Hot Topics



Want to know more about what is happening in Novato?  This is your guide to Hot Topics in Novato--check back here for regular updates on topics you want to know more about. The City will continue to address many topics and explore new opportunities that affect your quality of life.

SMART (Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit)

image of SMART trainSonoma-Marin Rail Transit (SMART) is coming to Novato in 2016 with two stations--one at San Marin/Atherton and the other at Hamilton. The City of Novato is coordinating efforts with SMART as they make improvements to their facilities to allow for passenger trains. More info on SMART and construction updates.

Quiet Zone information: Staff presentation to City Council on Sept. 25, 2012 and the related Powerpoint presentation; SMART info on Quiet Zones; City FAQ on Quiet Zones for Novato.

UPDATE: On Sept. 23, 2014, the City Council discussed Quiet Zones (video of meeting and associated staff report). The City supports the establishment of Quiet Zones, and is currently researching the extent of the City's liability if the zones were to be established. Staff plan to come back with more information be or before the end of March 2015.

SMART Station/platform design: On Sept. 9, 2014, the City Council discussed the design for two proposed SMART stations, and compiled the collective feedback from the public and Council and sent a response to SMART on Sept. 15, 2014.

On March 10, 2015, the City Council discussed two station design options and names for the two Novato stations. See staff report

CONSTRUCTION NEWS: From Nov. 2nd to Dec. 11th 2015, SMART will be doing some grinding to the rail to remove irregularities in preparation for passenger rail service in 2016. See news advisory for more information.

Proposed Downtown Novato SMART Station: On January 26, the City Council will be considering options for a proposed SMART station for Downtown Novato. Read more >> 
Council approved an initial phase of a Downtown SMART station.

Quiet Zone Update: On May 3, 2016, staff provided a Quiet Zone update to the City Council (video of presentation and PowerPoint presentation).

Redwood & Grant Transit Improvement Project

image of transit facilityThe Redwood and Grant Transit Improvement Project is a proposed redesign and reconstruction of the bus facility that lies within the median on Redwood Boulevard between Grant and De Long Avenues. The facility serves as a critical bus transfer facility in Marin County as well as the gateway to Downtown Novato. The purpose of the proposed renovation to this facility is to create better operational improvements for the transit service providers--Marin Transit and Golden Gate Transit, enhance passenger safety and security, and improve the surrounding area for pedestrian and bicycle access to this facility. Marin Transit is the project lead and is working with Golden Gate Transit and the City of Novato on this project in Downtown Novato.

There are currently 15 redwood trees at the project site, none of which are planned for removal.

For additional information on this project, please see the project factsheet and the Crossover Design factsheet. You can also visit the website that Marin Transit has prepared for this project at

A joint letter from Marin Transit and Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District with a summary of the project development is available here.

UPDATE: On August 25, 2015 at their regular meeting, the City Council approved the design of the bus facility, a CEQA exemption, and for the City Manager to negotiate an encroachment permit agreement. (Video of the meeting and PowerPoint Presentation.)

Landscape and Tree Preservation Plan: Marin Transit presented their landscape and tree preservation plan in detail at the City Council meeting on February 2, 2016. This meeting addressed an appeal filed regarding the City's Design Review Commission's approval of final design elements including landscaping and shelter building materials. Tree Fact Sheet >>

Project Update, February 2016

Hamilton Fields Sports Complex

image of Site LocationHamilton Air Force Base was decommissioned in 1974 and made available for redevelopment. The Hamilton Master Plan adopted by the City for a 414-acre planned mix-use community included the Hamilton Community Park designated for the former base landfill (Landfill 26) and adjacent former ammunition bunker area, comprising about 81 acres. The former landfill and buffer area was retained by the Army (48 acres), and adjacent property was deeded to the City of Novato by the federal government for recreational use.

The Hamilton Fields proposal entails development of the Army property (former landfill). There is no proposal for development of the City property, other than creation of an access road to the Hamilton Fileds project and maintenance levee to allow abandonment of the current Todd's Road, a portion of the Community Park and a Baylands interpretive center.



Hamilton Square (Main Gate) Townhomes

image of proposed Hamilton squareThompson Development, Inc. has proposed a 31-unit townhome project at 970 "C" Street, which is the northwest corner of Main Gate and "C" Street in the Hamilton neighborhood in Novato.

A gas station has been on the site. The site is required to be remediated in order to allow the development on the site for residential use. The state Regional Water Quality Control Board, state Department of Toxic Substances Control, and the federal Department of the Navy must approve the release of a land use covenant and deed restriction on the property in order to allow the site the be developed for a residential use.




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