Living Green? Small Space? Check out the Space Saving Furniture!


According to Kentfield, Marin county Architect, Sarah Robinson, an Alumni of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture; that Being Green is not just to tear down and build from scratch but it’s about “Seeing the untapped potential that already exists.”

“Green Living” is not limited to only use ‘Green’ products such as energy efficient appliances, water saving faucets, shower heads, toilets, bamboo flooring, recycled water, drought resistant plants, solar energy, double/triple paned windows, reuse building material, no VOC paint, and such.

Today, a friend of my shared a video of space saving furniture, which I thought would fit in nicely with green minded, sustainable living friends. these furniture has intelligent design where each piece of furniture has several purposes and fits in a tight space, are artistic an allow for smaller space thus reduce footprint of the new building design.

On a practical side, for friends or college kids who live in small apartments, houses, dormitories; these furniture allow them to have better quality of life while dealing with the tight space.

Hope you enjoy them as much as I do


Sylvia Barry, Realtor, ePRO
Marin Realtor for Marin Luxury Real Estate 
Marin, San Francisco North Bay
Frank Howard Allen Realtors 

MARIN, SONOMA, S.F. BAY AREA REAL ESTATE – Beveldere, Corte Madera, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Larkspur, Marinwood, Mill Valley, Novato, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Sausalito, Tiburon; Cotati, Penngrove, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa.   Starter Home to Luxury Property.  REO (Bank Owned), Short Sale, View Homes, Architectural Distinctive Homes. Investment, 1031 Exchange.

9 Fabulous New Luxury Homes on Olive Court. Novato, Marin County

9 Fabulous New Luxury Homes on Olive Court, Novato, Marin County

Please make appointments with Sylvia Barry or your Realtor if you want to see these new Craftsman Style Homes located on Olive Court in Novato.

Millworks Novato Grand Opening brings New Dimension to Town!

mw_logo_rgbA controversial project due to the sheer size, the location and what it is and what it is not (a bit vague?  Ask me!), Millworks Novato had it’s grand opening today (April 25th).  What a pleasant surprise the development is!

As a Novato resident and a Realtor; although I missed the design, approval phases of the project; I, as many Novatans,  have watched with great interest and concerns in the progress of the building.   Today, I got to tour Millworks with my friend, Barbara.  We came away quite impressed!

Millworks – According to the developer, Millworks Novato is “Nestled among the North Bay’s rolling hills landscape, charming Old Town Novato is the home to Millworks, and environmentally sustainable and pedestrian-friendly new home community”. 

Millworks Novato

Millworks Novato

The building, sits atop the coming-soon Whole Foods,  located at the east end of Old Town Novato, consists of 124 flats and townhomes.  The homes are designed to be a combination of 1 bedroom/1 bath, 2 bedrooms/2 baths flats and 2 bedrooms/2 baths plus Den Flats. 

Amentities — Other than a few larger units on selected locations; first and second floors are mostly for Whole Foods and parking for Whole Foods and third floor is mostly for residents parking.  In addition, there is a library, a fitness center and a social room for gatherings.


'Roof Garden - Living Roof' on 4th Floor

Roof Garden – One of the Millworks’ most unique design is the rooftop garden on the 4th floor where the interior units all have patios on the ‘Roof Garden’.  This Living Roof – centrally located with open sky courts – have living gardens and flag stone patiors, gives the 4th floor residents a sense of being on the ground floor which is a very appealing, surprising feature!

Views Galore – For outdoor lovers, the floor to ceiling windows brings tons of sunshine and the breathtaking surrounding Novato hill views inside.  I can only imagine how beautiful the night time views will be with the twinkling lights from the distance.

Kitchen and Living Room

Kitchen and Living Room

The Interiors – Millworks have open floor plan where kitchen opens into living and dining rooms (area – depending on plan).  Kitchens have granite slab counter tops, break fast bar, Bosch stainless steel, Energy Star appliances, Kohler sinks and faucets.  Bathrooms have Kohler faucets, Marble slab counters and surrounds on bathtubs.  Dual flush toilets conserve water.   All units are equipped with air conditioners (although I always say that we really don’t need that in Novato – the breeze from the ocean cools down most hot days by night).  Schlage hardware, recessed lighting, sustainable flooring, cable ready.

