Housing Element Task Force, 2007-2014

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The Housing Element Task Force was charged with the responsibility for assisting in the preparation of the draft housing element for presentation to the City Council. The Task Force was established by City Council Resolution No. 5221. Information on the housing element update conducted in 2015 can be found below under ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THE HOUSING ELEMENT UPDATE. The California State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), which is the State Department which reviews and certifies Housing Elements in California views public participation as an integral component of the Housing Element Update process as it provides for an opportunity for constituents to engage in a dialogue to define problems and identify solutions. Additionally, the inclusion of community stakeholders in the housing element public participation process helps to ensure appropriate housing strategies are more efficiently and effectively evaluated, developed, and implemented.


The Task Force was an advisory body to the City Council and composed of nine members—two representatives from the City Council, two representatives from the Planning Commission and five representatives from the Community.

Committee Members

Chair Stan Bair (Planning Commission Rep)  
Vice-Chair Joan Cox (Planning Commission Rep) 
Vacant (City Council Rep) 
Mike Kelly (City Council Rep) 
Steve Flahive (City Resident) 
Chris Visher (City Resident) 
Ray Withy (City Resident) 
Kim Stoddard (City Resident) 
Susan Cleveland-Knowles (City Resident)

Initial Committee Members

Mayor Ray Withy 
Vice Mayor Thomas Theodores 
Planning Commission Chair Joan Cox 
Planning Commissioner Susan Cleveland-Knowles

See also: Document archives of the Housing Element Task Force

Additional Information on the Housing Element Update

The City started work on implementing and updating the Housing Element in January 2014. The City Council appointed a Housing Element Subcommittee to work with Staff and a consultant to complete two required tasks. The first track involved adopting a variety of Zoning Ordinance Amendments, which were pledged in the current Housing Element (which was adopted in 2012). In order to be eligible for certification from the State for the upcoming Housing Element cycle, the City was obligated to follow through with these program amendments. The first track was completed in July 2014 (see more information regarding “TRACK ONE” below). The City is now focused on the second track, which involves updating the current Housing Element and gaining certification by the State by January 31, 2015 (see more information regarding “TRACK TWO” below).


Sausalito adopted an updated Housing Element in October 2012 which covers the years 2009-2014 (see the link at the bottom of the page for the Adopted Housing Element). This Housing Element was certified by the State of California, Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) in November of 2012 as being in compliance with Housing Element Law. The Housing Element is one of the seven mandated elements of a jurisdiction’s General Plan. Housing Element Law, enacted in 1969, mandates that local governments adequately plan to meet the existing and projected housing needs of all economic segments of the community.


Mayor Ray Withy
Vice Mayor Thomas Theodores
Planning Commission Chair Joan Cox
Planning Commissioner Susan Cleveland-Knowles


September 24, 2013 
December 10, 2013 
February 24, 2014
April 22, 2014
May 20, 2014 
June 24, 2014        VMU/HMU          Density Bonus and Reasonable Accommodations Ordinances
July 8, 2014            Density Bonus Ordinance         Reasonable Accommodations Ordinance
July 15, 2014  two documents to be linked later
July 22, 2014        Special Needs Ordinance       VMU Ordinance
October 7, 2014

July 9, 2014     Zoning Ordinance Amendments     Housing Element Focused Amendment


The City of Sausalito’s Housing Element was adopted by the City Council on October 9, 2012 and certified by the State Department of Housing and Community Development on November 7, 2012.

Adopted Housing Element
2014 Focused Amendment to Adopted Housing Element Approved Initial Environmental Study-Negative Declaration2014 Addendum to Environmental Study-Negative Declaration 


The City of Sausalito went through the process to update the City’s Housing Element from December of 2009 through November of 2012. This page provides links to all of the relevant documents produced during the update process.

Housing Element Task Force

The Housing Element Task Force (HETF) was charged with the responsibility for assisting in the preparation of the draft housing element for presentation to the City Council. The HETF was composed of two City Council members, two Planning Commissioners and five City Residents. The purpose of the HETF was to advise staff on the development and refinement of policies and implementation programs.

