County of Marin - News Releases - Flood Risk Reduction Project

For Immediate Release
March 07, 2017

Public Review for Flood Risk Reduction Project

Meeting set for April 20 at San Anselmo Town Hall

San Rafael, CA – The Ross Valley has experienced numerous floods over the years, most recently in 2005, and this winter’s storms raised the creek to the brink of overflowing several times. The San Anselmo Flood Risk Reduction Project is designed to improve public safety and protect property, and it begins its environmental review process this month.

Muddy flood waters in Corte Madera Creek get close to flood level near buildings in downtown San Anselmo.The project is designed to enhance public safety and protect property.
With recent severe storms in mind, project specific feedback from residents is encouraged to support the project’s development. A public scoping session for the environmental impact report (EIR) will be held April 20 at the San Anselmo Town Hall.

The Marin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District will lead the environmental review in partnership with the Town of San Anselmo.  The project is a component of the Ross Valley Watershed Program, which looks at broader flood analysis and mitigation measures being considered for the 28 square-mile watershed. An EIR for the entire program is underway in parallel with the project EIR.

A services agreement for Environmental Science Associates to prepare the EIR was approved March 7 by the Flood Control District Board of Directors, which is comprised of the five members of Marin County Board of Supervisors. The detailed report, expected to cost $400,968, is scheduled for completion by February 2018. The project is partially funded by an $8,720,500 grant that the Town of San Anselmo received from the California Department of Water Resources. The balance of the $17.6 million budget will come from Flood Zone 9’s stormwater fee paid by Ross Valley property owners, which was initiated in 2007.

District staff sought input from the Zone 9 Advisory Board and the San Anselmo Town Council for project recommendations for the environmental review. The EIR will address the potential flood mitigation options for five alternatives. The preferred project to be analyzed includes two complimentary parts. First is the construction of a basin to temporarily divert and store floodwater at the former Sunnyside Nursery site at 3000 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, about a mile north of downtown Fairfax. The basin would then be coupled with the acquisition and removal of a building at 634-636 San Anselmo Avenue that obstructs the creek’s flow.

Those options would restore the floodplain features to San Anselmo Creek. The renovated site, complete with viewing platforms and sitting areas, would be incorporated into the town’s adjoining Creekside  Park.

The public scoping session April 20 starts at 7 p.m. at San Anselmo Town Hall, 525 San Anselmo Ave. The doors will be opened at 6:30 p.m.

The meeting packet for the project EIR scoping meeting will be posted on the Ross Valley Watershed website at


Liz Lewis
Water Resources Manager
Public Works

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 304
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-7226
Email: Liz Lewis
Public Works website