11/29/18 – Sidewalk Repair Program Update: Scheduling construction

Posted on November 29, 2018

neighborhood map - sidewalk schedule

As of 11/29, the City has received signed agreements from 183 property owners in San Rafael for sidewalk construction work. We are excited that the first year of the program will be making a visible impact on sidewalks in San Rafael, with 22,453 square feet of sidewalk slated to be replaced, representing over a mile of new sidewalk throughout the City. That’s the equivalent of building a new sidewalk from City Hall to the Montecito Shopping Center!

After consultation with sidewalk contractor Van Midde and Son Concrete, the following order has been determined for the neighborhood-by-neighborhood construction schedule: 

  1. Sun Valley (yellow on map) 
  2. Gerstle Park/Bret Harte (blue) 
  3. Peacock Gap and Point San Pedro peninsula (pink) 
  4. Dominican and East San Rafael (green) 
  5. Downtown (orange) 
  6. North San Rafael (purple) 

Next Steps


  • Property owners with trees in the right of way that need to be removed (trees located between the sidewalk and the street) will be notified that the City’s tree contractor (Jorge’s Tree Service) will be removing the tree(s) adjacent to their property within the next month. Trees will be marked by the City to ensure the correct trees are removed. Tree removal will include stump grinding and a replacement tree after the new sidewalk is complete.  Property owners must a select a tree off of the City’s approved Street Trees List which include trees with sidewalk-friendly roots. All necessary street tree removals and replacements shall be paid for entirely by the City. Please note property owners will be responsible for watering and maintaining the replacement tree.  
  • Property owners with trees on private property that need to be removed will be notified that they need to make arrangements to have their tree removed before sidewalk construction. They may independently contact the City’s tree contractor (Jorge’s Tree Service) for a quote, or select another licensed contractor of their choosing. All necessary tree removal on private property shall be paid for entirely by the property owner. If you are removing a tree on private property but must close the sidewalk to do so, a no-fee encroachment permit is required from the Department of Public Works. Please contact us for more information. 
  • We do not anticipate large-scale tree removal. Of the 183 properties throughout the City in the program, only 32 have been identified as needing tree replacement. In all instances where a street tree is removed, a suitable replacement tree will be planted. 
  • All property owners must note: even though a tree is not currently slated for removal, it may need to be removed after sidewalk demolition and the root system is evaluated. Independent, certified-arborist Ray Moritz will be on-call during sidewalk demolition to evaluate any tree roots which need an additional assessment. In the case that a determination is made that the tree cannot survive the root trimming required for the sidewalk repair, the following will happen:
    • For street trees, the City Tree Contractor will be on-call for the short-notice removal. As stated, in all cases where a street tree is removed, a replacement tree will be replanted after construction is complete.
    • For trees on private property, the property owner has the opportunity to utilize the City Tree Contractor on-call for the short-notice removal, though the property owner must incur the cost of the removal. The property owner may also contact another licensed tree contractor, and again must incur the cost of removal. 


Sidewalk construction will take place in the following neighborhood order (see map above): 

  1. Sun Valley 
  2. Gerstle Park and Bret Harte 
  3. Peacock Gap and Point San Pedro peninsula 
  4. Dominican and East San Rafael 
  5. Downtown 
  6. North San Rafael 

Construction will begin on 12/17 in the Sun Valley neighborhood. The first five properties the week of 12/17 will be notified on 12/3. No construction will take place the week of December 24th, and will restart after the new year on January 2nd.

  • Depending on the number of properties in a particular area and weather conditions, a neighborhood could take several weeks to complete. Sidewalk construction for the entire program is anticipated to carry well into 2019. 
  • Property owners will be notified by the City no later than two weeks prior to construction beginning. The City will also post weekly updates on www.cityofsanrafael.org/sidewalks with the list of streets scheduled for the upcoming weeks. The first of these posts is anticipated to be posted December 3rd. 
  • Construction at the average property is anticipated to take up to 5 days, starting with demolition of the existing sidewalk, followed by placement of the forms for new concrete, and completed with the pouring the new sidewalk. During any given 5 day period, the contractor will be doing 5 – 7 properties. 
  • Sidewalk closures will be in place while the construction is ongoing. Proper traffic control including pedestrian warnings and signage of sidewalk closures will be utilized at all times. Scheduling will be done to ensure one side of the street’s sidewalk is open at all times.  


  • Each property owner in the program will be invoiced by the City for the amount indicated in their signed agreement under “Total Cost to Property Owner”. Contact us at www.cityofsanrafael.org/contactDPW if you need another copy of your signed agreement. 
  • Invoices will be sent by email within 30 days after the City inspects and signs off on the completed sidewalk work. 
  • All property owners will be able to pay their invoice online by credit card. Property owners may also submit payment by check made payable to “City of San Rafael”. Instructions on the two payment methods will be included and sent with the invoice. 

 Main takeaways

  • Keep an eye out for regular updates on www.cityofsanrafael.org/sidewalks. Also look for emails (or letters for those that have opted for mail) sent from “City of San Rafael” with notifications about tree removal at your property, or the scheduling of your sidewalk construction work 
  • If you have a tree that needs to be removed and it is on private property, please make arrangements to remove the tree well before your sidewalk construction is scheduled. 
  • If you have a tree that needs to be removed and it is in between the sidewalk and the street, the City tree contractor will remove it in December or January (trees will be removed in order of sidewalk construction neighborhoods). The cost will be incurred by the City. 
  • A few trees not currently slated to be removed, may need to be removed after the sidewalk is pulled up and roots are evaluated as to whether the tree can survive root trimming. 
  • All street trees will be replaced after sidewalk construction is complete. 
  • Property owners will not be invoiced for their sidewalk construction until after their construction is complete.

Back to Sidewalk Repair Program homepage.

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