Pride Flag

The City of San Rafael celebrates Pride Month

Snapshot — Dining Outdoors, Boards and Commissions Updates, Upcoming Events, and more!!!

Posted on September 16, 2022

Snapshot en Español


Spotlight Photo

Gerstle Park

Gerstle Park Playground

San Rafael’s historic Gerstle Park will serve as a stage at the upcoming Porchfest. We look forward to seeing the picnic areas, playground, and a basketball court filled with event goers. Scroll down for additional information.

Last Quiz Question

Congrats to Gail Grasso for being the first to answer our last Snapshot Quiz. The mystery bird is a Western Screech Owl which was seen in Downtown San Rafael. Special thanks to Terra Linda High School student Joseph Zeno for providing the great photo. Congrats Gail, and thanks for reading Snapshot. Be sure to check out this edition’s quiz below and be the first to answer!!

San Rafael City News

Council to Hear Resolution in Response to Grand Jury Report on Affordable Housing

On Monday September 19th, the San Rafael City Council will consider a response prepared by staff to a recently published report by the Marin County Civil Grand Jury entitled Affordable Housing: Time for Collaboration in Marin. Made up of Marin County residents, the Civil Grand Jury is an independent investigative body that monitors the performance of local government and makes recommendations to save taxpayers’ dollars and improve services.

The 2022 Grand Jury Report on affordable housing lists ten findings and one suggested recommendation to address the housing affordability challenge in Marin County.  The Grand Jury has requested that the City of San Rafael, along with the County and all the other Marin cities and towns, review and respond to the findings and suggested recommendation, which focuses on a coordinated regional approach to facilitate development of more affordable and workforce housing. The response describes current collaboration on housing and outlines future possibilities and intentions. This item is on a section of the City Council meeting scheduled to start at 6pm.

Read the Staff Report here.

Financial Year End Reports

On Monday September 19th, the City’s Finance Director Nadine Atieh Hade and Principal Accountant Shawn Plate, will present the annual financial reports for fiscal year 2021-2022, which ended on June 30, 2022. The City’s General Fund Emergency Reserves continue to meet the target level of ten percent of operating expenses established by City Council Policy. Read about that and more in the staff report. This item is on a section of the meeting scheduled to start at 6pm.

Read the Staff Report here.

City Council to Hear Resolution and Ordinance Changes to Existing City Boards and Commissions

On Monday September 19th, after 7pm, the City Council will review recommended changes to the Board of Library Trustees, Design Review Board, and Fire Commission. There are several proposed changes to the various boards and commissions that include amending all masculine language to gender neutral language, as well as clarifying the expectations of Board members, term limits, and more. To see a full list of proposed changes, read the staff report here.

Read the Staff Report here.

San Rafael’s New Outdoor Dining Program

The Streetary Program is the City’s new outdoor dining program for structures in public parking spaces that will replace the existing parklet program. The City Council will hear the first reading of the Ordinance at the September 19th Council meeting, after 7pm, with a second and final reading of the Ordinance planned for the October 3rd Council meeting. The Streetary Program was designed with a focus on safety, aesthetics, and increasing our City’s economic vitality, and existing streetary owners as well as new applicants will be able to begin submitting applications after the final reading of the Ordinance.

Read the Staff Report here. 

National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month

September is known as National Suicide Prevention Month and is intended to help raise awareness surrounding suicide prevention resources available in our community. On September 6th, the City Council heard a special presentation on Suicide Prevention and Awareness highlighting the need for resources to shed light on this highly stigmatized topic. The City of San Rafael urges all residents and community members to strive to build safe and supportive environments and eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health issues that too often prevent people from seeking the care they need. Visit Marin County Health and Human Services website for additional resources.

Request for Information (RFI) – City Seeking Partners for Interim Housing

The City of San Rafael is seeking partners to collaborate on interim housing in an ongoing effort to respond to the homelessness crisis in Marin County. The City is requesting information from property owners, managers, developers, faith-based organizations, or social service providers who are interested in partnering with the City of San Rafael on a potential Interim Housing Unit (IHU) development project. The IHU would take the form of several individual small modular housing units, which typically range in size from 64-100 square feet. The concept would be to up to 20 of these structures on any given property. For visual examples of the general concept, see projects in Petaluma and Santa Rosa, and there are numerous other examples around California.

The City is anticipating a possible grant of $500,000 from the State of California to be matched by the County of Marin to carry out the IHU project. The City is issuing this Request for Information to determine interest in partnering with the City and the availability of local sites which could be utilized for an IHU project. The deadline for responses is quickly approaching. Responses are due on September 19, 2022, no later than 5 pm. Please email your response or questions to

Third Street Improvements   

During this week (September 12 – September 16):

  • Continuation of the installation of streetlight and signal light foundations Second Street and Shaver Street.
  • Sanitary sewer rehabilitation: crews will continue installing new sewer pipe and laterals by open trench method on Ida Street.
  • Crews will replace concrete curb ramps and sidewalks on Second Street between West Street and Marquard Avenue.
  • Crews will continue placing shotcrete for the retaining wall on Second Street between East Street and Miramar Avenue.
  • Continue to install Tecco Mesh slope stabilization.
  • Crews will place lane striping on Third Street between San Rafael High School and Union on Sunday Night/Monday AM, September 11th, 2023.


