I live here, work here, and then I drive to Petaluma to enjoy a vibrant downtown.
Empty storefronts, dive bars, a half re-developed theater, it's painful to see.
There have been several attempts by developers to develop the downtown area, and it really needs it - we've done everything from charrettes where the community votes on the plan that everyone could agree on - but we have a very old-school local government (well, just two of them, actually - the other three actually want to see Novato thrive, but all efforts get "poo-pooed" on by the two nay-sayers) that doesn't want to see Downtown Novato develop and thrive.
I will say, with the new bus depot, which is absolutely beautiful (much better than that little ghetto stop that used to be there) and the addition of a new wine bar, micro-brew hub, and some outdoor café seating, it's been wonderful to see downtown come to life in the recent year or so.
Keep it going Novato!!
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