South Eliseo Neighborhood Alliance
Our mission is to enhance the quality of life in the South Eliseo neighborhood through education, communication, organization, and advocacy. SENA is volunteer-run non-profit public charity under IRC Section 501(c)(3).
SENA's Lawsuit to Stop Development at 1251 South Eliseo Was Unsuccessful
SENA's petition to Stop the 43-unit low-income single-room-occupancy housing development at 1251 South Eliseo was denied. This ruling was disappointing but not unexpected. We are thankful for all of the community members who supported us in what we still believe was our best opportunity to stop this misguided project.
We are considering other options including a suit in federal court and initiating administrative proceedings with various agencies. Stay tuned and stay in touch. Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org. (updated 1/5/2023)
SENA Files for Temporary Restraining Order to Stop Construction
Sena has filed a motion to halt construction at 1251 S Eliseo. This motion will be heard in Marin County Court (Courtroom A) at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 21.
Please attend this hearing! Your presence will make it clear to the court how important this matter is to the community.
URGENT: Larkspur City Council Will Vote Wednesday, August 3 to Give $275,000 to 1251 S Eliseo. Comment Now!
On Wednesday, August 3 the Larkspur City Council will vote to waive $275,672.49 in fees including hard costs of over $59,000 and rising for 1251 S Eliseo. This $30-million 44-unit single-room-occupancy low-income housing boondoggle is bad for our neighborhood and bad for Larkspur.
Attend the Wednesday, August 3 meeting at 5:30 p.m. in person at 400 Magnolia Avenue, Larkspur, CA or via this zoom link and raise your hand to speak.
Also email your comment to the City Clerk. Public comment received prior to 4:30 P.M. on the day of the meeting will be distributed to the entire City Council and made available to the public in the online agenda packet.
Marin County working to increase the number of mentally ill housed at 1251 S. Eliseo
Marin County was hoping for $6 million in state funding so they can set aside 16 units for people with mental illness. The first round of funding was announced at the end of June, and 1251 S. Eliseo was not among the awardees. The County is hopeful they will receive funding in the second round in August.
In other developments:
Episcopal Community Services (ECS) expects to close on the acquisition of the property and start construction in late July or early August. The tentative date for construction completion is May 2023, at which point residents will begin to move in. They hope to have the building fully occupied by the end of next summer.
On May 10th, the Board of Supervisors approved three agreements governing the use of the grant funds and operations for the site. The agreements include details about the County’s contribution to construction costs; conditions of the property deed, such as tenant protections and rent limits; and preliminary requirements for how the building will be operated. As the opening date nears, the operating agreements will be amended to include a more detailed scope of work, with information about additional clinical support for clients and the functions of the Community Safety Services. They expect those revisions to go before the Board of Supervisors toward the end of this calendar year.
Nearby 2017 Discharge of "Unknown Black Material"
On May 14, the South Eliseo Neighborhood Alliance (SENA) sent a letter to Marin County regarding their finding that the development at 1251 S Eliseo will have no significant environmental impact. Our letter noted the following concerns, among others, and requests further review:
In April 2017 a discharge of an unknown black material came from the ground at a nearby vacant business lot that may impact the property.
A 5,000-gallon diesel fuel tank was installed in 1982 in a property just 230 feet away. This same property is listed on the Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) list. An unauthorized release of gasoline impacting an unspecified media was discovered in February 1997.
1251 South Eliseo Drive (Subject Property) is listed on the California Hazardous Material Incident Reporting System (CHMIRS) and Emergency Response Notification System (ERNS) databases
1251 S Eliseo is listed on the Hazardous Waste Tracking System (HWTS).
1251 S Eliseo is listed on the Haznet database and approximately 800 pounds of asbestos containing material was disposed of from the property via landfill in 2009
It is our position the April 29, 2022 Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) are in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). NEPA requires that prior to funding, authorizing, or implementing an action, federal agencies must consider the effects the proposed action may have on the environment, and the related social and economic effects. Under this legislation, Agencies are required to address each project, taking into account all consequences as well as the effect of cumulative impacts on the environment. Under NEPA, deference is given to the agency’s determination based on its assessment of the context and intensity of the potential impacts, when that determination is demonstrated in the NEPA document and supported by the administrative record (40 C.F.R. § 1508.27). Here, it is our contention this determination is not supported by the administrative record, the decision was rushed, further study is needed, and an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) should be prepared.
