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June 7, 2016 — Elecciones Primarias de California
Condado

Condado de MarinCandidato para Supervisor, Distrito 4

Photo de Brian Staley

Brian Staley

Planner/Designer/Builder
428 votos (3.69%)
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Mis 3 prioridades principales

  • A commitment to defending and protecting the rural character and natural resources of our communities, which is a responsibility I take very seriously.
  • Emphasizing openness and transparency in the regulatory adoption process will be one of my top goals as Supervisor. Nothing could be more important than protecting our remaining wild lands from short term profiteers.
  • Housing costs and shortages are creating an enormous impact on traffic. The data show a majority of our teachers, firefighters, civil servants, and service sector workers live outside the County primarily because they cant afford the rising housing c

Experiencia

Actividades comunitarias

Chairman , San Geronimo Valley Planning Group (2015–current)

Biografía

We need a Supervisor that understands in his bones what the 4th District is, knows it’s history, understands it’s beauty, and how it got this way.

 

    I am a third generation Californian who grew up in San Anselmo and graduated from Sir Francis Drake High School. My mother was politically active, introduced me to many political notables, and taught me a deep reverence for the natural world. Our first house in the County in 1966 was a small bungalow in Tennessee Valley where I remember seeing Redwoods for the first time. Once my wife and I finished high school we moved out to West Marin in 1987. A few years later in 1991 we were fortunate enough to manage to purchase our home in Woodacre. 

My job has required me to be on top of the latest policies, codes and regulations in the Planning Dept., Dept. of Public Works, and Department of Environmental Health which gives me a leg up on how the system works.  This insight has also allowed me the opportunity to see where changes can occur that could improve county efficiency and could make getting permits easier, faster and less costly to residents. My qualifications include my role and commitment to defending and protecting the rural character and natural resources of our communities, which is a responsibility I take very seriously.

 

Since 1991 I have been staying abreast of all changes in the County and in particular development proposals and policy changes in West Marin. As the current Chair of The San Geronimo Valley Planning Group I have the responsibility to familiarize myself with all planning and building proposals in the district.  Whether it is road repair, new infrastructure, new codes, or a big development proposal, as Chair I have to know these proposals and policies inside and out. I am the only candidate talking about the major new regulations that will soon be imposed on our communities.

Preguntas y Respuestas

Preguntas de League of Women Voters of Marin County and California Counts, a public media collaboration (5)

What tangible plans do you have for addressing the lack of affordable housing and housing projects in the county? How will you deal with frequent neighborhood opposition to affordable housing projects?
Respuesta de Brian Staley:

Housing 

    Housing costs and shortages are creating an enormous impact on traffic. The data show a majority of our teachers, firefighters, civil servants, and service sector workers live outside the County primarily because they cant afford the rising housing costs. In 2015 there were no net increases in the number of affordable or senior housing units for the County. We have to do better. 

    The recent hearings held by the County to review and set housing policies were limited in that they avoided any rent control or eviction rule changes in order to satisfy political interests. 

 

As it now stands the current County policy:

• Attempts to purchase existing housing to preserve economic diversity where economically feasible.

• Provides modest incentives for affordable second units.

• Provides one-time incentives for renting to low income tenants.

• Sets a vague goal of building new units for a variety of income levels.

• Has an existing requirement that 20% of a multi unit development must be affordable.

    

    This set of weak policies will do little to add housing in the affordable category. The statistics are rather stark; there were no new affordable units added to the existing Marin housing market in 2015. It is likely 2016 will be the similar. Although I acknowledge the laudable intention of the Supervisors to acquire existing affordable units, the purchases only attempt to stabilize the current number of affordable units and unfortunately does not add to the number. County funds are also limited for this effort. 

    In order to provide housing for our  school teachers and civil servants, the very policies avoided by the supervisors need to be reconsidered.  One method of increasing affordable housing employed by California Counties allows homeowners to add a 650 square feet in-law unit (2nd Unit) to the residence if minimum zoning,  health and safety, and building code requirements are met. This means of adding units tends not to affect communities in negative ways.

        I should also say however that increasing density in urban areas without addressing the infrastructure, resource, and transportation needs of the community in question, is a very short sighted profit based process that benefits only those financially involved in the development and not the larger community. Communities are often left with unsightly and extremely dense developments whose occupants can put a strain on an already stressed infrastructure.