Green Features at Millworks

Green Features at Millworks

Building and Living Green – Millworks is also designed with ‘Building Green’ in mind as Sustainable is a big concern for environmental minded Marin Residents.  The building is designed with

  • Money Saving features such as emergency efficiencies while determining the direction of the building (South facing), insulation grades,  dual paned windows, doors, Energy Star appliances..
  • Preserving Health – such Cabinet doors are free of formaldehyde, none-toxic and low VOC Materials are used throughout
  • Environmentally Sustainable– Pre-engineered lumber, waste recycling during construction, Build-in recycling centers, sustainable flooring’s and cross ventilation windows are some example of the environmentally friendly design.

The Units and Pricing – One Bedroom / One Bath unit (812 sf to 883sf) starts from the low $400,000s; Two Bedroom / Two Baths Flats (1260 sf to 1360 sf) starts from the mid $400,000s and the Two Bedrooms, Two Bath plus Den Falts (1452 sf to $1595sf) starts from the high $500,000.  

HOA Fees – HOA fees ranging from $393 to $494 monthly.  An interesting chart provided by Millworks compares  HOA fee to the average single-family detached homowner’s regular maintenance cost per year, and of course, Millworks HOA seems more reasonable according to the chart – email me if you are interested!

Keep in mind the price includes standard features, and any and all upgrades will be additional costs to the buyers.

As a baby boomer and looking forward, I thought this will be a great place to retire – low to no maintenance, single story (elevator up/down), walk to town, new, green building, etc.  Having a Whole Foods downstirs works well also.   However, as a  young, single professional living in Chicago many years ago, I also enjoyed staying in downtown highrise for the amentities it provides (Millworks is not close to the 45th floor I was on before).  

Releases – The current plan the developer has is to release 10 homes at a time while gauging the interest ,control inventory and proper pricing. 

Tax Credit – And don’t forget the Federal First Time Homebuyer Up to $8,000 Tax Credit as well as the California State Up to $10,000 Tax Credit for purchasing new contrustions !

Interested in Checking out Millworks? – I enjoyed my visit to Millworks with Barbara.  Let me know if this stirs up your curiosity.  Please give me a call (415) 717-0293 or email me at sylvia@SylviaSellsMarin.comif you want to check out Millworks.  I would love to come with you and get your input about the building that changed the face of Old Town Novato, For Better For Worse, and hopefully, since it’s already here, we will make it ”For Better’ because that’s the only way we can all benefit! 


Kentfield Home Earned a Red Hot “Most Sustainable Renovation’ Award from Met Home

redhot According to Kentfield Architect, Sarah Robinson, an Alumni of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture; that Being Green is not just to tear down and build from scratch but it’s about “Seeing the untapped potential that already exists.” Kentfield, Marin County Architect, Sarah Robinson, was thrilled, when her house earned the ‘Most Sustainable Renovation’ Award from the prestigious Metropolitan Home Magazine.

Robinson’s 1963 fixed-upper home incorporated the following winning features:

redhot1) Retain and Expand upon the original mid-century contemporaries design. Robinson’s usage of rich wood, glass, American clay plaster and copper echoed the ‘sensual surfaces’ from the outdoors. She also retained the original custom mahogany paneling and cabinetry.

redhot2) Resourcefulness- Adding 1200sf space (office, family room, extra bedroom) blow the building allows Robins the retain the original footprint of the building. Large dormer captures light and provides views of outdoors

redhot3) Usage of Reflective Surfaces Such as stainless steel, high gloss woods, glass cabinets, white ceilings makes the most of the natural light that streams into the space.

redhot4) Reused 80% of the original building material and incorporated with recycled materials from other sources – including reuse of the redwood framing from the attic for additional trim, exterior siding and new kitchen dormer. She also bought the seconds from a local tile manufacturer (Heath Ceramics in Sausalito).

redhot20090313__14finelivingxx_2005) Incorporated the outside environment to be the primary decorative feature for the home by using ‘floor-to-ceiling glass’, adding skylights and creating a large dormer to bring the outside in.

redhot6) Usage of Energy-Efficient Mechanical Systems Suchas soy-based form insulation, Eco-friendly American clay plaster, no-VOC paint and double-paned windows.

