Marin County Parks and Open Space Department

Inclusive Access Plan

Board Adopts Inclusive Access Plan

Following a recommendation to approve the Draft Final Inclusive Access Plan by the Parks and Open Space Commission, on August 9 the Marin County Open Space District (MCOSD) Board of Directors adopted the Draft Final Inclusive Access Plan and the Addendum to the Road and Trail Management Plan Tiered Programmatic Environmental Impact Report (RMTP TPEIR).

The final plan documents are available for download from this webpage (below). Printed high-resolution digital copies of these documents may be obtained or viewed during standard business hours, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the Marin County Parks administrative office, 3501 Civic Center Drive, Suite 260, San Rafael, CA 94903-4157. High-resolution digital copies on flash drive are available for “will call” pickup (free) at the administrative office or by mail ($2.00). Printed high-resolution digital copies are available by mail for $44.33.

Final Inclusive Access Plan

To request your preferred version, please contact Craig Richardson at (415) 473-7057.

Overview

The Marin County Open Space District (MCOSD) is developing its first Inclusive Access Plan to increase the overall equitability of access to County open space and give visitors increased flexibility in how they make use of the preserves according to their own abilities. Development of an Inclusive Access Plan will include review and analysis of current State, Federal, and County requirements, standards, and best practice guidelines relating to accessibility in open space areas and will relate these to current MCOSD policies, standards, and practices. The project will include extensive outreach to organizations and stakeholders who have a primary interest in access issues. The Inclusive Access Plan project is funded by Measure A.

Background

The MCOSD manages 34 open space preserves offering visitors outstanding scenic vistas, redwood groves, cascading waterfalls, opportunities for wildlife viewing, and other natural amenities. Preserves are managed primarily for natural resource preservation and, with the exception of trails used by pedestrians, mountain bicyclists, and equestrians, do not contain recreational facilities of the type found in parks. The MCOSD manages approximately 16,000 acres of land.

Since its inception in 1972, the MCOSD has acquired and preserved nearly 16,000 acres of marshland, forests, creeks, and rolling hills that define the character and quality of life in Marin, promote health and wellness, and protect important natural habitats and ecosystem functions. These lands include over 200 miles of unpaved roads and trails that consist of former logging and ranch roads, fire protection roads, and narrow trails. Over time, the network of roads and trails has been improved and opened for use by hikers, dog walkers, equestrians, bird watchers, mountain bikers, and those who want to be immersed in nature in their recreation pursuits. These recreation opportunities in the MCOSD’s beautiful and diverse preserves have become well known and much loved.

In addition to the recreation opportunities of the preserves, the preserves provide critical ecological benefits including carbon sequestration, the natural cleaning of our water and air, and the protection of wildlife. The roads and trails provide access for maintenance and emergency services provided by the MCOSD, Marin County Fire, Marin Municipal Water District, and other agencies.

The Inclusive Access Plan will provide a mechanism for identifying opportunities to improve access to our preserve trail system for all users regardless of their abilities or age. Marin County Parks, including the MCOSD, is currently developing its first comprehensive Signage Master Plan and Standards Manual. The sign plan will address accessibility requirements through additional content about facilities, sign design, and the creation of inviting and informative barrier-free entries and gates.

Planning Process

The Inclusive Access Plan process employs comprehensive public outreach effort that includes the facilitation of focus group sessions, a public open house, and two public workshops where project updates will be presented and feedback will be solicited on various components of the plan. Dates and times for these events will be posted here as they become available (see Public Meetings section below). Project Process and Timeline.

Sign up to receive email notices about the Inclusive Access Plan process as well as project updates.

Outcomes

The MCOSD has identified the following four outcomes or products that will result from the planning process:

  1. Incorporation of appropriate design features in new facilities as they are constructed and incremental improvements to existing facilities as they are redeveloped.
  2. Development of a set of guidelines for evaluating and communicating in a transparent, standardized, and accessible manner, information related to the physical configuration of individual trails, which will empower users to make more informed decisions about which open space experiences would be most comfortable and rewarding for them.
  3. Visioning and basic design for a system of six to eight destination-oriented trails that would provide access exceeding the levels required by any existing Federal, State, or local guidelines. Identified locations for these trails would be selected to encompass a set of environments broadly representative of the diversity contained within the MCOSD’s preserves.
  4. Other updates to our policies and procedures necessary to prepare us to face challenges presented by rapid technological change, for instance related to the development of Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices which are capable of navigating steep and uneven terrain such is typically found in open space.

Consistency with Existing Plans and Policies

The development of the Inclusive Access Plan is consistent with countywide and the MCOSD plans and policies, including the following:

Draft Inclusive Access Plan

The Draft Inclusive Access Plan for Marin County's open space preserves is available for public review. The draft plan comment period closed on December 3, 2015.

  1. View or download the Draft Inclusive Access Plan
  2. Electronic version also available on a flash drive. Will call pickup for free or $2 to ship
  3. Printed hardcopy version: $31.50 for will call pickup or $37.00 to ship

Public Meetings and Workshops


All public meetings and events sponsored or conducted by the County of Marin are held in accessible sites. Requests for accommodations may be made by calling (415) 473-2495 (voice/TTY) or 711 for the California Relay Service or by e-mailing disability access at least five work days in advance of the event.

Public Meeting

The MCOSD presented the Inclusive Access Plan and Initial Study at the Parks and Open Space Commission meeting.

Date: July 21, 2016 
Time: 3:00pm
Location: Planning Chambers (Room 328), 3501 Civic Center Drive, San Rafael

Public Meeting

The MCOSD presented the draft Inclusive Access Plan at the Parks and Open Space Commission meeting.

Date: November 19, 2015 
Time: 3:00pm
Location: Planning Chambers (Room 328), 3501 Civic Center Drive, San Rafael

Public Workshop

The MCOSD presented the proposed policies for the destination-oriented trail systems, tools for communications, protocol for monitoring trail accessibility, and destination-oriented trails system.

Date: July 21, 2015 
Time: 6:00pm  - 8:00pm
Location: Corte Madera Town Center, Community Room, Suite 201, 770 Tamalpais Drive, Corte Madera.

Public Workshop

The MCOSD presented findings from recent trail evaluations, discussed existing policies, guidelines and standards, and identified a list of potential candidates for the initial set of trails to be designed as part of the plan. Participants were asked to help select initial set of trails.

Date: May 19, 2015 
Time: 6:00pm  - 8:00pm
Location: Marin County Health and Wellness Connection Center Room 109, 3240 Kerner Blvd, San Rafael

Open House

The MCOSD hosted a public open house to introduce the plan to the public, engage in discussion, and invite feedback.

Date: February 26, 2015 
Time: 6:00pm  - 8:00pm
Location: Town Center Corte Madera Community Room, 770 Tamalpais Drive, Suite 201 (at the south end of the shopping center)







For more information, contact Open Space Planner Craig Richardson by email or at (415) 473-7057.