County of Marin - News Releases - San Geronimo Property

For Immediate Release
January 30, 2019

Report Ordered for San Geronimo Golf Course Initiative

County to study impacts of resident petition

San Rafael, CA – The Marin County Board of Supervisors asked staff to return within 30 days with a report about the impacts of a potential ordinance update regarding the use of the former San Geronimo Golf Course property.

Residents line up at the microphone to speak before the Board of Supervisors about the San Geronimo Golf Course property on January 29.Several dozen residents spoke before the Board of Supervisors about the San Geronimo Golf Course property on January 29.

After two hours of public testimony, the Board voted unanimously during its January 29 meeting to have staff from the Community Development Agency and County Counsel’s Office produce a report for delivery during the Board’s February 26 meeting.

“One of things heard strong from everyone who spoke today was their sense of place, and that’s something to be greatly valued by all of us,” said Board President Kate Sears. “There is respect for where we live and what we want to do where we live and how do we want to treat our land. And I know this is true for those who love golf and those who maybe are not as excited about golf. I want to appreciate all of you for your passion for this property and what happens with it going forward.”

The report would address a voter initiative ordinance that would require approval from a majority of countywide voters to change the use of the 157-acre former golf course for anything other than golf. A group of residents recently submitted signatures in favor of the ballot initiative, and the Marin County Elections Department verified a random sample of signatures to make sure they were from registered voters.

Last year, the County sought to purchase the golf course and preserve it as a park. The motivations were to preserve the area's character, preserve recreation and environmental and other uses, and in long-term consideration of public uses of property subject to the community planning process. The purchase agreement was rescinded in a decision in Marin County Superior Court. The property’s nonprofit owner closed the course in December 2018.

Registrar of Voters Lynda Roberts certified that the petition contained enough valid signatures to go to the Board for action January 29. Per County Counsel Brian Washington, the Board was authorized to take one of three actions:

  • adopt the initiative without alteration or within 10 days after it is presented;
  • submit the initiative without alteration to the voters at the next statewide election in March 2020; or
  • ·order a report to be delivered by February 26 requesting information about a variety of things such as the fiscal impact, effect on the County’s general and specific plans, and effect on the use of land.

The Board went with the third option. On February 26, after reviewing the report, the Board will need to adopt the voter initiative within 10 days or order an election at the next statewide election in March 2020.

The Board elected not to call for a special election sooner than March 2020. That choice would’ve come with an additional expense to the County of approximately $8 to $10 per registered voter, or between $1.3 million and $1.6 million.

Board meetings are webcast live on and archived for later viewing within 24 hours of the conclusion of the meeting.


Brian Washington
County Counsel
Office of the County Counsel

Marin County Civic Center
3501 Civic Center Drive
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6117
Email: Brian Washington