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FAQ Topic: Sidewalk Program

Do other communities hold property owners financially responsible for the maintenance and repair of sidewalks?

Yes, most communities in California address sidewalk maintenance and repairs in accordance with California Streets and Highways Code Section 5610 (“Section 5610”), which places the burden of sidewalk maintenance on the adjacent property owner (see FAQ above). Many jurisdictions have also adopted ordinances which codify this responsibility into their municipal code. Some jurisdictions also provide, as … Continued

Will the City cover tree removal costs?

Yes, where a tree removal is required (so long as the tree is not on private property) the City tree contractor will perform the removal at no cost to the property owner.

Will I be charged a fee for my encroachment permit if I am not selected for the program, and choose to perform the repairs outside the program with a contractor?

No, there will not be a fee charged for the encroachment permit associated with your repair. For all sidewalk repair work in San Rafael, property owners or contractors will be required to apply for an encroachment permit, however the normal encroachment permit fee ($246) will not apply.  If a property owner is only doing driveway … Continued

If I performed repairs prior to the Sidewalk Repair Program can I receive retroactive payment?

No, property owners cannot receive retroactive payment to repairs made independently with a contractor, and outside of the official Sidewalk Repair Program. Only applicants accepted to the program through the random selection process are eligible for City cost-share in their repairs. If you have any ambiguity over whether your repair will qualify for City cost-sharing, contact us before you do the repair. 

Did the City hold a public discussion and obtain public input before adopting the policy?

The City conducted considerable community outreach on this issue in fall 2016. Three public meetings were held at the Albert J. Boro Community Center, San Rafael Community Center, and the Terra Linda Community Center with approximately 30 in-person attendees. Additionally, an online survey was circulated and promoted via NextDoor. The survey had 388 respondents.  Since fall 2016, there … Continued

How do I know if I qualify as low-income?

You must submit with your application, proof of current affiliation with a government or utility administered program for low-income individuals or families. Eligible programs include: PG&E California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) Program PG&E Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) – U.S. Office of Community Services Marin Housing Authority Below … Continued

Who is eligible for this program?

You must be a property owner within incorporated San Rafael (applications may not be submitted by renters). Each property (APN) is able to submit one application. If one property owner owns multiple properties within San Rafael, each property may apply for the program separately. Property owners with sidewalk damage due to private construction (cut, removal, … Continued

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