Sunday, September 22, 2019

Maintenance Shed as Proposed to Marinwood CSD board on May 8, 2018

Here is the Maintenance Shed proposal by former Marinwood CSD Director Bill Hansell on May 8th.  The proposal calls for 4400 square feet of structure and the demolishment of the existing buildings and portable office.  It will definitely cost the district upwards of $250,000 for a shed structure where a standard maintenance shed could cost the district less than $80,000 , take 1/4 of the space .  Aside from the encroachment on the creek conservation area and cost, the Hansell design is rectangular and will make access less efficient for accessing tools and equipment.  Vehicles would have to be moved in and out for access to the back of the shop. Pathways would have to remain open to allow movement.  

In contrast, the "shed bay" design allows each individual vehicle to move independently and tools and material storage will line the walls. A bay could be emptied for temporary projects and the entire structure is much smaller and less expensive.  Virtually EVERY Maintenance department in Marin County has a "shed bay " design facility. And NO government facilities, including the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Civic Center have fancy buildings for work trucks.  Space is at a premium and work efficiency must drive design.  I have included three practical and attractive "shed bay" designs at the end of this posting. 

What is not readily apparent in the Bill Hansell proposal is that the building will occupy virtually all of the space on the fire road and will block the view of the nature trail, possibly creating some security concerns.  You can see the proposed building footprint compared to the existing footprint on the first building slide.  I am also concerned that the awkward access to the horizontal building will mean that vehicles and materials will be regularly parked outside the structure creating even MORE of an impact to our precious park area.

While I am delighted that we are finally getting around to rebuilding the maintenance shed, I think it is important that we fully vet this project with the public and the workers who will actually be using the facility.  Our parkland is too precious and we need to use space wisely.

The new building blocks the entire existing fire Road and is as large as the existing facility.  Not included in this picture are the massive brush piles, vehicles and materials storage. A new solution needs to address this and sadly this project does not.
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The project footprint is roughly 45' x 150'.  This is massive and spans two backyard fence lines. The alternate designs below span about half the space.

The design is attractive but has poor vehicle and material access.  This vantage point is from the drainage ditch and will not be seen.  The ordinary view will be the gates on either end on the fire road.

There is no question that Bill Hansell has put thought into his design.  Such architecture is largely wasted for such a facility .  A much better use of his talents should be used for a community gathering spot such as an outdoor stage or seating area.   With the savings from a stock maintenance shed design, the rest of the budget could be used for vitalizing our main park area near the Community Center.

Here are alternate designs from Modular Building companies start at $10,000 installed.  They are more functional and save space, too

Architectural Drawing HERE  

These designs could have a fourth bay added and would have a foot print of roughly 24' x 55" and would span only 1 fence line and still allow visual access to the nature path.   A small office on the end is adequate for daily use.  It is about a third of the size of the Hansell initial design. The access is far easier for daily work and fits the conventional layout of maintenance facilities.  The building is essentially as long as the existing office trailer and twice as wide. Much space can be saved with a design of this type and would allow the creation of a childrens nature playground and/picnic area next to the creek.

Editors Note: September 22, 2019  The original Bill Hansell design has had several revisions and enhancements since this was written in May 2018.  The original estimate for Bill Hansells architecture fees was $13,000 in February 2018 as testified by Marinwood CSD manager, Eric Dreikosen.  Hansell received a very generous "time and materials" design fee that has allowed him to unlimited billing for his services. We estimate that he has billed the Marinwood CSD more than $50k BEFORE the plan has been approved by Marin County.  The CSD Board, has allowed this WASTE AND ABUSE of the taxpayers.  They will not even allow discussion of the total cost of the project in Board meetings.  It is corruption in slow motion and people need to be held accountable.


  1. Thanks for showing the "design" pictures. Funny the drawings look like an Eichler house. I understand that the new maintenance shed roof will be flat. It's hard to tell from the drawings, but FOUR SKY LIGHTS have been planned. imo a slightly slanted roof without any sky lights would be cheaper, less likely to leak, and easier to maintain.

  2. I think quality natural lighting is essential for a safe working environment and functional access to the full square footage of the facility. Solar tubes are inexpensive alternative to skylights and have less failure due to moisture intrusion. Also, clerestory lighting can provide indirect lighting that will not have problems with leakage.