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The City started work on implementing and updating the Housing Element in January 2014. The work involves two tracks. The first track involves adopting a variety of Zoning Ordinance Amendments, which were pledged in the existing Housing Element (which was adopted in 2012). In order to be eligible for certification from the State for the upcoming Housing Element cycle, the City must follow through with these program amendments. If the programs are not adopted, our eight year cycle reverts to a four year cycle and our next Housing Element will be due in 2018, instead of 2023. The second track involves updating the Housing Element and gaining certification by the State by January 31, 2015. The second track is reliant on the first track amendments being adopted.

HE Flow Chart 4-2014

Background: Sausalito adopted an updated Housing Element1  in October 2012 which covers the years 2009-2014 (see the link at the bottom of the page for the Adopted Housing Element). This Housing Element was certified by the State of California, Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) in November of 2012 as being in compliance with Housing Element Law. The City of Sausalito is in the process of updating the Housing Element for the years 2015-2023. The City’s deadline to adopt a revised Housing Element is January 31, 2015. HCD will only certify the 2015-2023 Housing Element if the City implement— or puts in place— certain programs which were committed to in the most recently adopted 2009-2014 Housing Element. Specifically:

  • Reasonable Accommodations (e.g., allowing a ramp in a setback to allow access to an entry door for a wheelchair-bound resident)
  • Transitional and Supportive Housing (i.e., California cities are required to regulate transitional and supportive housing as a residential use and allow “single room occupancy” facilities as a commercial use)
  •  Density Bonuses (i.e., all California cities are required to grant density bonuses for new projects of five or more units ranging from 5% to 35% depending on the affordability provided when requested by a project sponsor. The City is amending its Density Bonus ordinance to reflect changes in State law.)
  • Emergency Shelter (i.e., all California cities are required by the State to identify a Zoning District where emergency homeless shelters are a use that is permitted by right)
  • The Vertical Mixed Use (VMU) program (i.e., the City committed in the adopted Housing Element to requiring any upper level construction in the City’s commercial districts (CC, CR, CN-1) to be limited to residential use only, with a minimum of one affordable unit)
  • The Horizontal Mixed Use (HMU) program (i.e., the City committed in the adopted Housing Element to creating an overlay zone where properties in the CN-1 Zoning District could utilize the ground floor level of buildings for residential use in exchange for providing a percentage of affordable units and three-bedroom units).

These programs must be put in place prior to adopting an updated Housing Element for the years 2015-2023. If the City does not update the Housing Element by the specified timeframe the City will not be in compliance with Housing Element law .

Curious about the "HMU" and "Density Bonus" Programs in the 2007-2014 Housing Element?  Click here for a Fact Sheet on the Horizontal Mixed Use Program and the State Density Bonus Law Ordinance.

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Mayor Ray Withy 
Vice Mayor Thomas Theodores 
Planning Commission Chair Joan Cox
Planning Commissioner Susan Cleveland-Knowles

2014 Meeting Agendas and Packets
January 30, 2014
February 7, 2014
February 13, 2014
March 15, 2014 Workshop
        (video recording)  -  Answers to Questions asked
March 19, 2014
March 31, 2014
April 9, 2014
May 13, 2014
June 13, 2014

September 24, 2013
December 10, 2013 
February 24, 2014


The City of Sausalito’s Housing Element was adopted by the City Council on October 9, 2012 and certified by the State Department of Housing and Community Development on November 7, 2012. 




[1] The Housing Element is one of the seven mandated elements of a jurisdiction’s General Plan. Housing Element Law, enacted in 1969, mandates that local governments adequately plan to meet the existing and projected housing needs of all economic segments of the community.


Last updated: 6/12/2014 3:18:47 PM