Novato, California
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Novato (
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
for "
Novatus Saint Novatus (died c. 151) is an early Christian saint In religious belief, a saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of Q-D-Š, holiness, likeness, or closeness to God. However, the use of the term ''saint'' dep ...
") is a city in northern
Marin County Marin County is located in the northwestern part of the San Francisco Bay Area The San Francisco Bay Area, popularly referred to as the Bay Area, is a populous region surrounding the , , and in . Although the exact boundaries of the regi ...
, in the North Bay region of the
San Francisco Bay Area The San Francisco Bay Area, popularly referred to as the Bay Area, is a populous region surrounding the San Francisco Bay, San Francisco, San Pablo Bay, San Pablo, and Suisun Bay estuary, estuaries in Northern California. Although the exact bou ...
, in the
U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state ...
of
California California is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

California
. At the
2010 census2010 census may refer to: * 2010 Chinese Census * 2010 Dominican Republic Census * 2010 Indonesian census * 2010 Malaysian Census * 2010 Russian Census * 2010 Turkish census * 2010 United States Census * 2010 Zambian census {{Disambiguation ...
, its population was 51,904. Novato is located about northwest of San Rafael and about north of
San Francisco San Francisco (; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (dis ...

San Francisco
on
U.S. 101 U.S. Route 101, or U.S. Highway 101 (US 101), is a north–south United States Numbered Highway that runs through the states of California, Oregon, and Washington, on the West Coast of the United States. It is also known as (The Royal Roa ...
. Novato has been called one of the best places to live in the U.S.


History

What is now Novato was originally the site of several
Coast Miwok Coast Miwok are an indigenous people Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples (with these terms often capitalized when referred to relating to specific countries), or autocht ...
villages: Chokecherry, near downtown Novato; Puyuku, near Ignacio; and Olompali, at the present-day Olompali State Historic Park. In 1839, the Mexican government granted the Rancho Novato to Fernando Feliz. The rancho was named after a local Miwok leader who had probably been given the name of Saint
Novatus Saint Novatus (died c. 151) is an early Christian saint In religious belief, a saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of Q-D-Š, holiness, likeness, or closeness to God. However, the use of the term ''saint'' dep ...
at his baptism. Subsequently, four additional
land grant A land grant is a gift of real estate Real estate is property consisting of land and the buildings on it, along with its natural resource , Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia. The federation, federal constitution ...
s were made in the area: Rancho Corte Madera de Novato, to John Martin in 1839; Rancho San Jose, to Ignacio Pacheco in 1840; Rancho Olompali, awarded in 1843 to Camilo Ynitia, son of a
Coast Miwok Coast Miwok are an indigenous people Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples (with these terms often capitalized when referred to relating to specific countries), or autocht ...
chief; and Rancho Nicasio, by far the largest at , awarded to
Pablo de la Guerra Pablo de la Guerra (November 29, 1819 – February 5, 1874) was a Californio politician, judge, and signer of the Californian Constitution in 1849. He served as acting Lieutenant Governor of California and as a member of the California Senate. ...

Pablo de la Guerra
and John B.R. Cooper in 1844. Novato, along with the rest of California,
became part of the United States
became part of the United States
on February 2, 1848. Early pioneers included Joseph Sweetser and Francis De Long who bought in the mid-1850s and planted orchards and vineyards. The first post office at Novato opened in 1856; it closed in 1860, and a new post office opened in 1891. The first school was built in 1859, at the corner of Grant Avenue and what is today Redwood Boulevard. The original town was located around Novato Creek at what is now South Novato Boulevard. A railroad was built in 1879, connecting Novato to
Sonoma County Sonoma County is a county A county is a geographical region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the interaction o ...
and San Rafael. The area around the train depot became known as ''New Town'', and forms the edge of what today is Old Town Novato. The current depot was built in 1917, but closed in 1959, and is largely derelict. The depot consisted of two buildings: a warehouse and a station. The warehouse burned twice in the intervening years. Behind the rail station/warehouse complex was a grain and feed mill complex. The mill complex, along with the warehouse portion of the rail station, was torn down in late 2007 to make way for public parking and a Whole Foods/high-density housing development, while the derelict station is still standing. A Presbyterian church, still a landmark in Novato today, was built in 1896. Until 2006, it housed a number of city offices, but was vacated that year due to safety concerns and condemned; the church has since been renovated. A new city center complex has been erected adjacent to the old City Hall. The
Great Depression The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression An economic depression is a sustained, long-term downturn in economic activity in one or more economies. It is a more severe economic downturn than a economic recession, recess ...
of the 1930s had a marked effect on the area as many farmers lost their land. After
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, Novato grew quickly with the construction of tract homes and a freeway. As the area was unincorporated much of the growth was unplanned and uncontrolled. Novato was finally
incorporated Incorporated may refer to: * Incorporated community * Incorporated (Grip Inc. album), ''Incorporated'' (Grip Inc. album), 2004, by Grip Inc. * Incorporated (Legion of Doom album), ''Incorporated'' (Legion of Doom album), 2006 * Incorporated (TV seri ...
as a city in 1960. One of the most important venues of the time (1960 to 1965) was "Western Weekend". Beard-growing contests, sponsored by Bob's Barber Shop, and many other odd activities helped to bring this community together.


