Snapshot — Wildfire Awareness Month, Canal Lighting Project, Support Proclamations, and more!!!

Posted on May 13, 2022

Snapshot – de parte del Gerente de la Ciudad de San Rafael

Spotlight Photo


CAPTION: San Rafael Fire Department Truck E52 at San Rafael City Hall during ladder truck training exercises 

PHOTO CREDIT: San Rafael Fire Department, Operations Division  

Last Quiz Question

Congrats to Ellen Garwood for being the first to respond correctly to our mystery photo in the last Snapshot Quiz. The photo featured was of the upper picnic area of Gerstle Park! Gerstle Park is located near downtown San Rafael on Clark Street and San Rafael Avenue. The park offers three scenic picnic areas with shade and tables, among other amenities. Congratulations Ellen and thanks for reading Snapshot!   

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

San Rafael City News

BioMarin Development Agreement Annual Review  

San Rafael has been fortunate to have BioMarin located in our downtown for many years. At Monday’s City Council meeting, the Council will receive an annual report on the status of BioMarin’s most recent Development Agreement (DA).  The DA permits the phased development and expansion of the San Rafael Corporate Center and the 999 Third Street property with laboratory and research and development (R&D) buildings. The DA also vests the land use and development entitlements and approvals for ten years. Periodic review is required to ensure that the project is proceeding in good faith and that the terms of the DA are being met.   


Council to Hear Proposal for Public Arts Review Board

San Rafael boasts many arts institutions and a long history of supporting the arts. At Monday’s City Council meeting, City staff will propose to formalize the process to review public arts projects. Staff will provide an update on recent pilot public arts projects and present recommendations on a comprehensive Public Art Review program, including a proposal for a Public Art Review Board serving as an advisory body guided by a review process and selection criteria.  


Final Amendments to Municipal Code to Replace Wooden Roofs by 2027  

At Monday’s meeting, the City Council will hold a public hearing and decide upon a final adoption of Ordinance 2009 to require all wood roofing to be entirely replaced by May 31, 2027. The proposed Ordinance will consider the City’s local codes and State and Building Code as it pertains to wood shingles. The ordinance will improve the safety of San Rafael communities, as the wood shingles on roofs have been found to start long range fires when carried by winds, which can lead to hazardous structures and harm to residents and firefighters during a wildfire.   


Preliminary Capital Improvement Program Informational Report 

City of San Rafael Finance and Public Works department staff will present an informational report on the preliminary three-year Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for all infrastructure projects in the City of San Rafael. The preliminary CIP will include long range projects and their funding sources that will span the next three years, from 2022 through 2025, and will include capital and infrastructure improvement projects that address transit, streets, sidewalks, roads and building maintenance, parks, and public safety facilities.  


City Council to Consider Several Special Proclamations at May 16 Meeting  

May marks the annual month of support for several important issues in San Rafael. At Monday’s City Council meeting, the City Council will consider proclamations for Jewish American Heritage Month, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, National Older Americans Month, National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and National Public Works Week. The Council will also hear a Special Presentation of a proclamation supporting Mental Health Awareness Month. 

Downtown San Rafael Summer Market News 

San Rafael Summer Market

The San Rafael Summer Market will be taking a break in 2022, to reflect on the experiences of 2021. The Agricultural Institute of Marin (AIM) team, who runs the downtown summer market, will be hosting a few community listening sessions in the coming months to hear from the community what they would like to see in the 2023 Downtown San Rafael Summer Market program.  For more information on AIM and their community outreach events, visit:  For those hoping to pick-up fresh produce downtown this summer, AIM will be partnering with Pond Farm Brewing to host a designated downtown bounty box location starting in June!  


Dining Under the Lights 

Dinning Under the Lights

The Dining Under the Lights program is returning! It will run every Thursday in Downtown and the West End with an extra Friday night block party in the West End, weather permitting. Certain blocks on Fourth Street & B Street will be closed to traffic for alfresco on-street dining on Thursdays from 6–10 pm. Similar to last year, some restauranteurs will arrange tables on the street for a romantic European feel under the glimmering overhead Tivoli lights.  For more information on Dining Under the Lights or the Friday West End Village block party, please visit the Event Page.


Marin Municipal Water District Ends Local Water Shortage Emergency   

Marin Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors recently updated the ongoing water-use rules, adopting new long-term requirements for outdoor irrigation and swimming pools. The Board also rescinded its water shortage emergency declaration and lifted the temporary restrictions triggered last year after falling to critically low water supplies. The Board’s actions recognize that the District’s reservoirs have recovered to average storage levels for this time of year while also balancing the need for continued water-efficient practices as climate-driven drought conditions persist across much of the state. 


