Updates to City Hall Hours on Fridays in July and August 


Snapshot –City Council Appointments, City News, Events, and More!!!

Posted on December 15, 2023

Snapshot en Español


Spotlight Photo

Fourth Street at night

Photo Credit: Bernadette Sullivan, City Manager’s Office

Last Quiz Question

Congrats to Rob Dawson! They were the first to answer our Snapshot quiz. The San Rafael Plaza was once the home of Macy’s department store. Thanks for reading Snapshot! Scroll down to see this edition’s quiz and be the first to answer.

A message from the City Manager

As the year draws to a close, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all our readers and residents for your continued interest and engagement with our great City. Please note that this is the last Snapshot of the year, and we will return with the next Snapshot on Thursday, January 11th, 2024.

Wishing you and your families a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year!

San Rafael City News

At the next City Council Meeting, Monday, December 18th, 2023

The following will be presented at the upcoming City Council meeting on Monday, December 18th, at 7:00 p.m.

Marin Sanitary Service Rates for 2024

Marin Sanitary Service continues to provide comprehensive refuse, recycling, and composting services to San Rafael residents and businesses. The City Council will review a proposed rate adjustment for Marin Sanitary Service, which, if passed, would become effective January 1, 2024. The proposed increase of 6.22% is primarily derived from a contractual rate-setting approach with Marin Sanitary Service. This recommended rate adjustment has been independently reviewed by R3 Consulting Group, Inc., ensuring it is reflective of the actual service costs. The City Council holds an annual public hearing to approve these rates, in line with their franchise agreement with Marin Sanitary Service, aiming for stability, transparency, and high service levels.

Staff Report

Design Review Board Informational Report

The City Council is scheduled to hear an informational report that proposes the consolidation of the Design Review Board (DRB) and the Planning Commission (Commission), which could result in the dissolution of the DRB. The report is the culmination of several years of discussions and pilot programs focused on making the development review process more straightforward and includes a recommendation to add two new design professional seats to the Planning Commission.

Staff Report

2024 Vice Mayor & Committee Selections

On Monday evening, the City Council will appoint a new Vice Mayor for 2024. This responsibility rotates each year among the four Councilmembers. In addition, the City Council will make 2024 appointments for serving on various boards and committees.

City Council Appointments 2024

Other News

Police Advisory & Accountability Committee – First Public Meeting – City Council Chambers – December 20th, 6:00 pm.

On October 23rd, 2023, the City Council approved the appointments of seven San Rafael residents to the Police Advisory and Accountability Committee (PAAC). The purpose of the PAAC is to improve public transparency and accountability with respect to the San Rafael Police Department and provide greater community participation in making recommendations on police department policies, practices, and procedures to the City Council. You can learn more about your PAAC members here. The PAAC’s first meeting is scheduled for December 20th at 6:00 p.m. Community members can participate and provide public comment in person at the City Hall Council Chambers, or you can watch the meeting via Zoom. If you would like to subscribe to receive notifications about the City’s public meetings, including the PAAC, click here. To view agendas, staff reports, and for the Zoom link to watch the PAAC meeting live, visit the City’s public meeting webpage.

City Hall End-of-Year Closure

As a reminder, City administrative offices and facilities will be closed from Friday, December 25th through Monday, January 1st, 2024. Offices will reopen on Tuesday, January 2nd.  Police, fire, and paramedic services will be fully staffed with 9-1-1 emergency service continuing to dispatch calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Public Works and Sanitation District crews will be staffed and monitoring emergency maintenance requests.

City Council Meeting New Start Time – 6:00 p.m. beginning in January

Starting in January, City Council meetings will now begin at 6:00 p.m. This new schedule is part of our ongoing commitment to increase civic participation. By shifting the meeting time earlier, we aim to eliminate the need for community members to remain at City Hall into the later hours of the evening. Please note that the first meeting of the New Year will take place on Tuesday, January 16th at 6:00 p.m.

Nominations for 2024 Public Service Award

In 2001, J. Michael Maloney, a Marin resident, established an endowment with the Marin Community Foundation in honor of former San Rafael Planning Commissioner Dick O’Brien to fund an annual award to recognize an outstanding community member, the Public Service Award. The intent of this award is to recognize a San Rafael community member who has made exceptional contributions to the City. In addition to a $2,500 cash award from the Marin Community Foundation, the annual recipient is recognized at a City Council meeting and at the annual State of the City dinner.

Do you know someone who you think should be recognized with the Public Service Award? Review the eligibility criteria and complete a nomination form on our website by January 12, 2024.

