Snapshot –New Camping Ordinance, Anti-Displacement Ordinance, Events and More!!!

Posted on April 12, 2024

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San Rafael City News

The City Council will meet on Monday April 15, 2024.


City Council Special Meeting – 4:00 p.m.

Boards, Commissions, and Committees Interviews

The upcoming special City Council meeting planned for April 15, is open to the public and will be dedicated to interviewing candidates for the Marin Commission on Aging and the Americans with Disability Act Access Advisory Committee.

City Council Closed Session

The City Council will hold a closed session immediately following the special meeting.

Regular City Council Meeting – 6:00 p.m.

Special Presentation by the Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM): US 101/I-580 Multi-Modal and Local Access Improvement Project

The Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) will present an update on the US 101/I-580 Multi-Modal and Local Access Improvement Project, which aims to create a freeway-to-freeway connection from northbound US 101 to eastbound I-580 in Marin County. This project seeks to alleviate congestion by easing direct access to I-580 and reducing the need for highway drivers to navigate local roads such as East Sir Francis Drake and Bellam Boulevards. Anticipated project benefits include constructing a new highway connector, enhancing bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, and adding an auxiliary lane on I-580. You can learn more about the project here.

Canal Alliance Trust Fund Award Modification

The San Rafael City Council will consider a request from Canal Alliance to reallocate previously awarded Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) funds to include renovation efforts at an additional building within Marin Villa Estates at 153 Novato Street. The units targeted for renovation are reserved for very low (<50% AMI) and low (<60% AMI) income households and require updates to meet living standards. The proposed renovation scope includes asbestos testing and removal, kitchen and bathroom upgrades, new flooring, painting, and tenant relocation, without seeking extra funding.

Read the Staff Report 

Anti-Displacement Urgency Ordinance in the Opportunity Zones (OZ)

The City Council will consider a temporary urgency ordinance to address the displacement of tenants during substantial rehabilitation for health and safety in the Canal Opportunity Zone (OZ). This proposed ordinance would expire December 31, 2026, and would remove “Substantial Rehabilitation for Health and Safety” as a valid cause for permanent eviction. The ordinance would mandate that property owners pay temporary relocation assistance to tenants while the unit is being repaired. In addition, tenants would have a right to return following the rehabilitation of their apartment under their original lease terms and subject to the State limit on allowable rent increases.

Read the Staff Report

New Amended Camping Ordinance

The City Council will consider an ordinance to amend San Rafael’s current camping regulations on public property.  The current Ordinance No. 2030 was approved in July 2023, which established new rules for camping aimed at addressing public health and safety concerns stemming from encampments. The proposed amended ordinance would prohibit camping within 250 feet of schools. It would also permit campsites of up to 200 sq. ft. for one person and 400 sq. ft. for up to 4 persons camping together. It would eliminate the original 200 ft. spacing requirement and instead would require only a 10-foot safety buffer zone around each campsite for ingress/egress and to mitigate fire danger. In addition, the amended ordinance includes specific time, place, and manner restrictions including a requirement to have a 10 ft. setback from other campsites, public utility infrastructure, and private real property.

Lastly, the proposed ordinance includes a new enforcement section which specifies notice and due process requirements. With these changes to the ordinance, the City’s goal is to effectively regulate and enforce camping laws for the health and safety of all of the public, including residents who are experiencing homelessness, and to refocus the City’s limited staff time and resources towards developing more interim shelter options and long-term housing solutions.

Read the Staff Report

Other News

Youth and Seniors Ride Fare Free on SMART!

Beginning April 1, 2024, youth ages 18 and under, and seniors ages 65 and older, enjoy fare-free rides on SMART. The SMART Board of Directors approved this new fare structure as a pilot program, effective until June 30, 2025, with the primary goal of increasing ridership among these age groups.

Train conductors will continue to check passenger fares; youth and seniors may be requested to provide proof of age, such as a state ID, driver’s license, or student ID. Youth and seniors will not be required to have a Clipper card or use the SMART e-ticket App. However, if a youth or senior uses a Clipper Card, they will be charged a zero fare ($0) when boarding a SMART train.

Outreach at Mahon Creek Path Area Encampments

City, County, and local non-profit staff coordinated a concentrated assessment event on April 10, addressing service gaps identified in the City’s December 2023 encampment survey. A total of 16 outreach staff from four nonprofits went tent-to-tent, including four bilingual workers who assessed a number of previously unassessed Spanish speakers.