Footnote – I was contemplating about what to write for the RED HOT contest on ActiveRain eCO-All Star Group’s March challenge, and my upcoming presentation to my Rotary Club (of Novato Sunrise  about LEED and Local Green Buildings, when the Marin IJ Article about Local Architect, Sarah Robinson’s winning design caught my eyes. This is an excellent, timely example of how to creat a “RED HOT” Eco-Friendly, Sustainable Home while thinking Creatively Outside of the Box.

The idea of not having to build an eCO-friendly building from scratch, using recycled, reused, local materials to avoid the commonly expensive GREEN features, which is the main concern in a heathy economy and a huge hinderance in the current dismal economy while creating stunning buildings in the process makes this RED HOT for me!

* The post incorporated information from Met Home and Marin Independent Journal. – a news article caught my eyes and just in time for the RED HOT entry!

‘Commons At Mt. Burdell’ Commons Collaborative Meeting with San Marin Neighbors – 7PM, March 2nd, Novato, Marin

Common at Mount Burdell and FFIC Current Facility
Common at Mount Burdell and FFIC Current Facility
The following announcement was sent by San Marin Improvement Association, inviting residents to participate in a meeting with ‘Commons Collaborative’, concerning the

‘Commons at Mt. Burdell’ Project.







Time: 7pm, Monday, March 2nd
Meeting Objective: 
The proposed Commons at Mt. Burdell mixed-use development would eventually add approximately 750,000 square feet to an existing the 710,300 square foot Fireman’s Fund site (3 four-story office buildings). 
Phase 1 of new development would convert existing surface parking on the east side of the site to a 170 room hotel with a sports club and spa, first-floor retail space with 150 apartments above, and parking structures. 
Phase 2 eventually would add two new 250,000 square foot office buildings to the west end of the site, plus a day care center facility, community center, underground parking, and playing fields.  For more information, see:
The Commons at Mt. Burdell site is located on the northwest corner of the Atherton San Marin off ramp from Highway 101.  A SMART (Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit) train station is planned adjacent to the east end of the site.  Environmental credentials for the proposed development are significantly enhanced by the carbon neutral design, including onsite wastewater treatment, biodigesters to convert restaurant waste into fuel, photovoltaic panels, composting, and other green building features.
American Assets, Inc, (AA) the owner and developer, is just beginning the official City land use approval process. During the past year American Assets has met with a variety of local stakeholder groups.  Beginning in July 2008, representatives of numerous community groups formed the Commons Collaborative to work with the developer, AA, and the City, to ensure that the Commons maximizes advanced green design and affordable housing opportunities in this extraordinary smart growth location.  
Representatives of the following groups currently participate in the Commons Collaborative:
Sustainable Novato
The Commons Collaborative is distinct from other advocacy groups in that it does not seek to achieve its goals by applying pressure on decision makers and community leaders.  Instead, its approach involves listening to all stakeholders and looking for solutions which advance a number of complementary goals. contact a real estate agent


Sylvia Barry, Realtor, ePRO
Marin Realtor for Marin Real Estate
Marin, San Francisco North Bay
Frankk Howard Allen Realtors

 MARIN, SONOMA, S.F. BAY AREA REAL ESTATE – Beveldere, Corte Madera, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Larkspur, Marinwood, Mill Valley, Novato, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Sausalito, Tiburon; Cotati, Penngrove, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa. Starter Home to Luxury Property. REO (Bank Owned), Short Sale, View Homes, Architecural Distictive Homes. Investment, 1031 Exchange. Chinese Realtor.

Make Dreams Real – Rotary Club of Novato Sunrise Youth Services 

“Yes, We Can” “Make it Right (ECO, Green)” for Marin County Flood Zone

I was asked by the Active Rain (Real Estate Blog Site) ECO-All-Star Group Leader to enter into the group’s January Challenge.   The goal of the contest is trying to determine how the ECO Green Design from actor Bad Pitt’s “Make It Right” foundation will benefit local homeowners.  

The entry did get the First Place in the very tight contest and was the Featured Blog for both the group and ActiveRain community 🙂


465px-hurricane_katrina_august_28_2005_nasaNEW ORLEANS, LA

  1. It is now 3 and 1/2 years since Katrina’s 2nd landfall on August 29th, 2005 in Southeast Louisiana.  With the unprecedented economic downturn and the excitement of a new President and the New HOPE promised by President Obama, Katrina seems to be a distant past, a fading memory, something to be put on the back burner and forgotten.

