Coast Guard Property

US Coast Guard – Surplus property in transition

Coast Guard housing
Coast Guard housing

What is the Coast Guard Housing Site? An existing neighborhood of 36 townhomes plus dormitory and public space that is currently vacant near downtown Point Reyes Station. The community has worked hard to ensure this property is repurposed for affordable homes and community uses needed in this rural area – by helping to pass federal legislation, carried by Congressman Huffman (2016), to prevent it from being sold and market rate and instead put it on a path for affordable homes.

THIS JUST IN (August 2019):

The Marin County Board of Supervisors is holding two hearings as part of its process toward purchasing the US Coast Guard Housing Site in Point Reyes.
On Tuesday August 13th, sometime between 9:00 and 11:00am, the Board of Supervisors will decide whether to authorize a notice of intent to purchase the property for $4.3 million. Should the Board take this step, a second hearing will be held on Tuesday, September 17th to vote on whether to enter a purchase agreement for the property.

ACT NOW TO ENSURE AFFORDABLE HOMES AT THE COAST GUARD SITE:

Hearing Dates, Location, Transportation/Carpool

Hearing 1: Tuesday 8/13/19. Time likely between 9:00-11:00am. Community members can affirm how important this housing is for the community, and their support for CLAM as the community organization to eventually own and manage it.

Hearing 2: Tuesday 9/17/19. This is a key hearing for input and were we’re suggesting the largest show of support. This will be the actual purchase hearing. Time TBD, but it may last approximately 45 minutes depending on public testimony.

Hearing location: 3501 Civic Center Drive, San Rafael, Room 301 Board of Supervisors Chambers.

Carpools: Meet at Pt. Reyes Library parking lot 8am on 8/13, and to-be-announced for 9/17 hearing. Carpools can be organized on the spot.

Parking at Civic Center: 2 hour lot is located on the West side of the Civic Center Building. Longer term parking is located closer to the freeway.

What you can do:

  • Show up to the hearing on 8/13 or 9/17 to voice your support or just stand to show your support while others speak
  • Email or send a letter to the BOS before the hearing at bos@marincounty.org. Tell them you support housing revitalization at the Coast Guard property
  • Tell friends to also show support!

Consider including these messages in your comments

  • We support the County’s property purchase for $4.3 million.
  • I signed a petition to show my support for purchase of the Coast Guard property. Thanks for funding the purchase and making this sale happen.
  • We desperately need this housing asset to support the economic vibrancy of West Marin and its workers.
  • Affordable housing for a range of household sizes and incomes is desperately needed in Point Reyes and West Marin.
  • We want to get the housing occupied as soon as possible. Expedited public review, planning and permitting will be very important at the County and Coastal Commission levels.
  • Our community wants to provide input on the property’s future and have a meaningful involvement in the planning process.
  • We want this property to provide housing and also provide some community uses that are needed in our rural area.
  • The project bid winners should have a deep knowledge of Point Reyes, our history & value of community collaboration, and a desire & demonstrated ability to partner with the community on this project.
  • CLAM, as the local community land trust, is the right organization to own and steward the long term public benefits and assets on the property.
  • As an employer in West Marin, I’m constantly struggling to retain employees because housing is scarce and too expensive. I am ready to support this AND other local workforce housing with my advocacy and efforts.
  • All background on the property, septic capacity, environmental constraints and opportunities should be made available to the public now so that potential bidders can work on their project proposals without delay.

Questions?

BACKGROUND

Once Marin County purchases this property from the Coast Guard, it will issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) from groups interested in rehabilitating and managing the property as affordable housing. CLAM will submit a proposal to rehab, own, and manage the property with our partner Eden Housing. The County will select a developer (like CLAM and Eden) to repurpose this neighborhood for affordable homes.

CLAM has invited Eden Housing to be our partner at the Coast Guard. In this collaboration, the two organizations will share equally in decision making to refine the site plan, balancing community needs and financial feasibility. CLAM will offer community perspective and voice. Eden will provide the finance, construction, and property management expertise that is necessary for this project to be a success. CLAM chose Eden because of its excellence in affordable rental housing across Northern California, as well as its organizational values, including community-centered affordable housing, that align with CLAM’s mission.

How can you get involved?  Your input to the County on the need for strong local control of the Coast Guard neighborhood will be important. Please voice your ideas to Dennis Rodoni at Marin County, drodoni@marincounty.org. The County of Marin will likely hold at least two meetings about the Coast Guard property in May through December 2019, in addition to the community meetings held on April 18th, 30th and July 12th 2018.

CLAM invites your input and questions on our work related to this new neighborhood. We look forward to more conversations within the community after the County announces the bid process.

Why CLAM?

As your local community land trust, CLAM acquires property to create community assets – and stewards those assets in perpetuity. As a local organization, we seek community participation to inform how we implement our mission of sustaining a vibrant West Marin. We also make concerted efforts to organize and empower CLAM residents and provide opportunities for residents to build savings and improve their lives. You can read about some of our successes here. 

CLAM’s Position and Vision of the Community

  • Current land prices in the Point Reyes National Seashore area have dramatically escalated rental rates and home purchase prices far above feasible for working families. The communities surrounding Tomales Bay are in danger of being hollowed out by market forces that promote displacement of local residents and those who work locally.
  • CLAM wants to acquire the Coast Guard property so that the homes and land stay affordable and in local control for the long term.
  • Community ownership of this site would provide affordable homes that are the anchor of community health.
  • The creation of affordable homes and community assets at the site will not involve any additional building footprint; rather, it will involve the wise re-use and ongoing stewardship of existing buildings.
  • The site provides additional community space that is needed and rare in a County and Coastal Zone regulatory environment in which there are multiple barriers to new construction.
  • CLAM will submit a competitive proposal to redevelop the site when the County issues its request. Our bid will be in alignment with the community’s intense interest to attain this property, hold it in trust as community-owned property through CLAM, and make it available for affordable homes and community assets.

