Key Priorities and Policies

Board of Supervisors
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As your representative on the Marin County Board of Supervisors, I hold great value in being closely in tune with the people and issues of District 1. I pledge to continue to keep your perspective close in mind in approaching all matters facing the County, and to keep open and active communication as the foundation of my service.

Below you will find an overview of my key priorities and key policy objectives, organized by greater issue groups. When it comes to the interests of the residents and neighborhoods from the County perspective, these issues are most important to 'keeping the promise of Marin.'

I will be updating this page as I continue to make progress on these goals and initiatives.

 

Securing a Healthy Range of Housing Opportunities in Marin

There is an undeniable shortage of housing options in Marin. Many people feel that large, dense developments do not fit within the character of our communities. We are making progress in building community consensus around alternative strategies to preserve housing options for people at a range of incomes in Marin. This includes the new Landlord Partnership Program, continuing to build the affordable housing trust fund and pursing opportunities to convert and rehabilitate existing housing stock to affordable housing, promoting and streamlining county regulations for Accessory Dwelling Units, and considering policies that responsibly promote affordability in the rental market. 

  • Strengthening Section 8 with the Landlord Partnership Program: In 2015, over 2,000 families and individuals used federally funded Section 8 vouchers to rent homes throughout Marin, bringing in over $29 million dollars in rent payments. However, hundreds more were unable to find opportunities to use their vouchers in Marin. In fact, of the 192 new vouchers issued through September of 2016, only 60 are being put to use due to lack of opportunities in the rental market. After receiving many calls from constituents holding vouchers who were unable to find rental opportunities to use them over my first year in office, we partnered with the Marin Housing Authority and leaders from our local landlord community to examine this issue from a landlord perspective. We created the Landlord Partnership Program with their assistance and buy-in. This new approach makes landlord participation in the Housing Choice Voucher program more attractive and feasible by addressing specific concerns that we heard during our outreach, and by making the entire program more streamlined. By improving our local approach to this federally funded program, we can help preserve affordable housing opportunities in Marin. If you have units for rent and are interested in exploring how this new program can work for you, please contact Monique Broussard at MBroussard@marinhousing.org or 415-491-2567. 
  • Supporting Conversion and Acquisition Efforts: Securing existing housing infrastructure for conversion to affordable housing mitigates potential impacts to our communities. The County has had recent success with this approach by acquiring 27 units at the Piper Court Apartments in Fairfax, 8 units in Stinson Beach, and 20 units at The Forest Knolls Trailer Court.  I am supporting the current efforts of the acquisition group that the County is a partner in, which includes committing funds to bolster the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. 
  • Supporting and Streamlining Second Units and Junior Second Units: Accessory Dwelling Units are another opportunity to increase affordable housing opportunities without significantly impacting the density or character of our neighborhoods. I have worked with the Community Development Agency, local Fire Protection Agencies, advocates and service providers to identify potential adjustments to our development code that will streamline and promote second and junior second units for homeowners. Meanwhile, the state legislature has passed new bills that address these standards on a statewide level. I look forward to evaluating these new regulations against the adjustments we’ve been working towards. I’m pleased that we are prepared to consider code adjustments quickly now that state regulations are ready to evaluate.
  • Voluntary Code of Ethics and Affordability in the Rental Market: Last year’s rental market conditions survey provides an excellent statistical context to the issue of rising rents and dwindling rental opportunities in Marin. I have been working actively with leaders in the landlord and property-owner community, as well as with renters, voucher-holders and tenant rights advocates, exploring solutions for preserving affordability in Marin’s rental market for a range of income levels. Over the past year I’ve convened stakeholders to examine structures for voluntary rent guidelines, approaching the tough considerations of establishing a program that will gain widespread participation and also have a real impact. The Board of Supervisors also adopted a “Source of Income Protection” ordinance to ensure that voucher-holders are evaluated as potential renters based on neutral criteria, and not turned away based on their vouchers. I will continue to lead efforts to work together to develop policies and programs that can work for everyone in stabilizing the rental market as best as possible.
  • Revising the Housing Overlay Designation and Other County Policies: From a County policy perspective looking towards potential development in Marin, I’m concerned that our current Community Development Agency housing policies do not always work towards their intended goals. I look forward to working with Community Development Agency leadership and staff to reevaluate certain County policies, particularly the Housing Overlay Designation.
  • Pushing for Support on the State and Federal Level: We need to take an urgent, creative approach to the issue of housing at every level of government. I’m working to leverage maximum county support behind state legislation to streamline second and junior second units and implement creative approaches to financing these sorts of upgrades, while also seeking out means to bolster the County’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