Why should it still matter? – New Orleans had come back to life, Mardi Gras celebration goes on … But how can we forget the devastation and extreme destruction since Katrina slammed into New Orleans and the continued struggle200px-nola9thfloodedbetsy 9th Ward people have while hoping to rebuild their homes and start a new life? 

250px-hurricane_katrina_medical_evacueesBy August 31, 2005, eight percent of New Orleans was flooded; with some parts under 15 feet of water, thousands of buildings destroyed and the official death toll, according to the Louisiana Department of Health, was 1,464.   

Seeing the great loss, actor Brad Pitt formed the “Make It Right”foundation a year ago and presented lot owners in Lower 9th Ward with designs by 13 architects; basically allowing the homeowners to pick a design for their homes to be rebuilt by the foundation.

make-it-right-pic-2December 11, 2008, the “Make It Right” Foundation celebrates the completion of first six homes. These are not only a fresh start for homeowners but also become blueprints for LEED Platinum Certified, affordable, storm-resistant, and Green/ECO sustainable housing designs. 

The homes are built with sustainable wood cabinetry, non-toxic paints, and Energy Star appliances; as well as Green features that take these houses to the next level include insulation that makes them five times more air-tight than typical homes, photovoltaic systems, and groundwater heat pumps for both heating and cooling.  Looking ahead, separate plumbing lines were installed so owners can utilize their rain harvest systems if a current s law banning rainwater for toilet use is repealed.

Heavily subsidized by Pitt’s foundation, the per-house budget of $150,000 is possible because of donated materials and services, including the architects’ designs.  The costs are expected to drop as more houses are built. The goal is to build 150 homes; Pitt’s foundation has raised money for 87 of them.

An additional $9,450,000 is needed to complete the remaining 63 homes at $150,000 each.  A speckle of dust comparing this to national debt; but a healthy chunk of money when money is scarce (unless you are Treasury with a printing press, of course)begreenfeelgolden1


Back to my hometown, the Marin County – As Marin county residents (or California, in that respect), by the Very Nature of choosing to be part of Marin County, we are proud of being ECO, being GREEN, being environmental friendly and being Sustainable.  We want to be in the forefront of going Green and being Green! (see logo from San Marin High School for their Green Week event)

Marin has seen a few successful Green Projects. Boasting Cleanest Air in the Country, Novato (San Rafael 2nd, and Salinas placed 15th in Clean Air category) in Marin County, CA has three of the following four Green Projects (there are many more) –

phpthumb1) Dominican Convent in San Rafael received a Gold Certificate from the U.S. Building Council for the sustainable building (convent). The 6,200-square-foot, two-story shingle-and-stucco convent, built with strong lines and a vibrant brick-red exterior, takes full advantage of the latest pro-environment technology. It has rooftop photovoltaic panels, solar-powered attic fans and toxic-free insulation of reclaimed materials, . With programmable gas heaters in each room, the interior remains at a uniformly comfortable temperature, even with a floor made entirely from a mix of concrete and recycled fly ash.  Traffic flows were studied, Recycled furnishings were used, History was preserved.  

Dominican convent is the only environmentally certified convent in the world, right here in Marin.  

2) 10-4-07004Virginia Grove In Novato, Marin is the First None Public Funded Affordable Green Homes in Marin county and the Winner of the 2007 Award of Excellence for Smart Growth & Workforce Housing,138 points on the Build-It-Green scale, the highest ever in Novato.  This project combines attractive architecture, Green Development Practices and lower income affordable housing in a single-family environment.   Heralded by ABAG as “a model for regional planning”, the project includes bioswales, Grass-pave, ground-water recharge, a major tree-transplanting program, passive solar heating and cooling, pre-wiring for solar photovoltaic panels, sustainable, recycled and reclaimed materials on an infill property.  

chi_fp_oliveridge_sm_13) Olive Ridge, again in Novato, CA, on the other hand, is a Luxury Green Home development consists of 19 homes on large lots surrounded by 20 acres of open spaces.  