NOMINATE SOMEONE: https://www.cityofsanrafael.org/public-service-award/

Wildfire Mitigation Team Update

The City’s Wildfire Mitigation Team successfully completed over 7,380 defensible space evaluations this year, addressing common risks like combustible vegetation, and providing over $100,000 in grants for wildfire risk reduction. Our staff engaged with residents for an average of 21 minutes per visit, offering resources to over 1,350 individuals and treating over 260 acres to reduce fire risk in key areas. This collective effort reflects our community’s commitment to wildfire prevention and resilience, making our City safer.

Public Art Review Board approves Art Exhibits at Falkirk Cultural Center

The Public Art Review Board has successfully finalized the 2024 Falkirk Art Exhibit schedule. This year’s schedule begins with exhibitions from long-standing, successful group collaborators, followed by selections from a wide-reaching ‘Call for Artists’ that garnered 27 high-quality proposals. After careful review, 11 proposals were chosen to complete the lineup. This diverse and vibrant schedule reflects our commitment to showcasing a rich array of artistic talents and we eagerly anticipate sharing these exhibits with the community.

Come and visit the galleries during open hours! Open hours are Tuesdays-Fridays 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call ahead to confirm that we do not have a private event at 415-485-3328.

The upcoming 2024 Falkirk Art Exhibit schedule is as follows:

  • Winter Juried Show “A Gathering of Color”, January 12 – February 16
  • Terra Linda Ceramics, March 8 – April 19
  • Marin Open Studios- Artists TBD, May 3 – June 14
  • Sue Sommer “Birds of Marin”, Catherin Lee “Untitled,” & Noah Gottesman “Homeward” July 12 – August 23
  • Cindy Ostroff & Susan Tureck “Double Vision”, 7+1 Art Collective “What Now?,” Sniff Art Collective “Untitled”, September 13 – October 25
  • Second Friday Salon “Beauty and Her Shadow”, Marie Krajan “Dreams”, Dana Christensen “Ephemera”, November 8 – December 13


Volunteer Tech Tutors In The Library

The Library is delighted to announce the return of its tech tutoring sessions, available through appointment. These sessions, greatly appreciated before the pandemic, are conducted by two skilled and knowledgeable volunteers. Recognizing the frequent requests from patrons for detailed, individualized tech assistance, the library staff is now equipped to direct them to these tech tutors. Interested patrons can either complete an online form or seek assistance from library staff to arrange an appointment. Subsequently, the tutors will coordinate a suitable day and time for a personalized session with the patron.

Three Hours of Free Holiday Parking in City-Owned Lots & Garages

Park stress-free while you shop and dine in downtown San Rafael this holiday season! Now through January 3rd, enjoy three hours of free parking at all City-owned parking lots and garages. On-street parking meters still require payment from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Parking in downtown is always free every Sunday.

Donate Food at Terra Linda and San Rafael Community Centers

Support the Marin Community Food Bank this holiday season by donating canned and nonperishable food items (no glass, please). Your contributions can make a significant difference in the lives of others. Drop off your donations at either of these locations:

  • San Rafael Community Center, 618 B Street (Monday – Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
  • Terra Linda Community Center, 670 Del Ganado Road (Monday – Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)

Let’s join together to fill our bins and support our community!

Donate Toys through San Rafael Santa Cop this Holiday Season

The Santa Cop program unites employees from all City departments and the community to collect toys and donations for San Rafael children and families in need. You can drop off your donations at the following locations through January 2nd, 2024.

Drop-off locations:

  • San Rafael City Hall: 1400 Fifth Ave. San Rafael, CA 94901
  • San Rafael Public Safety Center/Fire Station 51: 1375 Fifth Ave, San Rafael, CA 94901
  • Fire Station 52: 52 Union St, San Rafael, CA 94901
  • Fire Station 55: 955 Point San Pedro Rd, San Rafael, CA 94901
  • Fire Station 56: 650 Del Ganado Rd, San Rafael, CA 94903
  • Fire Station 57: 3530 Civic Center Dr, San Rafael, CA 94903
  • Marinwood Fire Station 58: 777 Miller Creek Rd, San Rafael, CA 94903
  • San Rafael Community Center: 618 B Street
  • Terra Linda Community Center: 670 Del Ganado Road

To learn more about the San Rafael Santa Cop program or to donate, please visit sanrafaelsantacop.org.

2024 Business License Renewal

The City is in the process of distributing business license renewal notices to all businesses with active licenses expiring December 31st, 2023.  Each license renewal is due by February 15th, 2024.  The City accepts cash, checks, money orders, and most major credit cards.  Licenses may be renewed online via credit card or through eCheck. If you have questions about business licenses, please contact the Business License Tax Division at (415) 485-3051 or BLRenewal@cityofsanrafael.org.

Marin County Participatory Budgeting

The County of Marin is empowering community members through Participatory Budgeting (PB), allocating $2.5 million for public projects. Through this program, community members propose ideas and develop them into potential projects with costs between 10,000 and $250,000. The community is invited to vote on which projects receive funding. Several project submissions came from San Rafael residents and community-based organizations to bring projects to our community.

