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* 1. Do you live (or own a business) in the Canal Waterfront 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 Canal Waterfront neighborhood?

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* 4. What are your biggest concerns about the Canal Waterfront neighborhood?

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* 5. As you visualize the neighborhood 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 Canal Waterfront neighborhood:

The San Rafael Canal, stretching from Albert Park to the Bay, is an underutilized community asset. Existing uses transition from single-family homes and apartments east of Harbor Street, and commercial uses from Harbor Street to Grand Avenue. Most of these commercial uses are marine-oriented, including four marinas, yacht brokerages, boat repair, fishing supplies and commercial fishing operations. Other commercial uses include restaurants, the Montecito Shopping Center, the Harbor Shopping Center, and limited office space. Existing public access to the Canal is limited. Beach Park was improved in conjunction with the renovations at the Seafood Peddler restaurant, and Pickleweed Park has a pathway along the Canalfront. In addition, Montecito Shopping Center and the Grand Landing Office building have walkways along the waterway.

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* 7. Please review the "Vision for 2020," which was adopted in 2004 for the Canal Waterfront neighborhood:

Improved public access to and along the Canal, both visual and pedestrian, should be actively promoted through redevelopment of properties between Grand Avenue and Harbor Street. A public promenade on either side of the Canal is a high priority. Water dependent industry will continue to be encouraged, but other pedestrian-oriented services, such as restaurants and retail, will also be allowed on ground floors, and housing allowed above. Live-aboard boats will continue to provide additional affordable housing, while adding to the marine character of the area. Improved access to commercial businesses from the water for boaters will also be encouraged. Maintenance of the Canal as a navigable waterway is essential and will require a local funding source for periodic dredging.

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* 8. Please review the General Plan policy below, which was previously in 2004 for the Canal Waterfront neighborhood:

Policy:  Promote and improve the San Rafael Canal as a community-wide asset for public and marine related uses, where public access, use and views of the water are maximized, and sensitive wildlife habitat areas are protected. The San Rafael Canal shall be maintained as a navigable waterway.

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* 9. Please review the General Plan Program below, which was adopted to implement the policy in the Question 8:

Program: Implement the Canalfront Conceptual Design Plan, which was completed in 2010. This vision document includes a list of recommendations to be studied and pursued. Improve circulation and access, including widening the Grand Avenue bridge in order to improve pedestrian and bicycle circulation.

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* 10. Please review the General Plan policy below, which was adopted in 2004 for the Canal Waterfront neighborhood:

Policy: Promote marine-related commercial uses west of Harbor Street to serve the recreational and live-aboard boating community. Other commercial uses that encourage pedestrian traffic, such as restaurant and retail uses, will also be allowed on the ground floor. Residential and office uses are allowed above the ground floor. East of Harbor Street, residential uses are to be retained.

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

Program: Maintain zoning provisions to allow non-marine-related and residential uses.

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* 12. Please review the General Plan policy below, which was adopted in 2004 for the Canal Waterfront neighborhood:

Policy: Existing recreational boat launch facilities along the canal shall not be reduced unless the demand for those facilities no longer exists or adequate substitute space can be provided. Encourage the addition of boat launch facilities, boat trailer parking, and sewage pump-out facilities where appropriate.  

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* 13. Please review the General Plan Programs below, which were adopted to implement the Policy in Question 12:

Program A: Evaluate the market demand for maritime service uses in developing the Canal Waterfront Vision.

Program B: Promote the addition of public boat launching facilities, for example for kayaks at Beach Park or behind Montecito Shopping Center.

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* 14. Please review the General Plan policy below, which was adopted in 2004 for the Canal Waterfront neighborhood:

Policy:  Continue to resolve public trust title claims with individual property owners and the State Lands Commission in order to assist in the redevelopment of the affected properties.

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* 15. Please review the General Plan Program below, which was adopted to implement the Policy in Question 14:

Program: To assist in redevelopment of affected properties, resolve public trust title claims consistent with State Law Chapter 1742, Statutes of 1971, which allows the City to convey or exchange, subject to approval of the State Lands Commission, certain filled lands which are found to be no longer useful or susceptible to use for the public trust purposes of harbors, commerce, navigation, fisheries, or appurtenances thereto.