Addressing Homelessness with Every Tool at Our Disposal

Homelessness is one of the most significant and challenging issues facing Marin County, and particularly facing District 1. The term “homeless” encompasses a wide spectrum of people and circumstances. Those familiar with programs such as Homeward Bound or the REST Program know that many individuals who rely on key services do not fit the stereotypical mental image of homelessness. They are working people and families that have lost a job, housing or some other support system, or have encountered medical issues –in many instances this includes children in our local schools and results in families doubling up in unstable, overcrowded apartments. These individuals need different services than those who suffer from mental illness or other disabling conditions and who are unable to take care of their own basic needs, different still from the disproportionately visible individuals that impact our Downtown business area and the surrounding neighborhoods.

It is clear that many factors contribute to this complex societal problem, which is why I am working to approach this issue from several angles. My primary focuses include bolstering County mental health services, pushing for Laura’s Law, and strengthening our partnership with the City of San Rafael on multiple fronts, with a particular focus on alleviating the impacts of homelessness on Downtown San Rafael. Recently we have made progress on this issue thanks to increased coordination between the County, the City and local service providers. Both the County and the City have hired new staff members dedicated to coordinating around homeless issues and services, and new increased collaboration between these dedicated staff members and our network of service providers is embodied by the success of the Homeless Outreach Team, or the HOT Team, in finding housing for some of highest-needs individuals on our streets.

  • Homeless Outreach Team – HOT: The Homeless Outreach Team, or HOT, represents a newly elevated level of coordination among service providers in Marin. The Homeless Outreach Team works to identify specific “frequent flyer” individuals who are high-utilizers of expensive public services, and are have a disproportionate impact on our neighborhoods and public systems. From there, the team aims to end this “revolving door” by working intensively on a plan towards permanent housing. By focusing on specific individuals and coordinating across a range of agencies and service providers, the goal is to triage each individual’s needs by creating an individualized housing action plan, and then hold each provider accountable as that plan is implemented. While we have enjoyed early initial success, this momentum needs to be seen through in securing opportunities for permanent housing for these individuals.
  • Improving Mental Health Services:The County Department of Health and Human Services, through its Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Division, is the safety net provider for people living with mental illness.  In 2015 we added three units to our mental health outreach program: the Mobile Crisis Response Team, which responds to mental health crises throughout the County; the Outreach and Engagement Team, which proactively seeks out the homeless; and the Triage Team, which works with the precariously housed and those suffering from mental illness that threatens their housing status. We continue to leverage County resources towards the most proactive, effective services to address the underlying mental health conditions that lead to homelessness.
  • Laura's Law --Assisted Outpatient Treatment: Assisted Outpatient Treatment through Laura’s Law could be a valuable tool to connecting people who are suffering from disabling mental health issues to the full service partnerships they need.  Based on specific court-evaluated criteria, Laura’s Law  would provide outpatient services to those suffering from severe mental illness who have refused treatment yet are at risk of harming themselves, others, or unable to care for their own basic needs. Although the Board of Supervisors declined to adopt Laura’s Law in early 2016, with only myself voting in favor of implementing, I remain committed to advocating for this option. While Laura’s Law is not a panacea, it could provide another tool to engage individuals in treatment.
  • Collaborating with the City of San Rafael and Alleviating Impact to Downtown San Rafael: As a former San Rafael City Councilmember, I have a unique understanding of the issues that face the residents, businesses and visitors to San Rafael, and how important it is to have a strong partnership between the County and City in addressing these issues. The City has a mental health professional on their police force, and has added a staff person dedicated to coordinating homeless services. Meanwhile, the County has added staff in the same capacity. County and City staff now are coordinating consistently and working effectively together, alongside service providers. This increased level of cooperation is best embodied in the recent success of our HOT team, as described above.
  • Envisioning a Center for Wrap-Around Services: The County is partnering with the City of San Rafael and other community partners to explore a new facility that would provide services, including job skills counseling, medical and mental health services and general structure for people’s lives.  We are exploring models around the Bay Area and evaluating them against the unique needs of our community.   This facility would be intended as the entry point for people wanting to make meaningful changes in their lives.  Ultimately the location of such a facility will be critical and must accomplish the goals of providing appropriate services while alleviating the impacts on Downtown.
  • Creating a Program that Addresses the Impacts of Chronic Inebriates: The County has funded a two year pilot program for 8-10 of the people who create the greatest impact on our communities due to alcohol-related behavior and arrests.  They are the “frequent fliers” between the back of a patrol car or ambulance to the hospital emergency room, jail, or Helen Vine Recovery Center.  This pilot program is providing intensive services and shelter.  In addition, our partners in the criminal justice system, the Public Defender, District Attorney, Probation, the Courts, City officials and law enforcement are all working on identifying ways to interrupt this problematic revolving door cycle.
  • Helen Vine Recovery Center: Buckelew Programs operates Helen Vine, a 26 bed residential detoxification program with recovery-oriented services for people with alcohol and drug addiction issues as well as co-occurring psychiatric services. The center lost its lease at its current location at the old Honor Farm on Silveira Ranch. Over the course of many months of exploration and negotiations, we were able to secure a new location on the Silveira Ranch to maintain this vital program without interruption.

