CAPTION: In-Person Public Meetings Return to City Hall, April 18, 2022 – (Pictured left to right) Vice Mayor Rachel Kertz, Mayor Kate Colin, Councilmember Maribeth Bushey, Councilmember Maika Llorens Gulati, City Attorney Rob Epstein, City Manager Jim Schutz, Public Works Director Bill Guerin
PHOTO CREDIT: Digital Service and Open Government Department Staff
Last Quiz Question
Congrats to Laura Ackley for being the first to respond correctly to our mystery photo in the last Snapshot Quiz. The photo featured was of the entrance to the Belrose Theatre located on Fifth Avenue, check them out and all the great things they are doing with the performing arts. Congratulations Laura and thanks for reading Snapshot!
Scroll down for this week’s quiz and be the first to answer.
San Rafael City News
Ordinances, Updates, and Proposals to Usher in Wildfire Awareness Month
Fire Department staff have several key initiatives to commemorate Wildfire Awareness Month in San Rafael. At Monday’s City Council meeting, the items will start with a proclamation supporting Wildfire Awareness Month from Fire Department staff. Later on the agenda, staff will provide updates on the implementation of the San Rafael Wildfire Prevention and Protection Action Plan. This will include updates on completed and planned projects relating to evacuation improvements, defensible space, assistance and education for residents, fuel reduction in open space, and efforts to reduce ignition sources.
As outlined in the San Rafael Wildfire Prevention and Protection Action Plan, staff have been actively working on ways to reduce wildfire ignition potential in the City. This includes ongoing efforts to remove ignition sources in open space. Staff will ask the City Council to consider two amendments to the Municipal Code to further reduce ignition potential. One will prohibit smoking in open spaces year-round and the other will require larger apartment complexes to provide designated smoking areas to prevent people from leaving the property and smoking in open space areas in San Rafael.
Fire Department staff will also ask the City Council to set a Public Hearing to consider an amendment to the San Rafael Municipal Code requiring the replacement of wood shake roofs by a set date. The elimination of wood shake roofs through an ordinance update was included in the San Rafael Wildfire Prevention and Protection Action Plan and supported by the Citizen’s advisory committee. Staff will more fully outline the proposed changes and rationale at a public hearing at the City Council meeting on May 16.
Canal Community Lighting Project
At Monday’s City Council meeting, Voces del Canal, in partnership with City staff, will present an informational report on the Canal Lighting Project, a collaborative community-based effort to identify the benefits of increasing public lighting in the Canal. City staff has worked closely with the project team, which includes members of Voces del Canal, Dominican University, and Canal Alliance, to explore the need for increased lighting in the Canal. The project team, with community input, identified seven priority routes where they are wanting to see an increase in public lighting. In addition, the project team developed recommendations related to public safety overall, such as improving pedestrian safety and increasing collaboration with the Police Department. City staff will co-present, along with the project team, to provide an update on how we are working together to implement both short- and long-term solutions.
City Council to Hear Proclamations Supporting National Police Week and Public Service Recognition Week
On Monday’s City Council meeting, staff will present a proclamation supporting National Police Week. National Police Week is celebrated by law enforcement officers nationwide and from around the world who meet in Washington, DC to participate in several planned events that honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice. National Police Week offers honor, remembrance, and peer support, while allowing law enforcement, survivors, and citizens to gather and pay homage to those who gave their lives in the line of duty.
The Council will also hear a proclamation supporting Public Service Recognition Week. Public Service Recognition Week has been celebrated the first week of May since 1985 (beginning on the first Sunday of the month) to honor the people who serve our nation as federal, state, county, local and tribal government employees.
San Rafael Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Customers in High Fire-Threat Districts (HFTD) are eligible to receive backup power transfer meter device
PG&E customers in High Fire-Threat Districts (HFTD), as defined by the California Public Utilities Commission, are eligible to receive a backup power transfer meter device and have it installed by PG&E, free of charge. The device comes with a universal adapter allowing customers to safely connect off-the-shelf backup power sources as needed, helping PG&E’s most vulnerable customers safely and easily attach auxiliary power to their homes.
Backup electric power can be a part of any preparedness plan. Find out what you need to know about using backup power.
Click HERE for more details of the program
Adapt to Wildfire Campaign
FireSafe Marin’s Adapt to Wildfire Campaign, launched recently to help all residents become aware of the threats of wildfire, includes tips on how to prepare your community for wildfires. Check out this brief video Adapting to Wildfire is a must for Marin residents and share with friends and family to get prepared for wildfires as we approach the fire season this month.