Parks and Recreation Master Plan Questionnaire Continues   

As part of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan community engagement process, the City has launched a Parks and Recreation Questionnaire and we want to hear from you (and your friends, family, neighbors, and networks)! 

Please help us spread the word and encourage all San Rafael residents to participate in the questionnaire. The questionnaire can be found in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese online here as well as at all City community centers, libraries, and City Hall. It will be available now through May 30. 

Third Street Improvements: ***Night Work Begins This Week***   

Night work kicks off May 9th on Third Street between C Street and E street, and will extend through September between 3:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. This work will involve new water service connections to several medical facilities that cannot have water service disrupted during business hours. Residents and businesses may temporarily experience increased noise levels during these operations.  

As a reminder, the City of San Rafael has begun the extensive 18-month Third Street Improvement Project to upgrade the safety, infrastructure, and traffic needs of one of its most vital thoroughfares. Third Street is a critical component of San Rafael’s transportation network that serves tens of thousands of residents on a daily basis as they travel to work, school, recreation, and retail destinations.  



COVID-19 Updates

he previous four days, with a standing “active cases” count of 574. These numbers indicate that the threat of the Omicron subvariant continues and members of the public should continue to take precautions to avoid infection.  

 Although Marin County remains one of the most highly vaccinated counties in the nation at 98% of the population receiving at least one dose of the COVD-19 vaccine, the danger of infection and transmission of COVID-19 remains a public health concern for all.  

 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 – Sustainability Staff Help Spearhead Innovative Reusable Takeout Container Program at Local Stores


City of San Rafael Sustainability Fellow Elinor Nichols and a SPARKL reusables staff at the SPARKL launch at Whole Foods Market San Rafael on April 9 

City of San Rafael Sustainability staff recently partnered with SPARKL Reusables and two local grocery stores to provide customers with a free reusable takeout container program to reduce single use plastics waste. This innovative, collaborative effort between City staff, local businesses, and SPARKL reusables aims to address the increasingly grave issue of plastics pollution in our communities.  

SPARKL containers are sturdy, spill-resistant, and can be used at the hot bar or the bulk department. To use this deposit-based program go to It’s free to use, and one container can reduce hundreds of single use containers. SPARKL is available at Whole Foods Market and Andy’s Local Market in San Rafael. 


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

At the May 2, 2022 regular City Council Meeting, the Council:   

  • Approved Consent Calendar Items 
  • Heard several Special Presentations, including an Appreciation to Recipient of the Citizen of the Year Award for 2022, a Proclamation Supporting Public Service Recognition Week, a Proclamation Supporting National Police Week, and a Proclamation Supporting Wildfire Awareness Month 
  • Heard and Accepted an Informational Report Regarding the Canal Lighting Project 
  • Heard and Accepted an Informational Report on the 38-Point Wildfire Action Plan and Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority Activity in Recognition of Wildfire Awareness Month  
  • Held a Public Hearing to Introduce a Proposed Amendment of the Current Smoking Ordinance 
  • Set a Public Hearing for Amendment to San Rafael’s Building Code to Require Replacement of Wood Roofing 

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. 


Fire Safe Marin to Host First Annual Wildfire Prevention Festival “Ember Stomp”  

Saturday, May 28 | 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

Marin Civic Center, 3501 Civic Center Drive, San Rafael, CA 

Fire Safe Marin presents “Ember Stomp,” the first-ever wildfire prevention festival in Marin County. This free event held on Saturday, May 28 at the Marin Center Fairgrounds Island will be a celebration of Marin County’s groundbreaking community effort to reduce the risk of a catastrophic wildfire. The festival will feature live music, hands-on activities, awards and entertainment, and lots of great food, inviting all Marin residents to explore ways to keep fire safe. 

 To get event details as they are released, visit the Fire Safe Marin festival website  

Free COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic at Albert J. Boro Community Center 

Tuesday, May 24 | 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. 

Albert J. Boro Community Center Art Room, 50 Canal Street, San Rafael, CA 

The Marin County Mobile Vaccination Unit will be providing free COVID-19 vaccines at the Albert J. Boro Community Center in the Art Room. All doses including boosters will be available. Walk-ups are welcome as supply allows. 2nd boosters are available by appointment only. Vaccines are free, regardless of immigration or insurance status. 

 You can also make an appointment at or call 833/422-4255 


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