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Zone 1 benefits assessment

Frequently asked questions

Flood Control Zone 1 is comprised of all parcels of real estate within the Novato Creek watershed. It was created by the Board of Supervisors of the Marin County Flood Control & Water Conservation District to improve flood protection for businesses, government and emergency service facilities, homeowners and residents in the watershed.

Novato Creek Watershed is 45 square miles and is the largest watershed in eastern Marin County. Novato Creek flows eastward through oak and bay forests, grasslands, the City of Novato, and into San Pablo Bay near the mouth of the Petaluma River.

Novato Creek has six major tributaries along its 17-mile length:

  • Leveroni
  • Bowman Canyon
  • Warner
  • Arroyo Avichi
  • Arroyo de San Jose
  • Simmonds Slough

Flood Control District 1 is a subarea of the District, which covers the entire county. Flood Control Zones were created in areas of the county that experience frequent flooding. Flood Control District 1 was the first zone to be created.

Benefit assessments allow special districts, such as the Marin County Flood Control & Water Conservation District (District), to raise funds to accomplish goals and objectives of the District such as improve flood protection.

The Board of Supervisors of the District followed the procedures outlined by the State of California Benefit Assessment Act of 1982 to create the assessment for Flood Control Zone 1.

Funds are collected to maintain and improve:

  • 18 miles of creeks
  • Four pump stations
  • Nine miles of levees on Novato Creek
  • Other District-owned flood management facilities in the Novato watershed

Approximately once every four years, accumulated sediment is removed to maintain the original design capacity from:

  • Novato Creek
  • Warner Creek
  • Arroyo Avichi

The last sediment removal episode was completed in 2020 for approximately $1.7 million.

Measure B passed in 1984 with a majority of Flood Control Zone 1 voting in favor. This allowed the Flood Control District to levy a benefit assessment for the purpose of constructing and maintaining flood control improvements.

Those who were in Novato on January 4, 1982, recognized the impact of generalized flooding in Novato and its effect on lives even if you were not in the flood area.

Access to schools, hospitals, businesses and emergency services were all hindered or precluded by the high waters and the subsequent clean-up effort. Even Highway 101 was closed by flood waters.

The cost of the flooding was significant even to those whose properties were not directly affected. Expensive government service costs were incurred in the direct flood fight, subsequent clean-up and in damage to public facilities.

It is based on the estimated amount of stormwater runoff that is contributed by each type of use.

Single-family properties are assessed slightly more than vacant land because more water runs off hardscapes and roof tops than soil and vegetation when it rains.

Similarly, commercial properties, which typically have extensive paved areas, pay more than single-family residential properties.

The amount assessed through the 1984-originated benefit assessment does not increase with inflation. In 1984 the $9 assessment for less than ¼ acre single family parcels had the same buying power as $21.47 in December 2018.

Parcel type 0 to .25 acre .25 to 1 acre 1 to 10 acres 10 to 100 acres 100 to 1000 acres
Farm, Ag &
Unimproved
$8 $12 $20 $36 $42
Single Family $9 $13 $21 $37 $37
Multi-Family $20 $47 $123 $200 $200
Commercial
& Industrial
$28 $118 $244 $522 $522

Benefit assessments are collected as part of your annual property tax bill.

There was no expiration date associated with this ballot measure.

No, there are no exemptions based on age. The rate is based upon acreage and use of the property.

You can find information about your tax bill and parcel characteristics on the County of Marin Assessor Records and Maps webpage. You’ll need your parcel number, which can be found on your property tax bill.

Divide the Land Sq. Ft. number by 43,560 to determine the equivalent acreage.

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