County of Marin - Press Releases - Customer Service

For Immediate Release
December 20, 2013

Service Boosted in Community Development Agency

New walk-in service center and revamped website among upgrades

San Rafael, CA - Visitors to the Marin County Community Development Agency (CDA) are experiencing a big boost in customer service whether they’re walking in or browsing on the Internet.

On Dec. 19, the agency cut the ribbon on a revamped webpage,, that features a variety of shortcuts for residents seeking services. It’s easier to find forms, get answers about permits, learn about ordinances and find plans for major development projects. The site’s makeover was handled by the County’s Information Services and Technology (IST) staff.

In addition, the Building and Safety, Planning and Land Development programs recently debut a new Development Services Center on the third floor of the Marin County Civic Center Administration Building. The center, located one door down from the CDA offices in a renovated Suite 308, is the centerpiece of a master plan that fosters more efficiency for citizens who need face-to-face contact with CDA employees. The new lobby features an open, inviting space with design elements that respect the architectural heritage of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Civic Center, a registered National Historic Landmark. 

Residents will be exposed to the upgraded service center if they are:

  • Submitting building and planning permit applications
  • Meeting with County staff to review applications or pre-applications
  • Conducting research of development regulations, permit submittal requirements, and historic permit records.

“The new public service counter and lobby helps us better serve our customers with comfortable seating, waiting areas and dedicated self-service computers, while meeting our needs for improved storage and circulation,” said CDA Assistant Director Tom Lai.

The Development Services Center renovations, overseen by David Vaughan from the Department of Public Works’ Capital Projects division, were viewed by the Marin County Board of Supervisors in early December. Many pieces of furniture were disassembled and reused in different configurations to save costs, and the design of the large curved table was borrowed from a library table, Vaughan said. Changes will be ongoing through early 2014. Construction work is being handled by a team of specialty contractors and support from Public Works’ Building Maintenance Division and IST staff.

“I’ve heard lot of positive things from people coming in so far,” Vaughan said. “There is elbow room in there now, and the sit-down counter is much more accessible. That was a big driver on the design.”

The cost of the renovation is approximately $85,000 and was undertaken as part of the County’s long-term facilities plan to modernize the Civic Center and provide for better customer service to the community.


Tom Lai
Deputy Director
Community Development Agency

Marin County Civic Center
3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 308
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6292
CRS Dial 711

Email: Tom Lai
CDA website