Pride Flag

The City of San Rafael celebrates Pride Month

Contents


Introduction

We are a 21st century government, making City services easy to use and work for everyone.

Rafael theaterThe City of San Rafael Goals and Objectives FY 23-24 and FY 24-25 document outlines the City's strategic priorities and initiatives for the upcoming two fiscal years. The document is divided into four key policy focus areas: Economic Growth; Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging; Sustainability, Climate Change, &  Disaster Preparedness; and Housing and Homelessness. Goals are further broken down into City Service Areas.

While each of these areas represents a distinct policy focus, they are interrelated and affect each other in significant ways, so although we have categorized them, some goals have the potential to fall into several areas. By recognizing the potential overlap between goals and policy areas, the City can develop more integrated and effective strategies to achieve our objectives. This approach helps to avoid siloed thinking and encourages collaboration across City departments and community stakeholders to achieve identified goals.

The City of San Rafael is committed to its work implementing environmentally sustainable practices, promoting affordable housing, supporting local businesses, improving public safety, livable neighborhoods, efficient and effective City services, transportation, recreational opportunities, responsive governance, and leadership, and ensuring equitable access to all City services.

The City of San Rafael provides a comprehensive range of municipal services in-house, making it a "full service" City. Since our services are primarily provided by people, 75% of our overall expenditures go towards City staff. Our employees perform a wide variety of tasks, including emergency response, community programming, streets and parks maintenance, safety inspections, and more.

The City's primary limitation is financial resources. Sales and property taxes are our biggest revenue source. However, the bulk of these taxes are allocated to entities such as the State of California, the County of Marin, schools, and transit agencies. As a result, our goals and aspirations must be balanced against our financial responsibilities.

The City recognizes that these goals cannot be achieved in a vacuum. The City will continue to partner and engage with residents, business owners, community groups, and other stakeholders to ensure that its priorities reflect the needs and aspirations of the community. Partnering to achieve the best outcomes for our residents.


Policy Focus Areas

 

ECONOMIC GROWTH

Building our economy to be stronger and more resilient.

Interior of cafe

  • Implement initiatives from the Economic Development Strategic Plan that will reinvigorate commerce across the city, find innovative strategies to attract and retain businesses, attract high-tech and other emerging market users, and ensure that growth is not only sustainable, but also equitable.
  • Create an environment that is conducive to business growth and job creation, encouraging investment and innovation, developing infrastructure and human capital, and promoting trade and commerce.
  • Conduct a feasibility study for the creation of Property Based Improvement Districts (PBIDs) that enhance the appearance and vitality of public spaces through such things as: improving safety, cleanliness, marketing, and physical upgrades.
  • Work with community partners such as the Chamber of Commerce, Business Improvement District (BID), Small Business Development Center, Marin County Office of Education, Canal Alliance, and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on economic recovery initiatives and workforce development programs.
  • Explore new revenues to fund economic development, such as a tourism-based

DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION & BELONGING  (DEIB)

Working to create equitable outcomes for all, while addressing systemic racial injustices.

  • United Against Hate Poster on windowContinue and expand training for all City staff, elected officials, and boards and commissions members around Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) principles to ensure that equity considerations are integrated into the City's policies and practices.
  • Develop a strategic roadmap to guide the City's DEIB internally-facing efforts, including implementing the human resources equity audit and continuing to evaluate policies and practices for alignment with DEIB principles.
  • Continue inclusive resident engagement practices that find opportunities to partner with underserved community members to build capacity for meaningful civic engagement and lift up traditionally marginalized voices.
  • Hold community meetings in Spanish with English interpretation and analyze best practices for increasing inclusivity by offering daycare, food, and stipends to participants.
  • Increase police accountability and promote transparency with law enforcement, and develop a community accountability advisory committee who will evaluate options such as, engaging an independent auditor and providing feedback on policing policies and practices.
  • Develop a Language Resource Access Plan to support multilingual engagement practices across the City, and explore best practices for interpretation for all publicly noticed meetings.
  • Implement strategies to increase the diversity of public safety recruitments to attract and hire qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds.

 


HOUSING & HOMELESSNESS

Creating new housing, keeping people in their homes, and use a “Housing First” model.

