San Rafael Dia de los Muertos Celebration
Photo Credit: Jim Schutz, City Manager
Last Quiz Question
Congrats to Miguel Sanchez, for being the first to answer our latest Snapshot Quiz. Pickleweed is a prominent plant found in the marsh area near the park, and where our park gets its name! Congrats Miguel, and thanks for reading Snapshot. Be sure to check out this edition’s quiz below and be the first to answer!
San Rafael City News
Triannual Fire Code Ordinance Amendments
At the November 7th, 2022 regular meeting starting at 7:00 p.m., the City Council will hold a public hearing on the triennial adoption of the 2022 edition of the California Fire Code. The 2022 California Fire Code is a minimum code that will automatically become law on January 1, 2023. Government agencies have the authority to adopt local amendments based on climatic, geological and topographical conditions of the surrounding area. For the 2022 edition, no new local amendments are being proposed, rather, existing amendments will carry forward upon approval by the City Council.
For the past several code cycles, representatives from all Marin County Fire agencies have worked collectively to adopt the same local amendments to promote uniformity. Local amendments include additional restrictions on the storage and use of flammable liquids, a broadening of when fire sprinklers are required in new buildings and structures being renovated, the complete prohibition of fireworks (with one exception being the Marin County Fair), and additional restrictions on outdoor fires.
Read the Staff Report Here.
Green Building Reach Codes Study Session
On Monday night, November 7th, at a 6:00 p.m. Special Study Session, the City Council will hear a staff presentation and weigh in on proposed Green Building Reach Codes, which include building electrification for new construction beginning in 2023. City staff have been working with a countywide steering committee to develop model reach codes that the County of Marin recently adopted. These codes are meant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the pollution that causes climate change. A major part of the effort was to balance the City’s housing production goals with our greenhouse gas reduction goals in a way that supports social and economic equity. Community members are invited to attend in person or online.
San Rafael Cannabis Industry Tax
At the November 7th, City Council meeting, the Council will hear a resolution for a proposed adjustment to the City’s Cannabis Tax for Delivery, non-storefront retail (State License Type 9) businesses. The recommendation is for a 50% decrease in the current tax rate, adjusting the collected rate from 4% to 2% for two years. The two-year tax relief program would go into effect beginning with receipts received January 1, 2023. At the conclusion of the program on December 31, 2024, the City Council may evaluate all of the intended and unintended impacts of the tax relief on the City and in the cannabis delivery industry.
Read the Staff Report Here.
United Against Hate
United Against Hate Week, observed from November 13th –19th, 2022, is a call for seven days of community action to stop the hate and implicit biases that are a dangerous threat to the safety and civility of our neighborhoods, towns, and cities. On Monday, November 7th, the City Council will hear a special presentation of a United Against Hate Week proclamation that kicks off a week of activities across the City. During the week of November 13th -19th, community members will see banners and posters throughout our City that reaffirm our commitment to Unite Against Hate. More information can be found HERE.
Read the Proclamation Here.
US 101/I-580 Multimodal and Local Access Improvement Project
At Monday night’s City Council meeting, the Council will receive an informational update from Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) staff on the US 101/I-580 Multimodal and Local Access Improvement Project which will ultimately provide a direct connector between the northbound US 101 and eastbound I-580. In addition, TAM staff will provide information on a recently completed Proof of Concept of a proposed interchange on I-580 between Bellam Boulevard and the Richmond-San Rafael (RSR) Bridge. The presentation will include potential right of way, environmental and visual impacts, likelihood of approval by Caltrans and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and estimate of cost.
Read the Staff Report Here.
Unrepresented Executive Management Salary Schedule
At Monday night’s City Council meeting, the Council will consider a resolution adjusting the Unrepresented Executive Management Salary Schedule. With the planned retirement of the City Manager in July 2023, this action would also be setting the compensation for the upcoming executive recruitment.
Read the Staff Report Here .
Leaf Blower Ordinance
On July 18, 2022, the City Council passed an ordinance to regulate the operation of gas-powered leaf blowers within city limits. Resident concerns varied from noise to environmental pollution caused by gas-powered leaf blowers.
As of October 1st, 2022, the following regulations apply to the operation of leaf blowers within city limits:
- Hours of operation:
Property type Monday to Friday Weekends and Holidays Residential 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Non-residential 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Blowing of debris: No person may deposit dirt, dust, leaves, grass clippings, trimmings, green waste, solid waste, or debris onto a neighboring property or into streets, gutters, or storm drains within city limits.
- Prohibition of gas-powered leaf blowers: It is unlawful for any person to operate or authorize, permit, or direct another who engages in the operation of any gas-powered leaf blower within city limits.
More information on the City’s leaf blower ordinance can be found here.
Third Street Improvements
During this week (October 31 – November 4):
- Crews will form and place rebar at the west end of the retaining wall.
