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@CVP News Archive: Sept. 2007 to Feb. 2018

Please note: as of February 6, 2018, posts about CVP's most recent activities will be posted on The Marin Post - CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

CVP v MCOSD: Opening Brief & Statement of Issues: Alto Bowl Preserve

After six months of difficulty working to coordinate with the Office of the Marin County Counsel, CVP attorney Michael Graf filed his Opening Brief & Statement of Issues, on Friday, January 26, 2018. 

Click HERE to

Marin Superior Court Throws Out Frivolous Lawsuit Against FWTV Attorney Edward Yates

On Friday, January 12, 2018, Marin County Superior Court Judge Paul Hakkenson ruled in favor of attorney Edward Yates, striking a cross-complaint filed against him by the County of Marin, which the court found constituted a Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation (“SLAPP”) suit. SLAPP suits are illegal under California law.

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State Housing Laws: Questioning the Constitutionality of Recent Legislation

Community Venture Partners has been an outspoken critic of current public policies regarding the creation of affordable housing and a leading proponent of better methods to achieve our shared goals. 

Click HERE to

CVP challenges the Draft EIR for the Sir Francis Drake Boulevard Rehab Project

The following public comment letter has been sent to Dan Dawson, Principal Transportation Planner in charge of the proposed Sir Francis Drake Boulevard Rehabilitation Project and its Draft Environmental Impact Report.

Click HERE to

The State of Marin 2017: The Empire Strikes Back

In the David v Goliath battle to force our local governments and their agencies to be more transparent and accountable, we are seeing signs of successes by grassroots organizations.

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County attempts to avoid analysis of traffic congestion on Sir Francis Drake Blvd.

In the summer of 2014, Marin County planners began investigating a proposal to rehabilitate Sir Francis Drake Boulevard from the Highway 101 interchange to Kentfield. This was followed by community workshops and studies, which culminated in the issuance of a Draft Environmental Impact Report (“DEIR”) on October 11th of 2017. 

Click HERE to

The Hijacking of the Miller Avenue Streetscape Plan

The Miller Avenue Streetscape Plan was gestated 17 years ago, when the City of Mill Valley decided to create a Citizen’s Advisory Committee (“CAC”) to study a one mile length of the city’s main thoroughfare (from Sunnyside in our downtown to Camino Alto at Tam High) and consider its future.

From the outset, though, there was one thing that everyone was in unanimous agreement about: that any improvements to the streetscape must include continuous, safe bicycle lanes. And, that has never changed. Yet, as this multi-part series will show, this single issue became a political weapon used to manipulate and misdirect public opinion to the advantage of the personal agenda of one City Council member at the expense of the overall health, safety and welfare of our entire community.


PART I - 17 years later, the Miller Avenue Streetscape Plan was illegally hijacked in the 11th hour

PART II - The hijacking of the Miller Avenue Streetscape Plan - Part II

PART III - The hijacking of the Miller Avenue Streetscape Plan - Part III

Marin County's Retaliatory Cross Complaint to Limit Access to Public Records

Hot on the heels of being caught trying to charge the public for access to public records, in violation of the California Public Records Act, the County once again finds itself in hot water of its own brewing. 

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The Marin County Supervisors want to restrict access to public records by raising the cost.

The following is an article published in the Marin Post, regarding the Marin Board of Supervisors attempt to raise the cost of obtaining public records to exorbitant level. Not only is the proposed fee outrageous but its legality is highly questionable.

Click HERE to

The Mill Valley City Council must honor the approved Miller Avenue Streetscape Plan

The following is a comment letter sent to the Mill Valley City Council, explaining why they must reject the proposal to reduce traffic lane capacity by 50% in the Parkway section of Miller Avenue.

If you have not already done so, I urge you to sign the petition to maintain two lanes in each direction on Miller Avenue, can be found by CLICKING HERE.

Click HERE to

CVP comments on current Corte Madera Inn Rebuild project

The comment letter linked below has been submitted to the Corte Madera Planning Commission in anticipation of their hearing on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 on the new proposal for the Corte Madera Inn Rebuild project.

