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Snapshot — Housing Element, Animal Care Facilities, Building Electrification, and more!!!

Posted on July 29, 2022

Spotlight Photo

Snapshot en Español

CAPTION: Construction crews removing an underground storage tank from the new right turn lane from Highway 101 northbound on to Second Street.

PHOTO CREDIT: Shawn Graf, Assistant Engineer, Department of Public Works

Last Quiz Question

Congrats to Linda Aldrich for being the first to respond correctly to our mystery photo in the last Snapshot Quiz. The photo featured was of a boat dock located at the China Camp State Park. The park is nestled along the shore of the San Pablo Bay in San Rafael. The road through the park offers beautiful views of the waterfront. Congratulations Craig, and thanks for reading Snapshot!

Scroll down for this week’s quiz and be the first to answer.

San Rafael City News

Housing Element

As part of the process to update San Rafael’s Housing Element, the City recently completed an inventory of housing opportunity sites. Opportunity sites are properties that the City has identified as being appropriate and available to meet its “fair share” of the region’s housing needs. The draft list of housing opportunity sites and maps are available for review here.

San Rafael’s fair share assignment for 2023-2031 is 3,220 housing units, including 1,387 units affordable to lower income households.  Although the City itself does not develop housing, the City must demonstrate that there are enough sites zoned to allow for construction of residential development by private developers in the private and non-profit sectors.  Staff presented the draft list of housing sites to the Planning Commission on July 26th and will report to the City Council on August 1st.

The draft sites were shared at a community meeting on July 14th. Following an informational presentation, participants had an opportunity to share their thoughts and ask questions in three breakout groups facilitated by staff. The presentation slides and recording are available at The next community meeting will be held on August 16th from 6:30 to 8pm on Zoom.

Read the Staff Report here.

City Council to Respond to Grand Jury Building Electrification Report

On June 6, 2022 the Marin County Civil Grand Jury issued a report entitled “Electrifying Marin’s Buildings: A Countywide Approach” which lays out findings and recommendations for local jurisdictions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the building sector through the Green Building “reach code” process.

The City of San Rafael and all local jurisdictions are required to respond to the findings and recommendations in the report within 90 days. The City Council will review a draft response to the report and either approve it or recommend changes. City staff have been working with the other jurisdictions in Marin to come up with model reach code ordinances for adoption this winter. This item is only the response to the Grand Jury report; staff is still developing recommendations to amend the municipal code. As always, there will be time for public comment on Monday night for all interested parties. On Monday’s City Council meeting, the Council will consider a proposed leaf blower ordinance that would ban the operation of gas-powered leaf blowers within City limits starting on October 1, 2022, based on direction and feedback from the City Council at the previous Council meeting. The ordinance will also include aspects such as allowed hours of operation. At the previous City Council meeting, the Council was in favor of the ban on gas-powered leaf blowers and restricting hours of usage for all leaf blowers. The agenda item on Monday night would begin the formal process to make these changes.

Read the more about the countywide reach code process.

City Council to Consider Ordinance on Animal Care Facilities

On August 1st, the San Rafael City Council will consider a proposed zoning text amendment to allow, with a use permit, animal care facilities in the Office District and to adopt performance standards that would apply to all animal care facilities within all office and/or commercial districts.  Animal care facilities are currently a use that is conditionally permitted in the other office and commercial districts, however there are no performance standards spelled out in the municipal code that apply to this type of use.  Newly adopted performance standards would require that such facilities address potential impacts related to noise and sanitation.  With the adopted ordinance, animal care facilities would require a conditional use permit consideration by the Zoning Administrator.

Hearing for Eminent Domain Process for Francisco Boulevard West Multi-Use Path

On August 1st, the San Rafael City Council will hear a proposed resolution to determine the necessity to acquire a portion of property by eminent domain and to seek an order of possession for a portion of 700/740 Francisco Boulevard West. This portion of the property would be in connection with Phase 1 of the Francisco Boulevard West Multi-Use Pathway Project.

Third Street Improvements   

Last week, crews continued to work on replacing the water main on Third Street between San Rafael High School and Irwin Street. Crews also replaced sanitary sewers on Second Street from West Street to Marquard Avenue and continued to install street light conduits and excavate light pole foundations at Third Street and Shaver Street. The lighting, sewer and light pole excavation efforts will continue throughout the end of July.


  • Beginning August 1, 2022, PG&E will start 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 currently 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 placed to direct motorists through all work areas.
  • Curb parking spaces will be marked “No Parking”.
  • There will be intermittent lane closures on Third Street and detours on A Street, B Street, C Street, D Street, and E Street. For businesses in this section of 2nd Street, crews will help facilitate deliveries by providing traffic controls and flagging.

