Wednesday, November 27, 2019

A Tale of Two Parks Maintenance Sheds. ("Why is Marinwood CSD building a White Elephant?)

Marin County just completed a new staff building for McInnis Park in 2017 . It is 1205 square foot facility including a 640 aquare foot garage and serves a staff of six employees.

McInnis Park, located at 310 Smith Ranch Road in San Rafael, is a 450 acre park that offers an award-winning skatepark, two softball fields, two soccer fields, a canoe launch, four tennis/pickleball courts, a group picnic area, and nature trails. It has a full time/seasonal staff of six. They are housed in a 1205 square foot garage and office.

Marinwood Park is 14.2 acres with approximately 6 acres improved space which features four tennis courts, two large fields, a playground, pool, picnic area and a community center.  It has a full time landscaping staff of three.  

Marinwood CSD wants to build a 4400 square foot facility for Marinwood Park to replace the old garage. The main building is 3200 square feet and features a 14' tall x 80' long front wall and is surrounded by another 40' x 70' long fence.  It is enormous, yet the drive through design means that 1/3 of the interior space must be left open for access. A staff shower was recently added to the design.  The building is TWICE the size of neighboring homes.  Outside storage of landscaping waste, bulk materials and parking for the dump truck and trailer will be in front of the building now shown as a lawn in the fanciful architect's rendering.
The McInnis Park building is on the park road leading to the tennis courts and skate park. It is an practical shed roof design with a 640 square foot garage and an attached 565 square foot office. McInnis Park has a much larger staff and equipment storage needs but somehow find they find a much smaller facility than Marinwood CSD Maintenance Compound will serve them.  It was recently completed in 2017.

The McInnis Park staff facility is an excellent model for Marinwood CSD to copy for our needs.  It is a modest, organic design and will fit well in our nature park setting.  If Marinwood CSD adopted such a design it will certainly win widespread support from citizens of Marinwood.

Why DOE MARINWOOD CSD propose a Maintenance Compound that is THREE TIMES the size of McInnis Park Staff facilities for our tiny staff with minimal needs?

Stop the White Elephant

Sign the Petition HERE

Editor's Note CORRECTION:An earlier version of this story mentioned $985k construction cost but that bid proposal was for two buildings and included significant lot improvements in addition to the construction of the building. You can see the RFP from Marin County Parks here. Prevailing wage work is very expensive but not as bad as the original version of the story implied.   The Marinwood CSD has not discussed the planned budget for the RFP.  It seems like a basic step for planning a major capital project, doesn't it? The Marinwood CSD should not hide budgets from the public before moving the project.  That is why we will insist on a PUBLIC FORUM to weigh the project against alternative design proposals.  A sensibly designed project will win public support. 


  1. Please explain how a 70' fence can encompass an 80' building wall? You can't even present believable misinformation.

  2. The compound is 40’ x 150’ or approximately 4400 square feet not incliding the large parking and landscaping debris dump and material storage in front the building which is at least 6000 square feet. In addition trucks will not be able to turn around at the Eastern end of the compound. They will need to drive another 300’ to turn around in the meadow. The footprint of the facility is ridiculously huge. Please study the plan and calculate the space requirements for the vehicles. We should not argue about raw measurements. It is not surprising that the CSD refuses to place story poles. I am surprised that reasonable people cannot agrree on the actual size of the facility. The McInnis facility disproves the assertion that we need so much space for three person landscaping department.

  3. The measurements are the whole point. The new facility is the same used space as the current one. Turn around in the meadow? That sounds made up. They'll probably just 3 point turn.

  4. No the measurements are NOT THE SAME. It is frustrating to repeat this. Look at the Marinwood CSD map closely and you will find a huge area called "outdoor storage" which is simply a large area of dirt and air. It is currently where they dump landscaping debris and park vehicles. They claim this is part of the "old facility". The new facility ALSO uses this area for landscaping debris and vehicle storage but it does not appear in the new site maps. Also, you can "suspect" that the turn around in the meadow is made up but until you actually measure the turning radius of vehicles and the amount of stable land available next the the riverbank, you know that the only area to turn around will be in the meadow. They do this now on a daily basis.

    It seems that you are not willing to apply a critical analysis. May I ask you why it is possible that McInnis Park is able to manage 450 acres and a staff of six in a 1200sf building but Marinwood Park must have FOUR TIMES the amount for 3 workers and a managed landscape of 6-7 acres?

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.