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Marin REALTORSŪ Offer Important Input on San Rafael Wildfire Prevention Plan

Published Tuesday, March 26, 2019
by Romeo Arrieta

The City of San Rafael met last week to discuss updates to their proposed Wildfire Prevention and Protection Action Plan. While the council passed a revised version of the plan, it is important to note that the document did not change any city laws but rather outlined 38 recommended objectives to work toward reducing fire risk in the city. Any future change to law or policy will be developed over the coming months with additional public input. The council mentioned putting together an advisory group of citizens to give feedback on future policies; MAR seeks to have representation on any such group.

Thanks to REALTOR® advocacy, the revised plan removed several point of sale triggers that were initially proposed.

When the draft plan was first made public, many of the new fire prevention regulations hinged on home sales as the trigger to initiate their plan. These regulations ranged from removing juniper trees, to adding a second gate to certain properties to drastic changes such as requiring roof replacement to complete the sale. Not only were some of these proposed regulations burdensome to home sellers and buyers, but the home sale trigger in effect served to make implementation of the plan random and entirely dependent on market activity.

By having a constructive relationship and feedback process with the San Rafael City Council and mayor’s office, MAR was able to offer feedback on the plan and to have many of the home sale provisions removed. By working with local government, REALTORS® had a positive impact on the wildfire prevention plan. Instead of relying on home sales, the plan is being revised to focus on areas of highest need first, and to apply regulations evenly across San Rafael homeowners. REALTOR® expertise and feedback helped make the plan better, fairer, and ultimately safer. MAR members are on the front lines of homeownership and property issues in Marin County; your input is an important component in crafting effective legislation for our region.

The plan did not remove the point of sale trigger for replacing shake roofs, however MAR will continue to work with the city to ensure that people that buy or sell homes aren’t specifically targeted.

Here are some of the key changes contained within the new wildfire prevention plan, which MAR is proud to have helped craft and support:


Revisions to the plan include:

  • Item #27 was removed (Vegetation Management Plans at the time of resale) and replaced with an item specifically addressing the need to harden homes
  • Establishes Resilient Landscape Templates (maintains Vegetation Management Plans' current role)
  • Challenges reaching property owners not residing at unit (absentee or rental)
  • Removes resale as a trigger or implementation, except flammable wood shake roof replacement.


See video of the presentation to the Council by clicking HERE:  

Highlights include:

  • Quinn Gardner thanking the Marin Association of REALTORS® 45:45
  • MAR President Gene Laico Addressing council 1:11:01
  • MAR CEO Romeo Arrieta addressing council 1:31:02


If you are interested in learning more about MAR’s Government Affairs and advocacy, please reach out to MAR CEO Romeo Arrieta, MAR’s Contract GAD, Papia Gambelin or  MAR Government Affairs Committee Chair Scott Pinsky (

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