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New office building – 755 Lindaro St (Tentative) – NW Corner of Andersen Drive and Lindaro Street
Parking garage expansion – 788 Lincoln Ave – SE Corner of 2nd St and Lincoln Ave
APN’s: 013-012-38 & -39, 013-021- 50, -51, 52, -53, -54 and -55

Planned Development Rezoning ZC14-002
Environmental and Design Review Permit ED14-097
Master Use Permit Amendment UP14-052

David McAdams, DGA Architecture
201 Filbert Street, 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 477-2700

Staff Contact:
Jeff Ballantine, (415) 485-3094

Summary of Project to Date

BioMarin, a global bio-pharmaceutical company headquartered in San Rafael, is proposing to develop a new 72,396 sq. ft. office building on Parcel 1 of the San Rafael Corporate Center (SRCC) campus. BioMarin acquired ownership of the campus in 2014 and is the sole owner and the largest tenant of the SRCC campus where it maintains its corporate headquarters. BioMarin ultimately intends to  occupy the entire campus.

Parcel 1, which is currently developed as surface parking, is located at the corner of Anderson Dr and Lindaro St, to the west of Lindaro St and north of Anderson Dr and to the south of the existing Parking Garage at 775 Lindaro St. To support the parking requirements for the proposed new office building, a Phase 2 extension is proposed to the recently approved (and currently under construction) parking structure at 788 Lincoln Avenue (Parcel 8 of the SRCC property).

The 15.54-acre SRCC campus is bounded to the north by 2nd Street; to the south and west by Anderson Drive; and to the south and east by Mahon Creek (San Rafael Creek). The overall development is divided into three main parcels (west, central, and east) by Lindaro Street to the west and Lincoln Avenue to the east. The existing campus consists of four office buildings in the center parcel, a parking garage (Lindaro garage) and surface parking on the west parcel, and surface parking on the east parcel.

In 1998, the San Rafael Corporate Center Master Plan was approved by the City, including a Planned Development Rezoning, Master Use Permit, Design Review Permit and Tentative Subdivision Map. Over the next 10 years, the majority of the campus was developed in accordance with the Master Plan, including completion of four of the five approved office buildings and one of the two parking structures.

As part of the Master Plan approved in 1998, a fifth office building at the corner of Lincoln Ave/2nd St and second parking garage along Lincoln Ave were approved, but never built. In early 2014 final Design Review Approval was granted for these two last structures approved by the Master Plan, a fifth building (Building E – 791 Lincoln Ave) on the center parcel and the second parking structure, which would accommodate 666 spaces (Lincoln Parking Garage Phase 1 at 788 Lincoln Ave) on the east parcel. These two projects are currently under construction and are anticipated to be completed in late 2015.

New Project

This proposed new project includes a four story 72,396 sq ft office building (NLB2) on parcel 1 and a Phase II expansion (LPG2) to the 6 story parking structure at 788 Lincoln Avenue with approximately 312 additional stalls on six levels, including 41 stalls on grade. With the additional parking garage expansion, there would be a total of 978 parking spaces in the 6 level parking structure.

The proposed building & parking structure and associated site developments will be designed to be compatible with the architectural character of the current SRCC campus and in compliance with the established design, planning and development goals of the City of San Rafael. The project will meet CalGreen Mandatory measures plus Tier 1 Voluntary measures in accordance with San Rafael standards for sustainability and efficiency, and will be designed to minimize impact to the site and surrounding areas.

The project as proposed is outside the scope of the approved Master Plan and thus requires a Planned Development Rezoning, Master Use Permit amendment and Design Review.

Current Status:

On September 16th, 2014, the conceptual design of the project was reviewed by the DRB as a Conceptual Design Review Permit with specific emphasis on the following:

  • Recommendations on the design of the project, including design-related topics such as site planning, architecture, bulk, mass, colors, materials, site improvements, circulation and landscaping.
  • The staff report and video proceedings of this meeting can be viewed at and then clicking on the agenda or video for the 9/16/14 DRB meeting date.
  • The applicant is considering the DRB’s comments and the next step if for the applicant to submit formal planning applications for the proposed project.

Project plans were modified since the conceptual review application to address changes to the project and DRB recommendations. The main changes that occurred from the conceptual review application and the formal submittal include: changing the use of the new building to office from previously proposed Research and Development, reducing the foot print and floor area of the new building, reducing from 80,000 sq ft to 72,396 sq ft of floor area, and including 4 floors within the building, from previously proposed 3 floors with the same overall height of the structure

On May 19, 2015, the Design Review Board reviewed the formal Design Review Permit application, check out the video from the meeting! In summary, the Board was generally supportive of the project design, but provided some comments and recommendations on the architectural and design details of the new office building and voted to continue the review with their comments and recommendations to their Tuesday, June 16, 2015 meeting.

On June 16, 2015, the DRB reviewed the additional design information and accepted public comments and vote to recommend approval of the project design to the Planning Commission.

On June 30, 2015, the City published a Draft Initial Study/ Mitigated Negative Declaration per the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for a public review period to accept comments on the environmental analysis. A copy of the Draft Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration can be found below under “Key Documents” the public review period was set to end on August 25th, the night of the Planning Commission hearing

The Planning Commission conducted a public hearing on the project at their August 25, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. At that hearing, the Planning Commission considered the project applications and merits, the DRB recommendation and a Draft Initial Study/ Mitigated Negative Declaration and made their recommendation to the City Council.  Following acceptance of public comments, the Commission reviewed the project and comments and ultimately recommended approval of the project to the City Council, with certain changes. A copy of the Planning Commission staff report for this meeting as well as the minutes & video can be found online.

The City Council, reviewed the project at their October 19, 2015, meeting and approved the project. The City Council adopted a Resolution approving a Mitigated Negative Declaration and Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program, Adopted an Ordinance for a Planned Development Rezoning, and adopted a Resolution approving the Master Use Permit amendment and Design Review Permit. A copy of the staff report for this meeting can be found online!

Key Planning Documents:

BioMarin final planning application plans – October 2015
CEQA document – Draft Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration, released 7/1/15 (State Clearinghouse #2015062086)
Prior Plan Submittal  – Now outdated
BioMarin Preliminary Planning Application and Conceptual Design Review – September 2014
BioMarin Formal Planning Application plans – April 2015

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