San Rafael Board of Directors approves expansion of retirement complex


The San Rafael Design Review Board has approved a 10-year plan to expand the Aldersly retiree community.

The council voted 4-0 at its Tuesday meeting to recommend that the Planning Commission approve the project. It would add a three-story freestanding living center and service building to the property at 326 and 308 Mission Ave.

The council also recommends the elimination of a proposed gable roof element on one of the buildings.

“I prefer the previous elevation without the pitched roof,” said Sarah Rege, board member. “I will support him as he is.”

The project would require the demolition of six buildings and the construction of three new buildings. Four buildings would be renovated and new outdoor spaces, including a memory care garden, activity lawn and rose terrace, would be added.

The project would increase the number of independent living apartments from 55 to 69. The site would continue to have 35 assisted living and memory care beds and 20 specialized nursing beds.

The number of parking spaces would drop from 48 to 56.

The project requires an environmental review and design permit, a zoning change and applications for a use permit.

At a meeting in October, the board asked applicants to add setbacks on Mission Avenue, add more tree screening, and reduce bio-rills, which are shallow areas of land landscaped designed to absorb stormwater.

“I think the elevation has improved and I think it’s appropriate for this site,” said Sharon Kovalsky, board member. “I think it looks good.”

Board member Jeff Kent added, “I think the Applicant has addressed our concerns. “

Residents Tymber and Derek Cavasian, who are neighbors to the site, have raised concerns about traffic on Belle Avenue.

Kovalsky said she shared this concern. Jayni Allsep, the contract planner working on the project, said this would be noted and addressed by the Planning Commission when reviewing the project.

More information on the project are on

Aldersly is a non-profit association founded in 1921.


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