Click HERE to

CVP files Petition for Writ of Mandate v MCOSD

On November 29, 2016, the Marin County Open Space District (MCOSD) announced that they had made the decision to open the single-track, Bob Middagh Trail to use by mountain bikers and to decommission the existing Gasline Trail and build an entirely new trail through the Alto Bowl Preserve. In response, on May 26, 2017, Community Venture Partners filed a Petition for Writ of Mandate.

Click HERE to

Housing Issues in Marin: Marin Coalition Luncheon Comments: Part I


The following is an expanded version of a recent presentation at the Marin Coalition luncheon on “Housing in Marin,” given on May 3, 2017. 

Click HERE to read the text

Marin 2016:

Dispatches from the front

by Bob Silvestri

Available on Amazon

The Best Laid Plans:

Our Planning and Affordable Housing

Challenges in Marin

by Bob Silvestri

Available on Amazon

Keynote address at the California Grand Jury Association's Anuual Luncheon 


The following is a revised version of Bob Silvestri's recent presentation before the California Association of Grand Jurors.

Click HERE to read the text

Community Venture Partners supports the Mill Valley Boy Scouts Troop 1 effort to rehabilitate the Golden Gate Village Community Garden 


CVP collaborated with Eagle Scout candidate Jesse Keefe of Mill Valley, to assist with his plan to rehabilitate the community garden at the Golden Gate Village public housing apartments in Marin City. Despite the noble efforts of the community, the garden had fallen into disrepair and much needed rejuvenation funds were unavaiable.

With the blessings of the Marin Housing Authority, CVP provided fundraising and logistical support for the effort, working hand in hand with Keefe and the Golden Gate Village Residents Council.


Community Venture Partners wants to thank Ike, the garden's guardian and most devoted custodian, Royce McLemore and the Golden Gate Village Residents Council, those who coordinated and donated the food and drinks for over 50 people during the long weekend, and all the donors, friends and community volunteers who made this project possible. We also want to thank Golden State Lumber, Martin Brothers Supply, Mill Valley Refuse, Bay Cities Refuse and Goodman's Lumber, whose discounts and donations of materials made the difference. And, last but not least, we want to thank and acknowledge Jesse Keefe and the scouts and scout leaders of Troop 1 of Mill Valley for their tireless community service.

Click HERE to read the article in the Marin IJ

SF Regional Water Quality Control Board rejects Corte Madera Inn application as incomplete 


Xavier Fernandez of the SF Regional Water Quality Control Board has issued a letter to the Corte Madera Inn owner, declaring their application for a permit to fill the wetlands, is incomplete and it sets out a list of requirements (see attached letter).

The RWQCB letter rejects the owner's mitigation solution (as was argued convincingly by 
Peter Baye
, PhD and John Kelly, PhD in their letters). The rejection of the Burdell wetlands as mitigation is potentially insurmountable since no other viable, off site mitigation exists. The evidence RWQCB is asking the applicant for, are equally difficult. We are grateful that the out pouring of public comments appears to have been beneficial in helping RWQCB make their determinations.

Click HERE to read more

Community Venture Partners comments on the Corte Madera Inn Recirculated DEIR


Community Venture Partners, Inc. submitted the following comments on the Recirculated Draft EIR for the Corte Madera Inn Rebuild proposal, in the hope that the Town will give these comments their careful and immediate attention. The deadline for comment submission was 5:00 pm, January 3, 2016.  Click here to DONATE


The news article referenced was published in the Marin IJ and can be read by clicking here.

CVP comments to the Army Corps regarding recent statements about the Corte Madera Inn Rebuild


The following letter has been sent to Roberta Morgenstern at the Army Corps of Engineers, and copied to the San Francisco Region Water Quality Control Board and the Region 9 office of the Environmental Protection Agency, regarding recent statements made by Town of Corte Madera officials and the developer of the proposed Corte Madera Inn rebuild project.


