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Snapshot — Dredging, Housing Element, General Plan Updates and More!!!!

Posted on March 17, 2023


Snapshot en Español


Spotlight Photo

Sunny day City hall

Warmer Days

Photo Credit: Bernadette Sullivan, City Manager’s Office

Last Quiz Question

Congrats to Shanna Moler for being the first to answer our latest Snapshot Quiz. The photo featured Pendicularis densiflora or a “Warrior’s Plume” which can be found all over the Mt. Tam watershed and in abundance along the 680 Trail! Congrats Shanna and thanks for reading Snapshot. Scroll down to see this edition’s quiz and be the first to answer!

San Rafael City News

General Plan and Housing Element Annual Progress Report

At the Monday, March 20, City Council meeting, Community Development staff will present an update to the City Council on the existing (2015-2023) Housing Element. The Housing Element represents the City’s plan for conserving and maintaining its housing supply, removing regulatory barriers to housing production, and meeting the housing needs of all residents, including lower-income households and persons with special needs. The new Housing Element covering 2023-2031 will be coming to the City Council, likely in May 2023.

Monday evening, staff will also present to City Council and the community an update on the City’s General Plan 2040. In 2017, the City of San Rafael kicked off a 20-year update to the General Plan. The General Plan 2040 is San Rafael’s strategic framework, created to help guide future community growth and development, and covers topics such as land use, transportation, housing, open space, natural resources, and public services.

Read the Staff Report Here

Presentation of Proclamation to Larry Luckham, Retiring from the Fire Commission

At Monday’s meeting, the City Council will present a proclamation to recognize Fire Commission Chair Larry Luckham for his service to the community. Chair Luckham officially terms out after over 18 years on the Fire Commission and will step into his new role of Fire Commissioner Emeritus. We thank Fire Commission Chair Luckham for his dedicated service to the San Rafael Fire Department and our community. We look forward to his continued affiliation with us in his new role!

Read the proclamation Here

Third Street Improvements   

During this week (March 13 – March 17):
  •  Crews will place concrete for a curb ramp at the northwest corner of Third Street and A Street. This work will require a curb lane closure and no parking adjacent to the intersections.
  • Crews will remove and replace concrete for a curb ramp at the northeast corners of Third Street and C Street, and Third Street and B Street. This work will require a curb lane closure and no parking adjacent to the intersections.
  • Crews will replace storm drains at Third Street and E Street, and Third Street and B Street. This work will require a curb lane closure and no parking adjacent to the intersections.
  • Crews will begin constructing the new median islands on Second Street from West Street to G Street. This work will require a lane closure and a traffic lane shift.
  • Crews will install and raise sidewalk pull boxes along Third Street. This work will require a curb lane closure during the installation of the pull boxes.
  • Crews will replace the sanitary sewer lateral main on Third Street between A Street and Lootens Place. This work will require a lane closure on Third Street.
  • Crews will replace the sanitary sewer lateral main on Third Street between Lincoln Avenue and Cijos Street. This work will require a lane closure on Third 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—San Rafael Dredging Project

Dredging the canal

The City of San Rafael’s dredging project has officially ended all construction as of February 28, 2023, consistent with environmental permitting restrictions. Although the construction phase of the project has ceased, City Public Works staff will continue to work on permitting, surveying, sediment testing, and reporting aspects of the project in the coming months. As part of the umbrella permitting effort, DPW will also administer permits to private parcel owners who elected to not dredge in this year’s project.

After completing the federally authorized channel in early February 2023, the City’s dredging contractor, The Dutra Group, got quick to work, completing several City owned and individual private parcels along the San Rafael Canal.  The Dutra Group worked under tight timelines and under heavy wind activity to complete the dredging of several private docks, many of which hadn’t been dredged in over 20 years. With the accomplished dredging construction complete, San Rafael will again enjoy a navigable waterway, safer storm and emergency response access, increased protection from sea level rise, and countless economic and recreational benefits.

At the Last Council Meeting on March 6, 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 March 6, regular City Council meeting, the Council:

  • Held open time for public expression.
  • Heard City Manager and Councilmember reports.
  • Approved the consent calendar.
  • Heard a presentation supporting Women’s History Month.
  • Accepted an informational report on wildfire prevention efforts in the MWPA San Rafael Zone.
  • Adopted a resolution on camping in Albert Park.

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.


Free Defensible Space Direct Assistance Available in San Rafael and Marinwood!

Need help preparing your property for the 2023 fire season? The San Rafael Fire Department continues to offer free direct assistance to create defensible space at San Rafael and Marinwood properties on a monthly basis. This program focuses on removing dead vegetation, poorly maintained vegetation, invasive vegetation, and highly combustible fuels such as Juniper and Italian Cypress. If you are interested in this assistance program to create defensible space around your property, please reach out to or (415) 458-5020 for more information.

A Resilient Neighborhoods: Free Climate Action Workshops – Learn to Live Lightly on the Earth

Sign up for this fantastic 5-session climate action workshop with Resilient Neighborhoods this spring. Participants will learn how to live sustainably and bring climate-friendly practices to their homes. The sessions take place every other week via teleconference. The program is free for Marin residents. The next workshops start on Mar 30 and Apr 5. >>Learn More and Sign Up Here.

Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Free Workshops

Calling all businesses! The Small Business Development Center has lots of resources and upcoming trainings. Here is an example:

Get Your Website Noticed & SEO Best Practices

Learn tips to be seen in searches and how to maximize your website potential to generate more leads.

Wed, Mar 29 | 12 – 1:30 PM Register Here

Earth Day- Spruce up Downtown and the West End Village

Friday, April 21st!  10:00am-12noon

Join other awesome volunteers and business members in sprucing up Downtown for Earth Day!
We’ll be removing graffiti, polishing up parking meters and sidewalk fixtures, pulling spring weeds, and removing every little scrap of litter to help make Downtown beautiful. Come out and support the merchants and other business owners who make San Rafael such a wonderful place to live.

Meet at the City Plaza, 1000 4th Street, to check in and pick up supplies in a safe, outdoor manner. Look for the Business Improvement District canopy!


“Where is this photo taken from?”

680 trail

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