Who is MCA?
MCA—Marin Community Alliance—is a grassroots organization of concerned county residents formed solely to challenge Housing Element (Plan) adopted by Marin County Board of Supervisors in 2013. This is a CEQA legal challenge based on significant errors in the county’s process; errors brought up by many members of our Marin community that were not corrected before the plan was approved.
What is CEQA?
The California Environmental Quality Act, which was created to help communities protect their environment from the impacts of development on their traffic, water, infrastructure, and visual resources. Lawsuits using CEQA must be filed within 30 days of a decision; a very short window of opportunity. We were able to do that; no one else did. These suits must also be heard very quickly so our need for your support is urgent!
I live in a city/I’m not in a PDA so this issue doesn’t concern me.!
Not true! Unincorporated Marin County was given housing (RHNA) numbers just the same as our cities were. They placed their housing in the 101 corridor, just like the cities did, effectively doubling the burden on the freeway and without regard for traffic, sea level rise, or public health and safety. The state, the cities and the county NEVER considered the cumulative impact of these decisions on us. This is a clear CEQA violation.
I’m no environmentalist, so why should I care about CEQA?
CEQA requires any large development to investigate the community impacts of their project on traffic, air quality, schools, visual (how high or wide a building is) as well as water, habitat, etc. It also required public outreach so that citizens can look over the plans and make comments or raise objections. Current CEQA “streamlining” laws are gutting this public review process and allowing cities and counties to ignore traffic, school, water, public health and safety impacts. Good for developers; not good for residents.
Aren’t we in a drought? Where is the water for all this housing going to come from?
Good question! The CEQA “streamlining” from the state and county says we can ignore the fact that we have limited water, limited parking, limited road capacity, etc. So the developers take their profit, while the community will have to pay the ongoing future price in a reduced water supply, which results in higher costs for people and businesses.
This is bad! How can we stop this?
The MCA lawsuit is our best, first, and ONLY way to put a direct stop to the planned high-density huge growth being pushed onto our county. This suit requires the county to follow its own rules regarding thoroughly investigating the impacts of development before approving it. They tried to get around this, which opens the door for more huge high-density projects like we are seeing in Corte Madera. We are requesting donations from the entire Marin community. This suit not only protects unincorporated Marin but will support the efforts of cities to push back against their unfair state housing numbers.