View from San Rafael Hill

  • Evaluate existing tenant protection policies to determine their effectiveness and consider the implementation of revised policies to expand housing choices for all residents, as outlined in the 2023-2031 Housing Element, to ensure habitability, create fair housing, and end homelessness.
  • Partner with community stakeholders to develop policies to protect renters and low-income earners from increasing housing prices and uncertain economic conditions. Support maintaining and improving our housing base and reduce the likelihood of homelessness.
  • Continue evaluating Housing-Focused Shelter (Interim Housing), fortified with strong case management services to help transition unhoused community members into permanent supportive housing.
  • Explore options for establishing a standardized process to regularly issue Notices of Funding Availability (NOFAs) to facilitate development of new affordable housing using the City's Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
  • Continue to take a leadership role to support the countywide coordinated entry system and Project Homekey-type efforts to end chronic and veteran homelessness.

SUSTAINABILITY, CLIMATE CHANGE, & DISASTER PREPAREDNESS

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions while mitigating and adapting to climate change.

Ivy on a wall

  • Develop a comprehensive adaptation plan that addresses the challenges and risks posed by wildfires, sea level rise, and other disasters to San Rafael and its residents using strategies and data from community partnerships and past planning efforts to provide a roadmap for disaster prevention and mitigation. Build a more resilient community in the face of disasters, able to recover more quickly and effectively, including evacuation planning for residents in the event of emergencies. Increase disaster preparedness outreach so all residents, regardless of income, language, physical ability, digital access, or any limiting factor have knowledge and resources to be prepared to respond to disasters.
  • Implement SB 1383 and reduce short-lived climate pollutants from organic waste. Promote voluntary compliance, protect the environment, and contribute to the City's overall sustainability goals.
  • Continue to do outreach and partner with the County to implement the Reusable Foodware Ordinance to reduce waste, litter, and contamination in composting streams.
  • Collaborate with the Transportation Authority of Marin and other community partners to develop an electric vehicle (EV) strategy for San Rafael, including increasing EV’s and EV charging infrastructure at City facilities and in the community.
  • Collaborate with the County of Marin to develop and implement a comprehensive Building Electrification Plan.

City Service Areas

Services Provided by the City of San Rafael

City Service Areas - Picture of Library and playground

GOAL A: NEIGHBORHOOD AND ECONOMIC VITALITY

Create and preserve a healthy economy and sustain vibrant neighborhoods, Downtown, and other business areas.

The City provides a range of ongoing services in this area such as: the development entitlement process, retaining and attracting businesses, facilitating new housing units, reducing homelessness, conducting building/safety inspections and permitting, and implementing climate change and sustainability programs.

  • Prioritize the implementation of key General Plan 2040 programs, including neighborhood planning, economic vitality, tree inventory, and improving and preserving public assets.
  • Where discretion is allowed under State housing laws, create standards to guide new developments to best fit into San Rafael through implementing the Downtown Precise Plan and additional policies, as needed.
  • Establish a By-Right Neighborhood Affordable Housing Overlay Zone to streamline the review and approval of affordable housing projects in high-density residential zoning districts. Develop a comprehensive plan for the Priority Development Areas (PDA) in the North and Southeast San Rafael neighborhoods addressing future development, mobility, sea level rise, and other community priorities. As development projects arise, create development agreements as necessary and facilitate community engagement efforts to inform and solicit input from the community throughout the process, such as the Northgate project.
  • Using results from the 2022-23 day laborer survey, work with governmental and community partners to facilitate a Feasibility Study of a Day Laborer Center/Hiring Hall in San Rafael.
  • Consider revisions to the Cannabis program, such as reviewing quantities and types of licenses, evaluating revisions for hemp products, and addressing products targeting youth.
  • Continue to develop, improve and implement a comprehensive plan to address the issue of illegal dumping in areas of denser multifamily housing, with a focus on improving access to legal disposal options for tenants.
  • Assess feasibility and revise the City’s current residential parking permit program to address overcrowding of neighborhood parking in a cost-neutral and equitable manner.

4th St Patch


GOAL B: QUALITY OF LIFE

Serve and strengthen community relationships by providing literary, artistic, recreational and cultural experiences for all residents and improving resident engagement and governmental transparency.

The City provides a variety of ongoing services in this area, such as: operating the three libraries and three community centers, childcare services, Falkirk Cultural Center, and operating network of parks.

  • Use Parks and Recreation Master Plan to guide the development, enhancement, and maintenance of parks, recreational facilities, and programs for the City.
  • Enhance recreational opportunities and user experience at Pickleweed Park by adding new amenities, enhancing existing facilities, and installing all-weather turf on the field to provide a safe, sustainable, and inclusive community space.
  • Redesign interior space at Pickleweed Branch Library and improve the Downtown Library's critical and life safety infrastructure, operations, and services to provide safe, functional, and innovative learning spaces. Replace the playground at Peacock Gap Park with a new, modern structure.
  • Continue process to assess the feasibility of constructing a new library facility that meets the current and future needs of the community, including identifying potential funding sources and partnerships.
  • Amend the smoking ordinance to bring it up to the latest standards, such as allowing the general public to bring a civil action against any person who has multiple violations.
  • Continue to implement the Age-Friendly Strategic Plan, including working with the Age-Friendly Task Force to support ageism trainings and activities to address social isolation.
  • Develop a comprehensive Master Plan for the Terra Linda Park and Community Center that will guide future site improvements and enhance the park and community center's role as a community resource.

