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Recap of 12/5 City Council Meeting

Post Date:12/08/2017 12:00 PM

** (note: following are highlights only; for more detailed information, please see meeting minutes)

CEREMONIAL MATTERS/PRESENTATIONS - These items were cancelled and will be rescheduled for a future meeting.

Presentation: Morgan Byers, Mayor for a Day

Proclamation: Recognizing the Hamilton SMART Volunteers for Improving the Landscape


COUNCILMEMBER/CITY MANAGER REPORTS - Council approved agendizing both items for a future meeting.

Proposed Agenda Item - Changing our Council meetings to 2 times per month

Request to agendize for a future meeting a discussion on changing the schedule of meetings to 2 meetings per month – preferably the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month as we know that the school district has their meetings on the 1st and 3rd Monday. Meeting dates to change in January and then going forward.

Proposed Agenda Item - Novato Service Corps

Request to agendize for a future meeting in January a Council discussion on a program to build upon our summer internship program for high school students, by exploring ways to pilot a small program this year that provides paid summer and/or year-long service opportunities with the city for young people who graduate from a high school in Novato and wish to serve. A program of this type would provide great value to our citizens, set an example for providing service opportunities for young people, and honor Novato's deep history of service.


CONSENT CALENDAR - Council approved the items below with the following exceptions - Item 2 was pulled and has been placed on the December 12, 2017 Council meeting agenda.

Item 1 - Waive Reading and Authorize Introductions and/or Adoptions of Ordinances by Title Only

This is a standard procedural action to waive any first reading of an ordinance on this agenda, so that the City Council does not have to read the ordinance in its entirety, only the ordinance's title.

Item 2 - Adopt a resolution accepting the results of the Canvass of Election Returns of the Local District Election held on November 7, 2017 and declaring the results thereof (This item was pulled and has been placed on the December 12, 2017 Council meeting agenda)

Item 3 - Award the construction contract for the Pedestrian Access to Transit & Crosswalk Improvements, CIP Project Number 18-002 for the base bid in the total amount of $261,625.90 to DC Electric Group Inc. as the lowest responsible bidder submitting the lowest responsive bid, and authorizing the City Manager to execute the contract

Item 4 - Adopt a resolution accepting a $97,000 Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), revising appropriations and revenues to recognize the grant funding from OTS, and authorizing the Police Department to utilize the grant to continue its education and enforcement of traffic related laws in an attempt to reduce injury and fatal traffic collisions

Item 5 - Adopt a resolution authorizing the transfer of the deposited surety claim settlement check in the amount of $97,400.83 from the Restricted Revenue Fund to the Bahia Mini Parks Improvements Project, CIP Project No. 15-004 for completion of the remaining work



Council held a public hearing to introduce an ordinance amending the Novato Municipal Code (Chapter XIX - Zoning Sections 19.20, 19.30, 19.34, and 19.60) to revise the standards and requirements applied to the development of accessory dwelling units and junior accessory dwelling units as required for consistency with new California law and finding the amendments to be exempt from the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15282(h).

In 2016, California Assembly Bill 2299, Assembly Bill 2406 and State Senate Bill 1069 were signed into law providing new legislation directing how local agencies can regulate accessory dwelling units (also known as “second units”) and junior accessory dwelling units. The combined bills took effect in 2017 and are codified in California Government Code Sections 65852.2 and 65852.22.


Council received a presentation and held a public hearing introducing an ordinance amending the Atherton Ranch Master Plan, adopted a resolution amending the Atherton Ranch Precise Development Plan and addressing Design Review, adopted a resolution approving a vesting tentative map, adopted a resolution vacating a public drainage easement, and adopted a resolution adopting a mitigated negative declaration pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act for Atherton Place, a mixed-use development comprised of 50 townhome-style residential condominiums and 1,340 square-feet of retail space.

Prado Group submitted applications to develop Atherton Place, including requests to approve development entitlements to allow the construction and operation of a mixed-use project consisting of 50 townhome-style residential condominiums and 1,340 square-feet of retail space. This project is proposed on a 3.6-acre parcel that is part of the Atherton Ranch Master Plan area.

The Applicant requested approval of two site design options. The primary site design option includes the modification and improvement of an undeveloped private park easement held by the Atherton Ranch Home Owners’ Association. The alternative site design option eliminates all encroachments in and improvements to the private park easement and places an open rail fence at the boundary of the easement to delineate the limits of the outdoor space available to future residents of the project. Implementation of the primary site design is contingent upon agreement being reached between the Applicant and the Atherton Ranch Home Owners’ Association regarding private park easement. Project information is available at


Council held a public hearing and adopted an urgency ordinance extending a temporary moratorium on the outdoor and indoor cultivation of medicinal cannabis, except under certain circumstances, and on commercial cannabis activities except for CB Labs, Liposome Formulations and deliveries of medicinal cannabis from out-of-City businesses (under certain conditions), and made findings that the adoption of said ordinance is exempt under CEQA pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15061, among other provisions.

At their meeting on November 14, 2017,  Council held a public hearing, considered and adopted Ordinance No. 1629, an urgency ordinance imposing a moratorium on (i) all outdoor and indoor cultivation of medicinal cannabis, except for the indoor cultivation of up to 6 cannabis plants, and (ii) all commercial cannabis activities, except for CB Labs, Liposome Formulations, and deliveries of medicinal cannabis by businesses which are: 1) located outside of the City; and 2) either existing at the time of the ordinance adoption, or are one of not more than ten (10) businesses that commence operations after the date of the adoption of the ordinance. Ordinance No. 1629 will remain in effect for a 45-day period, or until midnight on December 29, 2017.