 

Possible Policy Options

  1. increased taxes for unused secondary residences which are waived if the properties are occupied full time

  2. Requirements for a higher percentage of affordable units for multi-unit development proposals

  3. Increased incentives for building second units in existing communities

  4. Deed restrictions can also be used for newly constructed second units to keep them rented full time

  5. Transient occupancy tax increases to offset the popularity of Airbnb, the taxes from which could be used to purchase more affordable units

     

The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) is scheduled to start picking up passengers late in 2016. What, if anything, would you change about the SMART train roll-out so that it could be fully functioning as soon as possible?
Respuesta de Brian Staley:

I would contribute in any way I could to improve and expand the range and infrastructure of SMART.

What transportation plans do you have to address the worsening traffic gridlock?
Respuesta de Brian Staley:

Traffic

    In Marin County the subject of traffic is fraught with emotion. Everyone is impacted.  Travel time has increased year over year. As a result of quickly rising housing costs people are forced to live further from their place of work resulting in more people driving longer distances than ever before. The data show a majority of our teachers, firefighters, civil servants, and service sector workers live outside the County primarily because they cant afford the rising housing costs, but are forced to fill our congested freeways. Some areas of the 4th district have severe traffic on the weekends from tourism. Other areas have severe traffic inn the mornings from parents taking their kids to school. The end result is slow overburdened freeways, and communities clogged with cars. Cars looking for parking, cars sitting in stopped traffic, and cars maneuvering slowly around accidents. Proposals for fixing the problem have ranged from bike lanes, to SMART rail http://sonomamarintrain.org , to widening the freeways, to having police wave traffic through at intersections. 

     Each of these options have supporters and opponents that are equally forceful in their conviction. The answer to the problem has historically been to get people into mass transit and out of their cars but the transit system in Marin has never been the same since our marvelous electric trolley was taken out. Today we maintain a limited system of busses and ferries to shuttle commuters. I believe every option has to be considered when creating a plan for long term transit improvement.

Disaster coordination

Is Marin County prepared to handle any kind of disaster that might strike the county? What coordination is planned between cities and the county?

No se proporcionó respuesta.
What is your position on ranching uses within the Point Reyes National Seashore boundaries?
Respuesta de Brian Staley:

As an environmentalist, I am kind of appalled at the recent lawsuit filed in Federal Court to remove Ranches from our Federal Parks. Ranches are part of the bucolic and important historic landscape. Many of the ranches are over 150 years old. It’s part of what people expect to see, it’s part of our economy. I believe the lawsuit has no merit. I do not think there is any indication in any laws or policies that prohibits appropriate historic ranching. I think the environmental organizations that are responsible for the lawsuit are on a fishing expedition, and I don’t think they realize the kind of damage they can do. A lot of people are employed by those ranches. Ranch owners spend their money locally and contribute enormously to our ecoomy. 

Creencias poliza

Filosofía política

 I have spent my life trying to protect every corner of our spectacular County and it has truly been a joy. Defending the legacy of protecting the rural character of our communities is a responsibility I take very seriously.

Keeping Tabs on all district issues.

    I have been a Planner/Designer/Builder for 30 years in Marin County. My areas of expertise in the field of construction are envelope efficiency and sustainable design. As part of my career experience I have become very familiar with all State and County codes as they pertain to building, planning, habitat, land management, waste and it’s treatment, and zoning. I also regularly update my knowledge with courses on the latest and most efficient technologies and methods. 

    I have assisted in developing our Community plan, been involved in many large project Master plans like Spirit Rock, and have become versed in all the technical aspects of the regulatory and planning rules and requirements that govern nearly any change in our communities.     

    Its been a pleasure spending 27 years as an advocate working to improve the health of our communities and working to slow the steady growth in Marin. With new County and State policies being drafted which will bring change to our neighborhoods, we need a County Supervisor with real experience in policy and planning issues who will be a steadfast advocate for residents and the environment. 

As supervisor I will bring my planning and green building experience to bear and make fundamental improvements in the way the County does business. I intend to maintain and continue the legacy of protecting our rural community character and will work tirelessly to provide support for all the diverse communities in the 4th District. Together, we can make a difference.

 

Documentos sobre determinadas posturas

Development, Environment, Housing, Herbicides

Summary

My Primary Issues of concern for the 4th District

Chief Concerns

 

Huge new development pressures

    The County in recent years has come under massive pressures from a host of sources to lessen current building regulations across the board. These pressures have resulted in a series of process and political changes in recent months. The changes affecting our District directly are State and County Coastal development and water quality regulations. 

    The fields of battle over the future of the District will be at the California Coastal Commission, and in the ongoing policy drafting of the County of Marin’s Local Coastal Program. Emphasizing openness and transparency in the regulatory adoption process will be one of my top goals as Supervisor. Nothing could be more important than protecting our remaining wild lands from short term profiteers.

