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Snapshot –Housing Element, Goals and Objectives, Events, and More!!!!

Posted on May 12, 2023


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Spotlight Photo

Mural of poppys

Mural at Artworks Downtown

Photo Credit: Bernadette Sullivan, City Manager’s Office

Last Quiz Question

We gotcha! The photo featured in the last Snapshot quiz was of two pinball machines at Red Whale Coffee. Although no one correctly answered, the Star Wars pinball machine was just in time for “May the 4th be with you.” We appreciate all those who sent in their answers and thank them for reading Snapshot. Scroll down to see this edition’s quiz and be the first to answer!

Message from Outgoing City Manager Jim Schutz

Regular readers of Snapshot will know I’m soon to retire as a city employee and Assistant City Manager Cristine Alilovich has been selected to be San Rafael’s next City Manager, starting June 1, 2023. As such, this is my last Snapshot. I’m excited to transition into being a Snapshot subscriber and keeping up to date with San Rafael through Cristine’s updates.

Recently, the Federation of San Rafael Neighborhoods asked me to make a brief video talking about my time as City Manager. If you would like to check it out, you can find it here. It is full of pictures I’ve saved since I started working for the City of San Rafael in January 2007. My family will still be living here, so be sure to say hello when I see you in this wonderful City.

San Rafael City News

Housing Element

At the Monday, May 15th meeting, the City Council will hear a Resolution and two Ordinances related to the San Rafael 2023-2031 Housing Element, the 2040 General Plan Safety and Resilience Element, and the San Rafael Zoning Map. The Housing Element is the City’s long-term plan for conserving and maintaining its housing supply, promoting fair housing, and creating new housing opportunities for all residents. The City received comments from the State Department of Housing and Community Development in March 2023 and has worked closely with State reviewers to ensure that the final draft is compliant with State law. The City Council is being asked to adopt the Housing Element, amend the Safety and Resilience Element of General Plan 2040, and amend the San Rafael zoning map for several parcels to conform to the General Plan 2040 Land Use Map.

Read the Staff Report Here

Goals and Objectives

At Monday night’s meeting, May 15th, the City Council will further discuss the City’s Draft Goals and Objectives 2023-2025, outlining strategic priorities and initiatives for the upcoming two fiscal years. The document is divided into four policy focus areas, including Economic Growth; Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging; Sustainability, Climate Change, and Disaster Preparedness; and Housing and Homelessness. The document’s Policy Focus Areas and City Service Areas have a set of objectives that serve as a basis for resource allocation decisions during the budget process. The report also includes 15 performance metrics that staff will use to track and measure progress towards the Council’s key policy areas goals. This meeting follows the recent Study Session on May 8th also reviewing the draft documents.

Read the Staff Report Here

Economic Development Strategic Plan

At Monday night’s Council meeting, May 15th, the City Council will consider adopting an Economic Development Strategic Plan (EDSP) for the City of San Rafael. The plan was developed with input from community leaders and industry focus groups and includes multi-step plans regarding such topics as: leveraging external partnerships and funding; supporting business expansion, attraction, and retention; developing a workforce development strategy; and investing in beautification. The EDSP recommends targeting seven areas, building upon the San Rafael General Plan 2040 Economic Vitality Policies, with 32 identified targeted action items over a 5-year planning horizon.

Read the Staff Report Here

Chamber of Commerce and Business Improvement District Partnership

At the Monday night Council meeting, the City Council will consider entering into an agreement with the Chamber of Commerce to manage various aspects of the Business Improvement District (BID), such as marketing, events, and administration. This move is expected to explore needs and identify program and resources for downtown vibrancy while strengthening the partnership between the business community and City government. The BID in Downtown San Rafael has been in place since 1979, but the COVID-19 pandemic significantly reduced the number of businesses and the collections of BID assessments. The BID Corporation, the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce, and the City have been working together to identify a pathway for long-term sustainability to support Downtown San Rafael, which led to this recommendation for a new approach to BID management and an enhancement agreement with the Chamber.

Read the Staff Report Here

Use Permit Revocation

At the Monday, May 1, City Council meeting, the City Council will hear an appeal of the Planning Commission revocation decision for George’s Nightclub, located at 842 Fourth Street.  Due to frequent disturbances, the Planning Commission held a revocation hearing in March 2023, which resulted in a unanimous decision to revoke Use Permit 05-01. The business owner, Evolution Nightclub & Restaurant, LCC, filed an appeal, which the City Council will consider.