Maximizing Mobility through Effective Transportation Policy and Planning

As we face the reality of our current traffic congestion and increasing stress on our infrastructure, the beginning of SMART train service, envisioning a new transit station area in Downtown San Rafael, and benchmark goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, I will continue to work to make sure that Marin residents have access to transportation that is convenient and dependable, and make sure that infrastructure improvements are planned to integrate appropriately with the surrounding environment and to promote multi-modal transportation.

  • Completing the Multiuse Path/North South Greenway: Now that SMART is funded to provide rail service through San Rafael to Larkspur, it is critical that we create circulation and connectivity to surrounding infrastructure in station design and integration, "first and last mile" local transit options, and that we work to fulfill the commitment of the North South Greenway and continue building a multi-use pathway through District 1 and the County. I am serving as the County representative on a new subcommittee dedicated to completing this pathway through the portions of District 1 that have presented challenges in the past.
  • Envisioning the Future of the San Rafael Downtown Transit Center: The redesign of the Bettini Transit Center in Downtown San Rafael will have a huge impact on traffic and public transportation both in Downtown San Rafael and the County at large. With the arrival of the SMART train, it will be imperative to focus on the effective integration of use between SMART, Marin Transit and the Golden Gate Transit and local traffic. As a member of TAM and the Marin Transit Board, I will be working to seek out and advocate for the highest possible level of overall functionality for the center, with a focus on connectivity.

  • Building Safe Options for School Transit: Pickup and drop off times affect local traffic. I am collaborating with Marin Transit, our local school leaders and communities, and community advocacy groups to make sure that all available means of providing safe routes for our kids to school are worked out and explored, with a focus on solutions that take cars off the road, along with keeping a close eye on crossing guards on the streets most heavily used by our students.
  • Pushing to Reopen the Richmond Bridge Third Lane: We all share the frustration over CalTrans’ slow-motion response to opening the third eastbound lane of the Richmond Bridge. The current plan projects the third lane to be opened by October 2017.  I understand the effect that this traffic issue has on District 1 and will continue to support any and all angles towards as timely a resolution as possible.

Environmental Issues and Climate Change

The County has a key role to play in climate change issues on every level, from flood risk management to sea-level rise adaptation to aggressively scaling down our local carbon emissions. Many of these issues hit too close to home for neighborhoods of District 1. The County has adopted an expansive Climate Action Plan, and it’s time to be aggressive in implementing this plan.  I am working to increase leverage of County resources and efforts to prevent the negative effects of climate change and sea-level-rise on our communities and protect the interests of local neighborhoods, including taking a “watershed-wide approach” to the issues facing the Gallinas Watershed.

