Posted 3/22/18: Umbrella Group Monthly Meeting Notes from March 21, 2018

The Coalition meets monthly with the City of San Rafael along with two other umbrella groups, Federation of San Rafael Neighborhoods and Terra Linda Residents Association (formerly Coalition of North San Rafael), to discuss activities, concerns and/or issues that are not readily addressed directly with the appropriate City agencies or where there is concern about the City’s approach. Items are placed on the agenda by the City and/or the three umbrella groups. This provides the Coalition with an opportunity to raise issues of particular interest to residents of our area.

If you have any suggestions regarding potential topics for these meetings, we urge you to let us know via the Coalition Board contact form. These meetings are open to the general public and are held the third Wednesday of each month at 6:00pm in the large meeting room, 2nd floor, City Hall.

Items discussed were:

[NOTE: Councilman John Gamblin led the meeting and was later joined by Mayor Gary Phillips.]

District Elections:  Because of mandatory deadlines, the Council must vote on a map at the April 2nd Council Meeting in order to have a second reading at the April 16th Council Meeting.  In a few days new maps will be posted on the City District Elections website (Note: at the time of this posting, two of the new maps had yet to be put on that website).  The five maps under consideration will be grouped under focus maps, but all other submitted maps will still be available.  Districts North and South will be on the ballot in 2020 and Districts East and West will be on the ballot in 2022.

Flooding of the Roadway in China Camp:  This topic was only briefly covered. The presenter was unable to attend the meeting because of the very recent change in day and time of this meeting.  It was pointed out that it is important to keep this roadway open because it is needed by the fire department.  It is also needed for emergency exit by San Pedro Road residents.  Additionally adjustments are desirable to keep the wetlands healthy.

SB827/SB828:  The City has opposed SB827, a bill that takes away local control and allows very high buildings near transit centers, including bus stops that have scheduled stops every 15 minutes or more frequently.  The similar SB828 will probably also be opposed.  Action on this legislation is expected to occur in mid to late summer.

City Emergency Operations Manager:  Interviews are ongoing and it is expected that an offer will be made to a candidate in a couple of weeks.

Neighborhood Signage:  A sample drawing for a sign for Rafael Highlands was presented along with a request for a mechanism to allow neighborhoods who would like to create signs to group together to go through the approval process and keep costs down.  The mayor was receptive to this idea.

BioMarin Room Reservations: The  BioMarin complex was granted additional height allowances with the stipulation that they make meetings rooms and parking available for public use.  Lately, they have been saying that any groups meeting there must provide property and liability insurance.  It was suggested that the City could provide umbrella coverage. There will be more information as this is worked out.

Gerstle Park Sidewalk Solutions Injunction: Since this involves an ongoing legal matter it could not be discussed.


Flooding: Jeff Rhoads presented information on the Resilient By Design Flood Fair that will be held on Saturday March 24 from 11 am to 4 pm at Pickleweed Park. There will be informative displays and opportunities to tell what flooding means to individuals. The exhibits will also be available on Sunday March 25 from 10-6 but will not be staffed.  More information can be found at

Fire Danger:  The Mayor announced that plans are being made for a fire awareness meeting with discussion of ways to address concerns.  The date and time will be announced as soon as it is set.