MARIN (KPIX 5) –There is heated debate over naming a new historical landmark in Marin County, but it’s not a monument or a museum: it’s public housing.
All parties agree, Marin City’s Golden Gate Village is a historical spot and is very special to Marin and it should be commemorated, but how that’s done is where all of the paths differ.
For the side that wants the property preserved as is, they had a small victory on Friday. But there is still a very long road ahead.
To cheers and applause the California Historical Commission voted to recommend Marin City’s Golden Gate Village to the National Historic Register of Places.
The multi-unit housing project is Marin County’s only Section 8 family housing. It could also be the only one of its kind to get a historical designation from the federal government and it happened right under the nose of the Marin County Housing Authority, who owns the property.
Lewis Jordan with the Marin Housing Authority said, “At this point we just need to take the decision as it, go back and just analyze what the next step needs to be as it relates to our ability to focus on the proper management of this building,” said Lewis Jordan with the Marin Housing Authority.
The residents’ association filed for the designation and the housing authority never came out against the designation but wanted to slow the process, saying it will make maintaining Golden Gate Village twice as hard and more expensive.
Their delay was denied.
Residents certainly were excited by the vote to recommend their home as a historical one, seeing this step as a way to protect the community against potential plans, ones that added housing or commercial buildings. Or, in their eyes, worse.
But Jordan said, “there’s no plans to tear buildings down, there’s no plans to displace people.” There never has been.”
But the crew who showed up Friday wanted to make sure it was even less likely if they have this distinction.
“People will not be forced out of their homes and now that the housing authority will have to sit down and seriously talk to the residents and treat us like human beings,” said Royce McLemore with the Golden Gate Village Resident Council.
So while this is a victory, it’s still just part of the process. It now goes to the national level and decide whether the property is worthy.
The Marin Housing Authority said it’s not sure yet if it will try to debate this or just let it be.