  • Beginning September 6, 2022, PG&E will begin its electrical relocation project on Second Street from Fourth Street to Miramar Avenue.
  • 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.


COVID-19 Updates

As COVID-19 remains a part of our everyday lives it is important to remember the possibility of exposure to COVID-19 during gatherings remains high. Please remain diligent against the spread of COVID-19 through social distancing, masking, and testing whenever possible.

According to the Marin County Department of Public Health, as of September 9th, Marin County has 202 “Active Cases” (cases confirmed in the previous 10 days) bringing the total confirmed cumulative cases to 41,139 since March 2020. These numbers continue to highlight the remaining threat of COVID-19 in our communities, and the need for all community members to remain diligent in their efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Please follow the links below regarding the appropriate steps to follow if:  

COVID-19 booster shots and vaccination appointments continue to be offered at all Marin vaccine clinics. If you need transportation assistance to get vaccinated, please visit the following links about Lyft’s Vaccine Access Program and GoGoGrandparent. As always, if you are experiencing any COVID-19 like symptoms, please get tested as soon as possible, even if you are fully vaccinated.

TALES OF THE CITY— Canal Karate students excel at Manteca Tournament

Karate Students

Many Canal Karate students traveled to Manteca with their families to compete in the United Shotokan Alliance Karate Championship on Saturday, August 27th. Most of the students attending received first, second, or third place medals in the respective events.

At the Last Council Meeting on September 6th, 2022

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

At the September 6, regular City Council Meeting, the Council:

  • Held public comment
  • The City of San Rafael’s elected City Attorney, Rob Epstein, addressed the audience following public comment from community members expressing their concerns about a recent police use of force incident. City Attorney Video link here.  Additional updates from the City regarding the incident can be found here.
  • Approved Consent Calendar Items
  • Received a presentation on National Suicide Prevention Month


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.


September is National Preparedness Month, so San Rafael, let’s Get Ready!

There’s a lot to think about when preparing for real-time emergencies. Getting prepared is within your reach! If we all prepare, our community is safer during a disaster and more resilient afterward. Sign up for Alerts & Notifications:

  • AlertMarin: Sends critical information from local agencies during a disaster if you need to take Register up to five phones in your household.

Sign up at Alert Marin

  • Nixle: Sends out general public safety information alerts via text based on your zip code about local issues.

Sign up for Nixle

Coastal Cleanup Day 2022

Saturday September 17th, 9:00am to 12:00pm
Various Locations throughout California

Join thousands of volunteers around California and hundreds in San Rafael to help keep our waterways clean! This is a great way to volunteer outdoors with friends and family while being part of the local solution to trash and waterway pollution. Be sure to dress for comfort and safety. We suggest wearing a hat and comfortable close-toed shoes. Remember to wear sunscreen and bring a water bottle and gloves if you have them. This is the one day each year that volunteers are asked to track the trash they pick up, which helps the State develop long-term solutions to litter. After the clean-up, volunteers are invited to BBQ lunch from 12:00pm – 2:00pm at the Bay Model Visitor Center in Sausalito. We look forward to seeing you there! 

For more information on sites click here.
To find other cleanup sites in Marin click here.

Marin Business Showcase

Wednesday, September 21st from 4:00pm – 7:00pm 

The Marin Business Showcase, a program of the San Rafael Chamber, is an award-winning business expo with over 50 exhibiting businesses showcasing their goods and services. The annual event welcomes our local residents to come out and show your support for our local businesses.  Come on out, get to know our amazing business community, learn about local products and services and try the cuisines of local restaurants and caterers.

In addition to incredible networking, this year’s event features:

  • Free wine tastings and craft beers from our local tap room – Ounces Outdoors
  • The chance to learn about the products and services of your local businesses
  • A sneak preview of the 44th Annual Mill Valley Film Festival!

This year’s event takes place at the newly remodeled Embassy Suites, 101 McInnis Parkway. San Rafael. Visit for more information or call 415-454-4163

San Rafael PorchFest

September 18th, from Noon to 5:00pm

Porchfest is back! The event will encompass a 6-block area near San Rafael’s historic Gerstle Park. Musical performances will be on front porches throughout the neighborhood — San Rafael Ave., Clark St., Bayview St., and Ross St. and then up Marin St. and Clorinda Ave. View the interactive map here. For additional event details click here.

Marin Green Home Tour

Wednesday and Thursday, October 19th & 20th, 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Want to see how Marin residents are adapting their homes to combat climate change; improve air quality; generate clean energy; and move towards a safer, healthier, greener, more resilient future? The free, virtual Marin Home Tour features 10 short video tours of Marin homes, followed by live Q&As with homeowners. Extras include short presentations on heat pumps, induction cooking, solar + storage, rebates, and more. This event is a project of Sustainable Marin.

Dia de los Muertos

Participate in this year’s 34th annual Dia de los Muertos celebration by building an altar in the Downtown San Rafael business window, in a City Hall lobby window or at the community celebration on November 5th at the Albert J, Boro Community Center. Complete an application online or reach out to


Trick question alert: Captain Robert Dollar, born in Falkirk, Scotland, lived at what is now San Rafael’s Falkirk Cultural Center for many years. What year did he build the house?


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