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 will 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 another excess coverage company. Those companies may provide options not offered through the NFIP that are more attractive to your 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.
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 very dedicated community group worked with County staff over two years to update the Community Plan for Santa Venetia. It was approved in 2017 and lauded by the County’s Planning Commission. To learn more, see the links below.
Road and Trail Management Plan:
The Road and Trail Management Plan (RTMP) is a designation process for the use of our trails and open space that relies on both a science-based approach and public input from all user groups. Trail designations aim to achieve three goals: reduce environmental impacts, improve visitor experience and safety for all users, and establish and maintain a sustainable system of roads and trails.
The initial trail designation process has taken place for Regions 1-4, the work and public engagement process continues. In the past year improvements were done on the Bob Middagh Trail/Horse Hill in Region 1, the Hunt Camp Trail in Region 2, and the Irving Fire Road in Terra Linda/Sleepy Hollow Open Space in Region 5. The Irving Fire Road project work was completed in May of 2017. The project will reduce sedimentation into the watershed and maintain safe emergency access. These projects were funded by Measure A.
Region 5 includes Terra Linda/Sleepy Hollow, San Pedro Mountain, Santa Venetia, Santa Margarita Island, and Bald Hill Open Space. A public meeting for Region 5 will take place in the Spring of 2018, at which time a map of the draft trail designations will be presented and the public will be invited to provide input.
Region 6 includes Ring Mountain, Old St Hilary’s Open Space Nature Preserve, Bolinas Lagoon and Bothin Marsh. A public meeting for Region 6 trail designation is planned for 2019.
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 email@example.com.
I served on the Board subcommittee that finalized a Medical Cannabis Ordinance in Marin County that was unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors in December 2017, regulating the sale of medical cannabis through delivery only retail dispensaries in the unincorporated areas of Marin. The ordinance requires a retailer to be closed to the public and dispense medicinal cannabis exclusively by delivery. Retailers will have to be located at least 600 feet from schools, day-care centers, youth centers and playgrounds. Locations could be within industrial-zoned and office properties in addition to commercially zoned districts.
The Community Development Agency (CDA) is developing application submittal requirements, the criteria for selection, and an application fee schedule. CDA staff expects the application process to open in January 2018. Once complete, documents will be posted to the webpage for the most up-to-date information.
CDA has set up a dedicated webpage with information on the process to apply for up to four business licenses for medical cannabis delivery only retail dispensaries.
The County has in place an ordinance that bans adult use cannabis business activities in unincorporated areas of Marin to maintain local control. This ban gives the County time to implement and learn from the licensing program for medicinal cannabis retailers that is currently underway.
Marin History Museum:
I worked closely over the last couple of years with concerned community members and local officials to preserve this important community asset under the threat of closure and alleged mismanagement. Under my direction, 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 Museum is now led by highly respected community leaders who are committed to secure the stability of the organization into the future, and regaining the trust and support of the community.
McNears Beach Park Master Plan:
County Parks and Open Space prepared a comprehensive Master Plan for McNears Beach Park to guide future projects. Over $1 million in Measure A funds have been expended at McNears in the last few years to repave the entrance road, repair the pier foundation, and to remove hazardous trees. Expect to see new signage at McNears soon, and additional projects as funds become available.
McInnis Park Master Plan Update:
The McInnis Park Master Plan Update was approved in 2009. Marin County Parks has been working on developing designs and construction drawings for three improved multi-use fields, a dog park and improved access and parking. 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. McInnis Park has seen significant upgrades funded by Measure A including new turf and irrigation at one of the softball fields, new operations facility, resurfacing of the tennis courts, a new shade structure at the skatepark, marsh restoration planning, removal of several hazard trees and a new entrance sign (to be installed in early 2018).
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 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.
Diverting Trash from the Waterways:
Beyond being unsightly, trash pollutes Marin’s waterways and is detrimental to the environment and wildlife.
In April of 2015 the State of California adopted Statewide Trash Amendments which require that trash greater than 5mm (size of a cigarette butt) be prevented from entering the storm drain system by 2030. More information is available on the Marin County Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program (MCSTOPP) website.
An inaugural Trash Summit was held on November 1st, 2017 to empower and strategize collaborative litter prevention and cleanup efforts between community members and local government. Based on the positive feedback from the Trash Summit, Clean Marin is organizing action teams that will meet to set specific, achievable goals during the next year. Effectively removing trash from the environment is a complicated issue, and there is a wide spectrum of activities that the action teams could undertake. Action teams were formed to work on four main areas:
- Volunteer cleanup – forming or joining a Clean Marin group, “Adopt-a-Spot” program, Clean Business Program, and other similar activities.
- Source control & zero waste – product bans, recycling, waste bin management, producer responsibility.
- Clean highways – Highway 101, Adopt-a-Highway, Caltrans partnership, California Highway Patrol/local police enforcement, Tarp Your Load events.
- Outreach & education – Clean Marin press, educating/engaging youth, creek education, marketing, public service announcements.
If you have questions, or would like to participate on one of the action teams, please contact my office or Angela Clapp at MCSTOPP.
The Las Gallinas Lions Club cleared and cleaned the Marinwood/101 freeway interchange in December of 2017 and “adopted” the interchange for future clean up. The Marinwood interchange is the first unincorporated Marin “Adopt-A-Spot” administered through the Marin County Storm Water program. The Lions are working with the County and CalTrans to keep the area clean. The Lions are also looking at adopting the Lucas Valley Road interchange. I appreciate all the volunteers who have taken part, and those who have committed to help in the future, to keep our neighborhoods and waterways clean. I really enjoy working alongside the volunteers in the neighborhood. Contact my office if you would like to participate in future cleanup efforts.