  • Implementing the County's Climate Action Plan: We have a well thought-out and comprehensive action plan thanks to County staff and public input --but as with all plans, the County Climate Action Plan is only as valuable as its execution. With funding for implementation measures secured through the 2016-2018 budget process and a new County staff person in place to help lead implementation, we are ready to get moving. I have proposed a community based process led by a BOS Implementation Committee consisting of myself and Supervisor Kate Sears working with County staff, local businesses, community groups and interested residents to prioritize our efforts and maximize results, which we are currently working with staff to get up and running. I will draw from my experience as the past chair of the City of San Rafael’s Sustainability Committee with an eye towards promoting a robust community engagement process
  • Gallinas Watershed Management and Flood Zone 7: Gallinas Creek provides a truly beautiful landscape that holds great value to the neighborhood and our region, but the watershed also presents challenges. As we critically evaluate flood control and infrastructure planning, balancing priorities, feasibility and costs vs. benefits, we are increasingly focused on watershed-wide and regional approaches. At the same time, we have to tend to the specific needs of the flood zones, and ensure that the smaller but critical components of the flood control program are functioning until there are other systems in place to protect from tidal water intrusion and drainage into Gallinas Creek from the watershed
  • Habitat Restoration and McInnis Marsh: McInnis Marsh is a 180-acre wetland located east of McInnis Park between Miller and Gallinas Creeks. The buildup of levee systems over the years to protect various properties has separated a formerly intertwined system of distributary channels that kept the wetlands hydrologically connected. We are working on a multi-benefit project to restore this valuable piece of our habitat to support unique and threatened native species, increase public access and recreational opportunities in the wetlands, and build up natural flood protection in the area. Marin County Parks is working to initiate this project in partnership with the Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District and the Marin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, working with potential funding partners including the US Army Corps of Engineers. We are also pursuing grant funding from the California State Coastal Conservancy, where our application has scored highly. I’ve met with the Army Corps both in San Francisco and Washington DC, and there is real excitement for a potential project that could take advantage of federal and regional funding to enhance and protect this valuable natural resource.
  • Preserving Our Open Space: Marin has a proud history of protecting our natural resources and preserving key pieces of open space.  That’s why I’m committed to preserving the St. Vincent’s and Silveira properties and their valuable pastoral space. I will continue to work with our County Parks and Open Space along with local land trusts to be an active advocate, facilitator and policy guide to securing key pieces of land for preservation.
  • Marin Clean Energy and the PACE Program: In 2015 the County adopted the PACE Program, or Property Assessed Clean Energy, to promote energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water upgrades to residential and commercial building with creative and affordable financing through property tax bills. This program makes capital upgrades that save money in energy costs accessible to more home and business owners through low-cost, long-term financing, serving everyone’s best interest while having a positive impact on the environment. As Past President and a founding Board Member of Marin Clean Energy, I will continue to promote both MCE and its innovative energy programs to keep Marin on the forefront of smart, clean energy and energy efficiency.

Fiscal Responsibility and Transparency

I will continue to make fiscal responsibility and government transparency my overarching principles on all matters of County finances, with a constant attention towards paying down our unfunded retiree liabilities and ensuring that the taxpayers of Marin are as engaged as possible in the process. 