The homes meet the new Residential Green Building Ordinances for all single family homes and major remodels by City of Novato.  The ordinances addresses Green Issues such as using Natural Resources, conserve Water And Energy and improve Indoor Quality; use energy-efficient materials and techniques such as photovoltaic, solar panels.

20080613__firemans1_gallery 3). Commons at Mt. Burdell– A redevelopment of the current Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company’s property in North Novato (the north most part of Marin County) brings the first LEED Platinum certified project to Marin County.   Numerous neighborhood meetings and city planning meetings were held for neighbor and city input on the project. 

The project considers and implements plans for renewable energy, conserve and recycle water, noise reduction, indoor air quality, reuse, recycle, education, public transportation, and plans to achieve carbon-neutrality within 10 years.  A music will also be built for educational purposes.       


Those are  examples of the existing and in planning Green Buildings in Marin County


Looking at the designs for the 9th Ward and considering the challenges some the Marin county residents have, the “Make It Right” foundation’s design can benefit many of Marin Residents, especially for the ones who live in one of the 10 flood Zones in Marin County (o.k. don’t know what happened to Zone 2)novato-flood

The flooding happens every few years and can be devastating to local residents and businesses (see picture on the right for Novato Flood in the ’80s). 

Not only it is disruptive to lives and businesses, being in the flood zone also requires flood insurance for homeowners and has an adverse effect on the desirability of the homes and housing prices in the area. 

  • Flood Zone 1 – Novato Area, 
  • Flood Zone 3 – Mill Valley Area,   
  • Flood Zone 4 – Bel Aire Area   
  • Flood Zone 5 – Stinson Beach 
  • Flood Zone 6 – San Rafael Meadows  
  • Flood Zone 7 – Santa Venetia
  • Flood Zone 9 – Ross Valley (Corte Madera Creek)
  • Flood Zone 10 Inverness

Some of the features for the “Make It Right” homes will probably even benefit earthquake prone California – the stilts have to be able to withheld the surge of flood water, which shall be able to absorb some of the effects from an earthquake.

As we have learned from various sources, designing Green Buildings and acquire Green Material add a premium to the building of those homes, especially the LEED Certification, which can prove to be cost prohibitive to embark on related projects.  


The idea of sharing the ‘Make It Right’ plan provides “a sense of working together to change the world”.  Being able to share the plan from 9th ward, one of the most economically challenged areas in the country with other areas in the U.S. provides both a symbolic and real meaning of working together and sharing; something to be encouraged and proud of! 

And remember, one of the most important features of Green/Sustainable are to RECYCLE, REUSE and to CONSERVE, same thing goes to building plans.

d_bnim_012Although some of the designs are hard to picture in Marin, but a few will fit right in (see the one on the left)!   

Now comes the difficult part –

moneysign3How Do We Fund all These – not talking about Marin projects, but the remaining Lower 9th Ward homes?

Well, last I checked…  there are currently 1,197,529 Realtors  registered with National Association of Realtors, 

As Realtors, we care about our neighbors, our fellow citizens and our country.  in short, WE CARE!  

The participation by All Realtors at a time of housing crisis to help complete the Lower 9th Ward project will definitely go a long way to show the nation that Realtors DO Care, which is something Money Can NOt Buy!   

hopeWith each Realtor donating $8.00;  we can raise more than enough for the 63 remaining homes.  The remainders can be used to improve the Lower 9th Ward! 

What better time to help with the Optimism of “HOPE” and “Change Is Coming” slogans and what a great time to cultivate Goodwill among All.  

To jump Start, Yes, Mr. Brad Pitt might just want to be the Goodwill Ambassador for NAR as his presence will certainly rally the participation and help all to accomplish this noble goal! 


Sylvia Barry, Realtor, ePRO
Marin Realtor for Marin Real Estate
Marin, San Francisco North Bay
Frankk Howard Allen Realtors

MARIN, SONOMA, S.F. BAY AREA REAL ESTATE – Beveldere, Corte Madera, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Larkspur, Marinwood, Mill Valley, Novato, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Sausalito, Tiburon; Cotati, Penngrove, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa. Starter Home to Luxury Property. REO (Bank Owned), Short Sale, View Homes, Architecural Distictive Homes. Investment, 1031 Exchange. Chinese Realtor.

