County of Marin - News Releases - Ross Valley Increase

For Immediate Release
July 17, 2018

Ross Valley Flood Fee Increase Proposed

Public hearing set for July 31 for potential 3 percent annual increase

San Rafael, CA – Ross Valley has been inundated by flooding over the years, including significant winter storm events in 1956, 1982, 2005, and 2016. The Marin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District (Flood Control District), which implements flood mitigation measures for residential, business and rural areas, is proposing a 3 percent increase for Ross Valley’s stormwater fee. Residents are invited to learn more and share thoughts at a July 31 public hearing.

Visitors learn more about the Sunnyside Basin siteVisitors review the Sunnyside Basin site during a past public meeting.
The Ross Valley Flood Protection and Watershed Program, which is part of the Flood Control District, strives to improve public safety and protect property in the 28-square mile watershed. To keep pace with rising industry costs, staff is recommending approval of a 3 percent fee increase for Ross Valley property owners, as allowed by the voter-approved ballot measure from 2007. 

A public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, July 31, at the Flood Control District Board session, which is comprised of members of the Marin County Board of Supervisors. The session will be held in the Board Chamber, suite 330, Marin County Civic Center, 3501 Civic Center Drive, San Rafael.

Depending on the parcel size, the proposed 3 percent fee increase would translate to between $3 and $6 more per year for owners of single-family properties in Ross Valley, and between $2 and $10 more per year for owners of multi-family properties. The increase would enable the Ross Valley program to keep up with the increasing costs of program design, labor, and construction.

The Ross Valley program recently released a draft environmental impact report (EIR) for the San Anselmo Flood Risk Reduction Project and concluded its public comment period on July 2. Public comment gathered from the review period will be addressed in the project’s final EIR, which will go before the Flood District Board of Supervisors in August for certification.

The project EIR proposes a solution comprised of two complementary parts. A basin to temporarily divert and store floodwater is proposed at the former Sunnyside Nursery site at 3000 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, about a mile north of downtown Fairfax. The basin would be coupled with the anticipated acquisition and removal of a building at 634-636 San Anselmo Avenue that obstructs the creek’s natural flow. The district is working with the businesses at 634-636 San Anselmo Avenue on a relocation plan, should the final EIR in August encompass removal of the building.

The proposed project would result in a net reduction in flooding for about 530 parcels for the 10-year and 25-year flood events. Funding for the project would be covered by a $8.7 million state grant and $8.7 million in local match funds from Ross Valley property owners’ fees.

A copy of the draft report containing the proposed owners’ listing and fee amounts is available for review at the Department of Public Works, Civic Center Room 304, and online 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