The hours of work will be 6 am – 6 pm and lane closures 6 am – 3 pm on Third Street and Second Street westbound, and 9 am – 6 pm on Second Street eastbound.

Visit the Third Street Improvements Project website to learn more about this critical effort, and sign up here to receive weekly email updates.

COVID-19 Updates

During summer months, many people opt to visit friends and family and enjoy the beautiful weather. Nevertheless, the risks of exposure to COVID-19 during gatherings remains staggeringly high. Recent estimates from the Marin County Department of Public Health suggest that even a small gathering of 10 people will yield a 40% likelihood that at least one person is infected with COVID-19. This percentage rises to 98% for gatherings of 100 persons or more. Needless to say, 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 July 26, Marin County has 481 “Active Cases” (cases confirmed in the previous 10 days) bringing the total confirmed cumulative cases to 39,329 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— City releases Draft Streetary Guidelines

San Rafael’s restaurants have long been a source of pride and appreciation for our community, and the rapid rise and success of the City’s sidewalk adjacent ‘Streetary’ dining concept came as no surprise to many in recent years. The current guidelines that were implemented during COVID-19 have since been analyzed and closely discussed with City staff and local businesses owners, who mutually designed formalized guidelines for ‘Streetaries’ moving forward.

On June 21, 2022, the City Council approved the draft Streetary Program Guidelines that will take effect beginning December 1, 2022 and replace the current temporary emergency COVID-19 parklet arrangements. The City will be sending more information to businesses in the coming weeks. Once these draft Guidelines are formalized by Council’s Resolution this fall, businesses will need to review the final Guidelines and make preparations to ensure structures and operations are in compliance by December 1, 2022. Questions? Reach out to the city’s streetary team members at

At the Last Council Meeting on July 18, 2022

As of the April 18, 2022 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 July 18, regular City Council Meeting, the Council:

  • Approved Consent Calendar Items.
  • Held a Public Hearing and Adopted a Resolution and Ordinance on SB 9 Housing Development and Urban Lot Split Regulations.
  • Adopted a Resolution and Ordinance on Leaf Blowers.

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.


National Night Out

August 2nd, 2022, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm | Various locations citywide

Wish you knew your neighbors better? Have some new people on your street you haven’t met yet? Neighborhoods throughout San Rafael are being invited to join forces with thousands of communities nationwide for the “38th Annual National Night Out” (NNO) crime prevention event.

From 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm on August 2nd, residents in neighborhoods throughout San Rafael and across the nation are asked to turn on outside lights and spend the evening with neighbors and San Rafael public safety professionals. Many neighborhoods will be hosting a variety of special events such as block parties, cookouts, contests, youth activities, and more. This is a night to send a powerful message about neighborhood unity, crime prevention awareness, safety, and police-community partnerships – and it is also a lot of fun! Let’s show that San Rafael is united and dedicated to building a safer, more caring community.

Let’s House San Rafael! 2023-2031| Housing Element Update

July 14th and August 16th 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm | ONLINE: SANRAFAELHOUSING.ORG

Join us for upcoming community meetings and Housing Element updates. Let’s House San Rafael is a City-led effort to engage with everyone interested in helping to guide San Rafael housing policies so that everyone who lives, works, or enjoys the City will be able to do so. Please join us at a community meeting to learn more about potential sites for new housing in San Rafael.  This is a chance to share your ideas about creating additional housing opportunities in the city. We hope you can join us and look forward to your input. There will be live Spanish and Vietnamese translation.

Participate in Bay Ferry 2050 Priorities Poll

What do you want the future of Bay Area water transit to look like? The San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) is currently developing a shared vision of the San Francisco Bay Area ferry system in 2050.

From regular riders to first-time users, community input is an important part of the development process. Explore the Bay Ferry 2050 website to take a quick priorities poll, subscribe for updates, and help WETA re-imagine the future of water transportation:

San Rafael Sunset Criterium

July 30, 2022, 12:20 p.m. to 8:20 p.m. | 1000 Fourth Street, San Rafael, CA 94901

The San Rafael Sunset Centrium returns this year. The event described by some as part carnival, part Thunderdome features amateur and pro cyclist racing through Downtown San Rafael amidst the cheering sounds of spectators and cow bells. This is not your average race. Fun for the whole family. Registration and event details can be found HERE.

Conservation Corps E-waste and Tire Collection Event

July 30, 2022, 10am – 2pm | San Rafael High School, 150 3rd St, San Rafael, CA 94901

The North Bay Conservation Corps will be hosting an E-Waste and Tires collection event at San Rafael High School.

For additional information please contact, Matthew Simmons ( Zero Waste Events & Organics Coordinator



Can you identify the portmanteau in this edition of Snapshot?


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