330 Land seeks to build 44 homes in Marin County’s Lucas Valley 

SoCal developer’s plan features single-family houses and nine granny flats

330 Land Eyes 44 Homes in Marin County’s Lucas Valley
330 Land's Steve Reilly and Eric Higuchi and 1501 Lucas Valley Road, Marin County (330 Land, Google Maps)

330 Land wants to build 44 single-family homes and granny flats in unincorporated Marin County.

The Irvine-based developer has filed plans to build 35 homes and nine small granny flats on 61 acres at 1501 Lucas Valley Road, north of San Rafael, the Marin Independent Journal reported.

The Lucas Valley development was initially proposed in May by Michigan-based Promanas, the first to file a builder’s remedy application for unincorporated Marin. 

Developers can invoke the untested provision of state housing law if counties or cities fail to certify their required housing plans. The builder’s remedy allows builders to bypass local zoning rules if the project meets a 20-percent threshold of affordable homes.

Promanas filed preliminary plans to build as many as 125 homes, which would have been fast-tracked under the remedy because the county had failed to certify its Housing Element plan by Jan. 31. Early this year, the county adopted a draft Housing Element to rezone unincorporated areas for nearly 5,200 homes in the next eight years.

It’s not clear how the project was transferred to 330 Land, which last week filed plans to build 35 homes, including nine with junior accessory dwelling units, under a different approval process.

The site was previously zoned for agricultural use, with one home per 60 acres. The county’s new Housing Element changed the zoning to 15 homes per acre. It also limited development at the site to 1.7 acres, for a total of 26 homes.

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330 Land wants to use a density bonus to allow 50 percent more homes in exchange for making  25 percent of the 26 homes affordable to low-income households — boosting the allowable single-family homes to 39. 

To meet the county’s affordable housing requirements, the developer plans to place deed restrictions on the nine granny flats to guarantee their future affordability. It would also pay the county an in-lieu fee of more than $1 million.

Immanuel Bereket, a county planner, told the Independent that “no decision has been made on whether the proposed affordable housing plan meets the county’s affordability requirements.”

Some residents expressed concern about local projects and residents’ ability to evacuate from wildfires.

Gervais Tompkin, a member of Lucas Valley for Responsible Growth, said, “Our group’s attitude about it is that what they submitted doesn’t qualify.”In August last year, 330 Land filed plans to build as many as 500 apartments and townhomes by the BART station in Fremont.

— Dana Bartholomew

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