  • Paying Down Our Unfunded Pension Liabilities: I made it clear in my campaign that paying down our significant unfunded pension liability needs to be a County priority. In my first year in office we took significant steps in the right direction by adding $14 million beyond our required payment to reduce unfunded liabilities  --this, along with investment earnings,  contributed to reducing unfunded liabilities by a total of $243 million over the past 4 years. In the FY 2016-17 budget adopted in July 2016, the Board of Supervisors dedicated $10 million beyond the County’s obligated contribution towards our “OPEB Retiree Health Trust.” This trust fund functions as savings towards future retiree healthcare costs, and currently holds a balance of over $70 million. The Board also took the opportunity to build up our “pension rate stabilization reserve,” which serves to guard against fluctuations in the marketplace that could result in increased pension costs, bringing the balance to a total of $7 million. This is an ongoing issue where we must continue to be vigilant. With the 2016-17 budget, the Board of Supervisors took advantage of additional revenues to both meet obligations and make further contributions against unfunded liabilities, while also balancing a range of deferred needs such as infrastructure and roads. We are also critically evaluating best practices for contract negotiations, and taking steps to make sure that financial impacts of proposed benefits are fully understood and disclosed. Based on Grand Jury recommendations, the County has implemented new practices for calculating future obligations by requiring that cost analyses be publicly posted in connection with proposed collective bargaining agreements.
  • Bolstering Reserves, Maintaining Balance and Keeping the Longview: While the fiscal stability of local governments continues to strengthen, the challenges, strains and budget cuts of the Great Recession remain a recent reminder of the importance of being prepared.  The County budget is a dynamic list of real priorities. While we continually evaluate these priorities to make sure they are in line with the goals and needs of the people of Marin, we must always prepare as best we can for the inherent uncertainty of the future by bolstering our various reserve funds and taking a measured approach to the County’s finances. 
  • Transparency, Accountability and Public Engagement: It is incumbent upon public agencies, bodies and officials to engage directly and actively with the taxpayers and constituents whom they serve. Many County agencies do an exemplary job of public engagement, but there is always room for improvement across the board. I’ll be supporting innovative initiatives through the County Information Services and Technology Unit’s Strategic Plan to provide maximum public access to County government through technology. I will continue to keep the perspective of the taxpayer and be a force within the County for promoting active, public engagement and transparency to strengthen the trust between local government and the people of Marin. I also pledge to continue to engage the community directly through local office hours throughout the District and by actively promoting neighborhood meetings and town halls around important community issues. 

Land Use and Project Proposals

I believe deeply and hold a firm commitment to taking the right approach to development proposals in our community –and that approach is centered around proactive community engagement, and a complete flow of information on all proposed project between applicants and the community. My job in representing the interests of the community is to make sure that any proposal is viewed in the context of the cumulative impact on the entire area, and not just in isolation. 

I’ve set up dedicated email lists for news and updates around development proposals that garner great community interest in District 1, and you can sign up to receive these updates using the links below. You can also sign up for future updates on specific geographic planning areas from the Community Development Agency using the links below:

  • Marinwood Plaza: Since taking office I have been engaged with both community members and current Plaza ownership to do everything that I can to facilitate a successful transition of the property from a dilapidated shopping center – with a stellar market – into a valued part of the Marinwood community that fulfills the property’s great potential. Currently, Plaza ownership is seeking offers from a range of potential developers.
  • A major obstacle to any project has been the issue of toxic remediation from the former dry-cleaning business. Reports dating back to 2007 have shown concentrations of PCE, a commonly used dry-cleaning solvent, around the property. The standard approach of aligning cleanup with redevelopment of the property has resulted in unacceptable delays that drew this process on for too long.

    Thankfully, this process is taking a major step forward with the demolition of the building and the excavation of contaminated soil, which is required to be completed and reported upon by February 1, 2017.  Demolition and excavation are the only means by which we can address the source of the contamination with certainty and finality, and thus fully eliminate the presence of toxins on the site that pose a threat to our neighborhoods and community.

    Throughout this process I’ve taken an active role on behalf of neighborhood interests in mediating between Plaza ownership, the community, and the Regional Water Board, the governing agency that is charged with overseeing the cleanup. I’ve organized and mediated meetings between the various parties involved, as well as community meetings to share information and allow an opportunity for questions to be addressed.

    Just as we’ve worked to build public input and engagement into the cleanup process, we must take the same approach to planning for a successful project at the Plaza.

    Looking ahead, we are well-positioned for a number of reasons, and can use the lessons of past experience to our benefit.

    For example, we benefit from the “Marinwood Village Guiding Principles,” developed by the community in 2005-06, which lays out a vision for a mixed-use project featuring community serving retail, a public gathering space and housing with up to 50 percent affordability. We know that senior housing is a great and growing need in Marin County.

    We remain in contact with the Plaza owners, and will continue to play an active role in working with the community towards a project that is a valuable addition to the neighborhood - and something we can all be proud of.

  • Grady Ranch: On June 23, 2015, the Marin County Community Development Agency responded to the Pre-Application filed for Grady Ranch in April, 2015. Since then, there has been no further action in the application process.

