The Point Reyes Station Village Association is concerned that the method used to produce the Marin County Housing Element Sites Inventory has resulted in a flawed document that is not in the best interests of the citizens of the county, the residents of Point Reyes Station or our millions of visitors. The rubric for determining development potential based on lot size does not take into account the values and motivation of local residents. It reflects the common economic thinking of the commercial real estate/developer industry and does not allow for local solutions that involve creative community building. We recognize that historic opposition in some communities has resulted in exclusionary policies based on race and/or income. However, Point Reyes Station community members are a mix of low, moderate and above moderate income people who welcome neighbors of all economic classes and ethnicities, and we are confident that there is a process that will allow our village to expand in an appropriate manner without sacrificing its rural community character.
For us, rural "community character" is not code for exclusion, but rather a set of objective features, many specifically noted in the Point Reyes Station Community Plan, such as varied densities distributed throughout a large area; buildings of varied sizes; more open spaces between buildings; and significant space devoted to agricultural-related support functions, work vehicles and other mixed uses, spread throughout the town. Extensive impervious surfaces should be minimized and curbs and sidewalks discouraged in order to maintain the rural nature of the village.
These objective features of a rural community:are in conflict with the results of the county's site selection which basically forces the same urban/suburban outcome on a rural, largely undeveloped area rather than using guidelines for site selection that are more appropriate to a rural environment. High density development that follows the urban/suburban approach will necessarily translate into negative impacts on rural infrastructure (and rural community character) than would be the case in urban and suburban Marin communities where new development can rely on the existing infrastructure. Roadways, parking, sidewalks, water supply and sewer systems as well as public transit make concentrating new density in the existing urban areas of Marin more cost effective, sensible and less impactful than would be the case if sited in a small village like Point Reyes Station.
Community character in coastal Marin, and Point Reyes Station particularly, is an agreed upon value recognized by the millions of people who visit here annually as well as by the California Coastal Commission. Adding all the state mandated new units only within the village will at best diminish and possibly destroy this existing value that benefits so many.
To begin a more democratic inquiry into what the Marin County Housing Element should be, the PRSVA will devote most of our July 14th meeting to developing a community response to the existing Site Inventory and suggestions for its modification. We invite the community to participate in this meeting and welcome your feedback. This July meeting will be a Zoom gathering, the link for which will be found on our website (pointryesstation.org) . Our goal is to stimulate a discussion about alternatives to the present plan which places too many units in unincorporated parts of the county without the infrastructure to support the concentrated multi-units proposed.
To prepare your specific suggestions for additions or deletions to the Site Inventory, please view Appendix C of the Draft Housing Element. Additionally, Sections 1. 2 and 5 provide background information from the Marin County Community Development Agency (CDA) and its out-of-county consultants. Although your assumptions and selection parameters may differ, our common goal is to prioritize the creation of affordable housing units throughout unincorporated Marin County. (Incorporated municipalities have their own housing quotas to meet.) We do not agree with the County's premise that viable affordable units can only be developed on parcels larger than 1 acre. This assumption has severely limited the number of lots available for lower income units shown in Appendix C. The resultant concentration of multi-unit housing on just a few lots degrades our core rural village areas. To counteract this, we hope to replace the numbers proposed with smaller individual, decentralized site units across a wider area..
Please join us via Zoom on July 14.
Village Association May Meeting Agenda and Draft of Letter to Supervisor Rodoni regarding Overnight Parking
POINT REYES STATION VILLAGE ASSOCIATION
MAY 11, 2017
Call to Order-Ken
Approval of Minutes
Treasurers report - Pam
1.Commons working group- Pam Randall Mike
-Report on meeting 5/11
2. West Marin Coastal Village Associations (WMCVA) working group- Karen report on first meeting
3. Report on LC meeting 4/26/17
Karen- discussion of funding for PRSVA
Randal- discussion of exploration of self governance, special districts
How to continue the implementation of the working group
4. Green Bridge- Mike
-Report on CalTrans EiR Meeting 5/10 at Marconi Conference Center
5. Update on Car /Vehicle Camping in town- Process
Draft of Letter to Supervisor Rodoni regarding Overnight Parking
Dear Supervisor Rodoni,
Thank you for your prompt response regarding the problem of overnight parking on "C" street, and other residential streets in Point Reyes Station.
At your request the PRSVA contacted the pastors of the Point Reyes Station Presbyterian Church and Sacred Heart Parish in Olema.
Both Churches declined to allow overnight camping in their parking lots citing concerns about liability, neighbors complaints, child safety, recent vandalism and crime.
The Point Reyes Station Village Association requests your help in providing signage that would prohibit street camping and occupation of vehicles overnight, similar to that at White House Pool (county) and Tomales Bay Trailhead (GGNRA).
