Airport Soccer Facility to Go Before Planning Commission

The San Rafael Planning Commission will hold a public hearing regarding the final environmental impact report for a proposed sports facility on Tuesday, Jan. 24.


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A proposal for a new sports facility at the on 397 Smith Ranch Road will come before the city’s Planning Commission Tuesday night.

The airport owners want to build a 85,700-square-foot recreational building on the property, which has many North San Rafael homeowners worried about noise, lighting, safety, adverse impacts on species living in the surrounding Gallinas Creek, alcohol consumption and the project’s size.

The project site consists of a 9.1-acre portion of the 119.52-acre airport site, located between the north and south forks of Gallinas Creek. The existing airport support facilities lie at the west end of the site, and the runway extends in a northeast/southwest direction, south of the proposed recreational facility project, according to the staff report.

The project consists of a new private 38-foot tall metal recreational building that will house two indoor fields, two courts, a 14,400-square-foot mezzanine level with seating, offices, café and meeting rooms and two outdoor fields with exterior lighting, landscaping, parking and fencing improvements. The plan also proposes nighttime use between 9p.m. and midnight.

Construction includes an extension of an existing driveway off Smith Ranch Road, a 184-space parking lot and grading to raise building and field site elevations approximately two feet.

A final environmental impact report was completed in order to answer several questions from the public when a draft was first presented in 2009.

Neighbors voiced concerns about the noise and light from nighttime soccer games and construction disturbing their households and the surrounding wildlife habitat as well as the sale of alcohol and the project’s size compared to other nearby buildings.

Another issue was the safety of players on the outdoor soccer field, due to their close proximity to the airplane’s landing strip.

In October 2011, The man walked away without any injuries and the plane did not hit any structures.

The National Transportation Safety Board determined that there have been approximately six accidents involving serious or fatal injuries and one smaller incident on at the airport between 1983 and 2011, according to the staff report.

The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the new information presented in the staff report (available on the right).  The meeting will begin at 7p.m.

What do you think about the project? Tell us in the comments or on our Facebook Page.


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