Geography

According to the
United States Census Bureau The United States Census Bureau (USCB), officially the Bureau of the Census, is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, ...
, Novato has a total area of and is the largest city in area in Marin County. of it is land and of it (1.85%) is water. Major geographical features nearby include Mount Burdell and
Mount Burdell Open Space Preserve Mount Burdell Open Space Preserve is a nature reserve in Marin County, California, United States, within the San Francisco Bay Area. It is managed by Marin County Parks. Mount Burdell rises above sea level. Hidden Lake, a seasonal pond located a ...
to the north and Big Rock Ridge to the southwest. Stafford Lake to the west is a secondary water supply for Novato, with the Russian River in Sonoma County to the north supplying most of the city's water. Novato includes ten Marin County Open Space District preserves: Mount Burdell, Rush Creek, Little Mountain, Verissimo Hills, Indian Tree, Deer Island, Indian Valley, Ignacio Valley, Loma Verde, and Pacheco Valle. Although Novato is located on the water, access to the water is blocked by expansive farmland and wetlands. This is in stark contrast to San Rafael, which has many marinas and areas where one can go to the shore.


Climate

Official weather observations were taken at
Hamilton Air Force Base Hamilton may refer to: People * Hamilton (name), a common British surname and occasional given name, usually of Scottish origin, including a list of persons with the surname ** The Duke of Hamilton, the premier peer of Scotland ** Lord Hamilton ...
through 1964. Average January temperatures were a maximum of and a minimum of . Average July temperatures were a maximum of and a minimum of . There were an average of 12.4 days with highs of or higher and an average of 12.5 days with lows of or lower. The record high temperature was on September 2, 2017. The record low temperature was in December 2013. Average annual precipitation was . The wettest year was 1940 with and the driest year was 2015 with . The most rainfall in one month was in December 1955. The most rainfall in 24 hours was between December 10, 2014 – December 11, 2014. Today, the nearest
National Weather Service The National Weather Service (NWS) is an agency Agency may refer to: * a governmental or other institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington, are "stable, valued, recurring patterns of behavior". Institutions can refer to m ...
cooperative weather station is in San Rafael, where records date back to 1894. Compared to records from Hamilton Air Force Base, San Rafael is generally several degrees warmer than Novato and has an average of about more rainfall. The record high temperature in San Rafael was on September 7, 1904, and June 14, 1961. The record low temperature was on December 26, 1967. According to the
Köppen Climate Classification The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification Climate classification is a way of categorizing the world's s. A climate classification may correlate closely with a category, as climate is a major infl ...
system, Novato has a warm-summer mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps. This means that Summers are Hot, but Winters are rainy and can be mild to chilly. Precipitation occurs in the colder seasons, but there are a number of clear sunny days even during the wetter seasons, except during spells of seasonal
tule fog Tule fog () is a thick ground fog Fog is a visible aerosol consisting of tiny water drop (liquid), droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air at or near the Earth's surface. Reprint from Fog can be considered a type of low-lying clo ...
, when it can be quite chilly for many days.