Housing Element Update Draft Documents

2014-2023 Housing Element - Track One

HOUSING ELEMENT UPDATE—TRACK ONE (COMPLETED): HCD will only certify the 2015-2023 Housing Element in Track Two if the City implemented— or put in place— certain programs which were committed to in the most recently adopted 2009-2014 Housing Element. Specifically:

• Housing Element Program 25-Reasonable Accommodations (e.g., allowing a ramp in a setback to allow access to an entry door for a wheelchair-bound resident). The City Council adopted Ordinance No. 1221 on July 8, 2014 to fulfill this program. • Housing Element Program 21-Transitional and Supportive Housing (i.e., California cities are required to regulate transitional and supportive housing as a residential use and allow “single room occupancy” facilities as a commercial use). The City Council adopted Ordinance No. 1223 on July 22, 2014 to fulfill this program. • Housing Element Program 19- Density Bonuses (i.e., all California cities are required to grant density bonuses for new projects of five or more units ranging from 5% to 35% depending on the affordability provided when requested by a project sponsor. The City is amending its Density Bonus ordinance to reflect changes in State law.) The City Council adopted Ordinance No. 1220 on July 8, 2014 to fulfill this program.
• Housing Element Program 21-Emergency Shelter (i.e., all California cities are required by the State to identify a Zoning District where emergency homeless shelters are a use that is permitted by right). The City Council adopted Ordinance No. 1223 on July 22, 2014 to fulfill this program.
• Housing Element Program 8b-The Vertical Mixed Use (VMU) program (i.e., the City committed in the adopted Housing Element to requiring any upper level construction in the City’s commercial districts (CC, CR, CN-1) to be limited to residential use only, with a minimum of one affordable unit). The City Council adopted Ordinance No. 1224 on July 22, 2014 to fulfill this program.
• Housing Element Program 8a-The Horizontal Mixed Use (HMU) program (i.e., the City committed in the adopted Housing Element to creating an overlay zone where properties in the CN-1 Zoning District could utilize the ground floor level of buildings for residential use in exchange for providing a percentage of affordable units and three-bedroom units). The City Council amended the adopted 2009-2014 Housing Element to remove this program. See Resolution No. 5468 on July 15, 2014 which eliminated the HMU program.

Track One was completed on July 22, 2014.

2014-2023 Housing Element - Track Two

HOUSING ELEMENT UPDATE—TRACK TWO (IN PROGRESS): The City of Sausalito is in the process of updating the Housing Element for the years 2015-2023 (see a Newsletter for more information).  The City’s deadline to adopt a revised Housing Element is January 31, 2015. The Housing Element is part of the General Plan, which is the “blueprint” for the community. All cities and counties in California are required to have a Housing Element that identifies and analyzes existing and projected housing needs, and identifies sites for housing opportunities. All communities are also required to update their Housing Elements on a state-mandated cycle.

The Housing Element must establish goals, policies and programs for the preservation, improvement and development of housing. The State of California mandates the number of new housing units that local jurisdictions must plan for in their Housing Element, with Sausalito required to plan for 79 units during our 2015-2023 Housing Element cycle. While the City is required to plan for this new housing and will continue to follow a low impact strategy including mixed use infill, accessory dwelling units and liveaboards, it is not required to actually build the housing.

In consideration of the comprehensive update of the City’s Housing Element completed less than two years ago (adopted in November 2012), the 2015-2023 Draft Element proposes minor updates to the current Housing Element. The focus is on updating the Element's background information (such as income levels and housing allocation), reviewing the City's progress in implementing its adopted Element, and carrying forward the policies and programs from the current Housing Element with minor refinements as needed.

Public Participation Opportunities

• Thursday, September 11, 2014, 6:30pm, 420 Litho Street (City Hall), Sausalito in the Council
   Chambers: Housing Element Subcommittee Meeting
• Saturday, September 20, 2014, 10:30am, 420 Litho Street (City Hall), Sausalito in the Edgewater
   Room: Housing Element Workshop  (click on the flyer to see what is planned for the workshop)

Agenda for September 20, 2014
        Powerpoint Slides
        Newsletter FAQs
        Affordability in Marin County
        Guide to Acronyms
Watch the video of the workshop