Posted 12/5/16: Summary of Coalition 2016 Accomplishments and 2017 Goals

The Coalition’s 2016 Accomplishments and 2017 Goals

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 2017. This Coalition website is an excellent source of in-depth as well as current information on all the work of the Coalition and our committees, so please visit it often. We also urge you to sign up for our email and mail list, if you have not already done so. To sign up, or to contact the Coalition Board or a specific committee, the appropriate form can be found under the “Contact Us” menu on the Coalition website. If you are not sure you are on our list, just fill out the sign-up form and submit it. If you are already on our list, the “submit” will respond accordingly. We encourage you to spread the word to your neighbors to sign up, too!

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 2016 the Roadway Committee was actively involved in the following, and will continue these efforts in 2017:

Roadway Medians

  • 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 assessment

Roadway Paving

  • Worked with City staff on the successful completion of Phase II of PSPR Roadway Repaving Project (Quarry Driveway to Biscayne Drive)

Point San Pedro Road Traffic and Safety Issues

  • Worked with Neighborhood Homeowners Associations along Point San Pedro Road to create a Working Group to examine and identify traffic and safety issues on PSPR and to work with City and County staff on ways to address those issues.
  • Worked with the San Pedro School representatives (School District Board Member, School Principle, teachers, and school volunteers) to create a Working Group to examine and identify traffic and safety issues on PSPR that impact the School and to work with City and County staff on ways to address those issues.
  • Worked with City and County staff on implementation new speed limits on PSPR that allowed the City and County to enforce speed limits on PSPR

Public Transit Serving East San Rafael

  • Met with Marin Transit staff to explore feasibility of some form of public transit.
  • Worked with Marin Transit staff on developing and conducting an on-line survey to determine the specific transit needs of area residents, employees and schools in East San Rafael.
  • Worked with Marin Transit to identify public transit options to serve the identified needs of East San Rafael residents.

Traffic Congestion Mitigation 

  • Monitored City’s planning efforts to mitigate Downtown traffic related to the scheduled start of SMART as it will impact East San Rafael residents.
  • Created an HOA Downtown Traffic Mitigation Working Group to work with City staff on the traffic issues affecting East San Rafael residents in this congested area and will identify possible solutions to address those issues

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 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 operating restrictions negotiated by the Coalition when the Quarry 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 if those operating constraints are sufficient for high production levels.

One significant Quarry-related event occurring in 2016 was a Marin County Superior Court decision in September that invalidated a previous decision by the Marin County Board of Supervisors to approve 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 decision, so we will need to wait for the appellate court to consider the case before we can be sure of the final outcome.  To be clear, the Coalition has no objection to the recycling of asphalt for road construction purposes.  For several reasons, however, including its precedential effect, the Coalition objects to what amounts to 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 will now need to wait for the appellate court to issue its decision.  More background on this issue can be found at the Quarry Operating Amendment page on this website. The full text of the Court ruling can be found here.

As in recent years, the Quarry Committee 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 again delayed due to environmental concerns, and is not expected to resume in 2017.  As further information becomes available, we will try to keep you informed through our website and email list.

Loch Lomond Marina–The Strand:

During 2016, 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 the Head of the Community Development Department, and representatives from the Department of Public Works Department. 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.

The development’s construction schedule on our website has very recently been updated to reflect the current understanding by the City and our Coalition of what is expected over the next couple of years. This will continue to be updated as that understanding evolves.

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 Loch Lomond Marina.

Disaster Preparedness:

 The Disaster Preparedness Committee has four goals: Organize for CERT training for our communities on the Pt. San Pedro Corridor, serve as the connector among the Homeowners Associations representing the 2800 homes on the Corridor, and to be the conduit with the County and City organizations, which support the emergency preparation systems.  Projects in 2016, which will continue into 2017:

  • Contact HOA organizations on the Pt. San Pedro Road Corridor to identify participants to join the Emergency Preparedness Coordinators to prepare for disasters.
  • Develop a radio communication protocol to communicate via radio to check call signs for the associations on the corridor
  • 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 readymarin.org as well as the Disaster Prep section on the Coalition website.