    The Pre-Application that was filed in 2015 is highly conceptual and minimal on the details regarding traffic, infrastructure, the specifics around the Environmental Impact Report (EIR), and the rest of the critical information that would be the focus of evaluating a Master Plan Amendment Application should the applicant file one in the future. The EIR process which would follow a Master Plan Amendment Application would be the formal opportunity for members of the public to catalogue and record all specific concerns with the project based on actual proposals. Particular issues of focus for an EIR evaluation would include cumulative impacts and infrastructure constraints.

  • Oakview: In 2005, the Marin County Board of Supervisors approved a Master Plan for a project called “Oakview Senior Living,” which approved 150 senior living apartments in the area south of Marinwood Plaza on a building area of 94,400 square feet. This was approved in conjunction with 28 single family homes, with an average size of 3,000 square feet further south.

    Recently, there has been interest expressed in the property by a potential senior housing developer, who has held community meetings in regard to the project and worked with County staff in reviewing potential draft plans. These discussions have included analyzing whether proposed plans would require a Master Plan Amendment, or whether they met “substantial conformance” and could move onto the Precise Development Plan.

    No official plans or applications have been submitted, so no official process has yet begun, and we are awaiting further action

Other Links and Issues

Below you will find some ongoing issues that are important to the community.

  • Exploring Flood Insurance Options: Exploring Flood Insurance Options: We hosted a very well attended community meeting on April 12, 2016 to provide information on flood insurance for people who now find their homes within the FEMA updated maps for risk of flooding. If your house is in a flood zone, and you have a mortgage, your lender will require that you have flood insurance. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was developed as a way for homeowners to access affordable flood insurance for those living in moderate-to-low risk areas as well as high risk areas, and you can find information on the program in the first link below. You may have already been contacted by your lender and you should check with them to see if they require you to get your insurance through the NFIP. The “Floodsmart” website in the second link below will be able to answer most of your questions and provide resources on where to go and who to contact to explore the most appropriate coverage for your home.  If your lender does not require you to obtain your coverage through the NFIP, contact a private insurance agent to see if they place flood insurance policies with Lloyd’s of London or other excess coverage company.  Those companies may provide options not offered through the NFIP that are more attractive to your particular situation. Finally, elevating your house may provide you a longer term strategy to address the risk of flooding as well as sea level rise. The third link below has further information on this approach.
  • Road and Trail Management Plan: The County is currently in the public engagement phase of the Road and Trail Management Plan, or RTMP, for the use of our trails and open space. The RTMP is a trail designation process that relies on both a science-based approach and public input from all user groups. Trail designations aim to achieve two goals: reducing environmental impacts and enhancing recreational experiences.

    With successful initial designations complete for Areas 1 and 2 in Southern and West Marin, the period for public comment for Region 3, which includes the Lucas Valley, Ignacio Valley, Pacheco Valle, Indian Valley and Loma Verde open space preserves, closed on October 16, 2016.

    I participated in a large community meeting hosted by County Parks and Open Space on August 21, 2016 to review draft trail designation plans. The meeting provided details on the process while seeking feedback on draft plans.

    It is important to bear in mind that this is the beginning of an ongoing process. County Parks and Open Space is committed to continuing to collaborate with all user groups to identify new opportunities for good trails that focus on connectivity and environmental stewardship beyond the current draft proposal. Further information is available online at the County Parks and Open Space website, below. For questions or comments, please contact Jon Campo at jcampo@marincounty.org.

  • Marin County High School Hackathon: My office is partnering with our County IST and Public Health teams along with our local schools to sponsor the first ever Marin County High School Hackathon. This event will be the first of its kind in Marin, providing an opportunity for local students to test their skills in computer science, developing new applications to serve the public in the field of public health. Look for more details in advance of this event scheduled for April, 2017. 
  • San Rafael City Schools Facilities Master Planning: The San Rafael City School District is moving forward with their facilities planning and with making improvements to our schools, we are actively supporting community engagement on behalf of both local students and the residents of District 1 neighborhoods as we work together for great school facilities For information on where the process stands, click below.
  • Santa Venetia Neighborhood and the Santa Venetia Community Plan: We have a strong working relationship with the Santa Venetia Neighborhood Association, and meet regularly with their leadership. A community group worked with County staff over the last two years on a Community Plan for Santa Venetia that has been approved and lauded by the County’s Planning Commission. To learn more, see the links below.
  • Medical Cannabis: I served on the subcommittee that finalized a Medical Cannabis Ordinance in Marin County that was unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors in December, 2015, regulating dispensaries in the unincorporated areas of Marin.

