San Anselmo

Housing Element Status
In Progress
Rent Burden
rent burdened
Affordable Housing Production
affordable permits issued
Housing Policies and Programs
total policies

Proposed Policies and Programs

Housing policies and programs are the strategies and laws that cities and counties legally have at their disposal to produce more and preserve existing affordable housing, as well as protect existing residents from getting displaced from their homes and communities.

5th Cycle Programs and Policies

policies and programs

Local housing policies and programs, as part of a housing element, have significant impacts on a city or county reaching its affordable housing goals. Each additional housing policy has a significant impact on the residents who are most in need of affordable housing. However, the number of policies or programs that a jurisdiction includes in their housing element is not meant to imply how well a city or county is addressing local housing needs since the quality and impact of each will need to be determined as well. Policies and programs listed here from jurisdictions’ Housing Elements are intended to allow readers to review the text themselves and see if a city or county is doing all they can to reach their affordable housing goals.

Historic 2018 Policies and Programs Categorization

To further policy innovation and local action, the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) contacted all of the region's jurisdictions to track the adoption of key housing policies throughout the nine county Bay Area in four major categories Protect, Preserve, Produce, and Prevent. This data is from ABAG’s Policies and Program list and was last updated in 2018/2019.

By-Right Strategies
Condominium Conversion Ordinance
Flexible Parking Requirements
Housing Overlay Zones
Streamlined Permitting Process
Surplus Public Lands Act
Commercial Development Impact Fee
Form-Based Codes
General Fund Allocation
Graduated Density Bonus
Homeowner Repair or Rehabilitation
Home Sharing Programs
Housing Development Impact Fee
Implementation of SB743
Inclusionary Housing Ordinance
In-Lieu Fees (Inclusionary Zoning)
Just Cause Eviction
Locally-Funded Homebuyer Assistance
Mobile Homes Conversion Ordinance
One-to-One Replacement
Preservation of Mobile Homes (Rent Stabilization Ordinance)
Reduced Fees or Permit Waivers
Rent Stabilization
SRO Preservation Ordinance
Tenant-Based Assistance
San Anselmo's Recorded Housing Policies

The California Department of Housing and Community Development tracks all of the ongoing and completed programs from 2018 onward and can be seen in the table below.

