Crucial Meeting on Marin City Housing July 21

Golden Gate Village (on hill) as seen from the floating home community | photo from Internet | post by Betsy Stroman

The historic Golden Gate Village, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright protégé Aaron Green and scenically nestled on a hillside in Marin City, is Marin’s only family public housing complex. It provides housing for 700 tenants, about 400 of whom are African American. Unfortunately, the complex is in dire need of renovations. In 2016 a Physical Needs Assessment (PNA) conducted by a private consultant estimated the cost of renovating the buildings at $16 million. In less than five years, that number has somehow ballooned to $90 million.

A county plan that includes new construction of market-rate and subsidized apartments and the demolition of some of the existing units by a private developer has met with resistance from many of the residents. To that end, the officially recognized resident organization, Golden Gate Village Residents Council (GGVRC), has put forth its own plan, which includes, among other things, deep green retrofitting,  renovation of existing buildings, on-the-job training  and apprenticeship programs, and assuring that no existing residents are displaced. Further, and importantly, one element of the GGVRC plan, involving the creation of a community land trust, offers a pathway to home ownership for residents in the complex.

In a 2018 report on Golden Gate Village, the Marin County Grand Jury considered both the county plan and the GGVRC plan. The Grand Jury Report did not specifically address the GGVRC proposal for the creation of a community land trust, but otherwise characterized both plans as “feasible.” The county, however, has outright rejected the GGVRC plan and in 2019 entered into a preliminary agreement with a private developer for what the county refers to as the “visioning phase” of a “revitalization and renovation plan.” The term of that agreement was subsequently extended by amendment and it is unclear what, if anything, has come out of the agreement.

On Tuesday July 21, at 1:30 p.m. the Marin Housing Board of Commissioners will hold a hearing on the future of Golden Gate Village. Our Marin City neighbors are asking us to support their proposal by expressing our concern with the county’s proposed actions and our support of the GGVRC proposal. If you are interested in this issue, please attend the Zoom meeting and invite your friends to do the same.

To join the meeting visit shortly before 1:30 p.m. and enter the meeting ID (947 4251 8384) and password (352 533). Use the “Raise Hand” button to inform the moderator if you would like to comment. To join by telephone, call (669) 900-6833 and enter the same meeting ID and password information. Press #9 to inform the moderator that you would like to comment.