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Public to Speak on Merits of Airport Soccer Complex

San Rafael Patch will be live blogging tonight's Planning Commission meeting.

Members of the public will have a chance to voice their opinion about the San Rafael Airport's proposed plan to build a sports facility on their premises.

The proposed 38-foot tall recreational building stirred lots of controversy in the past months among neighbors worried about the possible effects the facility would have on the Santa Venetia area. The Planning Commission, , will be discussing the merits of the project tonight. 

The proposed recreational building will house indoor soccer fields and courts with spectator seating, offices, food and beverage service and meetings rooms. There will also be two outdoor soccer fields with parking and exterior lighting.

Over the past months, city staff have received hundreds of letters, emails and petitions signatures from Contempo Marin, Santa Venetia, Captains' Cove and Smith Ranch Homes regarding the project. 

Many worry that the outdoor soccer fields are at a dangerous proximity to the airport's runway. Others are concerned about the increased traffic, noise, lights and alcohol sales that could create a nuisance to the surrounding neighborhoods. The challengers also raised questions about the environmental impacts the project would impose upon Gallinas Creek.

 The Marin Sheriff's Officer, as well as several soccer clubs including the San Rafael Youth Soccer Club, support the facility, saying that the project would provide a recreational facilty that is needed in San Rafael.

"Marin County lacks an adequate number of quality soccer fields available, making it difficult to schedule league games and requiring people to travel outside of the area," the staff report states.

See the summary of comments on the right. Robert Dobrin, a Santa Venetia resident who opposed the project, will also show the video at tonight's meeting. 

The meeting will be held in the Council Chambers at 1400 Fifth Ave. It will begin at 7 p.m. San Rafael Patch will be there live blogging. 


Jim Edelhauser May 29, 2012 at 07:50 PM
San Rafael does need a good recreational area for kids and other soccer players. But this location is among the worst possible choices. Also the landowner is making a blatant move at changing the permits for this property that were specifically excluded. Vote No.
sally veauta May 29, 2012 at 09:23 PM
No, I believe above all that this airport in question is just another example of how the 1 % benefits at the cost to the 99%. How many of US will use this airport? Plus, security is lax at such sm airline facilities- didn't the 9/11 terrorists practice at a sm airport in Fl.? This project is not for the MANY, THE PEOPLE, US!. It is instead for the few at the expense of the many. Sally A Veauta [votaw]
Jim May 29, 2012 at 10:02 PM
If it were really 'for the children', then the funds would be better spent partnering with the existing half-dozen fields in this area that need improvements and a little TLC, and are better located for accessibility. This is all about the developer - because Embassy Suites and the Autodesk office complex aren't enough development. The only way to choose a worse location for this adult sports venue would be to find a place that's already underwater. The location is horrible - only accessible by neighborhood streets, dangerously close to landing strip, next to habitat for endangered species, nuisance to neighbors, land is subsiding, weak levies subject to flooding, likely lead contamination from aviation fuel, liquefaction zone... the list goes on and on....
seth15c May 29, 2012 at 10:21 PM
It is sad to see that clearly that more than 65 % of the people voting no nothing about this project. I've heard, "why do we need another airport", "There are plenty of fields for youth". This is not an airport and obviously you do not have any youth that play the many outdoor/indoor sports here in Marin. This is a sports facility to help kids become better disciplined athletes rather than screwing around with nowhere to go for a good outlet. It is a facility to help the youth of Marin, not hinder them. I have lived in Marin for many years and cannot believe the lack of facilities to help youth become better athletes. I have personally been at fields where two or three different sports are all scheduled at the same time. This makes it hard on the City leagues trying to help schedule when there are such limited field space. I also cannot believe that there is not one lighted soccer field in all of Marin. How can this be a thriving community when you keep shooting down the future sports outlets for our youth? This Facility will be back behind the Airport, and the only people that will be able to see it are the houses way up on the hills. The current airport is much more of an eye sore than the new green colored design facility. Please people do your research before you just shoot down a project that has been in the making for more than 10 years and has been in need for more than 20 years.
Tighe May 29, 2012 at 10:31 PM
I agree...I am still waiting for one person to give a viable alternative location and to speak the truth as in facts from the opposition! We need more fields and this facility is not only the most 'green' building that can be built, but its clearly the only place and it is directly in line with the 2020 General Plan for San Rafael.
Nicole Ely (Editor) May 30, 2012 at 12:27 AM
Thank you everyone for your comments. I'll be live blogging this meeting tonight, so if you have any questions, you can tweet me at @sanrafaelpatch or comment on the live blog.
chris May 31, 2012 at 06:24 AM
How about soccer fields at Grady Ranch?! Open 9am to midnight.
Gabrielle Cullen May 31, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Sally, there isn't an airport being built. It's an indoor/outdoor sports complex with lighted fields, for all the kids/youth of Marin

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