Read the Staff Report Here

Third Street Improvements   

During this week (May 8 – May 12):
  • Sonic Telecom construction crews will be boring the North side of Third Street between Lootens Place and Cijos Street. Work will also occur on the west side of Lootens Place. The work will require a sidewalk and a lane closure.
  • Crews will replace curb ramps at the southwest corners of Third Street and D Street and Third Street and E Street.  This work will require a curb lane closure and no parking adjacent to the intersections.
  • Crews will continue to construct the new curb ramp at the southwest corner of Third Street and Brooks Street. The work will require a lane closure and traffic lane shift.
  • Crews will replace the sanitary sewer lateral main on Ritter Street. This work will require a lane closure on Ritter Street.


  • The stairway from Second Street to Jessup Street (south of Ida Street) is closed.
  • For the Lane Shift on Second Street, the posted speed limit is 25 mph. Drivers should be aware of changed conditions and be alert.
  • Traffic Controls (temporary signs, message boards, traffic cones, delineators and detour signs) will be put in place to direct motorists through the work area.
  • Curb parking spaces will be marked “No Parking.”

The daytime hours of work will be from 6 am to 6 pm, with lane closures from 6 am to 3 pm on Third Street and Second Street westbound. Lane closures will also be in effect from 9 am to 6 pm on Second Street eastbound.


TALES OF THE CITY—Downtown Clean & Green

green and clean

On Friday, April 21, volunteers gathered for the annual Business Improvement District (BID) Earth Day Clean & Green in downtown San Rafael. More than 50 volunteers picked up litter, removed graffiti, cleaned garbage cans and generally spruced up the Fourth Street and the West End Village corridor. Volunteers also pulled weeds and mulched the tree wells at the intersections of Fourth and Lootens and Fourth and Cijos. Additional Fourth Street intersections will be mulched and beautified later this year. It was a lovely morning with participation from many local businesses and organizations, including the BID, BioMarin, The Pascha Group, Pond Farm Brewing, The Arc, Evolution Hospitality, among others. A huge thank you to all who participated!

LAST COUNCIL MEETINGS on May 1, 8, and 9 2023

Beginning with the April 18, 2022, City Council meeting, the City Council has returned to in-person meetings combined with virtual real-time public comment.

At the May 1, regular City Council meeting, the Council:

  • Held open time for public expression.
  • Heard City Manager and Councilmember reports.
  • Heard a City Attorney Status Update on Police Investigation.
  • Approved the consent calendar.
  • Approved the Use Permit Revocation for Nightclub at 842 Fourth Street.
  • Approved the Reusable Foodware Ordinance.
  • Accepted a report on BioMarin Development Agreement.
  • Approved a resolution of a contract to merge the Downtown San Rafael Business Improvement District with the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce
  • Approved resolution recommending Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) project funding for the Fiscal Year 2023-24

At the May 8, Special City Council meeting, the Council:

  • Adopted a resolution approving an Environmental and Design Review Permit for new mixed-use building at 1515 Fourth Street
  • Accepted a report on the draft Goals and Objectives and Performance Metrics for Fiscal Years 2023-25

At the May 9, Special City Council meeting, the Council:

  • Held Board of Library Trustees Interviews

City Council meetings are held every first and third Monday of the month. City Council meetings that fall on a holiday are rescheduled for the following Tuesday.


Congregate Meals

  • Albert J. Boro Community Center – Wednesdays at 11:30 am
  • San Rafael Community Center – Wednesdays at 11:00 am (except for the third Wednesday of the month)

In-person congregate meals for older adults are back! Come enjoy a warm, nutritious meal at your local meal site. To be eligible for this program, you must be 60+ years of age. For more information and to sign-up for meals, call 415-473-4636.

EV and Ebike Show (at Rotary Day of Service)

May 13, 11:00 -2:00 pm, Marin Civic Center, San Rafael

Ready to go electric? Join Ride and Drive Clean along with EV and Ebike owners who are delighted to display their electric vehicles and share their experience going electric. We’ll showcase the latest models and demo bidirectional charging with the new Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5. EV and Ebike experts will help you discover how you can save money with incentives, charge at home and on the road, and help you find the EV or Ebike that’s right for you. Join us!

C Street Celebration- A Community Festival of Creativity

MAY 20, 2023; 10:30am–5:30pm

C Street (between 3rd & 4th) in Downtown San Rafael

Join us for our second annual FREE community arts festival featuring:

  • Student music and dance performances
  • Hands-on family art workshops
  • Children’s Avenue chalk painting
  • Local food and drink
  • Full-length ‘Til Dawn a cappella concert + MORE!


What kind of bird is this? Bonus points for naming the location!


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