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Marin County Board of Supervisors: Previews and Reviews

A review at the highlights of the past week's supervisors' meeting and a look ahead at the April 3 meeting agenda.

Upcoming Items

The next Board meeting is April 3rd. Check out the Cyberagenda for copies of these reports and others.

1.  Next Steps in Civic Center World Heritage Nomination to be Considered

On July 13, 2011, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced he would propose that a grouping of 11 Frank Lloyd Wright designed properties, including the Marin County Civic Center, be recommended for nomination to the United Nations World Heritage List. The list recognizes the most significant cultural and natural treasures in the world and currently includes only 21 sites in the United States.  The Board will consider authorizing a memorandum of understanding with the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy (an international preservation agency based in Chicago) in order to coordinate the next phases of the application process. 

Need more info?  See the full report

Contact:  David Speer, Facilities Planning Manager at dspeer@marincounty.org

2.  Revised  FEMA flood Insurance Rate Maps to be Reviewed

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is responsible for the preparation of Flood Insurance Rate Maps for the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA is now proposing revised maps for the Ross Valley and Mill Valley watershed areas, which will include changes in flood risk classification for many property owners and will bring some properties into the Special Flood Hazard Area. If these changes are adopted, flood insurance will be required for federally backed home loans in these areas and premiums will likely increase for many other property owners who were previously not included in Special Flood Hazard Areas.  Staff is recommending that the Board authorize distribution of letters to cities, towns, and homeowners in affected areas detailing where these draft maps can be viewed and how comments can be submitted to FEMA prior to finalization of the maps.  

Need more info? See the full report

Contact: Michel Jeremias, Associate Civil Engineer at mjeremias@marincounty.org

3.  Board to Consider Foreclosure Proceedings for a Below Market Rate Home

A Below Market Rate Homeownership Program (BMR) 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath home in Marin City is currently in foreclosure.  Staff will be asking the Board to consider two potential options:  1) allowing the unit to go into foreclosure, in which case the unit would be lost from the BMR program; or 2) Bid at the foreclosure sale with the intent of bidding on the property at a lower cost than the lender currently demands for clear title to the property. 

Need more info?  Please see the full report

Contact: Stacey Laumann, Planner at slaumann@marincounty.org

4.  Social Media Policy to be Reviewed 

The rise of social media and mobile devices has raised public expectations for immediate access to information as well as opportunities for feedback and input. Over the past 12 months, County staff have investigated the best means of effectively harnessing the power of social media to better serve the community. As part of these efforts, staff will be asking the Board to adopt a social media policy and playbook. The policy provides procedures for County departments in administering official County-sponsored social media sites, and the playbook serves as a how-to guide for staff interested in using social media to communicate with the public.  This item was continued from the Board meeting of March 27th.

Need more info?  See the full report or policy/playbook.

Contact: Jacalyn Mah, Management & Budget Analyst, at jmah@marincounty.org

5.  Organic Certification Process to be Amended

The Department of Agriculture/Weights and Measures is recommending changes to the ordinance that regulates how organic products are certified in Marin County.  Key changes include making direct references to the National Organic Program regulations and allowing fees to be amended by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.  By directly referencing the federal program, interested parties will have access to the most current and accurate information regarding the National Organic Program requirements

Need more info? See the full report

Contact: Stefan Parnay, Deputy Agricultural Commissioner at sparnay@marincounty.org

6.  Board One Step Closer to Eliminating Library Fee

The Library is proposing to eliminate the 50-cent fee it charges to reserve library materials.  This proposed change would bring the Marin County Free Library’s fee schedule in line with the other libraries throughout Marin County that make up the consortium known as MARINet. A recent study also found that although this change could result in the loss of up to $41,000 in annual revenues, this will be fully off-set by savings in staff that would otherwise be expended posting and collecting the fees.   The Board held the first reading of the ordinance on March 27; at this hearing, staff is requesting adoption.

Need more info? See the full report

Contact: Damon Hill, Library Services Manager at ddhill@marincounty.org

7.  Appointments to be Made for Several Boards and Commissions

The Board will be considering appointments for the following boards and commissions:   

Need more info? 

Contact: Patrice Stancato, Deputy Clerk at pstancato@marincounty.org

8.   Employee of the Month to be Honored

The Board will be honoring Dana Armanino as the County’s Employee of the Month.  Dana is a Planner with the Community Development Agency’s Sustainability Team. Dana works on a wide range of environmental programs including the County’s Energy Watch Partnership where she provides technical assistance in implementing solar and other energy efficiency upgrades. Dana also   coordinates the County’s Green Business Program which recently certified its 405th business. Her contributions to the County’s commitment to clean energy can also be seen by the roof-top solar installations and the wind energy conversion system on the Civic Center campus.

