Protect Open Space and Halt Sprawl in Novato—Vote Yes on Measure D!

To see what’s at risk, just walk or ride your bike along the green expanse of Bowman Canyon on the edge of the city of Novato’s urban growth boundary (UGB). Heading west on Novato Boulevard, houses end and the oak woodlands and rolling hills begin. Keep going and soon you reach Stafford Lake and farmland stretching for miles toward the coast. The UGB is doing its job.

To maintain this open space and keep sprawl at bay for the next generation, a team of open space advocates have launched the Yes on Measure D campaign in Novato. If passed by city voters, Measure D will renew Novato’s existing UGB for another 25 years. 

Our Regional Director Teri Shore has joined forces with Susan Stompe and Rick Fraites of Marin Conservation League and Max Perry and Chance Cutrano of Sierra Club’s Marin Group to form Citizens to Renew Novato’s Urban Growth Boundary–Yes on Measure D–2017. But they need your to help! Follow the campaign on Facebook to learn about ways you can support their efforts.  

Why Yes on Measure D?

First adopted by the voters with a 70% majority in 1997, the renewal measure is now even stronger to protect open space and prevent urban sprawl. A simple 51% majority is all that’s needed to pass Measure D.

Voting YES on Measure D will:

  • Protect Novato’s open space and rural lands
  • Protect the environment
  • Preserve Novato’s small town character
  • Promote economic vitality
  • Prevent sprawl
  • Cost taxpayers nothing

Renewing the UGB will protect open space and farmland, prevent sprawl, and encourage walkable, bike-friendly neighborhoods near downtown and the SMART line until the end of 2042. There is enough land within Novato to allow for reasonable growth and development for the next 25 years. 

Best of all, renewing the UGB will ensure that we’ll still be able to enjoy the oaks and rolling hills in Bowman Canyon as we head out to explore the countryside. 

Take Action! 

Endorse Measure D

All five city council members support Measure D along with a growing list of organizations and community leaders. See a full list of endorsements here. If you live in or care about open space and stopping sprawl in Novato or Marin, add your name to the list of supporters today!

Get Involved

Help get the word out to voters! Sign up to volunteer here.


Invest in the future of Novato, Marin County, and the North Bay’s open space and agricultural legacy by making a donation, large or small, to the Yes on Measure D campaign!* So far the work accomplished has been with the help of volunteers and generous pro-bono contributions. 

To learn more about Yes on Measure D, download the Fact Sheet here.

*Please note that donations made to the Yes on Measure D campaign are not donations to Greenbelt Alliance. 

2 Comments on “Protect Open Space and Halt Sprawl in Novato—Vote Yes on Measure D!

  1. This seems to imply that from now on the only available housing in Marin will be in downtown areas which probably means apartments and condos. Now that the people in Novato have their homes and yards and gardens it will be impossible for anyone else to enjoy these amenities.

    At a time when people who have rented in Marin for 30-45 years are leaving because there in NO available affordable housing I find it offensive to be so protectionist of those who already have and to exclude for the forseable future those of modest incomes who have lived and worked in this county for so many years.

    • Hi Jude,
      Thank you for your perspective. Would love to chat more. But here are a couple of things to consider:
      1. If the premise is that sprawling into farmlands will reduce the cost of land and therefore housing.. It doesn’t. San Jose sprawled over their farmlands – and housing costs have not gone down. No Urban Growth Boundaries either.

      2. Yes, affordable housing in downtowns may need to be higher density, but Habitat for Humanity just built a cluster of individual houses in downtown Novato. It does not have to be apartments.

      3. The Urban Growth Boundary does not dictate what to build, but where to build. It is local people who decide what type of affordable and other housing to build!

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