Government


Federal and state

In the
United States House of Representatives The United States House of Representatives is the lower house of the United States Congress, with the United States Senate, Senate being the upper house. Together they compose the national Bicameralism, bicameral legislature of the United S ...
, Novato is in . From 2008 to 2012, Huffman represented Marin County in the
California State Assembly The California State Assembly is the lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorporated communit ...
. In the
California State Legislature The California State Legislature is a bicameral Bicameralism is a type of legislature A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social beh ...
, Novato is in: * * . According to the
California Secretary of State The secretary of state of California is the chief clerk of the U.S. state of California, overseeing a department of 500 people. The Secretary of state (U.S. state government), secretary of state is elected for four year terms, like the state's o ...
, as of February 10, 2019, Novato has 31,544 registered voters. Of those, 15,794 (50.1%) are registered Democrats, 6,048 (19.2%) are registered Republicans, and 8,188 (26%) have declined to state a political party.


Demographics


2010

At the
2010 census2010 census may refer to: * 2010 Chinese Census * 2010 Dominican Republic Census * 2010 Indonesian census * 2010 Malaysian Census * 2010 Russian Census * 2010 Turkish census * 2010 United States Census * 2010 Zambian census {{Disambiguation ...
Novato had a population of 51,904. The population density was 1,856.6 people per square mile (716.8/km). The racial makeup of Novato was 39,443 (76.0%) White, 1,419 (2.7%) African American, 286 (0.6%) Native American, 3,428 (6.6%) Asian, 117 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 4,693 (9.0%) from other races, and 2,518 (4.9%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11,046 persons (21.3%). The census reported that 51,278 people (98.8% of the population) lived in households, 449 (0.9%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 177 (0.3%) were institutionalized. There were 21,279 households, 6,679 (32.9%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 10,393 (51.3%) were living together, 2,237 (11.0%) had a female householder with no husband present, 854 (4.2%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,010 (5.0%)
unmarried opposite-sex partnerships POSSLQ ( , plural ''POSSLQs'') is an abbreviation (or acronym) for "Person of Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters", a term coined in the late 1970s by the United States Census Bureau as part of an effort to more accurately gauge the prevalence of c ...
, and 195 (1.0%)
same-sex married couples or partnerships Same sex may refer to: * A phrase used in the discussion of sex or gender * Gonochorism, the state of having just one of at least two distinct sexes in any one individual organism * Homosexuality, the romantic attraction, sexual attraction or sexua ...
. 5,358 households (26.4%) were one person and 2,415 (11.9%) had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 2.53. There were 13,484 families (66.5% of households); the average family size was 3.04. The age distribution was 11,769 people (22.7%) under the age of 18, 3,355 people (6.5%) aged 18 to 24, 12,743 people (24.6%) aged 25 to 44, 15,914 people (30.7%) aged 45 to 64, and 8,123 people (15.7%) who were 65 or older. The median age was 42.6 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.1 males. There were 21,158 housing units at an average density of 756.8 per square mile, of the occupied units 13,591 (67.0%) were owner-occupied and 6,688 (33.0%) were rented. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.0%; the rental vacancy rate was 4.7%. 33,252 people (64.1% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 18,026 people (34.7%) lived in rental housing units.


2000

At the 2000 census there were 47,630 people in 18,524 households, including 12,411 families, in the city. The population density was 1,719.2 inhabitants per square mile (663.9/km). There were 18,994 housing units at an average density of 685.6 per square mile (264.8/km). The
racial makeup A race is a grouping of humans based on shared physical or social qualities into categories generally viewed as distinct by society. The term was first used to refer to speakers of a common language and then to denote national affiliations. By ...
of the city in 2010 was 65.8% non-Hispanic White American, 2.5% non-Hispanic Black American, 0.2% Native American, 6.5% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 0.3% from other races, and 3.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21.3%. Of the 18,524 households 32.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.7% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.0% were non-families. 25.2% of households were one person and 9.3% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.01. The age distribution was 23.1% under the age of 18, 6.4% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 27.5% from 45 to 64, and 13.0% 65 or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.3 males. The median household income was $63,453 and the median family income was $74,434 (these figures had risen to $78,895 and $91,890 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $55,822 versus $40,287 for females. The per capita income for the city was $32,402. About 3.1% of families and 5.6% of the population were below the
poverty line The poverty threshold, poverty limit, poverty line or breadline is the minimum level of income In microeconomics, income is the Consumption (economics), consumption and saving opportunity gained by an entity within a specified timeframe, w ...
, including 6.1% of those under age 18 and 4.0% of those age 65 or over.