Need more info? 
Contact: Omar Peña, Planner at opena@marincounty.org 

9.  Appeal of Grady Ranch/Big Rock Ranch Project to be Heard

In the afternoon, the Board will hear the appeal from the Lucas Valley Estates Homeowners Association of the Planning Commission’s decisions approve the Grady Ranch Precise Development Plan and certify the Final Supplement to the Master Plan Final Environmental Impact Report.  The project involves George Lucas’ proposed construction of a digital media production facility, including a new office building, film production studio, and other associated structures on a property located on Lucas Valley Road.

Need more info? See the full report
Contact: Neil Osborne, Planner at nosborne@marincounty.org 

Wrap Up

What happened at the last Board of Supervisors meeting on March 27th: 

10.Closing County Public Health Labs To Be Further Investigated

After much public comment, the Board asked staff to conduct further review of a proposal to close most Marin County Public Health Lab services and move towards a regional Public Health Laboratory model.  A significant decline in the workload of the Marin County Public Health Laboratory in San Rafael caused the County to analyze the feasibility of other models to provide these services. If the County were to partner with a regional laboratory, lab services would be retained and in some respects enhanced, and an estimated $300,000 per year would be redirected to safety net services.

Need more info? See the full report

Contact: Shelagh Stewart-Chung, Executive Secretary, Health and Human Services at (415) 473-6924 orsstewartchung@marincounty.org

11.Social Media Policy Scheduled for April 3rd Board Meeting

The rise of social media and mobile devices has raised public expectations for immediate access to information as well as opportunities for feedback and input. Over the past 12 months, County staff has investigated the best means of effectively harnessing the power of social media to better serve the community. As part of these efforts, staff will be asking the Board to adopt a social media policy and playbook. The policy provides procedures for County departments in administering official County-sponsored social media sites, and the playbook serves as a how-to guide for staff interested in using social media to communicate with the public.  

Need more info? See the full report or policy/playbook.

Contact: Jacalyn Mah, Management and Budget Analyst, County Administrator's Office at jmah@marincounty.org

12. Board Signals Interest in Eliminating County Library Fee

The Board conducted its first reading of an ordinance repealing a 50-cent fee that the Marin County Free Library was charging to reserve library materials.  This change would bring the Marin County Free Library’s fee schedule in line with the other libraries throughout Marin County that make up the consortium known as MARINet. A recent study also found that although this change could result in the loss of up to $41,000 in annual revenues, this will be fully off-set by savings in staff time that would otherwise be expended posting and collecting the fees.  

Need more info? See the full report.

Contact: Damon Hill, Library Services Manager, Marin County Free Library at ddhill@marincounty.org.

 

13.Boards and Commissions See Familiar Faces In Their (New) Appointees

The Board congratulates the appointees approved for the following County boards and commissions: 

County Service Area (CSA) #20 – Indian Valley/Dominga Canyon advises Parks and Open Space staff and the Board on all matters relating to projects and programs in this area. Vivian Poole was reappointed.

The Fish and Wildlife Commission advises the Board on all matters pertaining to fish and game propagation, habitat and conservation.  Brad Stompe was reappointed for a 2-year term.

Marin County departments have an important role in minimizing pollutants at county facilities. The county's Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program helps reduce pesticide use and protect the health of the public and environment.  Marin County Parks is responsible for managing the IPM program. The Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Commission reappointed Dave Phelps to District 1 and Nanette Londeree to District 5.

The Strawberry Design Review Board (SDRB) serves as an advisory and resource body and liaison to the Board of Supervisors, the Community Development Agency, the Planning Commission and the Strawberry community.  Negissa Araghi was reappointed for a 3-year term.

Need more info?

Contact: Patrice Stancato, Deputy Clerk, Board of Supervisors at pstancato@marincounty.org.

14. Marin's Coastline Awash with Attention:  Local Coastal Program Update, Workshop

Originally certified in 1980 and 1981, the Marin County Local Coastal Program (LCP) had gone nearly thirty years without a comprehensive update when Community Development Agency (CDA) staff began the amendment process in 2008. At this second workshop, CDA staff presented key points related to the Natural Systems and Agriculture Element, as well as the Chapters on Public Coastal Access, and Parks, Recreation, and Visitor-Serving Uses. 

Agriculture is one of Marin’s top 10 industries.  The Board reaffirmed that making an allowance for intergenerational agricultural families is an interest shared by both the Coastal Commission and the County. Diversification of Marin’s agricultural community and allowances for Bed & Breakfast locations and Homestays (which provide dinner) also need to be balanced.  The areas of focus in the LCP are Tomales Bay, Inverness, Bolinas, Stinson Beach, and portions of Muir Beach.  Anticipating climate change is another issue the Board will look at more carefully.  

The first workshop was held March 20th, 2012.  The continued process of approving the amendments will be followed by three public hearings on May 22nd, August 7th, and September 18th, 2012.

Need more info? See the full report.

Contact: Jack Liebster, Principal Planner, Community Development Agency at jliebster@marincounty.org.

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