensive public review.”

However, Marin officials argue the changes are narrower than critics purport and are required by the state, which is increasingly limiting local controls with ongoing pro-housing legislation.

At issue is the Marin Board of Supervisors’ Jan. 24 approval of its state-mandated 2023-2031 housing-element update, alongside several related amendments to the larger countywide plan that include stronger and sometimes new language that community plans can’t conflict with county rules or state housing law.

In particular, according to acting Community Development Agency Director Sarah B. Jones, the goal was to ensure there were no conflicting policies that could limit multifamily housing on sites identified by the county for potential development.

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