H2.C Conduct Home Presale Inspections.
Conduct presale inspections
The Town building department continues to conduct an average of 180 physical inspections of residential sites prior to resale every year to identify health and safety hazards, work without permit, and recommend safety corrections. Contract code enforcement staff contacts property owners to correct life/safety hazards identified. Year/Number of inspections: 2015/180 2016/153 2017/157 2018/179 2019/170 2020/194 2021/226
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
H2.B Implement Rehabilitation and Energy Loan Programs.
Loans provided to rehabilitate or improve energy efficiency of housing (8 Residential Rehabilitation loans to very low income households and 20 PACE loans)
The Town continues to work with Marin Housing Authority as necessary to implement Residential Rehabilitation Loans. The Town has met its goal for 20 Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans. The Town has infrequently promoted the programs and information is not readily available on the Town website. The Town could better publicize information on energy loan programs, including PACE and Energy Upgrade California Loans, provided to rehabilitate or improve energy efficiency of housing. The Planning Department requested, but did not yet receive, data on the number of Residential Rehabilitation Loans that may have been issued by the Marin Housing Authority to Town property owners in this Housing Element cycle. In 2012 the Town Council approved the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. It permits residents and multi-family property owners to participate in PACE programs. PACE programs allow property owners to finance energy and water efficiency projects and solar installations on their property tax bills. In 2015, the Town Council expanded the program. Through 2017: 25 Energy Efficiency Projects, Financed $682,148 3 Renewable Energy Projects, Financed $71,530 1 Water Conservation Project, Financed $54,220 BayREN Home Upgrades through June 2017: 16 Projects, 3,465 sum of Total kWh Savings, 1,833 Sum of Total Therms Savings
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
H4.A Use of Rental Assistance Programs.
Publicity of Housing Choice Vouchers
Staff publicized the rental assistance program to landlords by social media posts and a mailer. In 2015 there were 122 Housing Choice Vouchers in use in San Anselmo. In 2022 there are 106 Housing Choice Vouchers in Census tracts covered by the Town limits, making up less than 10% of renter occupied housing units. Links to information are provided on the Town web site. Due to limited staff time, publicity was limited and program not considered successful due to the decrease in Housing Choice Voucher units over time. Town Council established protections for tenants in 2021 during Covid 19 pandemic by freezing rent increases and prohibiting evictions (Ordinance 1154 and 1155). Staff mailed notice of programs to all multifamily property owners and tenants in 2021. Planning department staff received 1 email inquiry about the program from a property owner seeking to return to San Anselmo to a rented residence. Town publicized the Marin County Covid 19 pandemic Emergency Rental Assistance Program to landlords and tenants via social media and a mailer in 2021. The County received 135 applications from San Anselmo residents and has paid 40 cases in San Anselmo as of 1/7/22. Town publicizing rental assistance program appeared to be successful, based on number of applications received.
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
H1.F Work with the Marin Housing Authority.
Implement agreements to maintain affordability
Marin Housing Authority (MHA) continues to manage three below market rate ownership units in San Anselmo at Sohner Court and at Willow Glen. MHA assisted Town with agreement for 2 affordable rental units at 1 Lincoln Park in 2018 and will manage the units.
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
H1.G Establish an Affordable Housing Fund.
Accumulation of funds for affordable housing
This program has not yet been implemented. Funding source identified was the General Fund. The Town has not allocated any funding for development of affordable housing and there is no source of revenue for an affordable housing fund. The Town Considered an in-lieu housing fee in 2009 but the ordinance did not move forward. In 2019 the Town received SB 2 grant funds for an in-lieu housing fee study and housing trust fund. The study was completed in 2021 and the Town will consider the in lieu housing fee in 2022.
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
H1.H Work with Non-Profits on Housing.
Working relationship with non-profit housing sponsors
Town staff has met with non-profit housing developers to review Town affordable housing sites and discuss strategies for development of the sites.
As development proposals are submitted and as other opportunities arise
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
H3.E Work with Non-Profits and Property Owners on Housing Opportunity Sites.
Development of affordable housing
Town staff has met with Homeward Bound, Habitat for Humanity and EAH Housing, nonprofit housing developers. Property owners were not interested in development of affordable housing at Side by Side (formerly known as Sunny Hills) and Red Hill School (owned by Ross Valley School District) during 5th Housing Element cycle. EAH Housing interested in partnering with the Town to develop 50 units of affordable housing at Isobel Cook Community Center site. However, Town would need to fund reconstructon of community center and offices. Nonprofits were not interested in Town parking lot sites as they are too small to be feasible for development of affordable housing. One nonprofit suggested the Town sell Town site above Loma Robles for market rate housing to fund development of affordable housing on parking lot sites. Both sites are zoned SPD, Specific Planned Development District, which allows flexibility in development standards, including density of 20 or more units per acre. Town will be updating its General Plan Circulation Element in 2022-2023, which is expected to provide information on off site circulation issues involved with development of the sites. Sites will be identified in maps for application of Objective Design and Development Standards for multifamily housing.
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