Chairs at Beach


GOAL C: PUBLIC SAFETY

Prevent and respond to emergencies through essential facility improvements and community and organizational emergency readiness.

The City provides a variety of ongoing services in this area, such as: emergency response, advanced life support care, wildfire and structure fire prevention, traffic enforcement, crime prevention, mental health outreach, disaster preparedness, community education, and vegetation management.

  • Analyze the results and effectiveness of the Specialized Assistance for Everyone (SAFE) team three-year pilot and determine if/how it should be adjusted (e.g. hours of operation) to have the greatest impact on community members and develop funding feasibility to extend beyond the pilot program period of time.
  • Improve service to the community by reducing emergency response times of priority 1 police calls to average of less than six minutes.
  • Continue community conversations about how the police department can improve residents' feelings of safety in their neighborhoods and improve trust with the community.
  • Conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the Advanced License Plate Reader (ALPR) technology to assess its effectiveness in reducing auto thefts and Part 1 crimes while ensuring privacy and equity considerations are addressed. Analyze crime trend data to measure the impact of ALPR technology on investigations and explore ways to mitigate potential biases and protect sensitive personal information.
  • Conduct a detailed fire deployment study to ensure that the current needs of the community are being met and to prepare for future growth.
  • Examine emergency medical services delivery in San Rafael to ensure the highest-quality care is provided and the appropriate resources are provided in a responsible and effective manner for increasing demands for service.
  • Evaluate the financial feasibility of the paramedic tax revenues to address future needs, including an increase in elder care facilities.

Bush at park


GOAL D: PUBLIC ASSETS

Improve and preserve public assets by sustaining effective levels of core infrastructure while reducing traffic congestion by expanding bicycle, pedestrian, and transit options

The City provides a variety of ongoing services in this area, such as: road paving, park upkeep, drain clearing to prevent flooding, safe transportation options including biking, walking, and public transit, traffic signals, streetlights, and building maintenance to ensure functionality, safety, and accessibility.

  • Evaluate and prioritize the Capital Improvement Program annually, including initiating grant-funded projects in 2023 (e.g. improvements to the Second Street and Fourth Street intersection).
  • Improve transportation and safety in the Canal neighborhood by conducting a feasibility study of the Canal Multi-modal experience and Canal swing bridge incorporating recommendations from the Canal Community Based Transportation Plan.
  • Actively participate in the decision-making process with the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District in relocating the San Rafael (Bettini) Transit Center.
  • Coordinate with the TAM and the County of Marin in the analysis and implementation of Vision Zero, or equivalent, to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for pedestrians, cyclists, and all modes of traffic.
  • Actively participate in the decision-making process with Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM), other agencies, and the community on the US 101/I-580 Multimodal and Local Access Improvement Project.
  • Develop a comprehensive Storm Drain Master Plan that will include network upgrades, maintenance schedules, sea level rise planning, and requirements for new developments.
  • Develop an inventory of City assets, including buildings, infrastructure, parks, lighting, open space and trees, and develop a strategic plan for asset management to identify and quantify unfunded liabilities and deferred maintenance costs. Engage community volunteers to support this effort.
  • Reduce the City's greenhouse gas emissions by transitioning, where feasible, diesel and gasoline-powered vehicles to electric vehicles.
  • Develop and adopt an updated Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan to improve connectivity, safety, and accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists.

Tamalpais


GOAL E: FOUNDATIONAL SERVICES

Maintain world-class/award-winning organizational viability and exemplary service through short and long- term financial success, organizational excellence and succession planning, and technology to improve efficiency and service levels.

The City provides a variety of ongoing services, such as: managing budgets, supporting local elections, maintaining public records, issuing business licenses, support for boards and commissions, professional services such as human resources, legal, finance, and digital services.