    The County of Marin will be issuing up to four business licenses for Medical Cannabis Dispensaries in the unincorporated areas of the county next year, with up to two in the Highway 101 corridor, and up to two in the Central/West Marin zone.

    The County’s Community Development Agency (CDA) is currently reviewing the 12 applications that were submitted, with nine locations in the 101 Corridor zone and three in the Central/West Marin zone. The 101 Corridor applications include three locations in the Black Point area near Novato, and five in the Tam Shoreline area. The Central/West Marin applications include two locations in San Geronimo Valley and one in Marshall.

    The only application in District 1 is in Santa Venetia, at 70 San Pablo Avenue, across from Santa Venetia Market.

    The review process is comprehensive and includes opportunities for public input before decisions are made. Here is an outline of the process, beginning with the current staff review phase:

    • Sept – Dec 2016: Staff Review of Applications for Completeness & Eligibility Requirements
    • Jan – Feb 2017: Public Hearings and Advisory Committee Review
    • Mar – Apr 2017: County Administrator’s Office Review and Final Decisions 

    CDA has set up a dedicated webpage with information on this process, which you can explore by using the link below. The webpage provides information about submitted applications, the selection criteria used in the process, links to the ordinance and other related documents, and will have the dates of public hearings. If you are interested, the best way to get information is to subscribe to this site and you will receive alerts when there is an update posted, which you can do by using the signup link below.

    If you have comments or questions on this application or process, including the proposed Santa Venetia site, submit them via phone or email to Inge Lundegaard at (415) 473 7023 or ilundegaard@marincounty.org so that they can become part of the official record and be taken into consideration.

    Up to four licenses will be issued out of the 12 applications, and potentially fewer than four. Decisions will be made by the County Administrator’s office, with the Board of Supervisors hearing appeals.
  • Marin History Museum: Since 2015 I have worked closely with San Rafael Mayor Gary Phillips, County Librarian Sara Jones, other staff and community members, and philanthropist Jeff Craemer to preserve this important community asset. Thankfully, on March 1, 2016, the County reached an agreement with the Museum’s Board of Directors to ensure new leadership for the Museum as well as a plan for caring for the assets under the Museum’s protection. The newly appointed Board of Directors, led by former San Rafael Mayor Al Boro and former San Rafael City Attorney Gary Ragghianti, is already hard at work taking steps to secure the future stability of the organization, regaining the trust and support of the community. We remain dedicated to protecting the assets that are of value to our community.
  • McNears Beach Park Master Plan: Information on the County Parks and Open Space Master Planning process for McNears Beach, below.
  • McInnis Park Master Plan Update: The McInnis Park Master Plan Update was approved in 2009 and now, with some help from Measure A, Marin County Parks is moving forward with development. In 2016/2017, Marin County Parks will be working on developing designs and construction drawings for three new multi-use fields, a dog park and a realigned roadway.  It’s unlikely that Measure A will have capacity to fund the implementation of all of these elements, so we are also pursuing external funding. Additionally, Marin County Parks will be utilizing Measure A funding to resurface the tennis courts and modernize the operations facility at McInnis Park in 2016/2017.
  • Safety on Lucas Valley Road: Safety has been a long-standing issue of concern for the residents and travelers of Lucas Valley Road. After a truck was overturned in 2015, our Department of Public Works worked quickly with County Counsel on an ordinance prohibiting trucks 36 feet or longer from using the road, which the Board of Supervisors approved on February 2, 2016. Signs have been posted and the ordinance is being enforced. What’s more, CalTrans has approved the County’s Highway Safety Improvement Program grant application. This will provide funding for additional safety improvements to the road.
  • Integrated Pest Management:The County of Marin has an award winning Integrated Pest Management Program, and I will continue to push towards using zero glyphosate in our Open Space. Learn more below..