For Immediate ReleaseAugust 04, 2022
Proposal to convert private land into County open space goes to voters
San Rafael, CA – Ballot language is being fine-tuned on a proposed agreement to convert pristine open space on the Tiburon Peninsula into a County of Marin open space preserve. The proposal will be in the hands of local voters in the November 8 General Election.
The undeveloped 110 acres known locally as the Martha Property that overlooks the San Francisco Bay Area could be preserved as public open space if voters living near the property approve a special tax. The tax revenue would be key to an arrangement between the County, the property ownership group, and an environmentally minded nonprofit on a transaction that totals $42.1 million.
On August 9, the Marin County Open Space District Board of Directors will consider amendments to three resolutions approved in July regarding the Martha Property acquisition plan. The August 9 amendments will clarify the timeframe for the repayment of bonds that will result in a full transfer of property ownership. Marin County Parks said if the proposed ballot measure is approved, the duration of the special tax levy will be only until the related bonds are repaid, and the term of the bonds is limited to 30 years from the date they are issued as stated in the proposed purchase and sale agreement.
The agreement provides details on how the County plans to acquire the Martha property and partner with the Trust for Public Land (TPL) on a two-year plan to raise funds and finalize the purchase. The goal would be to transfer the property to the Open Space District and either add it to the existing adjacent Old Saint Hilary’s Open Space Preserve or create a new preserve.
To close the deal, approximately $18 million would be raised by a bond issue to be repaid by a local specialized tax levy known as a Mello-Roos special tax. If approved by a two-thirds majority of voters in the November 2022 election, only property owners in Tiburon east of Trestle Glen Boulevard and the City of Belvedere would be subjected to the special tax. The new special tax will replace existing special taxes levied for prior open space purchases, so that there will be only one special tax for the new bond issue. The purchase of the property will not proceed if voters reject the bond measure or if TPL is unsuccessful in raising necessary private funds.
For more details on the proposal, see the Open Space District’s staff report.
Chris ChamberlainAssistant DirectorMarin County Parks
Marin Civic CenterSuite 260San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-5085Email: Chris Chamberlainwww.marincountyparks.org