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Council to Consider Prohibiting Take-out Containers

The City Council will meet tonight at 7 p.m. at City Hall. See what's on the agenda.

The San Rafael City Council will hold a public hearing on an ordinance that would ban restaurants and retail food vendors from providing foam take-out food containers.

The ordinance, which is the product of discussions and study sessions since 2010, would affect approximately 250 local businesses, according to the staff report. However, the ban would exempt meat packaging trays, food prepackaged outside of San Rafael, foam coolers and foam containers for certain emergency supplies and services.

The ban would take place one year after the approval, and outreach and enforcement would be handled by the Marin County Environmental Health through their regular on-site food service inspection process.

In Marin, Sausalito, Mill Valley and the county have similar expanded polystyrene foam ordinances. County officials reported that businesses were either already using other types of take-out containers or the switch was not trouble, according to the staff report.

Business Tax Amnesty Program

With over 7,000 registered businesses in San Rafael and recent staffing and hours reductions, city's capacity to enforce compliance with the business tax ordinance is limited.

According to a staff report, the average time available each month to identify and collect on non-compliant businesses has declined from over 100 hours to fewer than 20. Staff recommends a one-time amnesty program will educate the business community about tax requirements.

If approved, the program will being Sept. 18 and run through Dec. 14. During that time, business tax-related penalties will be waived for all years for which the business registers and pays the total tax due.

Street Resurfacing Project

San Rafael received approximately $1 million in federal grant money for several street resurfacing projects. The streets included to be resurfaced are:

  1. Fifth Avenue from B Street to H Street
  2. Mission Avenue from Grand Avenue to H Street
  3. Bellam Boulevard from I-580 EB Ramps to 1-580 WB Ramps
  4. Bellam Boulevard from Kerner Boulevard to Windward Way
  5. D Street from Second Street to Antonette Avenue
  6. Bellam Boulevard from Woodland Avenue to I-580 EB Ramps
  7. Mission Avenue from Grand Avenue to Union Street
  8. Redwood Highway from Mitchell Boulevard to Smith Ranch Road.

Here's what else is happening on San Rafael Patch:

  • San Rafael Attorney Arrested on Child Cruelty Charges After Fleeing Police
  • Look Up to See 'Pi in the Sky'
  • San Rafael Police Post Video of Armed Robbery at Shell Station
  • Prostitution Sting in Canal Leads to 6 Arrests
  • Should California Adopt Idaho’s “Stop as Yield” Bike Law?

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Bob Hubbs September 17, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Banning take-out containers? Way to go Nanny State!
juanita September 17, 2012 at 10:38 PM
read past the headline--styrofoam containers.

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