 

Herbicides

    The use of Herbicides on County land and on County open space for the control of non natives and invasive species has been an ongoing debate in Marin for years. However with the State of California weighing in and officially designating the commonly used Glyphosate (Roundup) as a known carcinogen, there is no longer any debate. It is critical that we stop using any known cancer causing materials in all situations regardless of whether it is to control a destructive plant species or not. The health risk to people and wildlife is far too great to continue using this dangerous product and any others like it. As Supervisor I will work to discontinue the use of herbicides as well as pesticides in all county operations.

 

Housing 

    Housing costs and shortages are creating an enormous impact on traffic. The data show a majority of our teachers, firefighters, civil servants, and service sector workers live outside the County primarily because they cant afford the rising housing costs. In 2015 there were no net increases in the number of affordable or senior housing units for the County. We have to do better. 

    The recent hearings held by the County to review and set housing policies were limited in that they avoided any rent control or eviction rule changes in order to satisfy political interests. 

 

As it now stands the current County policy:

• Attempts to purchase existing housing to preserve economic diversity where economically feasible.

• Provides modest incentives for affordable second units.

• Provides one-time incentives for renting to low income tenants.

• Sets a vague goal of building new units for a variety of income levels.

• Has an existing requirement that 20% of a multi unit development must be affordable.

    

    This set of weak policies will do little to add housing in the affordable category. The statistics are rather stark; there were no new affordable units added to the existing Marin housing market in 2015. It is likely 2016 will be the similar. Although I acknowledge the laudable intention of the Supervisors to acquire existing affordable units, the purchases only attempt to stabilize the current number of affordable units and unfortunately does not add to the number. County funds are also limited for this effort. 

    In order to provide housing for our  school teachers and civil servants, the very policies avoided by the supervisors need to be reconsidered.  One method of increasing affordable housing employed by California Counties allows homeowners to add a 650 square feet in-law unit (2nd Unit) to the residence if minimum zoning,  health and safety, and building code requirements are met. This means of adding units tends not to affect communities in negative ways.

        I should also say however that increasing density in urban areas without addressing the infrastructure, resource, and transportation needs of the community in question, is a very short sighted profit based process that benefits only those financially involved in the development and not the larger community. Communities are often left with unsightly and extremely dense developments whose occupants can put a strain on an already stressed infrastructure.

 

Possible Policy Options

  1. increased taxes for unused secondary residences which are waived if the properties are occupied full time

  2. Requirements for a higher percentage of affordable units for multi-unit development proposals

  3. Increased incentives for building second units in existing communities

  4. Deed restrictions can also be used for newly constructed second units to keep them rented full time

  5. Transient occupancy tax increases to offset the popularity of Airbnb, the taxes from which could be used to purchase more affordable units

 

Marin Countywide Plan

    The Community Development Agency, told supervisors in a staff report that they should consider an amendment to the Countywide Plan to “realign the lofty aspirations” with the realities of staff and financial constraints. This suggestion does not bode well for those of us concerned with the health of our ecosystem. While the scope of the number of programs was ambitious the resulting extent of work necessary to complete the task was so daunting as to seem preposterously insurmountable. The result will be that environmental protections will take a backseat to other priorities.

 

Of the 741 programs in the new Countywide Plan, I am primarily concerned about retaining and strengthening:

• Updates to the Local Coastal Program 

• Assessing impacts of sea-level rise in bayfront communities 

• Improving wetland protection 

• The creation of a special district to inspect and monitor septic systems.

• The Housing Element, (which should be improved & strengthened)

 

Traffic

    In Marin County the subject of traffic is fraught with emotion. Everyone is impacted.  Travel time has increased year over year. As a result of quickly rising housing costs people are forced to live further from their place of work resulting in more people driving longer distances than ever before. Some areas of the 4th district have severe traffic on the weekends from tourism. Other areas have severe traffic inn the mornings from parents taking their kids to school. The end result is slow overburdened freeways, and communities clogged with cars. Cars looking for parking, cars sitting in stopped traffic, and cars maneuvering slowly around accidents. Proposals for fixing the problem have ranged from bike lanes, to SMART rail http://sonomamarintrain.org , to widening the freeways, to having police wave traffic through at intersections.  Each of these options have supporters and opponents that are equally forceful in their conviction. The answer to the problem has historically been to get people into mass transit and out of their cars but the transit system in Marin has never been the same since our marvelous electric trolley was taken out. Today we maintain a limited system of busses and ferries to shuttle commuters. I believe every option has to be considered when creating a plan for long term transit improvement.

