County of Marin - News Releases - San Anselmo Flood Control

For Immediate Release
November 14, 2017

Grant Confirmed for Potential San Anselmo Flood Control Project

State funds transferred to Flood District pending environmental review approval

San Rafael, CA – The Ross Valley has experienced numerous floods over the years, with swollen creeks causing significant damage to residential areas and businesses. The San Anselmo Flood Risk Reduction Project, designed by the Marin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District in partnership with the Town of San Anselmo, is designed to improve public safety and protect property. The project is undergoing an environmental review (EIR) and the draft report is expected to be released for public review in February 2018.

Muddy flood waters in Corte Madera Creek get close to flood level near buildings in downtown San Anselmo.Muddy creek water gets close to flood level near buildings in downtown San Anselmo.
On November 14, the Marin County Board of Supervisors approved to transfer ownership of an $8.7 million California Department of Water Resources grant from the Town of San Anselmo to the District. The transfer was recommended because of the proposed project’s inclusion of elements that fall outside of the San Anselmo town limits, namely the Sunnyside Nursery floodwater diversion basin located near Fairfax.

Pending approval of the environmental impact report, the potential project would be funded by the $8.7 million grant and a local match of $8.7 million from Flood Zone 9’s stormwater fee paid by Ross Valley property owners, which was initiated in 2007.

The project is a component of the Ross Valley Watershed Flood Risk Reduction Program, which looks at broader flood mitigation measures for Corte Madera Creek and its tributaries within the 28 square-mile watershed. An EIR for the entire program is underway in parallel with the San Anselmo Project EIR. A services agreement for Environmental Science Associates to prepare the project 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 environmental analysis and impact report is expected to cost $400,968.

District staff sought input from the community, the Zone 9 Advisory Board and the San Anselmo Town Council for project recommendations for the project environmental review. 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 San Anselmo Avenue that obstructs the creek’s natural flow. These options will restore the floodplain features to San Anselmo Creek.

Learn more about the San Anselmo Flood Risk Reduction Project on the Ross Valley Watershed program website.


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