The Coalition and its various committees have been very active this past year on issues of interest and concern to our residents. These activities will continue throughout 2016, as well. Our website is an excellent source of in-depth as well as current information on all the work of the Coalition and our committees, so bookmark it and visit it often. We also urge you to sign up for our email and mail list, if you have not already done so. We encourage you to spread the word to your neighbors to sign up, too! You can contact the Board or any specific committee chair using the Contact Us dropdown menu on the website.
Here is a summary of many of the Coalition activities and plans:
Pt. San Pedro Roadway: 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. The Roadway Committee works with the appropriate government agencies and local businesses to develop recommendations that can be implemented to address problems and issues. During 2015, The Roadway Committee was actively involved in the following, and will continue these efforts in 2016:
- Held quarterly meetings with City staff on median maintenance issues.
- Represented area residents in discussions with City staff on developing recommendations on the amount of the median maintenance assessment.
- Worked with City staff on the implementation of Phase II of PSPR Repaving Project (Pt. San Pedro Road between the quarry entrance and Biscayne Drive).
- Monitor the repaving that will be required as a result of the Village at Loch Lomond Marina construction.
- Speed Limit & Enforcement
- Coordinated and co-sponsored with City and County an informational meeting on proposed PSPR speed limit increases and related enforcement proposal.
- Worked with City and County staff on traffic calming proposals for PSPR.
- Public Transit
- Met with Marin Transit staff to explore feasibility of some form of public transit to serve East San Rafael.
- Worked with Marin Transit staff on developing a survey to determine the specific transit needs of residents in East San Rafael.
- Traffic Congestion Mitigation
- Monitored City’s planning efforts to mitigate Downtown traffic related to the scheduled start of SMART in late 2016 as it will impact east San Rafael residents.
San Rafael Rock Quarry (SRRQ): 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 mitigations. Since they were imposed on the quarry, these mitigations have resulted in a significantly reduced quarry-related impact on neighboring communities.
The quarry operates under a non-conforming use permit, and as a result, is prohibited by law from expanding operations. The Coalition has contested a 2013 decision by the Marin County Board of Supervisors, and a recent extension of that decision, to allow the Quarry to recycle asphalt as an expansion of its asphalt production operation. Although the Coalition does not object specifically to recycling, we were compelled to file an action in court to ensure that the quarry is prohibited from expanding its operations in violation of its non-conforming use status. That suit is ongoing and the Coalition appreciates your financial support to aid us in our ongoing litigation expenses.
The Coalition continues to meet periodically with the County to discuss how the Quarry is otherwise meeting its permit obligations. Reclamation work planned for this past summer and fall was delayed due to environmental concerns, though that work is expected to get underway next summer. As further information becomes available, we will try to keep you informed through our website and email list.
Loch Lomond Marina: During 2015, the Loch Lomond Marina Committee continued to monitor the development at The Village (aka The Strand) at Loch Lomond Marina 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 Paul Jensen, Head of the Community Development Department, and representatives from the Department of Public Works. 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, public hearings. etc.
Disaster Preparedness: Recent fires and earthquake activity are reminders that we must all be prepared for sudden emergencies. Predicted historic, El Niño-related storms this winter present other serious hazards to local residents. Marin County advises citizens to be prepared to take care of basic needs for 5 to 7 days. Other agencies now recommend 7 to 10 days or longer. Some of our local neighborhoods have already organized, and organizing efforts have been launched in others. The Disaster Prep Committee is interested in assisting any neighborhood within the Coalition’s area to develop their disaster preparedness plan.
Our Committee is in contact with many groups, HOAs, and City/County officials. We will work in 2016 to expand preparedness activities in Coalition areas, support and help coordinate local preparedness groups, and help facilitate relations between local groups and with private / municipal resources. You are encouraged to get involved with a neighborhood or HOA preparedness group or to start one. 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.
Wetlands: 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 informing and educating our community about the vital wetlands and inlets along the Pt. San Pedro Road corridor, including the wetlands at the SRRQ and the one at the Village at Loch Lomond Marina. The latter is undergoing wetlands restoration as part of that development’s permits.