Both online and in-person voting options are available to community members and open until December 29th. You can vote and learn more about the Marin County Participatory Budgeting Project here.

Parks Division-Taking Care of Trees

Recently, Parks crew members Camilo Bayot and Matthew Scales took on the task of replanting a memorial tree at Oleander Park in honor of former Parks Superintendent Dave Davenport. The original tree, unfortunately, faced challenges in thriving and was frequently damaged by deer, leading to the decision to replace it. In addition to this, the team also planted two Mesa oaks, scientifically known as Quercus Engelmannii, in a different area of the park where several pine trees had to be removed due to poor health. These evergreen oaks will add to the park’s natural beauty.

Clearing Drains Before The Rains

The City’s Streets Division handles a diverse range of tasks throughout the year, with a special focus on storm drain management during the Fall and Winter seasons. This involves both preventative measures and clearing activities, essential for ensuring effective drainage and reducing flood risks. . These efforts are critical for maintaining safe and navigable streets, especially in heavy rains, and are part of the broader commitment to enhancing our City’s infrastructure resilience against adverse weather.

Bryn Mawr Storm Drain Replacement Project

The Bryn Mawr Storm Drain Replacement project began on November 27, 2023, located on Bryn Mawr Drive between El Cerrito Avenue and Mission Avenue. This project is a crucial infrastructure update involving the removal of the existing storm drain and the installation of approximately 300 linear feet of new 12-inch piping along the roadway. To accommodate this construction, sections of Bryn Mawr Drive will be temporarily closed from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, Monday through Friday. This initiative is part of a larger effort to enhance the area’s storm drainage system, ensuring greater efficiency and reliability for the local community.

Third Street Improvements

THIS WEEK   December 11 – December 15 

  • Construction crews completed planting new street trees on Second Street and Third Street.
  • Crews completed the lane striping and pavement markers.
  • Crews painted turn arrows at Third Street and C Street and at Second Street and Marquard Avenue.
  • Crews activated new traffic signals at Third Street and Brooks Street and at Second Street and Fourth Street.
  • Crews completed installing traffic signs.

NEXT WEEK   December 18 – December 22

  • Crews will install center lane channelizers on Second Street.


  • Street parking spaces will be marked “No Parking.” Please move your vehicles overnight.

The daytime hours of work will be from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., with lane closures from 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Third Street and Second Street westbound. Lane closures will also be in effect from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Second Street eastbound.


Did you know that Davidson students enjoy early release every Wednesday afternoon, giving them the opportunity to participate in an after-school club called TNT? Located at Trinity Lutheran Church, just a short walk from Davidson, TNT offers a variety of activities. Students can catch up on homework, enjoy snacks, play basketball, and engage in educational trips and guest speakers. A student favorite, K9 Blue (Blue is partnered with Mental Health Liaison Lynn Murphy. His official title is comfort dog), recently joined another session with Lynn Murphy. During the visit, not only did Blue receive abundant love and attention, but Lynn also shared insights about San Rafael’s efforts to address homelessness. The students actively participated, asking insightful questions. A special thanks goes to Director Dave Levy and his assistant Peggy Jacobson for their initiative in bringing Blue and Lynn to TNT, enriching the students’ experience.

LAST CITY COUNCIL MEETING on December 4th, 2023

At the December 4th, City Council meeting, the City Council:

    • Held a closed-session conference with legal counsel.
    • Heard City Manager and Councilmember reports.
    • Approved the consent calendar.
    • Approved resolution confirming the Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) Assessment Annual Renewal.
    • Adopted the Commercial Linkage Nexus Study, updated Commercial Linkage Fees, and adopted a Commercial Linkage Fee project list.
    • Held open time for public expression.

City Council meetings are held every first and third Monday of the month at 6:00 p.m. City Council meetings that fall on a holiday are rescheduled for the following Tuesday.


Lighted Boat Parade 2023

Saturday, December 16th, 2023, 6:00 p.m., Various locations around San Rafael Canal (see below)

Boats decorated with lights, banners, and other festive regalia will sail across the San Rafael Canal in a marine parade that is not to be missed. Come witness the star-studded boat parade and cheer for your favorite design at the iconic Lighted Boat Parade 2023!

Suggested viewing areas include behind the Montecito Shopping Center, Point San Pedro Road and Third St., Yacht Club Drive, or Pickleweed Park.

For more information or to register a boat to participate, please call: (415) 453-9366.