The news article referenced was published in the Marin IJ and can be read by clicking here.

CVP and legal counsel comment on the Marin County Open Space Board's recent decisions on the use of toxic herbicides


CVP and Sustainable TamAlmonte have submitted the following comment letter and request for clarification to Marin County. In addition, Michael Graf, our legal counsel, has 


Read third M. Graf comment letter here


Read the CVP comment letter here

CVP attorney Michael Graf files arguments to stop the over  use of toxic herbicides in Marin County Open Space


CVP  and its legal counsel Michael Graf submitted comments on the proposed Marin County Open Space District Vegetation Management Plan and Tiered EIR arguing that their inadequacy endangered Marin residents and wildlife.


Read the first M. Graf letter here and the second M. Graf letter here

CVP publishes the Marin 2016 series on the Marin Post


Marin 2016 explores the current state of local government in Marin County, California, its growing dysfunction, and the regional forces that threaten to dramatically reshape the small town character of its communities.

Click here to read the series

Click here to buy the book

CVP's Aquaponics partner at the proposed Larkspur Landing Farm in the news


The San Mateo Daily Journal reports that One of the state’s largest aquaponic farms is prospering near Half Moon Bay as partners Ken Armstrong, or Big Fish, and Jessica Patton, Plant Whisperer, are reinventing what sustainable farming looks like with the help of some slippery companions. - See more at:

Please click on this link to read more

CVP Comments on Reneson Hotel's application to fill the Edgewater Pond


Go to the Marin Post to read CVP's comment to theArmy Corps of Engineers in response to an application to fill the Edgewater pond at the Corte Madera Inn, by Reneson Hotels..


Please click on this link to read more

CVP Comments on Mill Valley Proposal To Amend General Plan and Zoning Ordinance


The Mill Valley City Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, March 7, 2016 to discuss and potentially approve significant amendments to the Mill Valley General Plan and Zoning Ordinance: officially known as the The General Plan Amendments to the Land Use and Mobility Elements, and the Multi-Family Residential and Mixed-Use Development Standards and Design Guidelines, and proposed changes to the Zoning Ordinance and Zoning Maps.


Community Venture Partners, Inc. has submitted the following comments to the City of Mill Valley, about the potential adverse impacts of the substantive changes being proposed, and informing them of their responsibilities under the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA").


The content of our letter can be found HERE.


Summary of Comments Submitted by CVP on the Proposed Corte Madera Inn Redevelopment


The Corte Madera Planning Commission is finalizing its recommendations the to the Town Council, regarding the proposal to redevelop the Corte Madera Inn. CVP has filed a number of legal comment letters and has now submitted additional comments by experts in hydrology, biology and wildlife that contest the approval of the proposal being requested by the developer, Reneson Hotels. 


Our final comments and copies of all the letters submitted to date can be found HERE.


CVP Files a Comment Letter on the Proposed Corte Madera Inn Revised EIR


The CVP Comment Letter (click here to read), by land use attorney, Edward Yates, on behalf of Community Venture Partners and Corte Madera residents, has been submitted to the Town of Corte Madera in response to their issuance of a Revised Environmental Impact Report (Alternative 4) for the proposed Corte Madera Inn Rebuild.


The comments regard the approval process for the Corte Madera Inn development and compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act. It incorporates by reference Ed Yates' letter of January 20, 2015 regarding the DEIR, submitted on behalf of Friends of Corte Madera.


CVP works to bring about historic decision in Mill Valley on State Housing Requirements


Last night, before a standing room only crowd, Mill Valley’s City Council made some history. The Council unanimously and decisively transformed an ill-conceived Draft 2015 - 2023 Housing Element into a workable planning document that better reflects the concerns of the vast majority of Mill Valley residents. By soundly rejecting the Planning Staff’s overly ambitious growth goals, the Council showed the courage of their convictions. Overnight, they have thrust Mill Valley into a leadership position in Marin in preserving all that is good about small towns...


