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Tiburon to seek second units as way to drop Paradise Drive housing site

Tiburon plans to launch a townwide search for homeowners interested in developing second units — a “why not” strategy that seeks to drop a controversial Paradise Drive site for potential housing while still meeting state mandates. The goal: 165 units.


The Town Council ordered up the campaign during a June 7 hearing to align local zoning codes with the recently adopted housing element. In their 3-0 vote, members approved rezoning and new objective design standards for downtown but agreed to hold off on rezoning two other sites, the Paradise Drive lot and one owned by the Reed Union School District, until standards can be developed there as well.


For Main Street and downtown Tiburon Boulevard, where increased density now allows a third story, the new zoning codes and objective design and development standards establish additional guidelines. They help the town maintain control over allowable land uses and permits, building placement, lot sizes and densities, frontages, building scale and design, open space, landscaping and parking.


Officials sought quick action on the changes because state laws increasingly limit discretion over projects to prevent local governments from blocking new housing. Objective standards are one way to provide local control. Because the council’s May 22 adoption of its 2023-2031 housing element already gave builders the right to develop at the new, higher densities — including at the Paradise Drive site — the town is vulnerable while it puts the zoning and objective standards in place.


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