Bay trail squareNovato is fortunate to have natural boundaries of ridgelines and bay front that define our edges.

Novato also has a viable heart  consisting of downtown and the Civic Center – see Facilities.

Our strategy for land use should be to preserve the natural edges  and enhance the heart  of Novato, while zoning all remaining land to insure development appropriate to the unique character of Novato.


Land Use History

Pressure grew to develop hillsides, ridgelines and beyond Novato City Limits.


Land Use Accomplishments

Preserved Novato’s edge:

  • Established an Urban Growth Boundary 20 years ago to limit sprawl
  • Adopted Hillside and Ridgeline Ordinances  to restrict development
  • Acquired, Preserved and Restored Public Open Space
  • Hamilton Wetland Restoration Project restored historic wetlands over the  old Hamilton Airfields
  • Constructed a link of the San Francisco Bay Trail  as part of the Hamilton Wetland Restoration Project  at Novato’s eastern doorway.

Developed solutions to address State of California Housing Mandates that:

  • Respect the small town character of Novato
  • Encourage Senior Housing.


Land Use Vision

Preserve Novato’s edge:

  • Renew our Urban Growth Boundary for another 20 years

Preserve Novato’s character:

  • Update our General Plan to balance environment, neighborhoods, housing and quality of life for our residents.
  • Create a vibrant North and North North Redwood Corridor to compliment our downtown heart, to connect to multi modes of movement and to bring modest revenue to the city.
  • Monitor proposed projects on designated Affordable Housing Sites so they are appropriate for Novato.