CVP files a Cease and Desist Letter with the Marin County Board of Supervisors


On August 19th the Marin County Board of Supervisors held an unnoticed public hearing, essentially to rebut arguments submitted by CVP about the Marin County Housing Element, in clear violation with the Ralph M. Brown Act. The nature of the violation is as follows: In its meeting of August 19, 2014, the Marin County Board of Supervisors planned for and engaged in an extensive discussion of an item that was not on the agenda and for which no public notice was given.  


The IMBY Solution


"Our Best Chance for a Sustainable Future"


September 18, 2014

Presentation by invitation at the Marvelous Marin Breakfast Club in San Rafael.


August 18, 2014

Presentation by invitation at the Rotary Club of Central Marin in Larkspur.


July 16, 2014

Presentation by invitation at the Ross Valley Rotary Club in Fairfax.


Beyond Plan Bay Area


"If you plan it, they will build."


A Community Event: Saturday, May 17th at 2:30 to 5:00 PM at the Redwood High School Small Gymnasium.  Come learn about the Larkspur Station Area Plan.


Hosted by Marin Against Density and Larkspur Fight Back.

The Rumble In Ross


On Saturday, March 22nd, a community event was held in Ross at the Marin Art & Garden Center. By all counts it had an amazing turn out. The crowd was estimated to have been between 300 and 400 people.

The Great PDA Debate

Part I

Part II


A multi-part series on the facts and fallacies behind debate about PDA designations in Marin County, by Bob Silvestri.

Beyond Plan Bay Area At MAR


Bob Silvestri appeared before the Gov't. Affairs Committee of the Marin Association of Realtors, on Friday, February 14th, to present "Beyond Plan Bay Area." The talk and visual presentation discussed planning and affordable housing challenges in Marin, the status of pending legislation affecting Marin property owners, and how each of us can become involved in truly sustainable solutions.

Beyond Plan Bay Area At The Strawberry RA


Bob Silvestri appeared at the the Strawberry Residents  Association meeting on Sunday, January 12th at 7:00 pm, at the Strawberry Recreation Center, to present "Beyond Plan Bay Area." The talk and visual presentation discussed the truth about planning and affordable housing challenges in Marin, and how the PDA designation will affect Strawberry.

The Enron-ization of Democracy 


A multi-part report by Bob Silvestri investigating the history and politics behind the push for Northern California's Plan Bay Area regional planning initiative, and how the abuse of joint powers authorities (JPAs) is robbing communities of representative government.

A Neighbor Stops by a Plan Bay Area Meeting

Common Sense Studios presents a comical view of Plan Bay Area public outreach process.






Click on arrow to start video

High Drama And The Dark Side of PDAs in Marin County


Controversy about Priority Development Areas (PDAs) in Marin has been in the news. After more than a year of growing public protest, the Board of Supervisors (BOS) reversed their long standing position and voted to remove the PDA designations from two communities.  

The Bay Area Plan Fails to Solve Our Affordable Housing Needs In Marin County


The following analysis of Marin's affordable housing challenges was submitted to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission as a public comment on the Draft Bay Area Plan and its Draft Environmental Impact Report. 

Plan Bay Area’s High Density Multifamily Transit Oriented Development Won’t Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions


The following analysis of Marin's actual greenhouse gas emissions challenges was submitted to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission as a public comment on the Draft Bay Area Plan and its Draft Environmental Impact Report. 

Why The One Bay Area’s Growth Plan Is Not the Answer to Our Housing Needs


By Bob Silvestri - March 7, 2012


Challenging ABAG'S One Bay Area Plan and its assumptions about high-density housing and its long-term view of the automobile. 

Why Are Local Leaders Paralyzed Over ABAG's One Bay Area Plan?


By Bob Silvestri - March 1, 2012


Plan Bay Area's focus on development contradicts its goal of reducing greenhouse gases and challenges county and local officials to "not run with the herd." 

Miller Avenue Plan Alternative Analysis


September 2007

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