Larkspur City Council Update

Larkspur City Council Update

Dear Friends:


There are important developments regarding the Larkspur Library that will impact the planning and fundraising for a new modern library at Rose Lane.


In The City Council agenda for Wednesday 8/18 at 6:30 PM, and related documents released Thursday, August 12, there is an important item on the agenda:


Agenda Item 8.2 Condition of Larkspur City Hall (400 Magnolia Avenue) and Options for Renovating, Rebuilding or Repurposing, Including Temporarily/Permanently Relocating City Operations


In the City manager’s recent staff report to the Council and the public, based on a recent engineering study of City Hall, city staff make the following findings and recommendations:


  • “Recent assessments indicate that portions of the building’s structure are nearing end-of-life.
  • Staff is concerned that if these items are left unaddressed, conditions will soon reach a point that the building will be deemed unsuitable for public services and have to be closed immediately.
  • To avoid a significant disruption in public services, staff proposes the City begin planning and then implementing temporary or permanent relocation of the services offered in City Hall.
  • Simultaneously, staff proposes initiating a process to plan the future use of the building.
  • Staff recently requested a preliminary assessment of rehabilitating or (re)placing City Hall.
    • The estimated construction cost to renovate the 400 Magnolia Avenue building to current codes, including interior remodel/reconfiguration is $7.5 million. Including all architect/design/management and contingency fees, the total cost is estimated to be $10 million.
    • The building houses approximately 9,300 square feet of space. A preliminary budget for a new 9,300 square foot building for a similar use would be $9 million.”

(Source: Item 8.2 Staff Report pp.1)


Information on how to attend the meeting, speak or send in comment:


To conclude, all of this is occurring during the Covid-19 Pandemic. The library, both physical and virtual, is an important community resource that needs to be housed in a safe, accessible location, with adequate parking, curbside pickup, outdoor programming space and safe indoor services. We need to broaden access to the library services virtually and have outreach to underserved populations in Marin County. Lastly, we need to provide a safe workspace for our City library staff which has performed heroically for the last 18 months.


We urge everyone to read the attached staff report and attend the meeting to hear the presentation on the building and the City’s possible options going forward.


Thank you for your support,


Joe Jennings

President, The Commons Foundation



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