Novato Unified School District Considers Converting Surplus Sites into Employee Housing

The Novato Unified School District is exploring the possibility of converting six surplus sites into employee housing, according to consultant Chris White of Brookwood Partners. The sites under consideration include the San Andreas site in San Marin, the district office site on Seventh Street, the Hill Education Center, a transportation yard, and locations in the Hamilton area. In a draft feasibility study presentation at a recent school district board meeting, White outlined potential apartment complexes ranging from one to five stories high, including two-story townhouses.

The proposed housing projects aim to accommodate between 100 and 200 people, couples, or families. However, before any development plans can be considered, the trustees expressed the need to review the likely financial strategies to fund each project. Trustee Ross Millerick emphasized the importance of viable financial models, stating that having free land alone is insufficient. Board president Julie Jacobson echoed this sentiment and requested cost details for the projects.

Trustee Greg Mack expressed the desire for housing projects that would accommodate more than 25% of the district’s staff, suggesting the need for around 300 housing units to support the district’s 855 employees. In response, Chris White assured the trustees that he and his colleagues would address their feedback and provide financing details at the next board meeting on August 6.

While some community members praised the district’s proactive approach in addressing the high cost of housing in Marin, others expressed concerns about potential congestion and strain on parking and traffic. Teresa Colyer, president of the Lanham Village Homeowners Association, voiced her opposition to adding another 200 units in the already-developing Hamilton area.

The district acknowledges the importance of community input and aims to be in close communication with residents. Trustee Diane Gasson ruled out the district office and Hill Education Center sites due to existing congestion and expressed a preference for locations closer to transportation.

Various financing options are being considered, including seeking voter approval for a bond measure or selling off surplus properties. To maximize sale prices, the properties would need to have all necessary entitlements in place. Selling the sites “as is” is not favored by the trustees, as it would result in lower sale prices and the potential loss of district assets.

More Posts

SWEP, a world-leading supplier of brazed plate heat exchangers (BPHEs), has unveiled its latest innovation …

Village Super Market, Inc. (NASDAQ: VLGEA) is deeply saddened to announce the passing of William …

Vicinity Motor Corp., a leading North American supplier of commercial electric vehicles, has announced the …