February 8, 2021
Dear Corte Madera Residents,
Thank you for taking the time to share your comments on the Draft Climate Adaptation Plan (CAP). We heard you all loud and clear and we will move forward in revising the draft document in response to your comments. Most importantly, we will make significant changes to Section III of the report. In particular; we will remove the “possible” strategies and policies identified in the Draft plan for Mariner Cove and Marina Village adaptation items. The Town also intends to broaden the Town’s existing comprehensive fire mitigation efforts and engage a third party professional to perform a baseline study for the development of a utility undergrounding program for Corte Madera residents living in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI).
The Town embarked on developing the CAP, using a $200,000 grant from CalTrans, to assess the Town’s vulnerabilities to climate change. Our priority in doing so is to ensure that we protect our residents, their property, and the Town from the adverse effects of climate change. The CAP provides an assessment of the risks, using the most current and up-to-date data available at this time, with a set of ideas on how to move forward with our protection efforts. While some of the data included in the CAP may eventually be included in the Safety Element of the General Plan at a future time, the CAP is not intended to, nor does it encompass the Safety Element. The County will be updating the Countywide Local Hazard Mitigation Plan, which the Town will participate in and Council will consider to adopt after the update is prepared.
Based on the most recent community conversations, the Town plans to remove the Mariner Cove and Marina Village adaptation items previously identified in the Draft CAP as follows:
- Retreat Language
- Levee/Sea Wall and Flood Gate
- Mandatory Disclosures
- Restricting Future Redevelopment
- Removing any language that this document is meant to amend the Town’s Hazard Mitigation Plan. (That is not our intent and we will update the document.)
Our plan is to restart/reset the shoreline concepts discussion for the Mariner Cove and Marina Village neighborhoods. This “alternatives analysis” process will serve as the next step to better understand the options related to sea level rise and other environment factors (such as bay mud settlement). We will defer to the community as to whether to embark on that process at this time or not. To determine the level of community support, we are also willing to go door to door throughout Marina Village and Mariner Cove to ensure we receive as much community input as possible before a decision is brought to Council.
At a high-level, that process would likely involve hiring a consultant team consisting of engineers, environmental scientists, public engagement and legal professionals to essentially “start fresh” by engaging the community to identify their goals and analyze possible solutions. The process would likely take 2-3 years, would involve at least four public workshops and would cost between $500k-$800k.
Furthermore, to address community concerns regarding electrical undergrounding the Town will engage a third party engineering consultant to perform a robust study and analysis necessary to better understand the feasibility, potential costs, funding opportunities, and processes involved to underground electrical facilities within the Wildland Urban Interface zones. Additionally, based on comments received from our residents at the last CAP workshop, the Central Marin Fire Authority is planning on updating their fire mitigation efforts to this area in the CAP.
The Town of Corte Madera is committed to protecting our residents, their property, and the Town from the adverse effects of climate change. Engaging our community and listening to our residents has provided us an opportunity to further evaluate the CAP Draft. We will discuss the process moving forward with our Council in the coming weeks. We will learn from this process, re-engage the entire Mariner Cover and Marina Village neighborhoods and restart this important conversation over the next six to twelve months. Once a more robust analysis is completed on shoreline concepts and undergrounding, staff can return to Council at a later date with community support to update the Town’s Climate Adaptation Plan.
Todd Cusimano, Town Manager
Town of Corte Madera