Zone 9 storm drainage fee

Frequently asked questions

Flood Control Zone 9 is comprised of all parcels of real estate within the Ross Valley watershed. It was created by the Board of Supervisors of the Marin County Flood Control & Water Conservation District to improve flood protection in the Corte Madera Creek watershed.

The 28-square mile watershed extends from Mt. Tamalpais and White’s Hill through these communities to San Francisco Bay:

  • Fairfax
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • San Anselmo
  • Ross
  • Kentfield
  • Greenbrae
  • Larkspur
  • Corte Madera

The watershed includes 44 miles of stream channels.

Flood Control Zone 9 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 Zone 9 was the ninth zone to be created.

A fee is a charge imposed on an individual or business for a service or facility provided directly to an individual or business. The amount of a fee may not exceed the cost of government to
provide the service.

The storm drainage fee pays a portion of annual costs for flood protection programs.

The fee revenue is used to fund the Ross Valley Flood Protection and Watershed Program. The goal of this program is to manage stormwater and reduce the damage from flooding during significant storms. See annual fee reports for more information:

Flooding affects everyone who lives in the Ross Valley. Runoff from uphill properties flows downhill and uses the existing creek system as its drainage system.

In the 2005 flood:

  • More than $90 million in damages were reported
  • Police, fire and emergency services could not function properly
  • Local business owners lost merchandise
  • Schools, town halls, fire houses and many private residences had to be completely renovated

All of these have impacts on all communities in the watershed.

The Health and Safety Code allows the County of Marin to charge a fee for acquiring, constructing, reconstructing, maintaining and operating storm drainage facilities. The fee was approved in 2007 by a majority of voters in a property-owner election.

The fee is calculated based on parcel size, use code, the amount of impervious surface on the
property, and the resulting amount of storm water runoff each property contributes to the
storm drainage system. The fee rates can be found in this report.

Fees are collected as part of your annual property tax bill.

The fee will last 20 years, terminating on June 30, 2027.

No, there are no exemptions based on age. The rate is based on the parcel square footage, impervious surfaces and the amount of rainfall runoff.

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.

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