The goal is for this effort is for 100% of the individuals staying in San Rafael’s encampments be assessed for Coordinated Entry, which gets them on a pathway to housing.  Additionally, staff were able to assist in completing numerous applications for Medi-Cal, General Assistance, CalFresh (food assistance) and more.  The team was also able to connect several individuals interested in employment with Downtown Streets Team.

Thank you to the staff and agencies who made this possible, which included Community Action Marin, Downtown Street Teams, Homeward Bound of Marin, Ritter Center, the City of San Rafael, and the County of Marin Health and Human Services team.

TALES OF THE CITY- Laurel Dell 5th graders grapple with sea level rise & climate adaptation strategies in San Rafael

City of San Rafael’s Resilience Program Manager, Kate Hagemann, visited Laurel Dell School, where she spent time with Mr. Belmont’s 5th-grade students to discuss sea level rise. Through interactive activities, Kate highlighted the science of sea level rise, its impacts, and mitigation strategies. In the session, students broke into groups focusing on different projects: one visualized sea level impacts in San Rafael with a model, another wrote stories for potential publication, a third designed flags for disaster preparedness, a fourth researched global adaptation best practices, and the last planned an engagement booth for a local event. These activities aim to deepen the students’ understanding of climate change and community resilience.


At the April 2, Special City Council meeting, the City Council:

  • Held interviews for the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

At the April 2, Closed City Council meeting, the City Council:

  • Conferenced with legal counsel on existing litigation.

At the April 2, Regular City Council meeting, the City Council:

  • Heard City Manager and Councilmember reports.
  • Approved the Consent Calendar.
  • Presented a Resolution of Appreciation to Public Service Award Recipient.
  • Presented a Proclamation in Recognition of Celebrate Diversity Month.
  • Approved a resolution adopting the Marin Countywide Local Road Safety Plan
  • 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.


Pt. San Pedro Road Coalition Annual Earth Day Broom Pull

Saturday, April 13, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 

Join the Pt. San Pedro Road Coalition in partnership with the San Rafael Fire Department and Friends of China Camp for an Earth Day event to remove invasive wildfire fuel plants.

Snacks and coffee, broom pullers, and debris boxes for the pulled material will be provided. Please come prepared with proper attire, as poison oak will be present.

Click here to learn more and register ahead of time.

Police Advisory and Accountability Committee (PAAC) Meeting

Wednesday, April 17, 6:00 p.m., City Hall, Council Chambers, 1400 Fifth Ave. San Rafael 

The next meeting of the Police Advisory & Accountability Committee (PAAC) is scheduled for April 17, at 6:00 p.m. Community members can participate and provide public comment in person at the City Hall Council Chambers or 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 PAAC’s public meeting webpage.

Earth Day Cleanup at Pickleweed Park

Saturday, April 20, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Meet at Tiscornia Marsh sign just past Pickleweed Park, 50 Canal Street

Join the City for a community litter cleanup in the Canal, Spinnaker, and Baypoint Lagoons neighborhoods. Don’t forget to bring gloves, a hat, water, and wear closed-toed shoes. We’ll provide bags and litter sticks.

Volunteers will need to sign a waiver upon arrival. Minors will need a parent or guardian’s signature on waivers, so please come accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Downtown and West End Village Earth Day Clean & Green

Monday, April 22, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., 1000 4th St, San Rafael

Join other fantastic volunteers and business members in sprucing up our downtown for Earth Day! Volunteers will remove graffiti, polish parking meters and sidewalk fixtures, pull spring weeds, and remove litter to help make downtown match the beautiful merchants and business owners who make San Rafael a wonderful place to work and live. Meet at the City Plaza, 1000 Fourth Street, to check in and pick up supplies. Look for the Business Improvement District canopy!

Climate Change Action Plan Forum: Building a Diverse Climate Workforce in the North Bay

Tuesday, April 23, 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Transportation Authority of Marin, 900 Fifth Avenue, San Rafael

Join Sustainable San Rafael, the City of San Rafael, and an engaging group of panelists to discuss Building a Diverse Climate Workforce and the opportunities and challenges ahead.  Panelists include:

  • Angel Minor, Executive Director of Conservation Corps North Bay, Fire Foundry
  • Lois Smith, Customer Programs Manager at MCE, Green Workforce Pathways
  • Sally Rogers, Ecological Workforce Initiative
  • More panelists to be announced

Panel, moderator, and Q&A from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., followed by San Rafael Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) updates from 6:00 6:30 p.m.

Please REGISTER to attend, this event has a limited number of spaces available: Registration


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