- Crews will install a catchment fence along the top of the new retaining wall.
- Crews will remove sections of pavement to construct bike lane separator islands. This work will require a lane closure and no parking on eastbound Second Street from Marquard Avenue to East Street.
- Crews will pull wire and set boxes for streetlights and signal lights at the intersection of Second and Fourth Streets. This work will require a lane closure on westbound Second Street.
- Sanitary sewer rehabilitation: the Crews will continue installing new sewer pipe and laterals, by open trench method on Miramar Avenue and Second Street. This work will require a lane closure on Miramar Avenue and on eastbound Second Street.
- From October 31, 2022, to November 4, 2022, PG&E will be relocating electrical lines on Second Street from East Street to G Street. This work will require a lane closure on Second Street between East Street and G Street.
- The stairway from Second Street to Jessup Street (south of Ida) 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.
As COVID-19 remains a part of our everyday lives, it is important to remember that the possibility of exposure to COVID-19 during gatherings remains high. 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 October 28th, Marin County has 142 “Active Cases” (cases confirmed in the previous 10 days) bringing the total confirmed cumulative cases to 42,121 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— Walk, Bike, and Roll to School Day
City staff from several departments joined Walk, Bike, and Roll to School, an event popular among students, parents, and the community and is part of a national movement to celebrate safe and active travel. Nationally, the event started in 1997 and is coordinated by the National Center for Safe Routes to School. More information can be found at walkbiketoschool.org.
At the Last Council Meeting on October 17th, 2022
Beginning with the April 18th 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 October 17th, City Council Meeting, the Council:
- Held open time for public expression
- Heard City Manager and Councilmember reports
- Approved consent calendar items
- Heard Transit Center relocation Draft Environmental Impact Report update
- Passed a resolution for the San Quentin Pump Station Reconstruction
- Heard a special presentation of a proclamation supporting the 2022 Great Shake Out Earthquake Drill
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.
Fall Community Conversations are upon us! Like in past conversations, these will be chaired by the Mayor and Councilmembers and will prioritize community-oriented discussions that welcome input from all members and perspectives of the San Rafael community. There will be City-wide updates, but we encourage residents to bring their questions and get to know their Council. We look forward to hearing from you and hope you will be able to join us at one of the times/locations. Click here for details.
Eyes Up, Marin
Let’s Make our Streets Safer for Everyone! From mid-October through the end of November, you’ll see bright and colorful banners and lawn signs popping up all over Marin asking people to keep their “Eyes Up” and be alert. These signs will be asking drivers to slow down, watch when turning, and look for pedestrians in the crosswalk; bicyclists to yield to pedestrians and to follow the rules of the road; and pedestrians to pay attention when crossing the street.
Dia de los Muertos
Saturday, November 5th, 3:00pm-9:00pm. Al Boro Community Center
Join us in celebrating San Rafael’s 34th annual Dia de los Muertos celebration. Local artists and community members created ofrendas (altars) to honor the spirits and lives of loved ones who have passed, whether they be ancestors or important historical figures. These altars, are open to the public and will be displayed from 3:00-9:00pm.
This free-to-attend celebration also includes art workshops for children, live music (multiple performers), cultural performances, a walking procession through the Canal neighborhood and traditional food available for purchase.
Tuesday, November 8th
The November 8th election is fast approaching. Links to vote centers and drop boxes, including maps can be found here. Ballots may be returned by mail or dropped at any Vote Center or Official Drop Box.
The MWPA Chipper Day program is proud to announce that it will be offering additional Chipper Days to Marin County residents this fall. The additional Chipper Days will begin on Monday, October 31st and run through the end of November.
As always, reservations are required to participate, and all the normal rules and guidelines apply. To find your Chipper Day event and make a reservation, click here.
International Suicide Loss Survivor Day
Saturday, November 19th, 1:00pm-3:00 pm. Terra Linda High School, Innovation Hub
If You’ve Lost Someone to Suicide, You Are Not Alone. International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day is an event in which survivors of suicide loss come together to find connection, understanding, and hope through their shared experience. Please register in advance.
Downtown San Rafael’s Parade of Lights & Winterwonderland
Saturday, November 26th, 1:00pm – 5:00pm (Parade at 5:30pm)
This planned two-block event will have a Makers Marketplace, Snow Cones, Winter Costume Characters, Live Music, Food Trucks, a Jumpy, Face painting, a Juggler, a Toy Drive, and Balloon animals! Throughout Downtown San Rafael, there will be an Elf Hunt, Shop Small Saturday merchant treats and discounts, and a Window Decorating Contest!
At 5:30, Fourth Street will light up with decorated classic cars cruising up and down our Downtown from H Street to Lincoln Ave. Click Here for additional details.
Where in San Rafael can you find the art “Regeneration”?