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Grady Ranch Could Become Affordable Housing

The Marin Community Foundation will be working with Lucasfilm to explore the options for affordable housing on the Grady Ranch property.

With the help of Lucasfilm, Marin Community Foundation hopes to bring affordable housing to the Grady Ranch property, where the motion picture company originally planned to construct a film studio.

“We are thrilled that George Lucas is seeing this as an opportunity to address one of the most critical issues in Marin County—making it possible for a broad range of individuals and families to afford to live in Marin,” Marin Community Foundation President Thomas Peters said in a statement released today.

Marin Community Foundation is exploring the possibilities for senior housing, workforce housing and family housing on the location, according to Peters.  “In many instances, this is housing for people who work in the county but can’t afford to live here and for people who grew up here but who now cannot afford safe, secure housing in their home county,” he said.

The master plan for a 269,000 square foot film studio on Grady Ranch in North San Rafael was approved in 1996,

After the , , claiming that they did not receive adequate notice about the plans for the studio, the residential zoning in the area was not consistent with the commercial use of the building and that the environmental documents were not sufficient to analyze the impacts on the nearby creek.

, Lucasfilm stunned the county and , saying that the opposition was too great to continue with project in a timely manner and that they plan to sell the land to be used as affordable housing.

“I’m looking forward to learning about Mr. Lucas’ latest vision for his property in conjunction with the Foundation,” said Supervisor Susan Adams, who represents the Lucas Valley area. “As with any development, we’re ready to hear more and work together on this.”

Despite a county-launched campaign asking Lucas to reconsider his decision, the Lucas team did not have a change of heart on his development application.
 
Returning the property for housing development would not be a new idea. Before the Lucasfilm proposal for Grady Ranch, the County planned for the area and the adjacent community to be housing, according to Brian Crawford, Director of the Community Development Agency.

“We are delighted that a prestigious organization such as the Marin Community Foundation is looking into the possibility of working with developers for  Grady Ranch,” said Lynne Hale, Lucasfilm’s Public Relations Director. “The Foundation has had a solid track record for over 25 years of helping in the development, rehabilitation, and restoration of over 2,600 affordable homes in Marin.”

Michael May 08, 2012 at 11:17 PM
this headline is totally misleading. Discussing a possible use of something is not the same as it 'becoming' such. And who really foots the bill for 'affordable' housing? I hope the same neighborhood group that fought Lucas fights this too. How about open space and move on? Tell the developers to move on and out of Marin.
Bonnie May 09, 2012 at 06:47 AM
Hahaha. Serves the folks right that didn't have the foresight to approve Lucas's proposal for Grady Ranch that would have provided jobs and preserved the land. He has proven to be a great community and business partner. Hope the affordable housing gets approved!
Lynn Tompkins May 09, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Water use & sewage & infrastructure are all problems with Lucas' project or affordable housing.
Craig Belfor February 09, 2013 at 08:21 PM
Revenge of the worst kind! Instead of artists and cinematographers working nearby, these NYMBYs will now get the druggies, burglars, rapists, and muggers from Richmond. Novato built affordable housing at Hamilton, but they couldn't find enough section 8 people to fill them, so they had to advertise in Richmond. Look at the police blotter now.

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