Community Flood & Storm Protection Initiative
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Attention Property Owners:
Ballots were mailed to property owners in early November. They must be received by 5 p.m., Dec. 17, 2023 - postmarks do not count. Voters are encouraged to return their ballots by mail and provide enough time for them to arrive. Alternatively, voters can drop their ballots off inside the Clerk's Office at San Mateo City Hall, 330 W. 20th Ave. during normal business hours.
For more information on how to return your ballot, please consult your ballot and info guide.
Stormwater Infrastructure - Safer Today, Stronger Tomorrow
Why Is Stormwater Infrastructure So Important?
Protecting Residents and Businesses from Flooding
Safe communities need robust stormwater systems to protect residents and businesses from flooding.
- When stormwater is managed effectively, it is channeled away from homes and businesses and safely into waterways or storage facilities
- When streets and other low-lying areas become flooded, the water can quickly rise to dangerous levels
- Flooding can be costly
- Flooding can also disrupt critical infrastructure such as power, water, and transportation systems, which can create further safety risks for residents.
Our stormwater system is comprised of:
- 130 miles of storm drains
- 20 miles of open creeks and drainage channels
- One flood control lagoon
- Ten pump stations
- Three-mile Bayfront levee
- Future storms will be more intense, putting more pressure on the City’s stormwater infrastructure. Through careful planning, we can build resilience in the face of climate change and aging infrastructure. Safer today, stronger tomorrow.
Find out about more immediate steps the City is taking to be prepared for the next rainy season and how residents can be prepared on our Flood Preparedness web page.
Dedicated Resources to Protect Our Community
A dedicated revenue source would fund repairs and improve aging infrastructure, so residents and businesses can be better protected from flooding.
- During heavy rain events, stormwater can overwhelm the existing system and cause flooding. Stormwater management systems, including levees and pumps, can help prevent flooding and protect communities from damage caused by severe storms.
- System failures happen more frequently with aging infrastructure, leading to worsened flooding conditions over time.
- Recent large storm events have highlighted the City's aging infrastructure deficiencies.
Projects will include:
- Flood prevention and storm water system capacity improvement projects:
- Drainage area projects (such as expanding the size of stormwater pipelines and adding new ones)
- Stormwater pump station upgrades
- Green infrastructure projects
- Regulatory compliance
- Storm drain condition and capacity assessment
- San Mateo Creek and Marina Lagoon dredging and maintenance permitting
- Updating the 2004 Stormwater Master Plan
- An estimated $9 million per year is needed to strengthen and rehabilitate our stormwater infrastructure
- The fee amount varies based on parcel size, and the proposed average cost per single family home is around $8 per month
- The proposed measure would raise an additional roughly $4 million per year toward the stormwater system.
- Funds would be fully dedicated to the stormwater system only and cannot be used for other purposes
- The City Council may chose to continue contributing General Fund dollars in addition to the proposed fee to support the full $9 million in annual stormwater funding needs
Keeping Our Water Clean Keeps Us Safe
Properly managed stormwater systems protect the health and wellbeing of local residents, wildlife and habitats by reducing pollution in our local waterways and the San Francisco Bay.
Properly managed stormwater systems can filter out pollutants and trash from stormwater runoff before it enters local waterways and the San Francisco Bay, protecting aquatic life and habitats.
We are required by law to prevent contamination of stormwater by utilizing clean work practices, inspecting businesses and construction activities, and educating the public. We are a member of a comprehensive countywide effort to prevent stormwater pollution. For more information, visit San Mateo Countywide Water Pollution Prevention Program.
Resource to Build Resiliency
Stormwater can become a resource for community development, rather than a nuisance, when stormwater management systems have the funding and support needed for innovative and sustainable solutions.
The Marina Lagoon (Lagoon) is part of the City’s stormwater system. This aquatic gem provides flood control and recreation to the entire community, as well as wildlife and ecological benefits. Significant improvements and lagoon dredging are needed to protect these benefits.
Sustainable stormwater management promotes healthier and more resilient ecosystems, and can create new opportunities for recreation and habitat restoration.
Green Infrastructure allows rainwater to soak and filter into the ground, reducing the quantity of water and pollutants flowing into local creeks.
The City has been working on and engaging the community around this initiative for several years:
- Community opinion surveys were conducted in Fall 2021, and April 2023
- Public comment was heard at:
- City Council Meeting June 5, 2023 – Community Survey Results and Fee Report Recommendations
- City Council Meeting – March 20, 2023
- City Council Meeting - March 21, 2022
- Sustainability and Infrastructure Meeting - March. 9, 2022
Related Documents & Past Meeting Records
- August 2023: San Mateo Stormwater Fee Notice of Public Hearing
- July 2023: 2022 NYE Storms - Marina Lagoon Pump Performance Study
- July 2023: Stormwater Fee Final Report
- July 18, 2023: Community Meeting READ
- June 2023: Storm Survey Results READ
- June 21, 2023: Community Meeting READ
- June 5, 2023: City Council Study Session WATCH or READ
- March 20, 2023: City Council Study Session WATCH or READ
- March 21, 2022: City Council Study Session WATCH or READ
- March 9, 2022: Sustainability and Infrastructure Meeting WATCH or READ
- May 17, 2021: Council Study Session WATCH or READ
- Feb. 10, 2021: Sustainability and Infrastructure Commission WATCH or READ
- Jan. 22, 2021: Report Storm System Funding Analysis
- Dec. 9, 2020: Sustainability and Infrastructure Commission WATCH or READ