Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Blog #11 Fairfax Has A Lot to Offer in April


The Fairfax Documentary Film Festival kicks off its 10th year on April 3rd beginning at 7:30 PM. The Festival will take place at the Fairfax Theatre on Broadway. You can buy tickets on-line or at Fairfax Theatre. For more information about tickets call the Fairfax Theatre at 453-5444.


The first ever Spring Family Swap Meet will take place on April 4th in the Fairfax Pavilion from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM. This new event has been created to invite families throughout the Ross Valley to bring their children's clothing and kids gear to sell. Spaces will be rented in the Pavilion for $15 each. Fifty percent of all the net revenues will be returned to the Town's recreational budget to build more money for park and recreational programs. For more information call 323-893-7361.


Fairfax's annual Easter Egg Hunt will take place in Bolinas Park at 10:00 AM on Saturday, April 11th. Music will be provided by James K. and will take place rain or shine. This event is sponsored by the Fairfax Park and Recreation Commission. For more information please call 456-5652.


Calling all aspiring Cake Artists!! The Artist in Residence team of Sam and Shoshana Perry are hosting a Cake Art Competition on Sunday, April 19th from 12 Noon -4:00 PM at the Fairfax Pavilion. Admission is free and open to the public. Bring your kids and decorate cup-cakes while viewing the creations of our CAKE ARTISTS. Special prizes and you can help eat all of the cakes after!! Cake artists must complete decorating their cakes before they bring them to the Pavilion. No previous cake are experience is necessary. Donations will be accepted for the Artist in Residence Program. For more information call Sam or Shoshana at 302-2558 or 302-2559. Click on the image below for the Cake Artist Competition Guidelines.


This year's Festival is set for June 13-14, 2009.Information on participation is now included on each section's page, so if you would like to be a part of the festival this year, go to the page for what you do, i.e. Art, Parade, etc, and you can find out how to apply. Festival web link is: http://www.fairfaxfestival.com/index.html

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Blog #10 - Lottery for Affordable Housing Units

Ready to move into a new residence? Marin Housing is pleased to announce the upcoming sale of 2 Below-Market-Rate (BMR) studios in San Anselmo.
These 2 newly constructed units are on the ground floor with no steps.
These studios are two out of eight condos under construction on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard opposite Butterfield Road, near Fairfax/San Anselmo junction: 500 square foot studio, one bathroom, one parking space at $225,500 each.

Please see attachment above if you are interested in applying for the lottery drawing.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Blog #9 Neighborhood Electric Vehicles

What are NEVs?
Neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) are compact, one to four-passenger vehicles powered by rechargeable batteries and electric motors. NEVs are designed for drivers traveling short distances at slow speeds where traffic, parking, and air pollution may be concerns. An NEV is a cost-effective solution to these problems because it is more compact than a conventional vehicle, requiring less space to park and less space on the road. An NEV is a zero emission vehicle and produces no tailpipe or evaporative emissions, and it can recharge by simply plugging into a standard 110-volt outlet.

Is an NEV the Right Choice for You?
Much of the daily travel that occurs in the United States consists of single occupant cars driving short distances on local roads at speeds below 35mph. The cars and trucks that most Americans use to drive these short distances are designed to carry several passengers, haul significant loads, and travel at speeds of 55 mph or greater. If your daily travel consists of a short commute to work or school, or minor trips to run errands or pick up groceries, an NEV may be the right choice for you. Imagine dropping the kids of at school at White Hill, stopping at the grocery store in downtown Fairfax, and running to San Rafael to do a few errands all in an affordable, quiet, zero emissions vehicle.

Where can I drive my NEV?
NEVs are legal on all streets where the posted speed limit is 35 MPH or less in the same travel lane as cars. They are legal where posted speed limits are over 35 MPH only where a special 7 foot dedicated lane of travel is available. This means that NEVs are legal in the entire Town of Fairfax and much of the Ross Valley on all existing streets!! The law requires all NEVs to have seat belts, headlights, blinkers, and most of the devices for being street legal. An "NEV Route" sign will be installed on selected streets in Fairfax. For more information on NEVs please link to http://info.sen.ca.gov/pub/03-04/bill/asm/ab_2351-2400/ab_2353_cfa_20040625_152628_sen_comm.html

Town Council Support

The Town Council, at its February 4, 2009 Town Council Meeting directed staff to promote and encourage the use of NEVs in Fairfax. Specifically, I promised the Council I would post information on the Town Manager Blog. There will also be information sent to all media outlets.

