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Planning & Building

Posted on: September 22, 2022

1 Hamilton Update: Council Approves Relocation of Facilities, City Hosts Open House in October

Toy wooden homes in a row

The City of Mill Valley is currently partnering with EAH Housing to explore the feasibility of building approximately 40-50 affordable rental apartments on the northern portion of 1 Hamilton Drive. On September 19, City Council directed planning staff to pursue relocating existing facilities located on the northern portion of 1 Hamilton to make room for affordable housing. Should City Council ultimately approve building affordable housing on the site, the City and EAH would move the existing 38 public parking spaces, electric charging station and public restroom currently located on the site by reconfiguring the adjacent Public Safety Building (PSB) parking lot to provide the facilities prior to and in conjunction with building affordable housing on the northern portion of 1 Hamilton Drive. 

Next steps for the affordable housing proposal include a community Open House scheduled for October 13, 2022 to discuss preliminary design and building concepts, followed by a joint Planning Commission/City Council on November 2, 2022 to provide feedback and direction on the preliminary design concepts as part of submitting a development review application for further evaluation. See meeting details below. 

Upon Council direction, planning staff will assemble a planning application, which will include the detailed scope and project description of the proposed development to fully evaluate the project, including design review and environmental review. 

The planning application will include the following elements for consideration and action by the City Council: 

  1. A proposed tentative parcel map to create a separate parcel for the northern portion of 1 Hamilton
  2. A request to rezone the newly created parcel from O-A (Open Area) to RM-B (Multi-family Residential-Bayfront) to permit multi-family residential on the property
  3. Proposed Site Plans and Building Design as part of Design Review
  4. Environmental review of the proposed project in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act

Since the 1 Hamilton property is owned by the City, the City Council would also be asked to consider approving a long-term ground lease or similar document allowing EAH to construct and manage housing on the 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. This is required in order for the City to initiate the environmental analysis. The City intends to fully evaluate the potential environmental impact of building affordable housing on the site through what staff anticipates will be the issuance of a project-level Environmental Impact Report (EIR). The California Environmental Quality Act provides multiple opportunities for public feedback on the environmental analysis. Once a project description is prepared, the City will invite community members to provide input on the scope of the environmental review. 

Upcoming Meetings:

Project website: 

Answers to recent questions asked are available on the 1 Hamilton project website.

Other City-related work:

The City of Mill Valley is also updating its Housing Element and has identified a program (#10) in the Draft Housing Element Update to rezone and amend the General Plan land use designation for the northern portion of 1 Hamilton. The land use designation for the site will be revised to “multi-family residential” in order to effectuate the Housing Element Update. 

The Housing Element is one of the required elements of the General Plan, and adoption of the Housing Amendment amends the General Plan. In order 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). 

Identification and evaluation of other city-owned sites will also continue as part of the housing program. 

For more information about the Housing Element Update, click here.


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