Bay-Friendly Blog: Wildfire Season Is Here–Are You Prepared?

The following is a posting from the Bay-Friendly Blog. You may find the original posting here.

Defensible space is the area around your home that has been modified to reduce the effects of wildfire. The following actions can help turn your yard into a defensible space:

  • Cutting annual grasses within 30-100’ of your home.
  • Pruning all tree branches a minimum of 10 feet off the ground, and at least 10 feet away from roof lines, decks and chimneys.
  • Breaking up fuel continuity by creating islands of vegetation and removing flammable materials between them.
  • Removing highly flammable vegetation such as juniper, bamboo, scotch broom and eucalyptus. Not only do these plants create intense fires, they produce embers that can travel long distances and start new spot fires.
  • Flammable plants should be removed and replaced with fire resistant, drought tolerant plants.

The City of Mill Valley recently constructed a fire resistive/defensible space garden near its public safety building. Here is a plant list from the project:

  • Agave Attenuata – Fox Tail Agave
  • Campanula Portenschlagiana – Bellflower
  • Cercis Occidentalis – Western Redbud
  • Cistus Salvifolius ‘Prostratus’ – Rock Rose
  • Correa Reflexa ‘Cape Green’ – Cape Green Fuchsia
  • Erigeron X Moerheimi – Pink Santa Barbara Daisy
  • Eschscholzia Californica – California Poppy
  • Festuca Glauca ‘Elijah Blue’ – Elijah Blue Fescue
  • Lavandula ‘Provence’ – French Lavender
  • Limonium Perezii – Sea Lavender
  • Olea Europaea – European Olive
  • Mimulus Aurantiacus – Sticky Monkey Flower
  • Nepeta Faassenii ‘Walkers Low’ – Cat Mint
  • Penstemon Heterophyllus – Foothill Penstemon
  • Phormium Tenax ‘Dusky Chief’ – New Zealand Flax ‘Dusky Chief’
  • Phormium ‘Tiny Tiger’ – Tiny Tiger Flax
  • Salvia Apiana – White Sage
  • Thymus Serpyllum – Creeping Thyme
  • Verbena Bonariensis – Purpletop Vervain

Home Wildfire Protection

In addition to creating a defensible space in your yard around your home, it is also important to evaluate the fire safety of your house itself. An ember from a wildfire can drop into your gutter, under the deck or in a dry potted plant that can start a fire and threaten your house. The following actions can help protect your home:

  • Make sure your street address is clearly visible from the street.
  • Install a spark arrester on your chimney to prevent embers from leaving your chimney.
  • Remove the dead needles and debris from your gutters.
  • Clear storage and clutter from under your decks and up against your house.
  • Remove dead or dry potted plants from around your house.
  • Patio cushions and other storage on a deck or patio pose a threat if an ember was to drop on them.

You can never be 100% safe from the risk of a wildfire, but if you take the actions listed above you will significantly improve the fire safety of your home.

-Scott Barnes, Mill Valley Fire Department

Scott Barnes is the Battalion Chief-Operations of the Mill Valley Fire Department and works to educate the public about fire safety.

Posted in Alerts, Communications, Fire, Landscaping | Comments Off

June 10, 2015 Kentfield Planning Advisory Board Meeting

Dear Greenbrae Residents,

I apologize for the late notice but I am writing to let you know the Kentfield Planning Advisory Board (“KPAB”) is having a meeting on June 10, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. with a group of parents and officials from Marin Catholic High School (“MC”) to discuss MC’s desire to install lights at its football stadium. This is a preliminary meeting to explore MC’s proposal as MC has not filed any application to install lights with the County of Marin. KPAB has asked that I inform Greenbrae residents and invite residents to attend this meeting, which will take place at the Deedy Lounge, Student Center, at the College of Marin. MC representatives have informed me that MC is planning a community outreach program that will give Greenbrae and Kentfield residents multiple opportunities to provide input. The GPOA urges all interested residents to attend this meeting.

Very truly yours,

Jack Valinoti
GPOA President

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GPOA Annual Meeting May 18, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.

Dear Greenbrae Residents,

I am writing to let you know the GPOA Board has scheduled our Annual Meeting for Monday, May 18, 2015 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Central Marin Police Authority’s Community Meeting Room, which is located at 250 Doherty Avenue in Larkspur. Attached is the Newsletter and Spring 2015 Landscaping Report we have prepared in advance of the meeting. These items have been printed and delivered to the post office. They should be arriving at your homes shortly. The GPOA Board hopes you can make it to the Annual Meeting and looks forward to seeing you there.

