Friday, July 18, 2008

Blog #20 - Town Council Actions - July 16, 2008

The Town Council met on July 16th and took the following actions:

1. Appointed Mallory Geitheim to the Design Review Board. Congratulations to Mallory.

2. Received a report from Pam Gibson, the Town's Economic Sustainability Consultant on the Town's Economic Sustainability DRAFT Plan. After Pam gave her presentation public comment was taken. The DRAFT Plan recommends five goals and strategies to achieve the goals:

GOAL ONE: Assist and promote business retention and expansion so existing businesses can be successful and remain in the community.
STRATEGY ONE: Provide programs and incentives for improving the physical appearance of existing businesses and their environment
STRATEGY TWO: Market existing businesses to residents through promotions and activities that encourage shopping, dining and conducting business in the local area
STRATEGY THREE: Market existing businesses to visitors through special events that encourage a longer stay in Fairfax by celebrating those elements that make Fairfax special.
STRATEGY FOUR: Encourage entrepreneurship through the “business gardening” approach to retention and expansion.

GOAL TWO: Target and attract new businesses that complement those that are already in Fairfax, and are compatible with “community character.”
STRATEGY ONE: Identify businesses that might occupy vacant spaces and develop marketing techniques to attract them to Fairfax.
STRATEGY TWO: Inventory other infrastructure needs to determine adequacy for business attraction.

GOAL THREE: Enhance the image of Fairfax as “business friendly”
STRATEGY ONE: Create a formal business sustainability partnership between the Town of Fairfax and the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce
STRATEGY TWO: Maintain and provide a list of financial resources available to businesses that are starting, or existing and in need of expansion or retention assistance.
STRATEGY THREE: Establish business recognition programs to show appreciation for businesses in the community.

GOAL FOUR: Support and pursue economic enterprises that maintain or improve the environment.
STRATEGY ONE: Recognize and assist businesses with their environmental protection and pollution prevention efforts.
STRATEGY TWO: Develop a program of incentives for those who are incorporating green building into new construction or renovations and find ways to use these methods for Town projects
STRATEGY THREE: Provide for transportation alternatives to help air quality so that those who are able to move around the Town without cars can do so

GOAL FIVE: Investigate the feasibility of forming a Redevelopment Agency to sustain the economy in the downtown core
STRATEGY ONE: Hire a consultant to review the downtown and determine if there is enough “legally-defined-blight” to warrant the formation of a redevelopment agency.
STRATEGY TWO: Keep communication lines open so community is continually informed
STRATEGY THREE: Identify other sources of funding for the downtown improvements, if redevelopment agency formation is determined not to be the best option

The Town Council will hear more public comment and consider adopting the Economic Sustainability Plan at the August 6th Town Council meeting.

3. Authorized issuance of a Request for Proposals for Non-motorized Transportation Pilot Program (NTPP) Fairfax-San Rafael Bicycle Connector Study

4. Authorized issuance of a Request for Proposals for a NTPP Parkade Circulation Study

5. Authorizated the release of plans and specifications for 300 Olema Road – Fairfax Creek Restoration Project

6. Adopted Resolution No. 2562 Urging the State of California to Repeal the Local Preemption Ban which Prohibits Local Jurisdictions from Banning Pesticides throughout their City and County Limits

7. Conducted a public hearing on the Mixed Use Overlay Zone and the proposed mitigated negative declaration (CEQA) for the Mixed Use Overlay Zone. There was considerable public testimony on both issues and the Town Council has schedule a special Town Council Meeting on September 27th at 9 AM to discuss the Mixed Use Overlay Zone that is proposed.

8. Transferred $29, 966 from the General Fund to the Open Space Fund for the purpose of acquiring future open space in the Town of Fairfax.

The next Town Council meeting is August 6th at 7:30 PM.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Blog #19 Fire Season Upon Us

The Ross Valley Fire Department reminds us all that the fire season is already upon us. It is a good time to evaluate your property against the threat of wild land fires. Our climate and topography conspire to promote summer fires.

You can assist the Ross Valley Fire Department and yourself by completing the following:

  1. Clear all flammable vegetation a minimum of 30 feet away from structures
  2. Clean all needles and leaves from the roof, eaves, and rain gutters
  3. Trim tree limbs within 10 feet of a chimney and trim all dead limbs hanging over your home or garage
  4. Cover your chimney outlet or flue with a spark-arresting 1/2 inch mesh screen
  5. Stack firewood at least 30 feet from buildings, fences, or other combustible materials
  6. Clear all vegetation and other flammables from under decks or patios
  7. Trim all tree branches up to 15 feet to assure fire-engine clearance

If you would like to schedule an inspection or would like more information call the Ross Valley Fire Department at 258-4686.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Blog #18 - Town Council Actions - July 2nd Meeting

The Town Council met on July 2nd for its regular meeting and took the following actions:

1. The meeting started at 7 PM and the entire audience at the Council Meeting was invited to participate in the reading of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. It was a great ceremony and a wonderful reminder of how fortunate we are to live in a country that allows for freedoms and a democratic form of government.

2. The Council Appointed Matthew Jaspering to the Fairfax Youth Commission. Matthew is a junior at Sir Francis Drake High Schoool and is a welcomed addition to the Youth Commission.

3. The Council passed a resolution creating an Affordable Housing Committee. The purpose of the Committee is to advise the Council on matters relating to affordable housing and provide professional expertise in the complex area of affordable housing. If you are interested in applying please see the town's webpage for more information or drop by Town Hall for an application.

4. A Resolution promoting voluntary water conservation was approved by the Council. A key point of the resolution encourages business owners to only serve water to patrons when requested. The Resolution also encourages residents to conserve water. According to Marin Municipal Water Conservation District Water Conservation Manager Mr. Carney the three most wasteful water appliances in our homes are toilets, washing machines and our irrgation systems. Low flow toilets are easy to find and front loading washing machines use less than half the water of conventional washing machines.

5. The Town has hired Wulff, Hansen and Company to assit the Town in refinancing the 2000 Measure K Bonds. The reason for this decision is that when the bonds were issued in 2000 they were issued at an interest rate that is about 3% higher than the current rates. The Council be asked to make a decision about what to do with the savings estimated to be between $150K-$200K. There are basically three options for the Council. One is to refind the entire amount to taxpayers. The other is to refund part of the money to taxpayers and put the remaining monies back into Measure K projects. The other option is to put all the savings into more Measure K projects.

6. The Clean Renewable Energy Bonds were approved in the amount of $249,000. The bonds will be used for the installation of solar panels on the Pavalion which will power the Pavalion, Town Hall, the Youth Center, Police Station and the Fire Station. The Town is anxious to get the solar panels installed so we can walk the talk of a sustainable Town and reduce our energy bills.