  • Develop a civic engagement strategy and reestablish the City's Communications Team including coordination and strategy around Citywide communications, website content strategy, and best practices.
  • Improve the user experience for the public by implementing a new, modern permit management system which will streamline processes for applicants and improve coordination of permit services across all City departments.
  • Make recommendations to bring to the ballot the Municipal Code and San Rafael's Charter focusing on updating any outdated, confusing, or inaccurate language, and make them more accessible, understandable, and gender-inclusive.
  • Enhance Performance Measurement through the co-development of dashboards and data tools for the Council policy focus areas, provide easy access to performance metrics, and enable data- driven decision-making by City departments. Evaluate which data sets can be added to our open data portal to increase transparency.
  • Continue next phases of internal "Together San Rafael" efforts including improvements to: employee recognition, employee experience including onboarding and mentoring, and DEIB projects and trainings.
  • Review and revise, as necessary, the City’s notification and communication standards for projects going through the entitlement process, and consider different standards depending on the potential impact of the project on the community.
  • Analyze new revenue alternatives and opportunities for future needs, including aggressively seeking grant funding.

Picture of flowers

Policy Focus Areas

ECONOMIC GROWTH

Building our economy to be stronger and more resilient.

Interior of cafe

  • Implement initiatives from the Economic Development Strategic Plan that will reinvigorate commerce across the city, find innovative strategies to attract and retain businesses, attract high-tech and other emerging market users, and ensure that growth is not only sustainable, but also equitable.
  • Create an environment that is conducive to business growth and job creation, encouraging investment and innovation, developing infrastructure and human capital, and promoting trade and commerce.
  • Conduct a feasibility study for the creation of Property Based Improvement Districts (PBIDs) that enhance the appearance and vitality of public spaces through such things as: improving safety, cleanliness, marketing, and physical upgrades.
  • Work with community partners such as the Chamber of Commerce, Business Improvement District (BID), Small Business Development Center, Marin County Office of Education, Canal Alliance, and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on economic recovery initiatives and workforce development programs.
  • Explore new revenues to fund economic development, such as a tourism-based

DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION & BELONGING  (DEIB)

Working to create equitable outcomes for all, while addressing systemic racial injustices.

  • United Against Hate Poster on windowContinue and expand training for all City staff, elected officials, and boards and commissions members around Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) principles to ensure that equity considerations are integrated into the City's policies and practices.
  • Develop a strategic roadmap to guide the City's DEIB internally-facing efforts, including implementing the human resources equity audit and continuing to evaluate policies and practices for alignment with DEIB principles.
  • Continue inclusive resident engagement practices that find opportunities to partner with underserved community members to build capacity for meaningful civic engagement and lift up traditionally marginalized voices.
  • Hold community meetings in Spanish with English interpretation and analyze best practices for increasing inclusivity by offering daycare, food, and stipends to participants.
  • Increase police accountability and promote transparency with law enforcement, and develop a community accountability advisory committee who will evaluate options such as, engaging an independent auditor and providing feedback on policing policies and practices.
  • Develop a Language Resource Access Plan to support multilingual engagement practices across the City, and explore best practices for interpretation for all publicly noticed meetings.
  • Implement strategies to increase the diversity of public safety recruitments to attract and hire qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds.

 


HOUSING & HOMELESSNESS

Creating new housing, keeping people in their homes, and use a “Housing First” model.

View from San Rafael Hill

  • Evaluate existing tenant protection policies to determine their effectiveness and consider the implementation of revised policies to expand housing choices for all residents, as outlined in the 2023-2031 Housing Element, to ensure habitability, create fair housing, and end homelessness.
  • Partner with community stakeholders to develop policies to protect renters and low-income earners from increasing housing prices and uncertain economic conditions. Support maintaining and improving our housing base and reduce the likelihood of homelessness.
  • Continue evaluating Housing-Focused Shelter (Interim Housing), fortified with strong case management services to help transition unhoused community members into permanent supportive housing.
  • Explore options for establishing a standardized process to regularly issue Notices of Funding Availability (NOFAs) to facilitate development of new affordable housing using the City's Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
  • Continue to take a leadership role to support the countywide coordinated entry system and Project Homekey-type efforts to end chronic and veteran homelessness.

SUSTAINABILITY, CLIMATE CHANGE, & DISASTER PREPAREDNESS

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions while mitigating and adapting to climate change.