NEV Benefits:
· Emissions: Although some pollutants may be generated in electricity production, NEVs are zero emission vehicles, meaning they produce no tailpipe or evaporative emissions that contribute to air pollution and global warming.
· Traffic: NEVs are smaller and take up less space on the road, so they help reduce traffic congestion.
· Price: At an average of 2-3 cents per kilowatt-hour, the cost of operation is considerably less then gasoline.
· Speed: On average, the "true" Neighborhood electric cars go 20-25 mph, with a few capable of speeds up to 35 mph. The three-wheeled enclosed "city cars" go up to 45 mph.
· Street Legal: It's okay to drive it on all 35mph posted streets (everywhere within Fairfax city limits)
· Safety: All Street Legal brands of NEV’s meet the National Highway Traffic Safety Association’s safety requirements, and while crash tests show that when collisions are concerned, size does matter, the heavy batteries located on the bottom of the NEV’s tend to keep them upright during collisions, and in car to car collision tests, safety measures in place such as internal impact bars hold up well.
· Charging: They plug into a standard 110v outlet (like the one where you plug in your toaster, for example), although there are 220v options (your clothes dryer) for most of them so you can recharge them quicker. Generally it takes 6-8 hours to recharge them using 110v, and half that on 220v.
· Operating Costs: NEV’s are affordable to operate, on average, it costs 2 to 3 cents a mile
· Purchase Price: Price varies considerably depending on model and options selected, but the price range for new NEV’s is $7000 - $35,000 with most vehicles somewhere between $10,000 and $12,000. There is also a booming used market for NEV’s with significant savings to the consumer.
· Tax Credits: The federal tax credit is back! On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed a bill allocating $5 billion for electric car tax credits. All electric vehicles, including 3 and 4 wheel NEV’s are eligible for tax credit of 10% of the purchase price! More information about Tax credits available at

Types of Neighborhood Electric Vehicles
There are many manufactures and types of NEV’s, and as demand continues to grow, more and more will become available. The following is a list of the current most popular brands, and their closets dealers.

American Custom Golf Carts:

American Custom golf carts specializes in luxury and custom NEV’s. They make everything from the latest 2009 Cadillac Escalade, customizable, and available in 3 colors to, a vintage style California Roadster, to a Hummer H3. Prices range from $9,000 to $25,000 depending on the model and options. More information available at http://www.californiaroadster.com/

Closest Dealer:
Mini Rods
2840 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94611
(510) 251-9510

Columbia PARCAR

Available in two models, the Columbia Eagle and Summit, and in configurations for two or four passengers, Columbia NEV’s will move you, your friends, your family, and your stuff anywhere you want to go. The Eagle’s 48-volt system is truly unique; instead of the six 8-volt batteries most of our competitors use, Columbia vehicles use eight 6-volt batteries which provides extended run time and better hill climbing ability, in recent independent testing against leading competitors, Columbia’s 48-volt system out-ran them all. Prices range from $9,500 to $12,000. More information available at www.parcar.com/

Closest Dealer:
George Stark Golf Cars
8131 Alpine Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95826

Dynasty Neighborhood Electric Vehicles

Dynasty NEV’s offer 5 models, all of which have an aluminum frame with chassis made of molded fiberglass. They are powered by flooded lead-acid batteries with an optional choice of Dekaw gel cell batteries, and are recharged with an on board Delta-Q battery charger, which takes about 12 hours. Dynasty NEV’s range in price from $14,000 to $25,000. More information available at http://www.itiselectric.com/

Closest Dealer:
The Electric Car Company of Long Beach
(866) 969-4545

Global Electric Motorcars (GEM)

Global Electric Motorcars is part of the Chrysler group and is the market leader in NEVs. With a top speed of 25 mph, GEM cars have a range of up to 30 miles on a charge and are great for traveling around neighborhoods, city centers or job sites. GEM offers 3 car style models able to carry from 2 – 6 passengers. GEM vehicles are battery-electric, operate on a 72-volt battery system and plug into a standard 110-volt outlet. They have many other customizable, optional extras, making them a very flexible vehicle. They are very keenly priced, ranging from approximately $7500 to $13,500. More information available at http://www.gemcar.com/

Closest Dealer:
San Francisco Chrysler Jeep GEM
475 South Van Ness Ave
San Francisco CA 94103
Phone: 415-431-3892

The Kurrent

Produced by the American Electric Vehicle Company, the Kurrent is approved to drive up to 35 miles per hour, and is powered by four 12-volt lead-gel sealed batteries forming a 48-volt system. When fully charged, the Kurrent can drive for 35 to 40 miles, depending on your personal driving habits. To recharge, simply plug the Kurrent’s conveniently stowed power cord into any standard 110-volt outlet, if the battery is completely empty it takes 8 hours to recharge. Prices start at $9,800. More information available at, http://www.getkurrent.com/home.html

Closest dealer:
Green Car Company
1129 8th St. Kirkland WA 98034.

