Objective Standards Case Study: Marin County Objective Design and Development Standards

In pursuit of increased housing production, state law now requires many local housing approval decisions to be based on objective standards. To comply with state law, local jurisdictions must ensure that their design and development standards do not require interpretation, are verifiable according to external criteria, are knowable in advance, and provide a clear review and approval process.

Marin County and several cities and towns in Marin are collaborating on development of a toolkit for Objective Design and Development Standards. The tools will include design and development standards and review procedures. When the toolkit is complete, each of the participating jurisdictions may customize the standards for their community and then officially adopt for local usage.

Visit the Marin County Objective Design and Development Standards web page.

Materials on the website, especially the Project Description page, include clear summaries of state law and definitions of key terms.

Other communities will find the contents of this website a useful resource. In addition, this collaborative approach may be a useful model for other communities to pursue with their neighboring jurisdictions. 

Objective Design Standards Toolkit

The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has created an Objective Design Standards Toolkit for California jurisdictions.