For decades, Downtown San Rafael has been the focus of planning studies and actions including Our Vision of Downtown San Rafael (1993); Downtown (SMART) Station Area Plan (2012); “Good Design Guidelines” (2017); and Downtown Parking & Wayfinding Study (2018). All of these efforts share the common goal of maintaining Downtown as the City’s center.
During the early phases of the Draft General Plan 2040 update process, the City of San Rafael pursued and secured grant funding to prepare a more detailed plan for our Downtown area. This decision was based on many factors, including Downtown’s role as the commercial, employment, and transit center for San Rafael and Marin County, and the opportunity for community growth and much-needed housing. The Downtown Plan afforded the opportunity to incorporate all of the prior plans and studies above into one, comprehensive plan.
Under the umbrella of the citywide Draft General Plan 2040, the Draft Downtown Precise Plan sets forth a vision for a 20-year period (2020-2040) for Downtown, but at a more granular level than General Plan 2040. The preparation of the Draft Plan was community-driven. As discussed in Chapter 1, the community engagement process in the Draft Plan preparation included a series of community workshops, a three-day charrette, and a vetting the Draft Plan components by the 24-member General Plan 2040 Steering Committee and a smaller working group of this Committee.