The Coastal Post - April, 1998

News And Notes Of Novato

By Betty Machado

Hello, dear hearts: Happy Easter to everyone. Do go along Grant to Sidney's Gourmet Eatery at 1516 and see the Easter Scene she has designed in her front window. Thanks, Sidney. That is encouragement for the citizens to "Come on down to Downtown..."

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NOVATO LIBRARY TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL LIBRARY WEEK ON APRIL 19TH: Carolyn Crabtree sent me a notice of the above event. She stated, "Unlike other public libraries in Marin, the Novato Branch is open on Sundays. And Sunday, April 19th, is a special one for North Marin: Celebration of National Library Week. The program is set for 2 PM and will provide entertainment for both adults and youth. And we hear that Carol Starr, the county's new Director of Library Services, will be on hand to make an announcement of special interest to residents of the Ignacio-Hamilton area. Could an "offshoot" be about to branch forth? Carolyn adds: "Hope to see you there."

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NEW NAME ADDED FOR RETENTION OF SPECIAL COUNSEL, HERBERT ROWLAND, FOR PARTRIDGE KNOLLS MATTER: The Novato City Council is being asked to retain Herbert Rowland, esq., as special counsel for the City of Novato in connection with the Partridge Knolls matter. Staff Recommendation: Retain Mr. Rowland and authorize the City Attorney to so notify Mr. Rowland. Last item on the March 24 City Council Agenda (Item 27). The Staff Report states: The continued mediation of the Partridge Knolls landslide dispute and the handling of other issues which may arise in connection therewith militate in favor of retaining special counsel to assist in the representation of the City in these matters. I have met with Herbert Rowland to discuss his retention in such a capacity. He has agreed to represent the City and his proposed arrangement is set forth in the attached letter of March 17, 1998. The City's claims adjuster, Michael Patterson, concurs in the retention of Mr. Rowland for these purposes. The Staff Report is from Jeffrey Walther, City Attorney. FISCAL IMPACT: Mr. Rowland proposes an hourly fee of $150 for himself and $140 for his associate. Although these rates are higher than those charged by the City Attorney, they are nonetheless reasonable, given Mr. Rowland's experience and expertise in this type of case. The total amount of Mr. Rowland's fees and costs are not possible to predict with certainty. End of message. When will the Partridge Knolls situation ever be settled?

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OPEN FORUM WITH SUB-COMMITTEE OF CITY COUNCIL AND GOLDEN GATE TRANSIT: Date: April 20th. Place: Hill Community Room. Time: 7:00 PM. Subjects: Schedule changes and cancellations. Community "feedback" is needed. Input on current and future needs of public transit will also be solicited. Sub-committee of City Council: Mike DiGiorgio, Mayor Pro Tem; and Pat Eklund, Councilmember. It is anticipated commuters will come to express their transit needs. Dietrich Stroeh, Golden Gate Bridge District Board Member, will be in attendance. The recent cancellation of Route 58 is up for reconsideration.

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HIGH TEA WITH OUR LEGISLATIVE FIELD REPRESENTATIVE WAS A SUCCESS: This event was held on Saturday, March 21 at the Creekside Room at Dominican College. Antonietta Gregori and I attended. We sat with Senator John Burton's Field Representative, Judy Arnold. Congratulations to the American Association of University Women of Petaluma, Novato, Marin and Southern Marin Branches and Dominican College, for a very successful event. Pamela Granger, AAUW Petaluma, did a great job of Welcome and Introductions of the Field Representatives. After the panel discussion, Charlotte Hamilton, Mill Valley AAUW, gave the concluding remarks.

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SUPERVISORS RACE FOR THE FIFTH DISTRICT SEAT OF HARRY MOORE: The names are on the ballot for the June election. Three women are vying for the seat: Susan Stompe, Cynthia L. Murray and Gail E. Meyers. The word is out on the street: If Cynthia Murray is elected, Ned Lagin will finish out her term as an appointed city councilperson. He does sit as Chair of the Planning Commission, on the Novato Flood Board, and is a volunteer for the Downtown Specific Plan. We will have to wait and see what happens. But, remember, you read it here first!

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SPEAKING OF THE DOWNTOWN SPECIFIC PLAN: Meetings are being held prior to the City Council adoption in June. The Plan is under the Downtown Redevelopment Agency. Sonia Seamen, Director for the Redevelopment Agency, is the staff person to call if you have any questions concerning the Plan. On March 3, a City Council meeting was held as a council workshop. The public was represented by Gail Meyers, Fran Skowronek, Anita Zunio, LeAndre Davis, Dietrich Stroeh and Betty Machado. The others present were staff and city council.

The citizens of Novato have to understand the impact this "living document" is going to mean to the future of the downtown area. Chapter 3 is titled: Recommendations for Improvement and Development. This is dangerous the way it is set up. Take #3.9 of Chapter 3, page 3-33. Northeast corner of Fourth and Grant Development. This is Dr. John Elloway's property known as the Urgent Care Medical Center. The existing building is roughly 12,000 sq. ft. in area, while the 0.4 FAR allowed in the Downtown Core should allow for about 15,000 sq. ft. of commercial retail space. An additional FAR allowed for residential in a mixed use setting in the Downtown Core. Development policies for the northeast corner of Fourth and Grant development are listed, but too long to write today. However, once this document is adopted by the City Council in June, DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS FOR FIVE TO TEN YEARS will be allowed! Hope you the community become involved. Ned Lagin did quip at the March 12 meeting with the Elm Drive group, there will be a Downtown Plaza where Betty Machado and Gail Meyers can have their SOAPBOXES. I let him know I have stepped into the 21st Century with my Public Advocate Program on live TV on Channel 23 every fourth Wednesday of the month. I will be having a TV Public Advocate Show in April on the subject of the Downtown Specific Plan. It will be on April 22, in the City Council Room, Community House, 9-10 PM.

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RECORDS DESTRUCTION: The City Council will adopt a resolution authorizing the disposition of certain records from the Central Administration Department. These records have been approved for destruction by the City Manager and the City Attorney. By coincidence, the number of records are 702-04: Petitions, Referendum Against Ordinance 1137, Adopting the Novato Civic Center Master Plan and Map (1987); Petitions, Initiative Measure to Restrict the Incurring of Certain Kinds of Long-Term Obligations by the City of Novato (1987) Petition; Referendum Against Resolution 141-88 Adopting Amendments to the Novato General Plan Allowing Six-Story Building, 60 Units per Acre and 3,350 Residential Units at Hamilton Field (1989); Petitions, Referendum Against Ordinance 1222, Adopting the Brookside Master Plan (1990); Petitions, Referendum Against Ordinance 1190 Approving and Adopting a Redevelopment Plan for the Hamilton Field Redevelopment Project; and the final one: Petitions, Initiative Measure to Enact Regulations That will Allow Development of the Buck Center for Research in Aging Project... Future citizens and Councilpersons will not see these historical papers and on behalf of the City of Novato, we do have a Historical Society!

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That's -30- for this month. Will relate to you next month how you can take action to not allow the Novato Unified School District to release your student from school without your permission! Out of space this month.

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