Ivy on a wall

  • Develop a comprehensive adaptation plan that addresses the challenges and risks posed by wildfires, sea level rise, and other disasters to San Rafael and its residents using strategies and data from community partnerships and past planning efforts to provide a roadmap for disaster prevention and mitigation. Build a more resilient community in the face of disasters, able to recover more quickly and effectively, including evacuation planning for residents in the event of emergencies. Increase disaster preparedness outreach so all residents, regardless of income, language, physical ability, digital access, or any limiting factor have knowledge and resources to be prepared to respond to disasters.
  • Implement SB 1383 and reduce short-lived climate pollutants from organic waste. Promote voluntary compliance, protect the environment, and contribute to the City's overall sustainability goals.
  • Continue to do outreach and partner with the County to implement the Reusable Foodware Ordinance to reduce waste, litter, and contamination in composting streams.
  • Collaborate with the Transportation Authority of Marin and other community partners to develop an electric vehicle (EV) strategy for San Rafael, including increasing EV’s and EV charging infrastructure at City facilities and in the community.
  • Collaborate with the County of Marin to develop and implement a comprehensive Building Electrification Plan.

City Service Areas

Services Provided by the City of San Rafael

City Service Areas - Picture of Library and playground

GOAL A: NEIGHBORHOOD AND ECONOMIC VITALITY

Create and preserve a healthy economy and sustain vibrant neighborhoods, Downtown, and other business areas.

The City provides a range of ongoing services in this area such as: the development entitlement process, retaining and attracting businesses, facilitating new housing units, reducing homelessness, conducting building/safety inspections and permitting, and implementing climate change and sustainability programs.

  • Prioritize the implementation of key General Plan 2040 programs, including neighborhood planning, economic vitality, tree inventory, and improving and preserving public assets.
  • Where discretion is allowed under State housing laws, create standards to guide new developments to best fit into San Rafael through implementing the Downtown Precise Plan and additional policies, as needed.
  • Establish a By-Right Neighborhood Affordable Housing Overlay Zone to streamline the review and approval of affordable housing projects in high-density residential zoning districts. Develop a comprehensive plan for the Priority Development Areas (PDA) in the North and Southeast San Rafael neighborhoods addressing future development, mobility, sea level rise, and other community priorities. As development projects arise, create development agreements as necessary and facilitate community engagement efforts to inform and solicit input from the community throughout the process, such as the Northgate project.
  • Using results from the 2022-23 day laborer survey, work with governmental and community partners to facilitate a Feasibility Study of a Day Laborer Center/Hiring Hall in San Rafael.
  • Consider revisions to the Cannabis program, such as reviewing quantities and types of licenses, evaluating revisions for hemp products, and addressing products targeting youth.
  • Continue to develop, improve and implement a comprehensive plan to address the issue of illegal dumping in areas of denser multifamily housing, with a focus on improving access to legal disposal options for tenants.
  • Assess feasibility and revise the City’s current residential parking permit program to address overcrowding of neighborhood parking in a cost-neutral and equitable manner.

4th St Patch


GOAL B: QUALITY OF LIFE

Serve and strengthen community relationships by providing literary, artistic, recreational and cultural experiences for all residents and improving resident engagement and governmental transparency.

The City provides a variety of ongoing services in this area, such as: operating the three libraries and three community centers, childcare services, Falkirk Cultural Center, and operating network of parks.

  • Use Parks and Recreation Master Plan to guide the development, enhancement, and maintenance of parks, recreational facilities, and programs for the City.
  • Enhance recreational opportunities and user experience at Pickleweed Park by adding new amenities, enhancing existing facilities, and installing all-weather turf on the field to provide a safe, sustainable, and inclusive community space.
  • Redesign interior space at Pickleweed Branch Library and improve the Downtown Library's critical and life safety infrastructure, operations, and services to provide safe, functional, and innovative learning spaces. Replace the playground at Peacock Gap Park with a new, modern structure.
  • Continue process to assess the feasibility of constructing a new library facility that meets the current and future needs of the community, including identifying potential funding sources and partnerships.
  • Amend the smoking ordinance to bring it up to the latest standards, such as allowing the general public to bring a civil action against any person who has multiple violations.
  • Continue to implement the Age-Friendly Strategic Plan, including working with the Age-Friendly Task Force to support ageism trainings and activities to address social isolation.
  • Develop a comprehensive Master Plan for the Terra Linda Park and Community Center that will guide future site improvements and enhance the park and community center's role as a community resource.

Chairs at Beach


GOAL C: PUBLIC SAFETY

Prevent and respond to emergencies through essential facility improvements and community and organizational emergency readiness.

The City provides a variety of ongoing services in this area, such as: emergency response, advanced life support care, wildfire and structure fire prevention, traffic enforcement, crime prevention, mental health outreach, disaster preparedness, community education, and vegetation management.

