Frequently Asked Questions

Objective Design and Development Standards – Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How is this work funded? This work is funded by the State through the Building Homes and Jobs Act of 2017 (known as SB 2). SB 2 was passed to provide funding and technical assistance to help cities and counties respond to the new streamlined review process by preparing and implementing plans for multi-family housing projects.
  2. If all communities are sharing the toolkit, how will each community address individual and unique issues and needs?  The toolkit will contain a range of zoning standards that reflect the variety of building types and physical site conditions throughout Marin County.  Each community will take the portion(s) of the toolkit they want to use and then further tailor it to their specific needs.
  3. How does the RHNA goal for each community fit into the ODDS project?  If a jurisdiction has not met their RHNA goal of zoning for housing at a variety of income levels, State law allows developers to submit multi-unit housing applications under a ministerial approval process that provides for streamlined review.  The ministerial process means that, among other criteria, the development must be consistent with all ODDS adopted at the time of application submittal.
  4. What if a City or Town does not adopt ODDS? If a City or Town does not have ODDS, they are still required to review and act on the project through a ministerial process, without any local guidance on design and standards.
  5. What about architectural style?  How do these important issues get addressed in objective design standards?  A component of the toolkit is a set of standards addressing architectural style.  The consultant team will prepare an architectural styles pattern book for each unique jurisdiction.  This information will be incorporated into the objective design and development standards.
  6. Will this replace existing zoning standards? ODDS will not replace existing zoning. ODDS will serve as a supplement to the zoning code, applied to multi-family housing projects that meet state mandated criteria. 
  7. Is design review eliminated? No, design review for qualifying projects is still applicable. Design review will be done to evaluate conformance with ODDS, but the Design Review process will be limited to objective standards. Design review will also be done for projects that do not require ODDS.
  8. How can I get involved? The Objective Design and Development Standards team has released a visual preference survey that will inform design typologies. Take the survey to provide your input on what multi-family and mixed-use development should look like in Corte Madera. Corte Madera will also hold study sessions at the Planning Commission when the ODDS are in their draft and final forms. The Town of Corte Madera has also formed a Technical Advisory Working Group. The working group will help guide the development of the toolkit that will produce multi-family housing design standards for the Town of Corte Madera. These meetings are open to the public and the agendas, meeting minutes, and work products will be posted on the Town’s ODDS webpage.