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Design Review Looks at Downtown City Offices Plan

Wednesday's design review meeting will have an update of the building plans for the city offices with a model and samples of the building materials.

There may not be unanimous support for the downtown location and the cost of the Novato city administration offices, but public gets another chance to view and give input on the proposed design as the project moves through the design review process.

Hip roof or raked roof, limestone or brick, landscaping in the parking lot to allow for events and solar power are just a few of the city office design details being discussed at the Design Review Commisssion meeting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at .

So far, three public workshops have been held, and in November the city council gave direction to the architects after they presented variations for the building, parking and landscape. The complex is to be constructed at the corner of Machin Avenue and Cain Lane on an existing parking lot just behind Grant Avenue businesses.

Wednesday, RMW Architecture & Interiors will present a revised plan based on that public input and council direction, along with a scale model and samples of the materials to be used on the building.

So we ask Novato Patch readers, What are your thoughts about the direction of the architecture of the new city offices?  Are you warming up to the idea of city offices downtown?

Toot E. Picks Can Hurt Your Gums February 01, 2012 at 02:24 PM
I also agree with city offices downtown where they belong. In 2013 we can visit downtown Novato, ride the train, shop our local stores and park without getting a ticket by our local police department. Maybe we could place a statue of our city manager and council in the parking lot. This statue would be very well deserved of our elected officials/ City Manager who are going to make this town one great attraction to the citizens of Novato along with its visitors . Please attend the meeting tonight and show your support.. If you agree with a statue please post it here and we can start the collection box
Craig Belfor February 01, 2012 at 03:19 PM
How about a huge $15.5 million statue to the guys who run this town, complete with expensive furnishings?
Craig Belfor February 01, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Since you can put every transaction this town ever had since it's incorporation on a key chain memory stick from Staples, we could just build the statue, and save the bill our kids will pay.
Toot E. Picks Can Hurt Your Gums February 01, 2012 at 04:13 PM
8:12 am on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 Wow Thank you Yes a Huge Statue with a bench, chairs and a Flower bed around it. . I knew if we put it out there someone would have a great idea . please keep em coming and we will have a contest for the best Ideas. My wife says she will water the plants when walking the dogs "Archie & Tickels "
Marie February 01, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Yes, the building will certainly look good—but what is the ROI (return on investment) to the taxpayers? Exactly what service(s) to the citizens of Novato will be provided in the new building that couldn’t be provided in the old building? What is the expected ROI of those new services? Will the expected ROI of those new services cover the entire cost of purchasing the land, paying for the architects / designers, and paying for the construction of the new building? If the only thing the taxpayers are getting out of this deal is a new location to pay their parking tickets (we shouldn’t need a building for that anyway since those types of transactions can easily be completed online), then building new city offices is a complete waste of time and money. I’d like to see our city officials focus on something that truly benefits the citizens versus wasting their time and our tax dollars on something that makes their own workspace prettier.
Edwin Drake February 01, 2012 at 05:38 PM
This is a Ramada Inn from the mid-60s. And it should have room for a contract Post Office. Are conference rooms still on the top floor? If so, move them to the ground level so they could double as community rooms which are open to the green while still securing the top floor of city office space. But I guess Frank wants his view of Mt Burdell. Save money - stop the project.
John Kuhlman February 01, 2012 at 06:08 PM
For the past 40 years at least, the majority of Novato citizens have pleaded before dozens of City Council meetings for a Novato Community Center. And today there is still no plan for this much needed facility. Recent City Councils have pushed for new plush offices for them selves and spent millions of $$$ on leasing such offices claiming it was needed for safety reasons. Looking back over the past 40 years or more there have never been any safety issues and they survived several earthquakes. Certainly, city facilities need to be improved over time. What is needed is a vision and focus on a facility that wiil serve the Novato and extended community needs. Then offices for the city employees needed to satisfy these needs and provide the services can be incorporated into a new Novato Community Center.
Marie February 01, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Bud Light, “People like me” point out the past to prevent similar decisions from being made in the future. My entire point is that city officials (and all citizens who are able to voice an opinion or vote on an issue) should consider the overall impact to the effected citizens / taxpayers in all decisions they make. My hope is that people will learn from past mistakes to ensure better decisions in the future. To your point about the “cost is the cost and we all need to live with it”—I don’t appreciate other people spending tax dollars that I (and all taxpayers) work very hard to generate on projects that don’t provide a very valuable SERVICE to the majority of the citizens. All government entities have a limited amount of money that comes from the taxpayers to spend and I would simply like people to prioritize true needs over “nice to haves” in future decisions they make about how that money is spent. If my comment about a past decision prevents even one person from prioritizing a want over a need or a low ROI project over a high ROI project in the future, then this discussion has been more than worth it.
honu February 01, 2012 at 10:48 PM
I don't see why it needs to be spread out and occupy several buildings. Build it higher leaving more room for parking and a larger public meeting room. I agree with putting in a postal annex. If you want to spend the money on a statue, make it of Mickey Mouse.
Kevin February 02, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Bud Light is right. You can't deny it. We elected them to make decisions and they decided this was the best idea. You centainly don't hear much about the Whole Foods building anymore.

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