  • Analyze the results and effectiveness of the Specialized Assistance for Everyone (SAFE) team three-year pilot and determine if/how it should be adjusted (e.g. hours of operation) to have the greatest impact on community members and develop funding feasibility to extend beyond the pilot program period of time.
  • Improve service to the community by reducing emergency response times of priority 1 police calls to average of less than six minutes.
  • Continue community conversations about how the police department can improve residents' feelings of safety in their neighborhoods and improve trust with the community.
  • Conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the Advanced License Plate Reader (ALPR) technology to assess its effectiveness in reducing auto thefts and Part 1 crimes while ensuring privacy and equity considerations are addressed. Analyze crime trend data to measure the impact of ALPR technology on investigations and explore ways to mitigate potential biases and protect sensitive personal information.
  • Conduct a detailed fire deployment study to ensure that the current needs of the community are being met and to prepare for future growth.
  • Examine emergency medical services delivery in San Rafael to ensure the highest-quality care is provided and the appropriate resources are provided in a responsible and effective manner for increasing demands for service.
  • Evaluate the financial feasibility of the paramedic tax revenues to address future needs, including an increase in elder care facilities.

Bush at park


GOAL D: PUBLIC ASSETS

Improve and preserve public assets by sustaining effective levels of core infrastructure while reducing traffic congestion by expanding bicycle, pedestrian, and transit options

The City provides a variety of ongoing services in this area, such as: road paving, park upkeep, drain clearing to prevent flooding, safe transportation options including biking, walking, and public transit, traffic signals, streetlights, and building maintenance to ensure functionality, safety, and accessibility.

  • Evaluate and prioritize the Capital Improvement Program annually, including initiating grant-funded projects in 2023 (e.g. improvements to the Second Street and Fourth Street intersection).
  • Improve transportation and safety in the Canal neighborhood by conducting a feasibility study of the Canal Multi-modal experience and Canal swing bridge incorporating recommendations from the Canal Community Based Transportation Plan.
  • Actively participate in the decision-making process with the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District in relocating the San Rafael (Bettini) Transit Center.
  • Coordinate with the TAM and the County of Marin in the analysis and implementation of Vision Zero, or equivalent, to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for pedestrians, cyclists, and all modes of traffic.
  • Actively participate in the decision-making process with Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM), other agencies, and the community on the US 101/I-580 Multimodal and Local Access Improvement Project.
  • Develop a comprehensive Storm Drain Master Plan that will include network upgrades, maintenance schedules, sea level rise planning, and requirements for new developments.
  • Develop an inventory of City assets, including buildings, infrastructure, parks, lighting, open space and trees, and develop a strategic plan for asset management to identify and quantify unfunded liabilities and deferred maintenance costs. Engage community volunteers to support this effort.
  • Reduce the City's greenhouse gas emissions by transitioning, where feasible, diesel and gasoline-powered vehicles to electric vehicles.
  • Develop and adopt an updated Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan to improve connectivity, safety, and accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists.

Tamalpais


GOAL E: FOUNDATIONAL SERVICES

Maintain world-class/award-winning organizational viability and exemplary service through short and long- term financial success, organizational excellence and succession planning, and technology to improve efficiency and service levels.

The City provides a variety of ongoing services, such as: managing budgets, supporting local elections, maintaining public records, issuing business licenses, support for boards and commissions, professional services such as human resources, legal, finance, and digital services.

  • Develop a civic engagement strategy and reestablish the City's Communications Team including coordination and strategy around Citywide communications, website content strategy, and best practices.
  • Improve the user experience for the public by implementing a new, modern permit management system which will streamline processes for applicants and improve coordination of permit services across all City departments.
  • Make recommendations to bring to the ballot the Municipal Code and San Rafael's Charter focusing on updating any outdated, confusing, or inaccurate language, and make them more accessible, understandable, and gender-inclusive.
  • Enhance Performance Measurement through the co-development of dashboards and data tools for the Council policy focus areas, provide easy access to performance metrics, and enable data- driven decision-making by City departments. Evaluate which data sets can be added to our open data portal to increase transparency.
  • Continue next phases of internal "Together San Rafael" efforts including improvements to: employee recognition, employee experience including onboarding and mentoring, and DEIB projects and trainings.
  • Review and revise, as necessary, the City’s notification and communication standards for projects going through the entitlement process, and consider different standards depending on the potential impact of the project on the community.
  • Analyze new revenue alternatives and opportunities for future needs, including aggressively seeking grant funding.

Picture of flowers

City Service Areas

Services Provided by the City of San Rafael

City Service Areas - Picture of Library and playground

GOAL A: NEIGHBORHOOD AND ECONOMIC VITALITY

Create and preserve a healthy economy and sustain vibrant neighborhoods, Downtown, and other business areas.