Economy

The city is home to the
Buck Institute for Research on Aging The Buck Institute for Research on Aging is an independent biomedical research institute that researches aging and age-related disease. The mission of the Buck Institute is to extend the healthy years of life. The Buck Institute is one of nine cen ...
, and several
biotech Biotechnology is a broad area of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physi ...
firms, such as Biosearch Technologies,
BioMarin Pharmaceutical BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. is an American biotechnology company headquartered in San Rafael, California. It has offices and facilities in the United States, South America, Asia, and Europe. BioMarin's core business and research is in enzyme rep ...
and
Ultragenyx Ultragenyx is a biopharmaceutical A biopharmaceutical, also known as a biologic(al) medical product, or biologic, is any pharmaceutical drug A medication (also referred to as medicine, pharmaceutical drug, medicinal drug or simply drug) is ...
. Several small technology companies are also based in Novato, such as 2K, Radiant Logic,
Toys For Bob Toys for Bob, Inc. is an American video game developer based in Novato, California. As the creators of the award-winning ''Star Control'' and ''Skylanders'' series'','' the studio was founded by Paul Reiche III, Fred Ford (programmer), Fred For ...
, One Legal, International Genetics Incorporated, Channel Management Solutions, Enwisen,
Sonic Solutions Sonic Solutions was an American computer software company headquartered in Novato, California Novato ( ) is a city in northern Marin County, in the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area The San Francisco Bay Area, popularly refer ...
and DriveSavers. The former
Hamilton Air Force Base Hamilton may refer to: People * Hamilton (name), a common British surname and occasional given name, usually of Scottish origin, including a list of persons with the surname ** The Duke of Hamilton, the premier peer of Scotland ** Lord Hamilton ...
is also located in Novato, but was decommissioned in 1974 and designated a Historic District in 1998. After lying stagnant for many years, major renovations were pushed through by then-mayor Michael DiGiorgio. As of 2008 the base has largely been redeveloped into single-family homes. The former hangar buildings were gutted and redeveloped into two-story office buildings; tenants include 2K Sports, Sony Imageworks, Visual Concepts, The Republic of Tea,
Toys For Bob Toys for Bob, Inc. is an American video game developer based in Novato, California. As the creators of the award-winning ''Star Control'' and ''Skylanders'' series'','' the studio was founded by Paul Reiche III, Fred Ford (programmer), Fred For ...
, and Birkenstock Distribution USA. From 1983 to 1998, the iconic developer of video games, Broderbund, Brøderbund Software, was headquartered in Novato, known through games ''Choplifter'', ''Lode Runner'', ''Karateka (video game), Karateka'', and ''Prince of Persia'', and others. From the 1982 until 2015, Novato was headquarters for Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, which was Marin County's largest employer at one time, with 2,400 employees as of 2000. By 2015, the company had laid off or transferred most its employees and relocated its remaining employees to a smaller headquarters in nearby Petaluma, California, Petaluma. In Eastern Novato, north of Hamilton, there are several hayfields contributing to the local economy, but they are diminishing as more and more of them are turned into wetlands. As of 2015–16 the city's principal employers were:


Neighborhoods

Novato has several different neighborhoods. They can be roughly classified as: * Northwest (San Marin, Partridge Knolls, Pleasant Valley) * West (Wild Horse Valley, Marin Highlands, Indian Valley) * Northeast (Atherton, Olive, Black Point-Green Point, Bahia) * Central (Downtown, Old Town, Presidents, Lynwood) * Southeast (Hamilton, Bel Marin Keys, California, Bel Marin Keys) * Southwest ( Ignacio, Loma Verde, Pacheco Valley)


Transportation

Major highways in Novato include U.S. Route 101 in California, U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 37, and major roads in Novato include Atherton Avenue, Novato Boulevard, San Marin Drive, and Ignacio Boulevard. Sonoma–Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) operates three commuter rail stations in Novato: Novato–San Marin/Atherton station, San Marin / Atherton station, Novato–Hamilton station, Hamilton station, and Novato–Downtown station, Novato Downtown station. Novato is also served by several bus routes of Golden Gate Transit and Marin Transit, with a transit center in the downtown area, which serves 2 Golden Gate Transit routes and 6 Marin Transit routes.