At the November 14 meeting, the Council was informed that as the only available meeting for the moratorium to be extended between that date and the date that the ordinance would expire was the date of December 5, 2017, staff anticipated requesting that the Council consider adopting an extension to the moratorium ordinance for a period of 10 months and 15 days. During such time as the 10 month 15-day extension would be in effect, the City would study, analyze, and engage the public in the process of establishing permanent zoning regulations for commercial cannabis activities and cannabis cultivation.


Council received a presentation and held a public hearing for the ordering of prohibition of excavation in the traveled way for the Measure A Group 10 Pavement Rehabilitation project, CIP No. 18-001 and Vineyard Road Improvements project, CIP No. 15-017, pursuant to Chapter 15-2.54 of the City of Novato Municipal Code, and adopted a resolution that overrules all protests and prohibits excavation upon final completion of the paving in the traveled way of the following streets:

  1. Bel Marin Keys Blvd from Nave Drive to 200 ft north of Digital Drive
  2. Bolling Drive from Nave Drive to Marin Valley Drive
  3. Nave Drive from Alameda Del Prado to Bel Marin Keys Blvd
  4. Vineyard Road from Wilson Avenue to Sutro Avenue

The City of Novato is currently working on the plans to rehabilitate the traveled way of the streets listed above. Upon completion of the rehabilitation projects, the City desires to control the unwarranted excavation of newly paved streets by the passage of a resolution to prohibit excavation for a period of five years following completion of the rehabilitation work for those streets listed. The streets included in the proposed prohibition are included in CIP projects scheduled for construction in Spring/Summer 2018.



Council received a presentation and introduced an ordinance amending Section 7-8 of the Novato Municipal Code related to the sale of tobacco and tobacco-related products in the City and delaying portions of enforcement and implementation of the Ordinance, and made findings that adoption thereof is categorically exempt from the requirements of the California Environment Quality Act (CEQA) pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15061(b)(3) and 15308.

Per Council direction, staff has worked over the last several months, in concert with the Marin County Tobacco Related Disease Control Program staff, to establish a Tobacco Retail License (TRL) Ordinance that would ultimately restrict youth access to tobacco and tobacco products. The TRL creates an enforcement mechanism for revoking a retailer’s ability to sell tobacco products that target youth and for selling to minors. The Council adopted the City’s TRL on January 31, 2017.

After meeting with retailers in March 2017, staff from the City and Marin County’s Tobacco Related Disease Control Program agreed to offer to the Council two amendments to the adopted ordinance. These amendments concern an age restriction on sellers and adjusting the severity of the penalty for a first violation of the ordinance. Based on the comments of the tobacco retailers and the delay in formation of the implementation tasks, staff has drafted proposed amendments to the TRL Ordinance for Council consideration. The amendments would result in the TRL Ordinance taking effect on January 1, 2019, except Section 7-8.3,  which prohibits pharmacies from selling tobacco. The prohibition of pharmacies from selling tobacco would remain effective January 1, 2018.


Council received a presentation and adopted a resolution approving a license agreement for the use of the HUD parcel (APN: 157-970-07) and structure (816 State Access Road) for activities of the Downtown Streets Team, including the use and storage of mobile showers. Council directed staff and Downtown Streets Team to return by June 30, 2018 with an evaluation of the program which will include success metrics and a formal check-in with Homeward Bound of Marin. Additionally, staff will return to Council if an extension of the license agreement is requested.

In November 2016, the City entered into an agreement with the Downtown Streets Team (DST) to provide support services to the City’s unsheltered population (Team Members). These services include assistance with securing permanent employment through job search classes, personalized job search support, employment development, goal-setting workshops, management training workshops, developing internship placements, developing mentor opportunities, providing business development outreach to local employers, and case management support for employment-related barriers. Additionally, DST connects its Team Members to community programs and services for housing, medical, and other individual needs. As part of this agreement, DST Team Members assist the City with maintenance and support tasks including clean-up of creeks, medians, Downtown streets, and clean-up prior to and following special events.

On June 13, 2017, the City of San Rafael’s Director of Homeless Planning & Outreach, Andrew Hening presented Marin Mobile Care’s business plan detailing a phased roll-out of a countywide pilot mobile shower program. Marin Mobile Care proposed the use of the HUD parcel as it is proximate to its operations at 816 State Access Road and would assist the homeless population who currently reside in the Hamilton area three weekdays (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday), from 5:30-9a.m. 


Council approved an agreement and release of claims between CB Labs Novato, LLC, and City of Novato setting forth conditions for operation of cannabis testing laboratory at 1615 hill road and making findings that same is exempt under CEQA pursuant to CEQA guidelines sections 15061(b)(3) and 15301.

At the Council’s November 14, 2017 meeting, it held a public hearing, considered and adopted Ordinance No. 1629, an urgency ordinance imposing a moratorium on (i) all outdoor and indoor cultivation of medicinal cannabis, except for the indoor cultivation of up to 6 cannabis plants, and (ii) all commercial cannabis activities, except for CB Labs and Liposome Formulations. CB Labs is a cannabis testing laboratory that began operating at 1615 Hill Road Suites 9 and 10 on August 14, 2015, without disclosing on its business license application that it primarily tests cannabis products. Ordinance No. 1629 provided that CB Labs’ exemption from the moratorium was contingent upon CB Labs entering into an agreement with the City which would require state licensure of the testing laboratory, security conditions, fees and appropriate payments be made to the City, and appropriate auditing measures, among any other conditions that the City would consider necessary and acceptable.


Reorganize the Council pursuant to the Local District Election held on November 7, 2017. (This item was pulled and has been placed on the December 12, 2017 Council meeting agenda.)


Video of meeting

Upcoming meeting: Tuesday, December 12 at 6pm (*This meeting will be held at the Novato Unified School District at 1015 7th Street)

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