Tsunami Travels 8,500 Miles to Kentfield
Friends of Corte Madera Creek reported that when a large undersea volcano erupted in Tonga on January 14, 2022, the resulting tsunami traveled around the world and arrived in Kentfield 20 hours later.
The effect in Corte Madera Creek was recorded at the water surface elevation logger Friends installed in the concrete channel, just downstream of Stadium Way.
The tsunami created turbulence, but no flooding. Their graph appears to show that the turbulence caused slightly higher tidal peaks. The turbulence lasted for about three days before subsiding.
County reports have shown that flooding is likely at this site within the next 50 years. This is an example of how easily it could happen.
Marin County to Contribute $11.4M in 2022 and $1.6M Annually to 1251 S Eliseo
The Marin County Board of Supervisors approved this multi-million dollar expenditure to house 43 single adults at their May 10 meeting. See this Marin Independent Journal article for more details.
May 10 Board of Supervisors Meeting about 1251 S Eliseo
Site Acquisition and Development
Site Acquisition and Development
The Board of Supervisors agenda on May 10 includes votes to execute the following agreements:
A Grant Agreement detailing the County’s contribution to the capital improvements.
A County Regulatory Agreement, which will impose conditions and requirements on the deed for 1251 South Eliseo, such as tenant protections, rent limits, and a requirement that the building be used to provide permanent supportive housing for at least 43 low-income individuals.
A Draft Preliminary Operating Agreement with Episcopal Community Services which outlines preliminary operational requirements for the site. The County and ECS anticipate amending the Operating Agreement closer to the opening date, to include a Scope of Work that details additional clinical support for clients and the Community Services Safety team.
**EDIT 5/5/22** Here are links to: the agenda, the staff report, and the attachments.
**EDIT 5/6/22** Here is the County news release.
Your Turn to Have Your Voice Heard is Now!
On March 17, the County released this notice inviting public comment on the proposed development at 1251 S Eliseo.
This is your opportunity to:
Express concerns and provide information about the project's environmental impact
"Offer alternative sites"
"Offer alternative methods to serve the same project purpose"
Written comments must be received by the County of Marin on or before April 1, 2022 via email to the County of Marin Housing & Federal Grants Division at email@example.com.
SENA Petitions for Environmental Review of 1251 South Eliseo Development
The South Eliseo Neighborhood Alliance (SENA) filed a petition in Marin County Superior Court on March 23rd for a mandate that the County properly review the environmental impacts of the proposed development at 1251 S Eliseo.
It is SENA’s contention that the County abused their discretion in finding this project exempt from CEQA. The Notice of Exemption filed by the County did not provide any basis for their conclusory statement, and there is nothing in the public record to indicate the County carried out any analysis.
A lead agency is required to undertake a review and provide sufficient analysis to conclude that a proposed project is exempt from CEQA. The County did not analyze or discuss the nine factors that must be considered in order to make a proper finding of statutory exemption from CEQA. For example, the proposed exemption from CEQA fails on its face because the project fails to serve individuals and families. Without this analysis the public and elected decision makers are unable to determine if the claimed exemption applies.
The County rushed the approval of this project in order to secure state funding. By unlawfully applying the exemption they circumvented environmental protections such as diligently searching for alternative methods of achieving their goals. The County also ignored the public comment process where the majority of commentors voiced opposition to the project. Had the County been more receptive to public input they may have found other solutions.
Furthermore, the County released, on March 17, a notice that public review of the specifics of this project was not undertaken as required by federal law. That the County is only beginning this process now is further evidence that this project was rushed.
SENA is asking for a finding that this project is not exempt from CEQA and that the County undertake a thorough environmental review.
Protecting our neighborhood's environment
On March 23, 2022 South Eliseo Neighborhood Alliance petitioned the Marin County Superior Court for a writ of mandate commanding Marin County to set aside their approval of the project proposed at 1251 S Eliseo.
View of the back of 1251 S Eliseo
Petition filed on March 23, 2022
South Eliseo Neighborhood Alliance is a nonprofit California corporation.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org