Joint City Council/Planning Commission Meeting Scheduled for November 30, 2022 to Discuss Housing at 1 Hamilton and the Housing Element
City Council and Planning Commission will meet jointly on November 30, 2022 at 6:30pm at the Community Center (180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley, CA) to discuss housing-related items. The agenda includes project updates and a discussion of next steps for building approximately 40-50 affordable rental housing units at 1 Hamilton Drive and responding to responding to the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) comments on the Draft Housing Element. City Staff anticipates receiving comments from HCD by November 21, 2022.
The agenda and supporting materials will be available the week of November 14, 2022 and can be accessed on the City’s Meeting and Agenda webpage (LINK). For more information on these housing-related items, go to the project websites:
Please note that the meeting will not be live-streamed due to the venue. Written comments may be submitted to Danielle Staude prior to the meeting via email at email@example.com (LINK) or via postal mail at 26 Corte Madera Avenue, Mill Valley, CA 94941.
Scoping Meeting Scheduled for December 8, 2022 to Collect Input on Environmental Review for 1 Hamilton
City staff is in the process of releasing a Notice of Preparation (NOP), which will initiate a 30-day comment period to collect input on the project description and scope of the environmental review for 1 Hamilton. Staff has scheduled a scoping meeting on December 8, 2022 at 6:30pm to receive community input. The meeting will take place at City Hall in Council Chambers (26 Corte Madera Avenue, Mill Valley, CA).
Staff will post the NOP on the project website (LINK) and anticipates its release by November 18, 2022. Once the community receives the NOP, written comments may be submitted during the 30-day comment period to Danielle Staude prior to the meeting via email at firstname.lastname@example.org (LINK) or via postal mail at 26 Corte Madera Avenue, Mill Valley, CA 94941.
Update and Responses to Your Recent Questions:
Where are we in the process?
The City is working with EAH Housing to determine the feasibility of building 40-50 affordable housing units and relocating existing facilities on the northern portion of 1 Hamilton Drive. To date, Council has determined that relocating existing facilities (38 parking spaces, restroom facilities and one electric vehicle charging station) is possible by reconfiguring the adjacent Public Safety Building (PSB) parking lot.
City planners are now working to assess the feasibility of building housing on the site based on the Project Team’s expertise in financing, building and managing affordable housing in the Bay Area. City planners have hosted two Open Houses to discuss preliminary conceptual designs based on input, site conditions and financing considerations.
The design concepts presented (LINK) at the October 13th Open House identify specific features such as unit count, building height, building location(s), driveway locations, number of parking spaces and relocation of existing facilities on the site. These details are required for the City to fully evaluate building housing on the site, including design review and environmental review.
Do any of the current design concepts include a traffic circle or converting the 1-way portion of Hamilton Drive to 2-way street?
No. The one-way roadway configuration is not part of project description nor are the recreation-related improvements identified as part of initial community meetings. At its September 19, 2022 meeting, City Council directed staff to provide input and preliminary drawings related to recreational access and circulation improvements, including drop off zone and/or traffic circle to the Parks and Recreation Department and preliminary drawings for expanded parking at the PG&E parking lot to the Public Works Department for further review. These design features will be further evaluated and developed independent and separate from building housing on the 1 Hamilton site.
Do any of the current design concepts reduce the number of public parking spaces?
No. The current design concepts add residential parking on the northern portion of 1 Hamilton, and relocate the existing 38 public parking spaces to the adjacent PSB parking lot to provide up to 50 parking spaces. See the proposed parking concept (LINK).
What are the next steps?
Next steps include submitting a planning application and identifying the overall scope of the proposed development, which is required to fully evaluate building housing on the site. A planning application must include the following elements for consideration and action by the City Council:
- A proposed tentative parcel map to create a separate parcel for the northern portion of 1 Hamilton
- A request to rezone the newly created parcel from Open Area (O-A) to Multi-family Residential-Bayfront (RM-B) to permit multi-family residential homes on the property
- Proposed Site Plans and Building Design as part of the Design Review
- Environmental review of the proposed project in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
- Terms and conditions associated with a long-term ground lease or similar document allowing EAH to construct and manage housing on the city-owned site
The City has hired an environmental consultant to conduct the environmental review of the proposal on behalf of the City. The City is working with EAH to develop a project scope/project description based on Council direction and EAH’s work to date. CEQA regulations require a project description and scope of work to conduct the environmental analysis. The City intends to fully evaluate the potential environmental impacts of building affordable housing on the site through what staff anticipates will be the issuance of a project-level Environmental Impact Report (EIR). CEQA provides multiple opportunities for community feedback on the environmental analysis. Once the Project Team prepares a project description, the City will invite community members to provide input on the scope of the environmental review.
Where can I find the Open House conceptual designs?
On October 13, 2022, the City and EAH Housing hosted a community Open House to discuss building approximately 40-50 affordable rental apartments on the site. The main topics at the Open House included preliminary design and building concepts based on input, Council direction, and financial feasibility. We thank the many community members that attended and shared their feedback with the Project Team.
Open House Materials included:
The conceptual designs presented at the Open House identify specific features such as unit count, building height, building location(s), driveway locations, number of parking spaces and relocation of existing facilities on the site. These details are required for the City to fully evaluate building housing on the site, including design review and environmental review.
How does 1 Hamilton tie into the City’s Housing Element Update, and where does the Housing Element propose new housing in Mill Valley?
The City, through the Housing Element process, must identifying other developable privately-owned sites that are adequately zoned to accommodate over 900 new housing units at a range of affordability.
To accommodate these housing numbers, there are a number of substantive housing programs identified in the Draft Housing Element (LINK) to facilitate new housing, including rezoning and increasing densities in Mill Valley commercial areas such as Miller Avenue. The Housing Element identifies 171 parcels that, based on various factors such as age of structure, for sale property, number of existing units on site, site access and slope, may have the opportunity to house more units on the properties. Almost 95% of the sites identified in the Housing Element are located west of Camino Alto. Please see pages pages 7, 8 and 9 of the Draft Housing Element Appendix C - Capacity Analysis and Sites Inventory data and maps (PDF).
City planners have listed 1 Hamilton as a parcel or “site” based on Council direction to surplus the northern portion of land for the sole purpose of building affordable housing on the site. The Draft Housing Element further indicates the land use designation and zoning for the site will be changed to “multi-family residential” to facilitate housing on the site. To maintain internal consistency within the General Plan, the City Council will amend the land use designations in the General Plan Land Use Element at the time of Housing Element adoption to revise the land use designation for the 1 Hamilton site to “multi-family residential.” This will occur concurrently with the adoption of the Housing Element. See Government Code Section 65302(a) (LINK). Rezoning the property will then occur in association with the development review planning application discussed above.
Identification and evaluation of other city-owned sites will also continue as part of the housing program, including work to remove existing barriers to housing on other City-owned sites, such as the Floodway designation for the Miller Avenue Public Parking Lot and the open space easement on the Edgewood Reservoir property. For more information, see the sites inventory list and map available on the Housing Element project website: www.cityofmillvalley.org/housingelement (LINK).
Where can I find more information?
More information is available on the 1 Hamilton project website (LINK).
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For more information about the Housing Element Update, click here (LINK).