The City provides a range of ongoing services in this area such as: the development entitlement process, retaining and attracting businesses, facilitating new housing units, reducing homelessness, conducting building/safety inspections and permitting, and implementing climate change and sustainability programs.

  • Prioritize the implementation of key General Plan 2040 programs, including neighborhood planning, economic vitality, tree inventory, and improving and preserving public assets.
  • Where discretion is allowed under State housing laws, create standards to guide new developments to best fit into San Rafael through implementing the Downtown Precise Plan and additional policies, as needed.
  • Establish a By-Right Neighborhood Affordable Housing Overlay Zone to streamline the review and approval of affordable housing projects in high-density residential zoning districts. Develop a comprehensive plan for the Priority Development Areas (PDA) in the North and Southeast San Rafael neighborhoods addressing future development, mobility, sea level rise, and other community priorities. As development projects arise, create development agreements as necessary and facilitate community engagement efforts to inform and solicit input from the community throughout the process, such as the Northgate project.
  • Using results from the 2022-23 day laborer survey, work with governmental and community partners to facilitate a Feasibility Study of a Day Laborer Center/Hiring Hall in San Rafael.
  • Consider revisions to the Cannabis program, such as reviewing quantities and types of licenses, evaluating revisions for hemp products, and addressing products targeting youth.
  • Continue to develop, improve and implement a comprehensive plan to address the issue of illegal dumping in areas of denser multifamily housing, with a focus on improving access to legal disposal options for tenants.
  • Assess feasibility and revise the City’s current residential parking permit program to address overcrowding of neighborhood parking in a cost-neutral and equitable manner.

4th St Patch


GOAL B: QUALITY OF LIFE

Serve and strengthen community relationships by providing literary, artistic, recreational and cultural experiences for all residents and improving resident engagement and governmental transparency.

The City provides a variety of ongoing services in this area, such as: operating the three libraries and three community centers, childcare services, Falkirk Cultural Center, and operating network of parks.

  • Use Parks and Recreation Master Plan to guide the development, enhancement, and maintenance of parks, recreational facilities, and programs for the City.
  • Enhance recreational opportunities and user experience at Pickleweed Park by adding new amenities, enhancing existing facilities, and installing all-weather turf on the field to provide a safe, sustainable, and inclusive community space.
  • Redesign interior space at Pickleweed Branch Library and improve the Downtown Library's critical and life safety infrastructure, operations, and services to provide safe, functional, and innovative learning spaces. Replace the playground at Peacock Gap Park with a new, modern structure.
  • Continue process to assess the feasibility of constructing a new library facility that meets the current and future needs of the community, including identifying potential funding sources and partnerships.
  • Amend the smoking ordinance to bring it up to the latest standards, such as allowing the general public to bring a civil action against any person who has multiple violations.
  • Continue to implement the Age-Friendly Strategic Plan, including working with the Age-Friendly Task Force to support ageism trainings and activities to address social isolation.
  • Develop a comprehensive Master Plan for the Terra Linda Park and Community Center that will guide future site improvements and enhance the park and community center's role as a community resource.

Chairs at Beach


GOAL C: PUBLIC SAFETY

Prevent and respond to emergencies through essential facility improvements and community and organizational emergency readiness.

The City provides a variety of ongoing services in this area, such as: emergency response, advanced life support care, wildfire and structure fire prevention, traffic enforcement, crime prevention, mental health outreach, disaster preparedness, community education, and vegetation management.

  • Analyze the results and effectiveness of the Specialized Assistance for Everyone (SAFE) team three-year pilot and determine if/how it should be adjusted (e.g. hours of operation) to have the greatest impact on community members and develop funding feasibility to extend beyond the pilot program period of time.
  • Improve service to the community by reducing emergency response times of priority 1 police calls to average of less than six minutes.
  • Continue community conversations about how the police department can improve residents' feelings of safety in their neighborhoods and improve trust with the community.
  • Conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the Advanced License Plate Reader (ALPR) technology to assess its effectiveness in reducing auto thefts and Part 1 crimes while ensuring privacy and equity considerations are addressed. Analyze crime trend data to measure the impact of ALPR technology on investigations and explore ways to mitigate potential biases and protect sensitive personal information.
  • Conduct a detailed fire deployment study to ensure that the current needs of the community are being met and to prepare for future growth.
  • Examine emergency medical services delivery in San Rafael to ensure the highest-quality care is provided and the appropriate resources are provided in a responsible and effective manner for increasing demands for service.
  • Evaluate the financial feasibility of the paramedic tax revenues to address future needs, including an increase in elder care facilities.

