Housing Element

The Town is updating its Housing Element to comply with State law.  Please click here to read about the Town's efforts.

What is a Housing Element?
A state-mandated policy document updated every eight years that identifies where and how Fairfax will accommodate existing and projected future housing needs for people of all income groups. In the 2023-2031 6th Cycle Housing Element Update, the Town will need to plan for an additional 490 new housing units.

Is Fairfax required to build the housing assigned?
Under current state law, the town is not required to build housing units. Instead, Fairfax is required to ensure that sufficient lands are available to accommodate all assigned units ‘by right.’  To do so, Fairfax must determine whether enough land is available to accommodate its assigned 490 housing units. If not, then Fairfax is required to designate new sites for this purpose – usually through amending the General Plan and Zoning designation to allow for multifamily housing development.

We Invite you to Participate in the Housing Element Process

The Town of Fairfax and EMC Planning Group, our Housing Element firm, welcome you to participate in in a discussion about the Housing Element update on the Town's online public engagement platform - www.fairfaxspeaks.com. We invite everyone to the table to determine what kind and where you want housing in Fairfax.
Plus, if you register online you are eligible for free prizes, courtesy of the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce. Please join us today and help us plan for Fairfax's future.
Housing Element 2015-2023 – Adopted Housing Element September 25, 2018 PDF (5 MB)

Objective Design and Development Standards

The Town of Fairfax, in cooperation with ten other Marin jurisdictions, is undertaking development of Objective Design and Development Standards (ODDS) to evaluate potential multi-family residential development projects.  This effort is in response to new State laws which have severely limited or in many cases eliminated local discretionary review of multifamily housing projects.  Such projects can be reviewed for conformance with locally adopted ODDS.  

The Planning Commission has reviewed local efforts on February 20, April 16, and November 19, 2020.   meetings.  On May 21 the design team doing the ODDS work and headed by Opticos made a zoom presentation.  These meetings and related documents are available for viewing on the Planning Commission meeting page: https://www.townoffairfax.org/planning-commission-meetings/

A countywide video survey was also conducted in spring 2020 to provide ODDS information and obtain public input.

Assisting the Town’s ODDS efforts, Yarbrough Architectural Group is cataloguing the Town’s cultural and historical resources.

See the November 19, 2020 ODDS presentation to the Planning Commission.

New State Housing Laws

Accessory Dwelling Units– Local Laws

Renter Protections – Local Laws

Information and resources for housing needs and delaying payment of rents, leases or mortgages.

On March 24, the Marin County Board of Supervisors approved an emergency resolution to prevent residents and business owners from being evicted because of a sudden loss of income related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This ban is in effect countywide in every city, town, and unincorporated area of Marin County and lasts until May 31, 2020, unless extended by the Board of Supervisors.

  • Applies to residential tenants or commercial small business lease holder that has not made a timely rent payment due on or after March 24, 2020.
  • Renters and commercial lease holders must notify their landlord within 30 days after the rent is due that they are unable to pay because of financial impacts related to COVID-19.
  • A landlord may seek payment of unpaid rent after the expiration of the local emergency, but may not charge late fees.

    For More Information and sample language for renters to use to notify their landlords, see Marin County's website.

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