Very truly yours,

Jack Valinoti
GPOA President

GPOA 2015 Newsletter

GPOA Spring 2015 Landscaping Report

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Supervisor Rice’s March/April Newsletter

Dear Greenbrae Residents,

Attached for your information is a copy of Supervisor Rice’s March/April Newsletter.

Very truly yours,

Jack Valinoti
GPOA President

SupervisorRiceMarchAprilEnews

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Please Store Your Garbage Pails

Dear Greenbrae Residents,

The GPOA has recently received several comments and/or complaints about neighbors who leave their garbage pails at the curb seven days a week, 24 hours a day. I’m writing to remind residents that our CCRs require homeowners to store their personal property within the interior of their buildings. While the GPOA understand that it may not be practical for all homeowners to store their garbage pails in their garage, leaving your garbage pails at the curb violates the CCRs. The GPOA reminds residents of the requirements of the CCRs and asks that all homeowners store their garbage pails inside the interior of their buildings, behind a fence, or alongside their homes rather than at the curb. Complying with the CCRs enhances the overall beauty of our wonderful neighborhood. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.

Very truly yours,

Jack Valinoti
GPOA President

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Supervisor Rice’s February 2015 Newsletter

Dear Greenbrae Residents:

Attached for your information is a copy of Supervisor Katie Rice’s February 2015 Newsletter.

Very truly yours,

Jack Valinoti

February 2015 Newsletter

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Upcoming Closure of East Sir Francis Drake Boulevard — March 26-28, 2015

Dear Greenbrae Residents:

The City of Larkspur has notified the GPOA of the upcoming closure of East Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in the late evening and early morning hours on March 26-28, 2015. Please see the attached closure notification and detour map the GPOA received from the City for further information.

Very truly yours,

Jack Valinoti

Closure Notification- Final

Detour Map

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Bon Air Center Refresh Project Meeting December 1, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.

Dear Greenbrae Residents:

I am writing to let you know Crome Architecture, a local architecture and planning firm that has been working with Greenbrae Management, Inc., contacted the GPOA regarding plans to improve and enhance the common areas of the Bon Air Center. The owners of the Bon Air Center understand and appreciate the fact that the surrounding community takes a special interest in the Bon Air Center. The owners are proud to announce a proposed Refresh Project to improve the public areas of Bon Air Center.

The Bon Air Center Refresh Project Team would like to invite all interested community members to a meeting at which the project will be presented in an informal manner that will allow plenty of time for questions and answers. The meeting will not be the official City of Larkspur public hearing on the project. That hearing will be held sometime next year during the Design Review hearing before the City of Larkspur Planning Commission.

This informal meeting will be held in the Community Meeting room at Drake’s Landing, adjacent to Jason’s Restaurant, which is located at 300 Drake’s Landing Road, on Monday, December 1, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.

Crome Architecture and the owners of the Bon Air Center look forward to meeting with the community and presenting this exciting project, which is designed to greatly enhance the Bon Air Center experience for all of its customers.

The GPOA encourages all Greenbrae residents to attend this meeting.

Very truly yours,

Jack Valinoti
GPOA President

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Voluntary Dues

Dear Greenbrae Residents:

The GPOA reminds residents we do not have mandatory dues; our dues are voluntary. We endeavor to mail out dues cards two times per year to encourage residents to contribute as and when they can. The GPOA has received comments from residents after we send out our second voluntary dues card of the year. These comments ask the GPOA to “please check its records” or inform the GPOA a resident has “already paid” their dues. Please note we send the second dues cards to all residents regardless of whether a contribution has already been received from that resident for a particular year. We thank all residents who make a voluntary contribution to the GPOA.

Thank you again for your support of the GPOA.

Very truly yours,

Jack Valinoti
GPOA President

Posted in Communications, GPOA | Comments Off

PG&E Gas Lines

Dear Greenbrae Residents:

I am writing to let you know that PG&E recently repaired a leak in a gas line in our neighborhood (on Vista Grande) and PG&E representatives have asked the GPOA to provide the information below to our residents.

PG&E customers can schedule a free appliance safety inspection if they have any concerns about gas line leaks. The number to call is (800) 743-5000. When prompted, press “4″ and, when prompted again, say “Service Request,” and, when prompted again, say “Appointment.”

Some of the appliances that PG&E inspects are furnaces, water heaters, ovens, ranges, hot tubs, pool heaters, clothes dryers, and gas fireplaces.

If residents smell gas, they should immediately move away from the area and call 911, or call PG&E at (800) 743-5000.

For additional safety tips and information about PG&E, please visit www.pge.com/safety.

Very truly yours,

Jack Valinoti
GPOA President

Posted in Communications, Utilities | Comments Off