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* 1. Do you live (or own a business) in the Francisco Blvd West Neighborhood?

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* 2. Are you submitting this survey on behalf of a neighborhood association or organized group?

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* 3. What do you like most about the Francisco Blvd West area?

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* 4. Whar are your biggest concerns about the Francisco Blvd West area?

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* 5. As you visualize the Francisco Blvd West area in 20 years, what major changes or improvements would you like to see?

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* 6. Please review the text below, which was drafted in 2001-2003 by the City of San Rafael to describe the Francisco Blvd West area:

Since the early 1980s, the Francisco Boulevard West commercial area has benefited from significant large-scale development such as Toys R Us and Borders Books and Shamrock (CompUSA) retail centers, and Sonnen Motors. These specialty retail uses are important because they are major sources of retail sales tax revenue for the City. Retention of the existing industrial areas (between Woodland and the freeway frontage parcels), given the lack of replacement industrial areas in San Rafael and the importance of such uses to San Rafael's economy and job base, has been, and will continue to be, an important planning issue in this neighborhood. The Francisco Boulevard West area is predominantly developed with auto, building related, specialty retail, and manufacturing/wholesale uses. The area is also the oldest industrial area in the City.

Completed in 1998, the Andersen Drive Extension improved the area’s accessibility and provided important new links between East San Rafael, Francisco Boulevard West, and Downtown. The Francisco Boulevard West neighborhood is adjacent to the residential areas of Picnic Valley, California Park and Bret Harte, along Woodland Avenue.


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* 7. Please review the “Vision for 2020,” which was adopted in 2004 for the Francisco Blvd West area:

Improving the appearance of the area as an attractive entryway to the City and from surrounding neighborhoods will continue to be a City priority in this area. The Highway 101 widening project has resulted in acquiring and consolidating private properties along Francisco Boulevard, eliminating older buildings, and will offer opportunities for a sidewalk and consistent landscape treatment along Francisco Boulevard. Encourage preservation of existing industrial (including light industrial) uses, except along the Highway 101 frontage, where redevelopment of sites with high tax generating, specialty retail uses need highway visibility. Retention of the auto and building related services will continue to be important because they are found primarily in the City’s Francisco Boulevard West and the Canal neighborhoods. This industrial area is unique because the properties are medium sized, and are typically occupied with a single tenant in a building that cannot be duplicated under current development standards. Street tree programs and project design review address the need to improve the appearance of industrial uses near neighborhoods and along major transportation corridors.

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* 8. Please review the General Plan Policy below, which was adopted in 2004 for the Francisco Blvd West area:

Policy: Protect and concentrate building industry and automotive service industry land uses which are currently located in this area due to the area's central Marin County location and lack of alternate locations south of Puerto Suello Hill. The most appropriate locations for such uses are on both sides of Andersen Drive south of Mahon Creek. Protect and maintain availability of sites for existing building industry land uses important to San Rafael's economy and needed for the convenience of its residents and businesses.

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* 9. Please review the General Plan Policy below, which was adopted in 2004 for the Francisco Blvd West area:

Policy: Upgrade building design and landscaping as redevelopment or remodeling occurs. Evaluate the design of projects considering views from the Bret Harte neighborhood, the proposed rail transitway, and Andersen Drive, with particular attention paid to rooftop design and screening of mechanical equipment. New building facades facing Andersen Drive and the proposed rail transitway should be given design attention equal to that of any front façade.

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* 10. Please review the General Plan Program below, which was adopted to implement the Policy in Question 9:

Program: Use the development review process to encourage design and use consistent with this policy. .


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* 11. Please review the General Plan Policy below, which was adopted in 2004 for the Francisco Blvd West area:

Policy: Upgrade and redevelop portions of the Francisco Boulevard West area visible from Highway 101 with specialty retail commercial uses that can capitalize on the Highway 101 frontage and visibility, while minimizing traffic impacts. Specialty retail uses include automobile sales, bulk retail sales, region-serving retail uses, and hotels. Encourage relocation of manufacturing and storage uses from highway frontage locations, and consolidation of parcels for greater design flexibility

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* 12. Please review the General Plan Program below, which was adopted in 2004 to implement the policy in Question 11:

Program: For properties visible from Highway 101 where significant redevelopment and upgrading is needed, assist cooperative development efforts among property owners to assemble individual parcels. 

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* 13. Please review the General Plan Policy below, which was adopted in 2004 for the Francisco Blvd West area:

Policy:  Facilitate the upgrade of existing retail centers (Graham and Rice Centers) at the crossroads of Andersen Drive, Highway 101 and the future transitway with improved parking, access, landscaping and building design improvements (including rooftop screening), in keeping with their key entryway location.

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* 14. Please review the General Plan Program below, which was adopted in 2004 to implement the policy in Question 13:

Program: Use the development review process to encourage design and use consistent with this policy. Provide assistance in assembling lots at shopping center sites located at the crossroads of Andersen Drive, Highway 101 and Francisco Blvd. West where these actions would result in substantial upgrading of the properties and redevelopment with desired uses. 

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* 15. Please review the General Plan Policy below, which was adopted in 2004 for the Francisco Blvd West area:

Policy: Encourage use, while ensuring protection of any adjacent wetland habitat, of the unused portions of the SMART right-of-way, including the section between Downtown and the Larkspur ferry terminal, to facilitate desired redevelopment of adjacent parcels and an easement for the North-South bikeway.

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* 16. Please review the General Plan Program below, which was adopted in 2004 to implement the policy in Question 15:

Program: Use the development review process to encourage design and use consistent with this policy. Provide assistance in assembling lots where these actions would result in substantial upgrading of the properties and redevelopment with desired uses.

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* 17. Please review the General Plan Policy below, which was adopted in 2004 for the Francisco Blvd West area:

Policy: Design new or redeveloped properties facing Woodland Avenue to create a transition between residential uses west of Woodland and heavier industrial uses in the area. Encourage light industrial uses that minimize adverse impacts. Give special attention to landscape screening of buildings and outdoor storage and to screening rooftop equipment given rooftop visibility from higher elevations.

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* 18. Please review the General Plan Program below, which was adopted to implement the Policy in Question 17:

Program:  Use the development review process to encourage design and use consistent with this policy.

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* 19. Please review the General Plan Policy below, which was adopted in 2004 for the Francisco Blvd West area:

Policy: Discourage office uses except for existing small office uses and those that are ancillary to retail or industrial uses. New office complexes shall not be allowed.

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* 20. Please review the General Plan Policy below, which was adopted in 2004 for the Francisco Blvd West area:

Policy: Encourage better landscaping, pedestrian sidewalks and building façade upgrades on major streets leading into the Bret Harte neighborhood, including Woodland Avenue, Irwin Street, Lovell Avenue, Lindaro Avenue and DuBois Street.

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* 21. Please review the General Plan Policy below, which was adopted in 2004 for the Francisco Blvd West area:

Policy: Continue to minimize vehicular access points to Andersen Drive to maintain maximum traffic flow.

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* 22. Please use the space below to list any new long-range planning policies or action programs you would like to see considered for the North San Rafael Commercial District.

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* 23. (Optional) Please provide your name and contact information below, in the event we need to contact you to discuss your responses:

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