San Anselmo Floor Area Ratio Ordinance, Measure E (November 2009)
The Town Council passed a size-restrictions ordinance for the San Anselmo flatlands in October 2008. The ordinance limits the habitable-space parts of home construction projects to 45% of the lot size. It also limits the size of new homes to 5,000 square feet.
The question on the ballot will be, "Shall the ordinance of the San Anselmo Town Council establishing maximum floor area and maximum lot coverage for single family properties located below 150 feet mean sea level elevation be adopted?"
San Anselmo has had a FAR (Floor Area Ratio) ordinance for its hillside properties since the early 1990s. The hillside FAR is less restrictive than the flatlands FAR. The hillside FAR explicitly says that basements, garages, crawlspaces and attics with floors do not count as habitable space in calculating a building's square footage, whereas the flatlands FAR makes no such distinction.
Supporters of a "yes" vote
- The Marin Independent-Journal urges its readers to vote "yes" on Measure E. They say, "Design may be more important than square footage, but having standards well-detailed in city building rules is the best way to settle disputes over "McMansions." The goal of the town law was to spell out local house-size restrictions for homeowners, potential buyers and neighbors who are worried that neighborhoods are getting overbuilt."
Opponents of the new home-size restrictions
- Former mayors Paul Chignell and Jeff Kroot urge a "no" vote. They believe that San Anselmo's new restrictions for properties in the flatlands are too burdensome and will prevent people from building additions if their family size increases.
- Full text of the ordinance
- Measures on the November 3, 2009 ballot in Marin County
- Website of the Town of Anselmo
- Website of the "Yes on E" committee
- Statement of organization of the "Yes on E" committee
- Statement of organization of the "No on E" committee
- Pasadena Star News, "Floor-area ratio ordinance a hot ballot topic in San Anselmo", September 25, 2009
- Marin Independent Journal, "Editorial: IJ's recommendations on Ross Valley ballot measures", October 12, 2009