20 Aug 2014
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Novato City Council to Discuss Downtown Parking, SMART Land

Tuesday night's meeting starts at 6 p.m. with a closed session about land that the transit rail authority would like to obtain to build stations.

Novato City Council to Discuss Downtown Parking, SMART Land Novato City Council to Discuss Downtown Parking, SMART Land Novato City Council to Discuss Downtown Parking, SMART Land

The Novato City Council will hear a report Tuesday night on how parking will work out for a tentatively planned downtown office building for city employees and how it might affect commerce in the surrounding Old Town shopping district.

The council has not voted on the whether to relocate about 60 city employees from its leased space at to a new “civic center” administrative building on Machin Avenue, a few yards from and across the street from the .

The council has seen architectural drawings of a new building of 22,000 to 25,000 square feet but wanted to hear more about how parking would be handled and its relation to current parking availability in the Old Town area.

San Francisco-based Walker Parking Consultants were contracted to analyze the supply and demand near the civic center area and found that available parking is sufficient, according to a staff report. The analysis concludes that an office building without additional parking would create problems and that the city needs better management of the current parking spots.

Walker Parking concluded that there is a need for 518-540 parking spaces in the civic center area where there is an existing supply of 394 spots. The firm said it factored in parking demands of the Millworks/ complex two blocks to the east and the planned construction of a multi-use building at 999 Grant Ave. one block to the west.

Also Tuesday, the council is to have a closed-session discussion about small city-owned parcels near the land owned by Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit. SMART is starting the process of to construct stations along a passenger rail route through Novato.

City Manager Michael Frank said the city does not plan to sell “any amount of any significance” to SMART and only owns remnant right-of-way parcels needed by SMART to build a station just north Atherton Avenue, about a mile north of Old Town.

Frank said the city is hoping to work something out with SMART about the land it owns off Grant Avenue where an old train depot sits. City officials have targeted that area for more downtown parking.

The two parties are to discuss not only 695 Grant Ave. where the depot is located but also a parcel on B Street in Hamilton (between Palm Drive and Hamilton Parkway) where a South Novato SMART station is scheduled to be built and slivers of property at the site of the North Novato station near Atherton and North Redwood Boulevard.

The closed session of Tuesday’s meeting starts at 6 p.m. followed by the open session at approximately 6:30.

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