Housing Update: 1 Hamilton Drive Multifamily Housing Project
Project Overview & Update
On April 20, 2023, the City of Mill Valley, in partnership with EAH Housing, filed a development review application with the City’s Planning Division, which proposes to build affordable rental units on the northern portion of the City-owned property, known as 1 Hamilton Drive. To make room for the new residential housing and parking proposed on the site, the project also proposes to relocate the existing public parking, charging stations and restrooms to the adjacent Public Safety Building (PSB) parking lot.
On May 23, 2023 the Planning Commission provided feedback to the EAH team on the preliminary design review plans. Story poles were installed on the project site prior to the meeting to provide community members with a visual representation of the proposed building envelope. The story poles will be removed starting June 7, 2023 to allow construction staging to occur on the site for a sewer project, which is unrelated to building housing on the site.
Planners will return to Planning Commission on July 11, 2023 to seek further direction based on comments made at the May 23rd meeting. The purpose of the July 11th Study Session is to provide additional feedback and direction on those items discussed at the May 23 meeting, including but not limited to roof form and height, the northern corner of the proposed building and exterior color. No formal action will be taken at the meeting.
• To review the application and preliminary design review plans, go to the project website(LINK).
• To review the May 23, 3023 Study Session, go to the City’s webcasting page (LINK).
Overview of Process and Next Steps
The City is preparing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to evaluate the environmental impacts of the proposed project pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). CEQA provides multiple opportunities for community feedback on the environmental analysis. The City published a Notice of Preparation for the EIR on December 21, 2022, and held a public meeting on January 12, 2023, to receive comments on the scope of the environmental review. City staff anticipates that a Draft EIR will be available for review and comment in summer 2023. Once the Draft EIR is completed, the City will invite community members to comment on the document.
As noted above, staff intends to return to Planning Commission on July 11, 2023 to gather additional direction on those items addressed at the May 23rd meeting. A staff report and supporting information for the July 11, 2023 Study Session will be available on the project website approximately 5 days prior to the meeting. No formal action will be taken at the meeting.
Following direction received at the July 11 Planning Commission meeting, the project team will make changes and submit revised design review plans later this summer. Planning Commission will then review the revised plans and Draft EIR prior to making recommendations to City Council regarding final action on the project.
Preliminary Design Details
The proposed housing development includes the construction of a four-story podium-style building with 45 affordable housing units, a ground floor parking garage with 65 residential parking spaces and an outdoor courtyard for the residents. The project also includes the replacement of the existing 38 public parking spaces and public restroom facilities on the site. The existing Public Safety Building (PSB) parking lot will be reconfigured to include up to 50 public parking spaces, public restrooms, and electric vehicle charging, and secured parking for police and fire in the rear of the PSB parking lot. The proposed entry to the residential parking garage will connect to the reconfigured PSB public parking to reduce curb cuts along Hamilton Drive.
Most of the building footprint for the housing development is located on the existing parking lot to minimize the amount of grading. The building design includes a ground floor parking garage with three floors of residential housing above. A large outdoor courtyard is located above the podium facing Hamilton Drive. The maximum height of the four-story building at the roof ridge and at the top of elevator and stair enclosure would be approximately 53 feet above natural grade.
Approximately 45 trees would be removed in order to construct the proposed project, including several trees on the PSB site. The project will be required to obtain a tree removal permit and comply with all applicable tree replacement and landscaping requirements.
The City’s General Plan land use designation for the housing site is currently CF (Community Facilities) and the zoning district is O-A (Open Area). The City’s Housing Element Update will change the General Plan designation to MFR 2 (Multi-Family Residential – 2). A change to the zoning district (to RM-B, Multi-Family Residential – Bayfront) is also required to implement the project. The Planning Commission and City Council will review the zone change as one of the actions to approve the project.
For More Information
To review application materials or view additional supporting information, visit the project website: www.cityofmillvalley.org/hamilton (LINK).
To receive Hamilton Housing e-mail updates - Sign up here (LINK).
Planning Commission meetings are held at 6:30pm at Mill Valley City Hall, 26 Corte Madera Avenue, Mill Valley, CA. Planning Commission meeting agenda materials will be available prior to the meetings on the City’s Meeting Agenda and Minutes Page (LINK). The City welcomes all community members to participate by commenting on the project prior to or during the meeting. We strongly encourage commenters to submit written comments at least one day prior to the public hearing. During the public hearing, the Planning Commission Chair will provide a time for public comments, limited to 3 minutes per speaker. Written public comments also will be accepted via email submitted to: firstname.lastname@example.org.