Make Dreams Real – Rotary Club of Novato Sunrise Youth Services

Commons at Mt. Burdell Development San Marin Meeting – 12/4, Novato

The benefit of being an active member of the neighborhood San Marin Improvement Association; we are always invited in the discussion of local developments.

Two important neighborhood development meetings I have attended this year are 200 San Marin Drive (Across from San Marin Plaze (South East corner of San Marin Drive and San Andrea Drive), and the new ‘Commons at Mt. Burdell’ development (sited at Fireman’s Fund site – see BLOG Below for details)

As a follow-up to the meeting, and as development on the project advances, we are also invited to another neighborhood meeting hosted by Mr. John Chamberlain, CEO of the American Assets.

Please make sure you attend the meeting to find out what progress has been made and what the future plans are for the site.

See Invitation Below.

The Commons at Mount Burdell Update by John Chamberlain, CEO, American Assets

November 2008

I have appreciated everyone’s comments and input with regards to the redevelopment project at the Fireman’s Fund property, now known as The Commons at Mount Burdell. The name was selected from the meaning “commons” which translates to a tract of land belonging to a whole community. In addition it defines the landmark proximity of Mount Burdell. I also want to share some exciting updates from our journey towards creating one of the nation’s largest completely sustainable, carbon-neutral mixed use developments.

Our application submittal to the city in June 2008 initiated an approximate 12-month process where we’re engaging the city, community stakeholders and the project’s immediate neighbors in an ongoing outreach and design consultation process prior to the Design Review Committee, Planning Commission and City Council review in 2009.

While the feedback from the many consultants working on the project has taken longer than originally anticipated, we are exceedingly pleased with the positive input coming in…including word from our sustainability engineers, Timmons Design Engineers, in July that our plans show that carbon-neutrality could be achieved in less than 10 years; exceeding the performance targets of the 2030 Challenge.

Earlier this month the Novato Planning Department had inboxes full of documents for The Commons at Mount Burdell including:

  • Master Plan/Precise Development Plan
  • Sustainability Master Plan
  • Historical Resources Survey
  • Visual & Scenic Resource Evaluation
  • Biological Resources Survey
  • Air Quality Analysis
  • Noise Quality Analysis
  • Geotechnical Review
  • Drainage Study & Storm Water Control Plan
  • Transportation Impact Analysis Report

The first calendared meeting to review the project will be held at The Novato Unified School District, 1015 7th Street, on Thursday, December 4th at 7:00pm. This will be a public outreach meeting, which is a statutory requirement. Many of you will receive public notice of the meeting due to your proximity to the project. If you are not on that notice list, we hope you will mark your calendar and attend as your continued input is important to us.

I look forward to sharing the continued progress of this development with you and, again, we appreciate your support and feedback.

Sylvia Barry, Realtor, ePRO
Marin Realtor for Marin Luxury Real Estate
Marin, San Francisco North Bay
Frankk Howard Allen Realtors

MARIN, SONOMA, S.F. BAY AREA REAL ESTATE – Beveldere, Corte Madera, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Larkspur, Marinwood, Mill Valley, Novato, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Sausalito, Tiburon; Cotati, Penngrove, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa.   Starter Home to Luxury Property.  REO (Bank Owned), Short Sale, View Homes, Architecural Distictive Homes. Investment, 1031 Exchange.

Novato Disposal Service – Highest Recyclable Waste Collection

As a Novato Resident, surrounded by Open Space, Natural Parks, Bay front; we are proud to be the city with the highest recyclable collection and lowest solid waste rate in Marin county.

The distinction can not be achieved solely by residents with good intention without the service provided by Novato Disposal Service

The Novato Disposal Service provides weekly pick ups of Green (Yard) Recyclables and Blue Recyclables (plastic containers, newspaper, bottles, jars, etc), Bi-Annual (spring, fall) large items, large volume and eWaste free-collections which the neighborhoods overwhelmingly participate and look forward to.

The service utilizes plants with state of the art equipment to sort, accept and reject wastes, ensuring proper waste recycle to allow for most waste being processed.

Their website provides timely guidance on recyclable plastics, cans, paper products; safely dispose of cooking oil, fluorescent lights, how to pack for lunches to produce the least solid waste; and where to dispose of hazard waste; etc.

The Novato Disposal team also participates in chamber and school green activities; and Novato July 4th Parade, putting on a great waste collection routine to promote their recycle program.