H1.B Review the Housing Element Annually.
Review and monitoring of Housing Element implementation; submittal to HCD
Program implementation successful and Town has reviewed the Housing Element on an annual basis. Report submitted to State Housing and Community Development Department Annually.
Annually by April 1st
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
H1.C Publicize Fair Housing Laws and Respond to Discrimination Complaints.
Obtain and distribute materials (see Program H4.D) and respond to complaints
Program is appropriate to disseminate information on Fair Housing. Town staff did not receive any fair housing complaints directly. The Town posted links to Fair Housing of Marin, Marin Housing Authority, Legal Aid, and Marin Mediation Services on its website and obtained and makes fair housing literature available including flyers in multiple languages. HUD Region 9 reported two (2) Fair Housing inquiries for San Anselmo between 01/01/2013 - 03/19/2021 (one for sex and one for disability). While these arent official cases, there is still value to identify concerns that residents have about possible discrimination. These inquiries may not have been pursued by the resident for any number of reasons. The Town Council has promoted fair housing by proclaiming April to be Fair Housing Month every year and receiving a report on complaints received. 12/11/18 the Town Council adopted Ordinance 1131 to prohibit discrimination based on source of income.
Ongoing and in response to complaints
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
H1.E Community Outreach when Implementing Housing Element Programs.
Conduct outreach and distribute materials
The Town uses most of the listed means to communicate housing strategies when they are discussed. The Town has not had any general outreach regarding housing but will have these discussions during the housing element update and a robust public engagement process is planned. Mailing list for Housing Element started in 2021 and advertised on every mailed notice sent out by Planning Department, estimated at 200 per month, and on website. 12 individuals have subscribed. All notices are posted at Town Hall, which is immediately adjacent to the library. There is no place to post a flyer at the Post Office. Notices are published in the newspapers as required by law. All agendas are posted on the town website for any meetings by the Town. No neighborhood meetings conducted. Subcommittee only met once and it was not to consider any programs, and was not noticed to public.
Consistent with implementation programs
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
H3.C Adopt Inclusionary Housing Regulations and Establish Housing Impact Fees.
Provide housing for very low, low and moderate income households
Town received SB 2 grant to obtain in lieu housing study in 2020, in coordination with other Marin County jurisdictions. Study completed and presented to Planning Commission in 2021. Staff received first draft of regulations in December 2021. Staff working with other Marin County jurisdictions to hold outreach workshops in Spring 2022 with developers and to coordinate standards. Planning Commission and Town Council to consider in lieu fee and ordinance in Spring 2022.
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
H3.A Modify Development Standards to Encourage Infill Housing.
Provide flexibility in the application of development standards fitting the location and type of development, consistent with community goals
Since 2017, the Town is subject to California Government Code Section 65913.4 that allows for streamlined review of infill development projects and eliminates parking requirements (2017 SB 35). One duplex was approved pursuant to these regulations in 2018. The Town Council adopted an ordinance to implement California Government Code Sections 65852.21 and 66411.7 (2021 SB 9) and allow multi-unit development in single family zoning districts on 12/14/21. This allows expedited review, reduced parking, and increased density in infill areas. Town follows State law requirements for expedited review of projects under Permit Streamlining Act and specific sections related to housing, such as State ADU regulations. Town will be considering Objective Design and Development standards for multifamily housing in Spring 2022 that will address parking standards, funded by SB 2 grant. Variable density has not been considered. State law allows reductions to parking, and no parking requirement, for projects that include certain levels of affordable housing. Town staff follows the expedited review required under State law for housing development projects. In 2020 Town Council waived building permit fees for ADUs deed restricted for affordable housing. No one has applied for the fee waiver as of 1/8/21. A limited number of multifamily sites have been on the market. Staff has contacted property buyers and/or adjacent property owners when they may have interest in sites on the market. One was purchased by an adjacent property owner in 2021. Few sites had common ownership during housing element cycle. Staff has alerted affordable housing developers to sites that are on the market. This has not resulted in the purchase of any sites or development of affordable housing. Town staff held two public workshops in November 2021 by Zoom with property owners. Notice was emailed to Town business list (which includes property owners of commercial/rental sites) and mailed to downtown property owners. Incentives that will be under consideration for housing were discussed and Town solicited comments on other incentives.
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
H4.B Investigate Possible Multi-Jurisdictional Emergency Shelter.
Construction of homeless facility (if determined feasible)
The Town has not funded any multi-jurisdictional project for an emergency shelter. On April 28, 2015, the Town contributed $14,145 to jointly fund with all the cities and towns of Marin County, the current rotating homeless winter emergency shelter program known as the Rotating Emergency Shelter Team (REST). REST was run by San Anselmo churches and community volunteers with the Marin Organizing Committee from November 15 through April 15 from 2015 to 2018, when the program was discontinued. The program served up to 40 homeless men at rotating congregations, including First Presbyterian Church of San Anselmo, and 20 homeless women housed at the County Wellness Center and served by congregations. Although successful, the program provided temporary housing during five winter months only. San Anselmo staff and residents participated in working at the San Anselmo shelter and a San Anselmo church participated by providing the facility.