Zap Car:

Technically not a NEV, but a motor scooter because of its unique 3 wheel design; ZAP has been a world leader for electric and advanced technology vehicles since 1994. Zap makes 6 models ranging from utilitarian to sporty; four of their vehicles use their unique 3-wheel design, and the Xebra Zero is fitted with a solar panel on its roof! ZAP is currently the only neighborhood electric vehicle on the market capable of sustaining speeds over 35 MPH. Prices range from $11,500 - $35,000. More information available at http://www.zapworld.com/

Closest Dealer:
ZAP of Marin
5784 Paradise Drive
Corte Madera, CA 94925
(415) 924-0327

ZENN (Zero Emissions No Noise)

The Zenn is a very normal looking 4-wheeler, hatchback, which carries two passengers. It has a comfortable interior and high performance engine with regenerative braking. It is basically a high-spec Neighborhood Electric Vehicle that looks and feels like a normal car. Its maximum speed is 25 miles per hour, has a range of 30-34 miles and works off lead-acid batteries. They can be 80% recharged in only three hours. Price ranges from $11,000 to $13,000. More information available at http://www.zenncars.com/
Closest Dealer:
EcoMotors, LLC
1270 Petaluma Blvd. North
Petaluma, California
Tel: 707-778-2055

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Blog #8 Council Actions from the March 4, 2009 Town Council Meeting

· Heard a progress report from Larry Kennings, Acting Planning and Building Services Director regarding the General Plan Update process and the site specific planning process

· Adopted Resolution No. 09-18 granting a driveway variance for a project located at 15 Acacia Road and adopted the required findings for this variance.
· Proclaimed March as Fair Housing Month

· Adopted Resolution No. 09-19 approving changes to the current parking bail schedule to recover increased State fees under SB 1407

· Adopted Resolution No. 09-21 supporting the Federal Economic Stimulus project of repaving Sir Francis Drake from June Court to the western Town Limits

· Council was presented the mid-year budget review. All in all, considering the state of the state and national economies, the Town is holding its own. Revenues are what were projected back in July and in some cases higher than projected (1.5% higher than projected property tax revenues) and there have been very few foreclosures in Fairfax and very few delinquent payments on property taxes. Planning and building permit fees are down 20% due to the slowdown in remodeling and home improvements. Projections for next year show a much slower rate of growth for property tax and sales tax revenues which will require the Town slow down its spending compared to previous years. The Council accepted the mid-year budget report.

· Adopted Resolution No. 09-08 adopting guidelines for the placement of surface mounted utility facilities in the public right-of-way (AT&T Boxes)

· Adopted Resolution No. 09-20 vesting the authority to appoint, remove or demote department heads in the Town Manager with the exception of the Police Chief which will still require Town Council ratification.

The next scheduled Town Council Meeting will be April 1, 2009.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Blog #7 Help for Creekside Property Owners in Fairfax

The letter below was sent to all creekside property owners in the Flood Control and Water Conservation District in the Ross Valley. I encourage all creekside property owners to get involved with this program as its goal is to secure all creekside properties with a streamside management plan for the long term future.

February, 2009

Dear Creekside Landowner,

The Marin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District is launching a new
streamside management program to assist landowners with severe erosion
problems on their creekside property. The “Streamside Management Plan for
Landowners (SMPL)” is part of the comprehensive effort launched by Supervisor
Hal Brown, the Flood Control District, and the Department of Public Works to build a
long-term, flood damage reduction program in the Ross Valley.

The District has contracted with the Urban Creeks Council (UCC), a nonprofit
headquartered in Berkeley, www.urbancreeks.org, for the SMPL. They will
provide free consultations with private property owners who need assistance in
determining erosion control measures for their creekside properties. This contract
will fund consultations for at least 50 properties. UCC will assist in identifying the
causes of the problem and recommend appropriate solutions. In some cases, UCC
may also be able to assist with design and permitting of repair work as well.

In order to take part in this program, you can fill out an application online at
the website for the Ross Valley Watershed program, www.rossvalleywatershed.org.
Follow the link on the opening page of the website. To make this application form
easier, we have built in a list of creekside property owners in the Ross Valley that
will automatically fill in your property information once you enter your address or
parcel number (APN). If you find that your property does not show up after that, you
can call the program manager at 415-499-3051 who will provide a printed
application by fax or email. If you do not use the internet, you can pick up an
application at the Civic Center, Room 304 or at one of the town halls in the Ross

Once applications are received, they will be reviewed and prioritized and site
visits will be scheduled. UCC expects to begin site visits in April/May 2009.
We encourage you to take advantage of this program and participate in the
Ross Valley flood damage reduction effort.

If you have any questions, please call the program manager at 415-499-

Farhad Mansourian