Notable people

*Joe Rosenthal, photographer of ''Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima'', Pulitzer Prize winner *Elmo Shropshire, veterinarian and musician known for the Christmas song "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer". *Rebecca Solnit, author, memoirist, essayist *Emil Kakkis, President and CEO of Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. *Jared Goff, NFL player for the Detroit Lions. *Juan Alderete, Grammy Award-winning bassist for The Mars Volta and former bassist of Racer X (band), Racer X *Manny Wilkins, quarterback for the Green Bay Packers *Yvonne Cagle, NASA astronaut *Ralph Barbieri, sports journalist and host of ''The Razor and Mr. T'' on KNBR (AM), KNBR *Brent Moore, former NFL linebacker for the Green Bay Packers *Brad Muster, NFL and Stanford University running back *Nick Rolovich, head football coach for the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa *Mike Moroski, former NFL quarterback and current head football coach for The College of Idaho *Wil Dasovich, television personality *Sandy Pearlman, music producer and critic *Ellen Estes, Olympic Water Polo player *Lefty Gomez, Hall of Fame baseball pitcher for the New York Yankees and the History of the Washington Senators (1901–60), Washington Senators during the 1930s and 1940s *Cynthia Harvey, ballet dancer and educator


Education

* Novato Unified School District * Novato High School * Good Shepherd Lutheran School (private school) * Hamilton Meadow Park School * Loma Verde Elementary School * Lu Sutton Elementary School * Lynwood Elementary School * Marin Christian Academy (private school) * Marin Oaks High School * North Bay Christian Academy (Private school) * Nova Independent Study * Novato Charter School (charter school) * Olive Elementary School * Our Lady of Loretto School * Pleasant Valley Elementary School * Rancho Elementary School * Samuel Hazelton School of the Arts * San Jose Middle School * San Marin High School * San Ramon Elementary School * Sinaloa Middle School


Research facilities

*
Buck Institute for Research on Aging The Buck Institute for Research on Aging is an independent biomedical research institute that researches aging and age-related disease. The mission of the Buck Institute is to extend the healthy years of life. The Buck Institute is one of nine cen ...


Museums

* Marin Museum of the American Indian * Marin Museum of Contemporary Art * Novato History Museum * Hamilton Army Airfield, Hamilton Field Aviation Museum * The Space Station Museum


Points of interest

* Marin Museum of Contemporary Art * Olompali State Historic Park—Historic park with open space and trails * Harkleroad wind turbine—Experimental wind-powered private residence that is visible from Highway 101, but no longer used to generate electricity * Point Reyes National Seashore—Vast park with a visitor center and hiking * Marin Museum of the American Indian, Miwok Park * Indian Valley Preserve * Pioneer Park * Ohair Park * Hamilton Wetland Restoration Project, Hamilton Wetlands *
Mount Burdell Open Space Preserve Mount Burdell Open Space Preserve is a nature reserve in Marin County, California, United States, within the San Francisco Bay Area. It is managed by Marin County Parks. Mount Burdell rises above sea level. Hidden Lake, a seasonal pond located a ...
—Mountain biking, cycling, hiking, and outdoor recreation * Ignacio Valley Preserve * The Space Station Museum * Loma Verde Preserve * Marin Treks Natural History Museum * Novato History Museum * Deer Island Open Space * Arroyo Avichi Park * Hamilton Field History Museum * Hill Recreation Area * Deer Island Preserve * The Novato Roundhouse * Stafford Lake Disc Golf Course *Big Rock Ridge


In popular culture

* Parts of ''Radio Flyer (film), Radio Flyer'' (1992) were filmed in Novato. The film starred Elijah Wood (''The Lord of the Rings (film series), The Lord of the Rings'') and was directed by Richard Donner (''Lethal Weapon (film series), Lethal Weapon'', ''Superman (1978 film), Superman''). * The Fireman's Fund office complex in Novato was used as a shooting location in ''Howard the Duck (film), Howard the Duck'' (1986) and ''Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country'' (1991). The site features in exterior shots for the Khitomer Conference between humans and Klingons.


Sister cities

* Shepparton, Australia


See also


References


External links

*
A Century of Gentle Seasons, The History of Novato
{{Authority Control Novato, California, 1960 establishments in California Cities in Marin County, California Cities in the San Francisco Bay Area Incorporated cities and towns in California