As the opportunity arises
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
H3.D Junior Second Units.
18 new second units, including junior second units, by October 2022
Completed. Final occupancy granted for 39 new Accessory Dwelling units, including one Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit as of 12/31/21. Town ADU regulations allowed for development of JADUs prior to the 5th Cycle Housing Element. Town regulations updated in 2019-2020 to develop requirements for JADUs when state law required the Town to approve multiple units and distinguished between ADUs and JADUs. Staff believes there are a limited number of JADU applications as there are fewer restrictions for ADUs, such as no size limit and owner occupancy requirement. In 2017, Town Council wrote a letter to the Ross Valley Sanitary District to request elimination of connection fees. State law eliminated connection fees for ADUs.
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
H1.I Update the Housing Element.
Consistency with Housing Element law
The town is in the process of updating the housing element.
Update the Housing Element by 2023
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
H3.B Adopt Standards for an Affordable Housing Overlay Zone.
Provide flexibility in the application of development standards for affordable projects
Town working on adopting objective design review standards for multifamily developments that may involve overlay zone. Anticipated to be considered by Town Council in Spring 2022. State density bonus law now allows significant density incentives and exceptions and concessions to development regulations for projects that include affordable housing at specified levels.
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
H2.A Monitor At Risk Units.
Establish regular contact with owners of at risk units to preserve affordable units
The Town General Plan identifies no units at risk of conversion during the housing element cycle (see page 42 of Housing Element).
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
H2.D Implement Effective Design Review.
Implement Design Review
Discretionary design review is required for housing development projects, which may be a barrier to housing development. The Town is considering objective design and development standards for multifamily housing projects in 2022.
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
H1.A Create a Housing Element Implementation Subcommittee.
Assist in implementing Housing Element programs.
In 2016 two Planning Commission members appointed to Subcommittee. The subcommittee met only once. The 7-member Planning Commission served this role by reviewing proposed regulations. Town Council, through recommendations by staff, prioritized housing element programs to implement as Town Council work plan priorities. Entire Planning Commission and Town Council reviewed Housing Element progress annually. Town Council, with advice of staff, develops work program priorities and budget and has included Housing Element programs to implement. No general review of funding sources has taken place. The Planning Commission has considered an inclusionary housing fee that the Town Council and Planning Commission are scheduled to consider in 2022 after workshops with developers. Planning Commission members are volunteers and not necessarily housing experts. This program could involve ex parte communications and may set Commission up for conflict of interest, or the appearance of conflict of interest, when a project is before the Planning Commission. Planning Commission meetings are used for open discussion on housing issues and publicized to the community. Town staff has pursued potential affordable housing projects for town sites and has included all relevant staff (building, public works, fire), which would be complicated to organize with a subcommittee of Planning Commissioners. Any potential projects would be brought to the Town Council to consider. Planning Commission has discussed potential inclusionary housing fee. The Town Planning Commission considered, and the Town Council adopted, regulations for single room occupancy units in 2018, including modifications to parking standards for extremely low income units (Ordinance 1126). State law provides ample incentives for development of affordable housing, including significant density bonuses and parking waivers. Town will consider by right housing with housing element update process. Town staff has conducted outreach to non-profit housing developers and has met with three. Town staff met with property owners in two workshops held in November 2021 to discuss incentives that will be under consideration for housing, such as objective design standards, and solicited comments. The Town has found that having specific density limit aids in certainty for developers and ease in implementation of the State Density Bonus Law to encourage development of affordable units. Town will be considering adoption of objective standards and by right zoning in 2022.
Establish Subcommittee in 2015 and develop work program in 2015
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
H1.D Provide Information on Housing Programs.
Update website and provide information to residents
Program effective. The Town receives information from the Marin Housing Authority on affordable housing availability and shares this information by email and bulletin boards. Town staff provides informational handouts at Town Hall and on the Town website. The Town has promoted new COVID 19 emergency rental assistance program administered by the County in 2021. Information was included in Towns email newsletter and business newsletter. Letters were mailed to all renters and owners of multifamily property. As of January 2022, the County had received 135 applications from San Anselmo residents and paid 40 cases. Staff promotes a County program that offers loans to owners that will create units available to those using Housing Choice Vouchers and other incentives.
Review and update website links by September 2015; distribute and post information at least once annually
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
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