Bush at park


GOAL D: PUBLIC ASSETS

Improve and preserve public assets by sustaining effective levels of core infrastructure while reducing traffic congestion by expanding bicycle, pedestrian, and transit options

The City provides a variety of ongoing services in this area, such as: road paving, park upkeep, drain clearing to prevent flooding, safe transportation options including biking, walking, and public transit, traffic signals, streetlights, and building maintenance to ensure functionality, safety, and accessibility.

  • Evaluate and prioritize the Capital Improvement Program annually, including initiating grant-funded projects in 2023 (e.g. improvements to the Second Street and Fourth Street intersection).
  • Improve transportation and safety in the Canal neighborhood by conducting a feasibility study of the Canal Multi-modal experience and Canal swing bridge incorporating recommendations from the Canal Community Based Transportation Plan.
  • Actively participate in the decision-making process with the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District in relocating the San Rafael (Bettini) Transit Center.
  • Coordinate with the TAM and the County of Marin in the analysis and implementation of Vision Zero, or equivalent, to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for pedestrians, cyclists, and all modes of traffic.
  • Actively participate in the decision-making process with Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM), other agencies, and the community on the US 101/I-580 Multimodal and Local Access Improvement Project.
  • Develop a comprehensive Storm Drain Master Plan that will include network upgrades, maintenance schedules, sea level rise planning, and requirements for new developments.
  • Develop an inventory of City assets, including buildings, infrastructure, parks, lighting, open space and trees, and develop a strategic plan for asset management to identify and quantify unfunded liabilities and deferred maintenance costs. Engage community volunteers to support this effort.
  • Reduce the City's greenhouse gas emissions by transitioning, where feasible, diesel and gasoline-powered vehicles to electric vehicles.
  • Develop and adopt an updated Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan to improve connectivity, safety, and accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists.

Tamalpais


GOAL E: FOUNDATIONAL SERVICES

Maintain world-class/award-winning organizational viability and exemplary service through short and long- term financial success, organizational excellence and succession planning, and technology to improve efficiency and service levels.

The City provides a variety of ongoing services, such as: managing budgets, supporting local elections, maintaining public records, issuing business licenses, support for boards and commissions, professional services such as human resources, legal, finance, and digital services.

  • Develop a civic engagement strategy and reestablish the City's Communications Team including coordination and strategy around Citywide communications, website content strategy, and best practices.
  • Improve the user experience for the public by implementing a new, modern permit management system which will streamline processes for applicants and improve coordination of permit services across all City departments.
  • Make recommendations to bring to the ballot the Municipal Code and San Rafael's Charter focusing on updating any outdated, confusing, or inaccurate language, and make them more accessible, understandable, and gender-inclusive.
  • Enhance Performance Measurement through the co-development of dashboards and data tools for the Council policy focus areas, provide easy access to performance metrics, and enable data- driven decision-making by City departments. Evaluate which data sets can be added to our open data portal to increase transparency.
  • Continue next phases of internal "Together San Rafael" efforts including improvements to: employee recognition, employee experience including onboarding and mentoring, and DEIB projects and trainings.
  • Review and revise, as necessary, the City’s notification and communication standards for projects going through the entitlement process, and consider different standards depending on the potential impact of the project on the community.
  • Analyze new revenue alternatives and opportunities for future needs, including aggressively seeking grant funding.

Picture of flowers

MEASURING PROGRESS

The City is implementing a performance measurement approach to track progress towards the priorities stated in this document.  The goals of our performance measurement program are to:

  • Track the City’s progress on targets set in key policy areas Track the outcomes of activities conducted by the City
  • Use the metrics and relevant data to help inform decision-making, progress towards our goals and objectives, and improve outcomes.
  • In 2022, the City Council approved 15 key metrics to track the City’s progress towards the goals and objectives within the policy focus areas.

In FY 2022-2023, the City collected data related to each metric, established a baseline for the metric, and trendlines. Performance measurement dashboards were created and presented to Council through the budget and goal setting process. Summary findings and public dashboards are available on the City website.

Over the course of the next year we will continue to align metrics, targets, and goal setting to make sure the City is measuring the right things that show progress in key policy areas. Over the course of the next few years the City will:

  • Revise Metrics: Evaluate and revise the current set of metrics to better capture the City’s priorities, and develop a mapping of department goals and objectives to these metrics.
  • Choose targets: Assign targets for each metric based on
  • the estimated budget and staff time spent on related projects, and the relative importance of each of the goals and objectives
  • Integrate Performance Measurement into
  • existing processes: Leverage performance metrics and additional data to support staff, department directors, and Council in their decision-making to ultimately improve outcomes.
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