The Remarkable Back-Story

CLAM was critically instrumental in organizing community support to prevent an auction sale of the Coast Guard neighborhood. In mid-2014, the US Coast Guard designated its Housing Facility in Point Reyes Station as surplus property. It planned to sell this 32-acre neighborhood, with its 36 town homes, to the highest bidder on an online governmental auction.

Seeing that this property presented an unsurpassed, once-in-a-generation opportunity for the community to gain dozens of affordable homes, CLAM worked with Congressman Jared Huffman and Marin County Supervisor Steve Kinsey to prevent an auction sale. The goal was to direct the site to be sold to the County of Marin, which would then work with CLAM to repurpose the property for affordable homes.

In late 2014, Congressman Huffman introduced legislation to direct the US Coast Guard to sell the property to the County. CLAM invited letters of support for the legislation from our local community, ultimately sending more than 150 letters to Congressman Huffman, California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, and to Supervisor Kinsey, who worked with the Marin County Board of Supervisors to pass a resolution that supported the federal legislation.

The legislation moved successfully through both the House and Senate in 2015, with CLAM demonstrating extensive community support for this property to be used as affordable homes. One staff member for the General Services Administration, commenting on the community and political support for this property, said, “We have never seen anything like this!”

In February of 2016, the legislation that Congressman Huffman introduced was signed into law by President Obama. As a result, the property should be sold to Marin County for the purposes of affordable housing!


Frequently Asked Questions

Does CLAM own the Coast Guard neighborhood?

No. The property is still under Federal ownership. The purchase is currently being negotiated by the County of Marin.

In what ways has CLAM been preparing to take on the Coast Guard neighborhood?

CLAM has been talking with potential organizational partners for the Coast Guard site. CLAM will choose a partner that has the expertise that best aligns with our mission, including having the skills necessary for the construction and rehabilitation work that will be needed before homes at the Coast Guard property can be offered.

CLAM more than doubled its staff by adding 3 new part-time staff in 2017. A project manager will help guide CLAM through acquisition of the Coast Guard neighborhood and other properties. A Development Director is helping us reach our fundraising goals.

When will the homes in the Coast Guard neighborhood be available?

Because so many decisions still need to be made by the County, CLAM cannot yet forecast a timeline for redevelopment of the Coast Guard property. We do know it will take a few years. Some of the homes are in great shape, but others need renovation. And crucially, a community septic system must be installed on site before anyone can move in.

Can I get on a wait list for the Coast Guard homes?

Not at this time. A waiting list will be established after the redevelopment plan is defined.

Will the homes be rentals or homeownership?

The County’s community process will help shape a vision for the types of housing the project will offer.

Who will get to live there?

Anyone who qualifies for reasonably priced housing will be able to apply for one of the homes. People who need affordable homes are everyday people. We work as teachers, retail clerks, restaurant staff, medical technicians, farmers, and bank tellers.
Affordable homes can reduce financial pressures, so that residents have time and stability to give back to the community. Our hope is that the Coast Guard neighborhood serves as an anchor for West Marin communities for generations to come.

How will the dining hall and commercial kitchen be used?

Current non-residential facilities on the Coast Guard property hold many possibilities and constraints. These issues will be discussed at the workshops Marin County plans to host. Be sure to participate in the discussion! If CLAM becomes the Coast Guard owner, we will seek community input about the many possible uses of not only the dining hall and kitchen, but also the pool, tennis court, riparian lands, office, and work spaces. Our hope is that these spaces will serve both residents of the neighborhood and the larger community.

Site Visit
Coast Guard Site Visit, Photo: Todd Pickering

Community support includes the following organizations:

Black Mountain Artisans
Bovine Bakery
Coastal Health Alliance
Coastal Marin Fund

Cottages at Point Reyes Seashore
Cowgirl Creamery
Community Land Trust Association of West Marin (CLAM)
East Shore Planning Group
Environmental Action Committee of West Marin
Gallery Route One – Artists in the Schools Program
Gallery Route One – Latino Photography Project
Inverness Association Board of Directors
Inverness Park Association
Jack Mason Museum
Tim Kehoe, owner/operator of Kehoe Dairy Inc.
KWMR Radio Station Board of Directors
Main Street Hair Salon
Mainstreet Moms
Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT)
The Mesa Refuge
Osteria Stellina

Perry’s Inverness Park Grocery
Petition of Support by local individuals
Point Reyes Animal Hospital
Point Reyes Books
Point Reyes Farmers Market
Point Reyes National Seashore Association
Point Reyes Station Village Association
R&J McClelland Dairy
Saint Columba Episcopal Church
Shoreline Unified School District
Toby’s Feed Barn
Tomales Bay Resort & Marina
Tomales Bay Watershed Council Foundation
West Marin Citizen
West Marin Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
West Marin Commons
West Marin Community Services
West Marin Fitness
West Marin Fund
West Marin-Inverness School
West Marin Senior Services

If you or an organization you are involved with would like to ensure this site is acquired locally, please see the “sample letter of support” on the sidebar and email your letter of support to us at kim@clam-ptreyes.org. We are happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have – please call us at 415-663-1005.