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REALTOR Advocacy Has a Real Impact on Marin County Communities

Published Friday, March 15, 2019
by Romeo Arrieta

Recent developments at the local, state and national levels have underscored the impact of REALTOR® advocacy in government affairs. As professionals working with homeowners, prospective buyers, landlords and tenants on a daily basis, REALTORS® are uniquely positioned to offer an important perspective on regulations, laws, programs and how they would positively or negatively impact their communities.

If you participate, you have a chance to make a difference. Policy is shaped by those that offer input and make their voice heard, and through their community expertise and relationships, REALTORS® are some of the most effective advocates at all levels.

I want to bring to your attention two chances to act as an advocate for Marin County homeowners and your industry:

The San Rafael City Council will be discussing their proposed Wildfire Prevention Plan on Monday, March 18th at 7:00 PM (at San Rafael City Hall). There are other items on the agenda, so if you decide to attend, please arrive early to make sure you have a seat. The plan is a comprehensive and ambitious step towards ensuring the safety of all San Rafael residents. The city staff took input from many community stakeholders, including the Marin Association of REALTORS, and made several improvements and updates to the plan. MAR is pleased that several point of sale enforcement policies were removed. The concerns around tying wildfire safety to point of sale enforcement were brought to city hall’s attention by MAR staff and members. This advocacy influenced the plan in a positive manner. If MAR members had not raised these concerns, there’s a good chance that they would have stayed in the plan and negatively impacted homeowners.

Nevertheless, we remain concerned that at least one regulation would be to enforce home improvements at the time of a home sale to increase community safety places an undue burden on homeowners and home sellers attempting to complete a real estate transaction.

Continued REALTOR® advocacy around these concerns will help improve the Wildfire Prevention Plan while preserving private property rights. It is MAR’s belief that the plan should take a more broad-based approach to ensuring community safety, and prioritize improvements in the most at-risk areas on an evidence-based plan. Our goal is to help the city craft the best plan possible that is fair for all residents. If you are interested in attending Monday’s City Council meeting, please click here to view the agenda.

The city of Mill Valley is also inviting REALTORS® to learn about the proposed Vegetation Management Ordinance that would require eliminating most vegetation within three feet of homes at 6:30 PM on Monday, March 25th at the Mill Valley Community Center. This is a great opportunity to get informed on proposed changes to city ordinances, and to help advocate for improvements to the community’s ability to withstand a wildfire. The event will also cover evacuation plans, emergency communications and other preparedness activities.

MAR is gathering information on Mill Valley’s proposed plan, and will update members on plan specifics and talking points as we review and process this information. More information – including how to sign up for complimentary child care during the event – can be found here.

If you are interested in learning more about MAR’s Government Affairs and advocacy, please reach out to MAR CEO Romeo Arrieta, MAR’s Contract GAD, Papia Gambellin at GAD@marincountyrealtors.com or  MAR Government Affairs Committee Chair Scott Pinsky.

 

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