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.”