New Reusable Container Program Launch at Andy’s Market
The City of San Rafael and SPARKL Reusables are partnering with Andy’s Local Market to provide customers with a free reusable takeout container program to reduce single use waste. These SPARKL containers are sturdy, spill-resistant, and can be used at the hot bar or the bulk department. Use their App to check one out like a library book! To use this deposit-based program go to app.sparklreusables.com. It’s free to use, and one container can reduce hundreds of single use containers. SPARKL is also available at Whole Foods Market San Rafael.
Join the Mayor’s Water Conservation Challenge
Join Mayor Kate in slaying the drought! Did you know that 2020 was the second-driest year in 90 years? It’s time for all of us to conserve. We’re asking everyone to do two things:
- Take the Water Conservation Pledge, learn about things you can do, and commit to doing one or more things to reduce your water use this spring.
- Tell at least one friend or neighbor and ask them to take the Pledge as well. San Rafael is Resilient. Together we can conserve more water.
Read more about water conservation resources here.
Third Street Improvements
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. The City of San Rafael received an allocation from the Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) through the Measure A program to rehabilitate Third Street in an effort to improve traffic flow and strengthen bicycle and pedestrian safety. The City also partnered with the San Rafael Sanitation District (SRSD) and Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) to address utility needs that will be required to support San Rafael’s infrastructure.
As of April 25, 2022, Marin County had 354 active cases, with an increase of 129 new positive patients at all Marin County healthcare facilities from the week prior. Although the rate of infection has decreased, the risks of contracting COVID-19 remain a serious threat.
Indoor masking is still highly recommended by the Marin County and State of California Public Health Departments. Everyone must still wear masks in the following settings, regardless of vaccination status:
- Healthcare settings
- Long-term care facilities
- Homeless shelters
- State and local correctional facilities and detention centers
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 Leaders Host an Eventful Fire Station Groundbreaking Ceremony
Mayor Kate expressed her deep appreciation to the community of San Rafael for supporting Measure E, which is the funding source for the essential facilities upgrades, including Fire Stations 54 and 55. She also recognized the invaluable contributions of former councilmembers, from inception of tax Measure E through the completion of the first three essential buildings: Fire Station 52, Fire Station 57, and the Public Safety Center (which includes new Fire Station 51 and the Police Department).
Chief White also spoke at the event and noted his excitement to participate in these projects as they will provide a safe working environment and improve the quality of life for public safety professionals for decades to come.
Construction for Fire Station 54, located at 46 Castro Avenue, and for Fire Station 55, located on 955 Point San Pedro Road, is expected to conclude in the Spring of 2023.
AT THE LAST COUNCIL MEETING on April 18, 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 April 18, 2022 regular City Council Meeting, the Council:
- Approved consent calendar items
- Approved a paramedic tax rate for fiscal year 2022-23
- Approved a resolution approving a professional services agreement for the MCSTOPP Kerner pump station trash capture device project
- Held a public hearing on a proposed streamlined review process for certain residential projects
- Considered an ordinance on military equipment funding, acquisition and use policy in compliance with Assembly Bill 481
- Heard an informational update on the Third Street safety improvements project
- Heard an informational report on the Merrydale Road multi-use path connection alternatives
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
Upcoming Parks and Recreation Master Plan Community Meetings
(Please note meeting dates and times have been changed from prior announcements)
Join us at one of the following meetings as we introduce the planning process, seek community input, and share information about the community questionnaire.
- Thursday May 5 | 6:00 p.m. via Zoom – https://tinyurl.com/CPRMP-2022-05-06
- Wednesday, May 11 | 6:00 p.m. (in Spanish) – Albert J. Boro Community Center, 50 Canal Street, San Rafael, CA 94901
Interpretation can be requested by completing and submitting this form at least 72 hours in advance of a meeting.
Marin Open Studios at Falkirk
The Falkirk Cultural Center is hosting four Marin Open Studios artists from April 28 – June 10. Harvey Abernathey is a photographer from Novato who enjoys capturing the “Magic of the Night”. Mansoor Assadi is a wildlife and nature photographer from Tiburon who started his passion at 64 years old. Licita Fernandez is an abstract artist from Sausalito who started her love for art in watercolor and has now moved to digital, drawing, oil, and pastel. Elaine West is an oil painter from Sausalito who is hard to categorize as she has varied approaches to her work.
Thursday, April 28 | 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. (Marin Girls Chorus will be performing from 6 – 7 p.m.)
Marin Open Studios Weekends
April 30 and May 1 | 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
May 7 and 8 | 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Visit us for the opening reception, open studios weekends, and during open hours until June 10th. Click here for more information.
Pacific Gas & Electric Wildfire Safety Webinars and Event for Marin
PG&E hosts online webinars throughout the year for anyone who is interested in learning more about the Community Wildfire Safety Program. These virtual gatherings allow community members to learn more about wildfire safety and emergency preparedness, meet with PG&E representatives, ask questions and share feedback. Learn more and see all events here.
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