At the end of the year, the Coalition Board reviews actions and accomplishments for the year and discusses objectives for the next year.
The Coalition and its various committees continue to be very active on a wide range of issues of interest and concern to residents of the Pt. San Pedro Road Peninsula. Our website is an excellent source of community news and updates as well as in-depth information on the work of the Coalition and our committees, so please visit it often. We urge you to sign up for our email and mail list, if you have not already done so. To contact the Coalition Board or a specific committee, the appropriate form can be found under the “Contact Us” menu. Please spread the word to your neighbors to sign up, too! The following is a summary of Coalition activities and plans:
Point San Pedro Roadway Committee
The Roadway Committee’s mission is to study, review and evaluate roadway issues that affect residents who live in communities along Point San Pedro Road, working with the appropriate government agencies and local businesses to develop recommendations that can be implemented to address problems and issues. Roadway Committee activities include:
Traffic and Safety: Worked with neighborhood Homeowners Associations (HOA’s) to identify traffic and safety issues on PSPR and with City and County staff on ways to address those issues. Continued to coordinate with City and County staff exploring measures to enhance pedestrian crossings on PSPR and with City Police Department to ensure they conduct sufficient enforcement of speed limits and other traffic violations on PSPR.
Public Transit: Worked with Marin Transit to explore feasibility of some form of public transit to serve East San Rafael, developed and conducted an on-line survey to determine the specific transit needs of area residents, employees and schools in the PSPR Peninsula, and co-sponsored a community meeting to explore Public Transit options to serve the PSPR Peninsula. The current focus is on extending full paratransit services and providing some form of commute service to downtown San Rafael Transit Center and/or Larkspur Ferry Terminal for PSPR Peninsula residents.
Traffic Congestion Mitigation: Monitored and provided input to the City in their planning efforts to mitigate downtown traffic related to the start of SMART as it will impact East San Rafael residents. Participated with the Federation of San Rafael Neighborhoods in providing initial input into traffic and pedestrian issues related to the SMART extension to Larkspur and the planning, design and operation of the proposed new San Rafael Transit Center. Created a HOA Downtown Traffic Mitigation Working Group to work with City staff on the traffic issues affecting East San Rafael residents in this congested area to identify possible solutions to those issues.
Roadway Medians and Sidewalks: Held quarterly meetings with City staff on median maintenance issues. Worked with City staff and their median maintenance contractor to implement a plan to replace dead or dying plants, remove litter and operate a more consistent median maintenance program. Represented area residents in discussions with City staff on developing recommendations on the amount of the median assessment. Worked with City and County staff to ensure roadway sidewalks were unobstructed for pedestrians.
San Rafael Rock Quarry Committee
In 2003, as a result of legal action brought by the Coalition, the Quarry was required to undergo an environmental review and to update its operating permit and reclamation plan. The Quarry’s updated permit, issued in 2010, contains several Coalition-requested restrictions. Since they were imposed on the Quarry, these restrictions have resulted in significantly reduced quarry-related impacts on our neighboring communities.
In 2016, the Quarry continued to operate at a level well below its capacity. The reduced activity, combined with the 2010 permit restrictions negotiated by the Coalition with the Quarry when it received its 2010 updated permit, has kept the Quarry operating in a manner that has generated very few complaints from its nearby neighbors. Only when the Quarry resumes a high level of production will we be able to assess whether those operating constraints will be adequate.
In September 2016 the Marin County Superior Court invalidated a previous decision by the Marin County Board of Supervisors approving a permit change allowing the Quarry to import onto the Quarry site recycled asphalt material. The Court ruled that the County’s approval was an improper expansion of the Quarry’s nonconforming use. The Coalition had filed a lawsuit asking the Court to overturn that approval. The Quarry has appealed the Court decision. To be clear, the Coalition has no objection to the recycling of asphalt for road construction purposes. However, the Coalition could not acquiesce to what it believes is an illegal expansion of activity on the Quarry site and the Quarry’s and County’s blatant disregard for a 2003 Court order prohibiting asphalt recycling on the site. The Court in 2016 agreed with us. We await the appellate court decision. More background on this issue can be found on the Coalition website within the S.R. Rock Quarry pages.
As in recent years, the Coalition continues to meet periodically with the County to discuss how the Quarry is otherwise meeting its permit obligations. Planned reclamation work was delayed due to environmental concerns but is expected to commence in 2018. As further information becomes available, we will keep you informed through our website and email list.
Loch Lomond Marina Committee
During 2017, the Loch Lomond Marina Committee continued to monitor the development at The Village at Loch Lomond Marina (including The Strand, which is the residential portion of this development) to ensure that all permit restrictions and construction procedures were followed and to identify areas of concern affecting our community. The Committee meets monthly with the Community Development Department and the Department of Public Works. In this past year, the Parks and Rec Department and the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) have joined this monthly meeting. Questions and concerns are submitted by the second Monday of the month so the City can be prepared to provide responses at our meeting on the third Monday of the month. Information that comes out of these meetings is posted monthly on the Coalition website. We encourage residents to let us know their concerns via the Marina Committee contact form on our website. The Loch Lomond Marina section of the website also contains up-to-date details about the project design, work schedules, etc.
The development’s construction schedule on our website has been updated to reflect the current understanding by the City and the Coalition of what is expected over the next couple of years. This information will continue to be updated as that understanding evolves. Meanwhile, the monthly postings on the website provide more current information on issues and concerns related to the development.
Anticipated sea level rise has focused attention on the need to restore and maintain tidal wetlands and associated upland buffers. Tidal wetlands serve as nurseries for aquatic species, help abate flooding by absorbing runoff, and reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by storing carbon. The Coalition will continue to inform our community about the vital wetlands and inlets along the PSPR Peninsula, including the wetlands at the Quarry and the one at Loch Lomond Marina. In China Camp State Park, where sea level rise threatens the roadway and our only alternate to PSPR as an escape route, we are exploring how community safety interests and tidal wetland conservation interests can align to promote a solution that will meet both.
Disaster Preparedness Committee
This committee aims to: (1) encourage CERT training for residents of our communities on the Point San Pedro Road Peninsula, (2) serve as the connector among the Homeowner Associations representing the 2800 homes on the PSPR Peninsula, and (3) be the conduit with the County and City organizations which support the emergency preparation systems. Projects in 2017, which will continue into 2018, include contacting HOA organizations on the PSPR Peninsula to identify participants to join the Emergency Preparedness Coordinators to prepare for disasters. We hope to develop a list of active Ham radio operators in our combined HOA territories along the PSPR corridor, and publish the data with call signs/contact info to encourage and support this important alternate form of communication when we suffer a major disaster.
Marin County advises citizens to be prepared to take care of basic needs for 5 to 7 days. Some of our local neighborhoods have already organized, and organizing efforts have been launched in others. For more information about preparedness, 2-hour “Get Ready” training, or 18-hour CERT training, go to www.readymarin.org as well as the Disaster Prep section on the Coalition website.