We have discussed with and complained to Sheriff Robert Doyle's office and Captain David Agustus who promises his department will heighten vigilance and be more responsive to residents' complaints about disrupting the peace, threats, litter, intimidation tactics, drug use and sales, theft, vandalism, health violations, ( human waste) and pollution of GGNRA wetlands.
Deputy Sheriffs have been very willing to help us but tell us to ask the County for proper signage.
It is the key, without it there is no authority to manage this problem.
The Sheriffs substation is short yards away from the affected areas that include the Dance Palace * and Walnut Place and can be easily patrolled.
The affected areas where overnight parking occurs and where we are requesting signage includes these streets
A street (Main) from highway 1 to end of A
B street- entire length
C- entire length
Mesa Rd. - Commodore Rd to Los Reyes St.
2nd-through 6th streets - entire length of each street
Toby St. and parking lot at playground
We are very interested in the proposed ordinance currently being considered by the Board of Supervisors restricting vehicles and equipment parking on county roads.
Specifically the language stating" the prohibition of the standing or parking bus, camper, camper trailer, semi-trailer, trailer coach, trailer bus, 5th wheel travel trailer, factory- built housing, house car, mobile home, motorhome, recreational vehicle or RV"
As you know this small beautiful village with its limited parking and historic neighborhoods is very vulnerable.
Point Reyes Station Village Association
September 14, 2016
TO: Marin County Planning Commission
RE: Public Hearing for the Marin County LCP Amendments
Recently I read “Down a Narrow Road” by anthropologist Jay Dautcher, PhD. In the book he talked about government actions to gain influence over communities in order to serve their own interests, especially in those communities where there are strong personal and community identities and where residents are very connected to their land.
Quoting Dautcher: “Personal and collective attachments to place are critical basis of identity in general, since claims to political entitlement are often understood and advanced through them. If a state can undermine the cognitive and material bases supporting this feeling of belonging, the ability of groups to advance political claims to political entitlement is weakened.”
It is also interesting that one of the techniques Dautcher cited that governments use to break a people’s connections to place are to convert sacred, important community sites to tourist destinations.
As I have been focused on the Local Coastal Program (LCP) and its influence on our community, I started seeing what is happening through Dautcher’s view. Our coastal towns are not just a place for commercial services. Main Street is the social nexus for the community, and on typical trip to the post office and shops, we will encounter and talk with many friends and visitors, sharing directly in the rich life of a small, rural town. In Point Reyes Station on Friday through Monday however, visitors greatly outnumber residents. Locals avoid coming to town because of the physical displacement and loss of normal town intimacy and sociability. Meanwhile, tourism is promoted in West Marin without managing its impacts. This is breaking our connections to place cognitively as well as physically. I am concerned that this disruption will erode the vitality of our town, leaving a physical setting that is without the spirit and care that locals provide and visitors seek.
While I do feel that the County and Coastal Commission are not consciously undermining the future our coastal communities, their policies and programs are likely to have the same impact. It is important that we look carefully at the language in the LCP, as the policies and programs in the LCP are critical and take precedent over our Community Plans.
I find that the language in the LCP that talks about preserving the character of our communities is comforting, as community character is inclusive with distinguishing physical, social, economic and quality of life aspects. Specific character for each community is not defined however, and is left for the communities to address. Which may be all right, however there is one place that gives an overall statement of what constitutes character in the mind of the LCP. This is located on Community Specific Policies, Background (LCP page 81)
“The Marin County Coastal Zone is home to distinctive towns and villages that have a strong sense of place (see Map 16 – Community Areas). The character of these communities depends in large part on their physical setting, the nature of land uses within them, and their visual appearance.”
There is no acknowledgment of the role of local populations, their values, quality of life, and their personal connections and contributions that have created and continue to nourish the character of these communities. In effect, to maintain character, the LCP implies that local community populations are without value, ignoring the fact that the local populations, not the County or the Coastal Commission, created and continue to protect life in these communities. I often think about our town as a coral reef, built on layers of local living tissue. Destroy the living coral, and you lose the reef.
To protect the character of each coastal village, I believe the LCP needs to broaden its overall character definition and create one that embodies and protects the true cultural and social nature of coastal community character. Attached is my wording for community character as an illustrative starting point for County planners:
“The Marin County Coastal Zone is home to distinctive towns and villages that have a strong sense of place (see Map 16 – Community Areas). The character and appearance of these communities has been shaped and nurtured by residents and property owners for over a century, and is enhanced by the physical setting and the nature of land uses within them.”
I believe the LCP needs to broaden its overall definition of character and create one that embodies and protects the social and cultural character of our coastal communities. We would appreciate your support of this goal.
Point Reyes Station Village Association Design Review Chair