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Urban Growth Boundary

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The City’s urban growth boundary was adopted by the voters of the City of Novato in 1997 in order to limit urban sprawl by curtailing development outside the City boundaries and focusing new residential, commercial and industrial growth in areas already served by urban services. Development outside the urban growth boundary is limited to nonurban uses such as agricultural, conservation, parkland, and open spaces. In addition, the City Council may annex up to ten acres of land per year for affordable housing if certain conditions are met. The urban growth boundary, as adopted by voter initiative, expires on November 4, 2017. 

The Urban Growth Boundary White Paper discusses implementation of the Urban Growth Boundary and lays out policy options for continuing or amending the existing urban growth boundary, or allowing the urban growth boundary to expire in 2017.

The Urban Growth Boundary White Paper was presented to the Planning Commission on April 21, 2014 and to the City Council on May 13, 2014. The City Council supported extending the Urban Growth Boundary for another twenty years by Council action, rather than by voter initiative.  The Council also directed staff to prepare minor amendments to the Urban Grown Boundary policy to improve administration and encourage better coordination among the City, the Marin Local Area Formation Commission (LAFCO), and the Novato Sanitary District.

1996 General Plan Land Use Map 

Urban Growth Boundary White Paper 

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