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* 16. Please review the General Plan policy below, which was adopted in 2004 for the Canal Waterfront neighborhood:

Policy: Require low scale buildings that provide public views of the water and which do not dominate the Canal. Design factors important in reviewing specific development proposals include pedestrian access, building setbacks from the water, height, landscaping, Canal view protection and enhancement, wildlife habitat protection and high quality architectural design. Until a design plan is prepared, new Canalfront buildings and substantial reconstruction of existing buildings and structures should:

a. Be set back a minimum of 25 feet from the top of the bank or bulkhead along the Canal for creation of a public promenade,
b.  Increase public access and public view opportunities,
c. Improve access from the water for boaters, where appropriate,
d. Locate new structures, or relocate existing structures where feasible, to retain or open up view corridors to the water and activities along the Canal,
e. Orient uses and buildings towards the Canal waterfront, including building entries where appropriate, and
f.  Improve the appearance of the waterfront through excellent design quality.


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* 17. Please review the General Plan Program below, which was adopted to implement the Policy shown in Question 16:

Program: Prepare, as part of the Canal Waterfront Vision, design guidelines in order to improve the appearance of buildings along the Canal Waterfront and incorporate opportunities for public access.

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* 18. Please review the General Plan policy below, which was adopted in 2004 for the Canal Waterfront neighborhood:

Policy: Develop a plan for long-term maintenance of the Canal as a navigable waterway, including regular dredging. Encourage the maintenance of docks and elimination of refuse along the Canal.

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* 19. Please review the General Plan Programs below, which were adopted to implement the Policy in Question 18:

Program A: Work with property owners to develop a funding program to dredge the Canal. Continue to aggressively pursue a maintenance assessment district, federal funding and other funding sources as available.

Program B:  Implement the new Boating Sanitation and Dock Safety Ordinance, and encourage reporting of trash issues to Code Enforcement. Require adequate on-site refuse and recycling facilities.

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* 20. Please review the General Plan policy below, which was adopted in 2004 for the Canal Waterfront neighborhood:

Policy: Improve the Canal’s water quality through regulation of boating discharges, improvement in the quality of storm water runoff, and elimination of refuse along the Canal.

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* 21. Please review the General Plan program below, which was adopted to implement the Policy shown in Question 20:

Program:  Support and co-sponsor the provision of marine pump-out facilities. Consider the need for additional pump-out facilities in conjunction with remodeling of existing marinas.

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* 22. Please review the General Plan policy below, which was adopted in 2004 for the Canal Waterfront neighborhood:

Policy:  Improve the appearance of or relocate the City’s pump station along West Francisco Boulevard near the San Rafael Yacht Harbor.

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* 23. Please review the General Plan program below, which was adopted in 2004 to implement the policy shown in Question 22:

Program: Program funds to upgrade the appearance of the pump station at the yacht harbor on West Francisco Blvd.

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* 24. Please review the General Plan policy below, which was adopted in 2004 for the Canal Waterfront neighborhood:

Policy:  Coordinate development and redevelopment of uses along the Canal with needed flood control improvements, including levee improvements.

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* 25. Please review the General Plan program below, which was adopted to implement the policy shown in Question 24:

Program: Work with the Army Corps of Engineers to prepare a cost-effective flood control program for the Canalfront area. Through development review process, require levee improvements as needed to protect existing and new development.

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* 26. Please review the General Plan policy below, which was adopted in 2004 for the Canal Waterfront neighborhood:

Policy: Increase and improve public access to the Canal through creation of a public promenade on either side of the waterfront between Grand Avenue and Harbor Street. Provide an improved pedestrian crossing of the Canal at the Grand Avenue bridge. Pursue a new pedestrian crossing to the east if a cost effective and practical design can be achieved. Attempt to create pedestrian and bicycle access to the Mahon Creek path in conjunction with future freeway modifications. Improve water-based access by recreational boaters to Canalfront businesses.

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* 27. Please review the General Plan programs below, which were adopted to implement the policy shown in Question 26:

Program A: Continue to seek funding opportunities for pedestrian and bicycle enhancements, and include in CIP as funding becomes available.

Program B:  Encourage the provision of boat docks in new commercial development to allow access by boaters to Canal businesses.

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* 28. Please use the space below to list any new long-range planning policies or action programs you would like to see considered for the Canal Waterfront neighborhood.

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* 29. (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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