 

Sustainable Economies 

    I think the Marin Economic Forum is a great start for creating opportunities blending efficiencies, sustainable practices and business interests.  As a specialist in Sustainable Design and materials I know that there are incredible opportunities for our local businesses to both grow and to adopt new greener models.  Marin should be a national example for how to save energy and create safe, non-toxic work environments. 

 

Zoning

    Having grown up in Marin and having been a property owner in District 4 since 1991, I understand the importance and inherent value in the rural character of our District. A one hundred year old ranch might not mean much to some but it means a lot in terms of policy. County Supervisors have a great deal of discretion in the areas of zoning and master plan approval. Changing zoning can turn a dairy ranch into a strip mall overnight. It only requires three out of the five votes to authorize a zoning modification. Zoning is a key element in controlling how the character of a community is maintained and should not be changed without extensive public review and support. In recent years the county has become far too cavalier when changing parcel zoning. 

 

Bureaucratic  Inertia

    The majority of my process concerns have been related to the county's slow compliance with State water quality mandates, slow efforts protecting sensitive habitats, funding habitat restoration, trails maintenance, eager willingness for development, maintaining our community character, zoning modifications, and avoiding rigorous compliance to community plans.  

 

 

Things are changing

Some rather big changes are coming to the 4th District.

•  New state regulations governing our watersheds and coastal areas have been passed by the legislature and the County is now grappling with this new set of State directives and is in the process of developing definitive policies. Huge pressures from development interests, real estate, and property owners have been building to lessen the regulations. These efforts came to a head at the coastal commission in February of this year.  Strong leadership is needed in these critical times while these policies are being drafted. 

 

• New water quality regulations (AB885) set out in the State OWTS policy for impaired waterways will be felt throughout the district. Nearly every creek and tributary in the 4th district have been deemed “impaired”.  This designation triggers an increased setback off creeks from 100 ft. to 600 ft. and requires far more robust waste water treatment. The burden of compliance costs will end up on thousands of district homeowners who are at their financial limits. While these may be welcome improvements in water quality standards, they often have the unfortunate consequence of financially impacting local Ranchers and homeowners. Everyone wants a clean creek full of healthy salmon, but the issue is how the burden of costs are distributed. One answer is for the State and County to establish a loan program for anyone impacted by the new guidelines.  An effective Supervisor would make this happen.

 

• The County is also now drafting the State required Local Coastal Program (LCP) which sets policies as to how development is regulated along the district’s coastline. Unfortunately these new policies have been written far too loosely which could be used to build nearly anything anywhere. It is estimated that under the current drafted policy a total of 1.5 million square feet of new construction is possible along Marin’s coastline. Highly qualified people who possess a deep understanding about what our coast represents should be at the lead when crafting such important policies. We must protect the remaining biological diversity of both the lands and the water along Marin’s Coastline while giving our local farms and ranches the tools needed to continue to be economically viable.

 

• Climate Change is bringing with it some substantial problems. We have seen the unusually warm coastal waters cause severe toxic algal blooms that shut down crab fishing for an entire season. While this may seem a superficial issue, the reality is that hundreds of local Dungeness Crab businesses depend on the resource. Climate change is already an issue in terms of sea level rise and tidal influence. Our District has seen impacts on infrastructure, roadways, traffic, and residences. These impacts will only increase over time. The time is right to begin planning for the eventual economic and environmental impacts we will be faced with.

• As a result of the slow growth in unincorporated West Marin the use of new micro Sewage Districts have been increasingly popular as an answer to communities in the rural areas. Unfortunately these micro-districts have not had a good track record and have negative long term economic and environmental consequences for the County. Some of these districts are at the edge of bankruptcy and have only the County to bail them out when they are managed poorly. With the advent of the new water quality regulations we will see a continued reliance on these districts into the future and should expect the County to indemnify all their legal and financial liability. The County needs to be more cautious in the creation of these questionable ventures and when considering the construction of any new ones should involve everyone in those respective communities.

 

 

Problem solver

As a problem solver I have spent my adult life understanding problems.  As Supervisor my primary duty would be protecting the character of our communities regardless of outside pressures.  A clean environment doesn't have to be in conflict with a strong economy, let’s achieve both.

 

It’s time to fix some things. The time is right for experienced leadership. 

 

Videos (3)

— April 24, 2016 Brian Staley

This video covers the various aspects of Glyphosate

— April 24, 2016 Brian Staley

Covering the changes in Coastal Policy

— April 25, 2016 Brian Staley

Covering Coastal Policy specifics

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