Novato to Vote on Greenbelt Protections

After hearing from residents who love Mt. Burdell and the open space around their city, on March 7 the Novato City Council voted 5 – 0 to renew its urban growth boundary with a vote of the people in November 2017. About a dozen people spoke up at the hearing and more than 60 sent letters or signed a petition to the City Council.

“I’ve always been incredibly supportive of the urban growth boundary,” said Mayor Denise Athas. “I consider it to be one of the true treasures of Novato.”

Mayor Pro-Tem Josh Fryday and Council Members Pam Drew, Pat Eklund and Eric Lucan also gave full support to renewing the UGB with a ballot measure. If the voters approve the UGB, then only a vote of the people can change it.

The City Council also wants to consider lengthening the term of the voter-approved UGB to 45 years or in perpetuity. Greenbelt Alliance, Marin Conservation League, and Sierra Club all spoke up in favor of a longer UGB. These options will be reviewed by the Council and the public after the city staff drafts the text of the ballot measure. The next step is to finalize the ballot measure text by August for the November ballot.

The renewal of the urban growth boundary is a shared investment by the city and the community that will pay off with long-term dividends by:

  • Preventing sprawl
  • Protecting open space and farmland
  • Boosting the downtown and community character
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and vehicle miles traveled
  • Without creating any new taxes

Please watch for updates and alerts as we move forward on this critically important open space and good growth measure.

More Resources:

Novato Voters to Decide Fate of Green Belt by the Marin Independent Journal

Review of the Draft General Plan 2035

City of Novato General Plan Presentation

For more information contact Regional Director Teri Shore.

Photo: Anomalous A via Flickr

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