County of Marin - News Releases - Flood Control Meeting

For Immediate Release
January 28, 2016

Join Discussion about Ross Valley Flood Protection

Meeting February 4 to discuss Lefty Gomez Field in Fairfax

San Rafael, CA – On February 4, Ross Valley residents will get a chance to learn more about local flood risk reduction projects, including how improvements to Lefty Gomez Field in Fairfax could help reduce downstream flooding and simultaneously enhance recreational opportunities.

An artist rendering of Lefty Gomez Field in FairfaxArtistic rendering of conceptual Lefty Gomez Dual Use Facility in Fairfax.
Representatives of the Ross Valley Flood Protection & Watershed Program will host the meeting at 7 p.m. at White Hill Middle School in Fairfax. It will be a perfect chance to ask questions, share ideas, and continue the dialogue about concerns related to flooding and possible flood risk reduction projects.

Community leaders created the flood protection and watershed program to prevent the reoccurrence of the type of flooding that caused nearly $100 million in damages in December 2005. While the state is still experiencing an extended drought, local residents know that it is only a matter of time before creeks threaten to top their banks once again. 

Last November, voters decided not to use Memorial Park in San Anselmo as a floodwater detention basin, but exploration of other options throughout Ross Valley and prevention of another catastrophe remains the ultimate program goal. Officials are readjusting and keeping their focus on the community’s overall flood protection.

The program is moving forward with exploring alternatives and is seeking the community’s input for identifying, developing, and implementing solutions for mitigating the effects of another Ross Valley flood. Progress has already been made toward the replacement of four key bridges (one in Fairfax, two in San Anselmo, one in Ross) that presently act as pinch points and lead to flooding in the neighborhoods around them. Upgrades will bring the bridges up to current earthquake standards. 

Later this winter, environmental review will begin for improvements to the decades-stalled U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project and creek capacity improvements in Ross. This spring, the Phoenix Lake retrofit project that will help reduce flooding in Ross and Kentfield will enter the environmental review and design process. Dredging and storm drainage improvements in lower Corte Madera Creek within Larkspur are in the early planning phase.  

Overseen by the Marin County Department of Public Works, the flood protection and watershed program is a team effort between the County, Marin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, and the municipalities of Fairfax, San Anselmo, Ross and Larkspur. The program goals are to reduce flood risk using a watershed-wide approach; integrate environmental restoration features with flood mitigation projects; and leverage funds obtained through the Ross Valley storm drainage fee to secure state and federal grant funding for implementing flood protection projects.

Consider attending the February 4 gathering at White Hill Middle School, 101 Glen Drive in Fairfax. The meeting will be in Building 400. Drivers are asked not to block resident driveways or use reserved parking spaces in the street or at the school.

The latest documents on flood control in the Ross Valley can be found at


Neal Conatser
Capital Planning & Project Manager
Ross Valley Flood Protection & Watershed Program, Department of Public Works

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 304
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-2941
Email: Neal Conatser
Public Works website