The latest improvement for Novato Disposal Service is the new Garbage Trucks they purchased.  hese new eco-friendly split-body vehicles decrease the number of trips through neighborhoods by one-third, while inside two separate compartments keep the materials separate. Collecting two materials in the dual compartment trucks decreased the amount of fuel and energy used, not to mention reduced traffic on highways and neighborhoods.  This allows for picking up both green and blue wastes on the same route; eliminating double pick ups and providing savings on resources (manpower, gas consumption, ozone depletion).

Not only is Novato Disposal Service mindful of local recycling programs, they also participate and donate generously to local schools.  They are the annual supporter for the local high school Safe and Sober Grad Night fundraising effort; where the high school helps residents in recycling their Christmas trees in exchange of a small donation to the worthy cause.  For a week after Christmans, the Novato Disposal donates huge derbris boxes and the drivers to transport and dispose of the Christmas tree.  ( Note – Please come back later for 2011 Christmas Tree pick info)
For the ECO minded readers, I encourage you to go to their website to learn more about how to properly recycle and save the environment. 

Cleanest Air in the Country – Novato, Marin County, CA

The News is Out! Renowed for Quality of Life, Marin County Towns were winnders in the 2008 Money Magazine ‘Best Places To Live’ “Clean Air’ category.

Among all the small towns ranked by the Money agazine, Novato won first place, San Rafafel Second and Salinas placed 15 in the ‘Clean Air’ category.

Top 25 in 2008 Money Magazine Quality of Life ‘Clean Air’ Category

And don’t forget, the further North you go in Marin, the sunnier it gets – beats the city 100%

200 San Marin Dr. Novato, Pre Construction Meeting

200 San Marin Drive Drawing by Catlin Properties

As a San Marin Improvement Association’s member, I went to the preconstruction meeting for 200 San Marin Drive Project today. 

200 San Marin Drive is now a the vacant lot situated at the south east corner of San Marin Drive and San Andreas Drive.  Designated as a gas station, it will now be a single story, 6,700sf. medical building planned for four medical or dental offices serving local community.

Others present were two San Andreas HOA members, Chip Fuller, Vice President of Catlin Properties, owner of 200 San Marin Drive and Aton Seikowitz of Selkowitz & CO., Inc. General Contractors.  

The plan is to start construction as soon as possible, either the week of July 28th or August 4th.  The entire project is expected to be around 7 months long, with the first phase having the most impact on the neighborhood.  The crew will be working between 8:00am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday.   

The first phase, which is expected to last 6-8 weeks, can produce the most noise and dust.  This phase includes building a six foot fence at the rear, leveling the field (where the entire ground will be at midpoint of the current elevation), digging and laying pipes for water and sewage, drainage filtration system, paving the road ,…,etc. 

Dust control is a major concern, and the crew will be keeping the ground wet and dust to the minimum.  The crew will also be trimming some of the trees which overhang the site, where permission will be obtained from the county (for the Oak tree) and the neighboring owners.

A temporary chain link type of fence will be erected to protect the premises and pedestrians.

The rest of the project will be of less impact to the neighborhood, where they will be working on the building itself.  The owner would like to have the lot surface prepared and paved before raining season so as to minimize soil run off to the street.

The last two months is expected to be all internal work with minimum distruption to the neighborhood.

Anton and Chip provided us with their contact information and encouraged neighbors to contact them shall there be any concern during the construction phase.

The above is my understanding after the meeting today.  I welcome comments and corrections. 

Green Building Components:

Per Catlin Website.  200 San Marin Drive will incorporate the following “Green Building” Components:

Plumbing for solar panels,and reuse of gray water
Filterra storm water treatment systems
Satellite weather controlled drip irrigation
Native and drought tolerant landscaping
High efficiency HVAC systems
Low VOC paints, adhesives and sealants
No added-urea formaldehyde for all composite wood products
CRI Green Label Plus carpets
Fluorescent lighting
Occupancy sensors in rest rooms
Dual flush and low flow fixtures
LED exit signs
Waste management system, recycling
Energy modeling and analysis reporting system


200 San Marin Drive Project by Catlin Properties

Novato Planning Commission Meeting Agenda March 17, 2008

200 San Marin Drive Medical Office Documents for Panning Commission 03/17/08 meeting