Notes from 9/20/21 City Council Meeting

On Monday, September 20, the City held its first in-person meeting since early 2020.  Mayor John McCauley opened the meeting by lavishly praising the City’s transparency on the Hamilton project.  However, the record suggests this is not the case.  Among the City’s questionable actions that were noted by members of the public are the following:

  • the City obtained all project approvals during a pandemic, when community participation was constrained;

  • the City solicited no neighborhood input from those most affected, and proceeded with only vague promises of future community input;

  • the City allowed Matt Franklin, CEO of affordable housing developer MidPen, to overly influence the site and project selection.  Mr. Franklin is an unelected member of the Housing Advisory Committee, and was instrumental in selecting the site from among 75 City-owned parcels, and advocating for a minimum of 40 units;

  • when the site failed to generate the developer interest the City predicted, it downplayed the “small response,” before admitting that only one developer had responded.

Mayor McCauley’s claims of full transparency were further undercut later in the meeting when Matt Franklin’s wife, a land-use attorney with a large San Francisco law firm, spoke in support of the project and endorsed the City’s actions by citing to her experience in this area, without identifying her relationship with Mr. Franklin.  Not a single member of the City Council, the City Attorney, the City Manager, or Mr. Franklin spoke up to disclose this serious conflict of interest.    

EAH Housing made a short presentation at the meeting, and some council members and others spoke favorably to EAH’s record.  

Over twenty residents spoke at the meeting, and 173 submitted written comments with 88 in support of our position.  Yet once again, the resolutions were quickly approved, with minimal discussion among council members. 



The City of Mill Valley has issued its Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to solicit developers for the Hauke Park parking lot site.  The developer selection begins 8/9/21, with final selection on 9/20/21.  

On 8/16/2021, the City issued supplemental details , which included consideration of stacked parking, proposal of a nominal $1 annual lease (up to 99 years), and rezoning.

The RFQ and supplements details show the City’s determination to speed ahead with a high-density housing project despite valid concerns from our neighborhood. The RFQ also confirms what we suspected: the City is soliciting plans to grant waivers of virtually all key zoning requirements, including parking, building height and density. 

In addition, the City has retained outside legal counsel to move the project forward.

If you have any remaining doubt about the way the City intends to treat residents who have concerns about the size of the proposed housing structure at 1 Hamilton, please note that at the City Council meeting on August 2, Mayor John McCauley mockingly referred to our organization as “friends of Hauke parking lot.” 

[ See Phase 1 for Background ]