Bulky Item Drop-off

Saturday December 16, 2023- 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Pickleweed Park, 50 Canal Street

Saturday, December 16 at Pickleweed Park will be the City’s last bulky item drop-off day of 2023. These events are hosted by the Conservation Corps North Bay to provide free bulky item disposal. These drop-offs are for multi-family residents of San Rafael only (i.e., residents in apartment complexes). No businesses, no single-family residents, no hazardous waste allowed. For more info visit the illegal dumping page.

Memorial for Marin’s Unsheltered Neighbors

Thursday, December 21, 2023, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

First Presbyterian Church in San Rafael will host a memorial service honoring individuals from Marin County who experienced homelessness and passed away in 2023 and previous years. This event is organized by the Street Chaplaincy and co-sponsored by the Marin Interfaith Council with support from the City of San Rafael. All are invited to join in person at 1510 Fifth Ave. in the Main Sanctuary or via a live Facebook stream to pay tribute and remember the lives of our neighbors and friends.

Pickleball Returns to the Albert J. Boro Community Center

November 28 through December 15, 2023, and January 19 to March 1, 2024, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

We’re excited to bring back the Pickleball program at the Albert J. Boro Community Center’s Gymnasium. Available on Tuesdays and Fridays, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. starting from November 28th through December 15th, and then again from January 19th to March 1st, for a drop-in fee of just $4. Our setup includes three courts, each lined with blue tape, and our staff takes care of assembling the nets before each session. We even have extra paddles for those who need them.

Christmas Tree Recycling 2024

If you have a live tree and are looking to have it recycled, you can take it to the following locations in San Rafael:

Tuesday January 2nd until Friday, January 12th, 2024:

  • Pickleweed Park & Albert J Boro Community Center, 50 Canal St., San Rafael
  • Scotty’s Market Parking Lot, Manuel T. Freitas Parkway & Del Ganado, San Rafael

Until Wednesday, January 31st, 2024:

  • Marin Resource Recovery Center, 565 Jacoby St., San Rafael

*There will be a charge for flocked trees*

For a full list of Marin locations click here.

Resilient Neighborhoods Climate Action Workshops- Registration is Open

Two sessions: Wednesdays starting January 10, 4:00-5:30 p.m. or Thursdays starting January 18, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

The Resilient Neighborhoods’ online Climate Action Workshop offers a transformative learning experience where participants will embrace an eco-friendly lifestyle, work towards creating a sustainable home, and gain skills to thrive in today’s changing environment. By learning to reduce energy and waste, use clean energy, conserve water, and opt for smarter transportation options, not only do you contribute to a healthier planet, but you also save money. This is a chance to strengthen and safeguard your community. This opportunity is available at no cost to residents of Marin. You have the option to start attending sessions either on January 10th or January 18th. To enroll, visit http://tinyurl.com/RNProgram or www.ResilientNeighborhoods.org.

Balance, Stretch, and Strengthening Class

Tuesday, January 9th through February 13, 2024 – 3:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.- 618 B Street

Experience rejuvenation and wellness at the San Rafael Community Center with our new Balance, Stretch, and Strengthening class, guided by the expert Barbara Colker! This class is an ideal opportunity to engage in activities that enhance strength, flexibility, and overall energy. Join us for our next session running from January 9th to February 13th, 2024, every Tuesday from 3:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. Come over to register and meet Barbara – your first step towards a healthier, more energetic you!

Falkirk Exhibit: “A Gathering of Color”

Friday, January 12th, 5:00 p.m.8:00 p.m.- Falkirk Cultural Center, 1408 Mission Avenue at E Street San Rafael, CA 94901

Don’t miss the opening of “A Gathering of Color” on Friday, January 12th,

during the San Rafael ArtWalk. “A Gathering of Color” is a celebration of the profound impact color has on our emotions and experiences. We hope to fill our galleries with a multitude of artworks focusing on color, recognizing that we are drawn to combinations of colors and to the density of certain colors. This multimedia showcase will feature artists from all nine Bay Area counties.

POSTPONED: San Rafael Fire Foundation Crab Feed

Saturday, January 13th, 2024, 5:00 p.m., 618 B St, San Rafael, CA 94901

The SR Fire Foundation’s 2023 Crab feed Fundraiser scheduled for Saturday, December 9th, will be postponed until January 13th. Individuals who have purchased tickets are invited to join us for the rescheduled event. If you would like a refund, or to designate your ticket purchase as a cash donation, please reach out to info@srfirefoundation.org.

This difficult decision was made due to the lack of availability of fresh crab along the entire Pacific coast. To read more about this decision, click here.

An enormous amount of planning and preparation has gone into our Crab Feed event. We are grateful for the generosity of our sponsors and auction donors, and it is our hope that we can all come together on Saturday January 13 to enjoy a belated, but no less delicious and successful, Crab Feed to support our San Rafael Firefighter/Paramedics!


Where did the San Rafael neighborhood Terra Linda get its name?

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