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Tiburon’s second-unit survey found 273 units, but officials question validity and risk

Tiburon homeowners say they’re willing to build some 270 second units over the next eight years, according to the results of a town survey obtained by The Ark. At nearly four times the number used in Tiburon’s state-mandated housing roadmap, resident interest was potentially strong enough to remove a controversial Paradise Cay-area site from the plan and reduce the concentration of new housing targeted for downtown.

With a target interest of 165 units, the results have raised questions about why they weren’t made public and shared at public Planning Commission or Town Council hearings, or with state housing officials, in the weeks after the survey closed Aug. 15. The commission made its recommendations on the fourth revision of the 2023-2031 housing element at its Aug. 23 meeting, and the council adopted it nearly a month later, on Sept. 20, submitting it for state review without site changes or discussion of the survey.

“If directed to do so (by the council), we will happily put it on the agenda and discuss it,” Town Manager Greg Chanis said of the survey on Oct. 4, declining further comment.

But in other interviews and public comments in recent weeks and months, local officials have made the town’s position clear: While the results may be enlightening, a fast-approaching deadline means Tiburon risks a complete loss of local control if it attempts any major changes that renew state scrutiny of its already-overdue housing document.

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