Stewards Signs and Bumper Stickers
Please attend in person or on Zoom July 19 Tuesday at 1:30 pm. Marin Board of Supervisors will vote on the stream ordinance for San Geronimo Valley. Each person can speak for 2 minutes.
Meeting is at Civic Center in San Rafael. Take 101 North to exit for San Pedro Rd, Civic Center
Zoom instructions: meeting ID 947 4251 8384, password 352533
You must install Zoom on your computer or smart phone. Hook up your microphone to listen and speak. Use the "raise hand" button to say you want to speak and they will call your name.
San Geronimo Valley homeowners ask: Can we stop the stream ordinance demanded by SPAWN? Can we protect our homes? Will County officials listen to our concerns?
Actions you can take now:
Subject line should refer to July 19 BOS meeting and San Geronimo Stream Ordinance.
Ask all 5 Supervisors to vote NO on the stream ordinance.
Describe your home (but do not give your street address). How long have you lived in the Valley? What are your concerns about rules applied to your house? County officials will read specific complaints from individual homeowners, but pay less attention to standard form mass mailers.
2. Tuesday July 19 attend Supervisors meeting on Zoom or in person. Each person has the right to speak for 2 minutes. It is better to speak in person, if you have time to car pool to Civic Center. Find Zoom instructions at https://www.marincounty.org/depts/bs/meeting-archive
3. Visit San Geronimo Valley Stewards website and read the ordinance summary. www.sgvstewards.com
SGV Stewards request: Stream ordinance should expire in 5 years:
The County's 2019 environmental report does not recommend SPAWN's new rules or say they will increase the salmon population. 900 San Geronimo families who live close to creeks will be the lab rats in SPAWN's experiment.
Send emails. Show up July 19. Tell your Supervisors to vote NO on stream ordinance.
This article is submitted by Jim Barnes, a Director of San Geronimo Valley Stewards. Jim is a lifelong resident of San Geronimo Valley, with 30 years experience flying air tanker planes over fires in California and the western U.S.On July 19, Marin Board of Supervisors will vote on the new stream ordinance for San Geronimo Valley. SPAWN demands the ordinance as settlement of its lawsuit to protect salmon. SPAWN rules would violate common sense management of our fire prone landscape and end in tragedy. Please send your emails to County officials and ask them to vote NO on the stream ordinance.
Trees and shrubs hydrated by creeks are susceptible to fire. The riparian zone has crowded stands of flammable bay trees and conifers and overgrown understory. The 1945 Paper Mill Creek fire started in the present location of Kent Dam, and burned to Mt. Tamalpais.A fire that starts in San Geronimo will not stay here. Everyone in Marin will face the danger of airborne embers igniting flames one mile ahead of the main fire. Our most vulnerable period is the fall when hot desert winds reach our coastal hills. The hills are covered in native manzanita and chaparral that haven't burned for years. For the salmon species in danger of extinction, extreme fire danger would be catastrophic. The products of combustion will sterilize the creeks and leave them devoid of aquatic life for an indefinite period. The world lost 20% of its redwood trees in last season's fires. Marin fire agencies should be commended for encouraging property owners to clear trees and brush from escape routes and ignition triggers. Homeowners are trying to control vegetation so their insurance policies are not canceled. Marin Supervisors can help by not making it illegal to do so. All of us should urge Supervisors to vote NO on the SPAWN stream ordinance. Don't give fire the final vote.
Marin County announced the new Stream Conservation Area Ordinance will take effect October 11, 2022. Planning Commission approved it June 13. Board of Supervisors will vote on July 19. Consider October 11, 2022, if you are planning home improvements such as deck or driveway repair, new roof shingles, or removing flammable underbrush.
SG Valley Stewards urges homeowners to email objections before July 13, to Marin Board of Supervisors and Community Development Agency: BOS@marincounty.org DRodini@marincounty.orgTLai@marincounty.org KDrumm@marincounty.org
On July 19, you can speak at the Supervisors meeting, either on Zoom or in person at Civic Center. The stream ordinance binds only the 900 families in San Geronimo Valley living in homes near streams. It does not apply to any other person or public agency in Marin County.
We offer below a summary of the proposed ordinance and comments of SG Valley Stewards.
Stream setbacks: No development allowed within buffer zone 35 feet of any stream. Development is restricted within 36 to 100 feet on both sides of every stream."Stream" includes main stem creeks, seasonal streams, and ephemeral rain flows.
"Development" includes: Removing native vegetation; or grading or demolition; or repair and maintenance of any existing structure; or replacing or adding to any house, road, driveway, fence, deck or carport.
"Maintenance and repair of existing permitted structures" is allowed within the 35 foot buffer zone and within the 100 foot area, but must meet Site Plan Review and be approved by Community Development Agency.
Requirements for Site Plan Review within the 36 - 100 foot stream setback:
1. Lot coverage (additional impervious area) is limited to 300 square feet, cumulative for all development. Vertical additions do not count toward the 300 square foot limit--build up, not out.
2. County pays for Site Assessment by Marin Resource Conservation District, or you can pay a qualified professional.
3. You pay for inspection by County enforcement officer and must fix all past Code violations.
4. You must pay an "impact fee" into a Habitat Restoration Fund. SG Valley Stewards request impact fees be limited to $100 per parcel and the Funds can be spent only by government agencies to assist Valley residents make property improvements. Do not force homeowners to pay into a slush fund for SPAWN.
5. If the project requires a building permit, CDA policy requires septic inspection and may require septic repair or replacement.
6. Site Plan must include a stormwater control plan, low impact construction, and Standard Management Practices (SMP's).
7. "No net loss of habitat"--any vegetation removed must be replanted in 2:1 ratio on your parcel. SG Valley Stewards object to the increased wildfire risk.
Homes outside the 100-foot stream area cannot create or replace roofs or driveways:
Here are the requirements for every project (including those outside the stream area) that creates or replaces 500 square feet of lot coverage:
--roads and driveways hydrologically disconnected from streams,
--control of fine sediments,
--low impact development methods,
--stormwater control plan approved by a hydrology expert.
You can claim limited exemptions from site assessment:
Removal of dead or invasive vegetation, but not below the top of stream bank.
Removal or trimming of pyrophytic (combustible) trees including tanoak, bay laurel or Douglas fir. However, removing any tree over 6 inches diameter requires a tree permit.
Planting non-pyrophytic native vegetation (Do ornamental garden plants require Site Assessment?)
Existing septic system repair, maintenance, and replacement.
Staff Interpretations of allowances and exemptions are not clearly stated:
SGValley Stewards request that all allowances and exemptions should be crystal clear and stated in plain language in the ordinance.
In presentations to Planning Commission, CDA staff described some interpretations of the SCA Ordinance that may allow some allowances or exemptions. Caution: These interpretations are not expressly stated in the SCA ordinance, and could be changed by future staff personnel, and could be overruled by strict enforcement practices. The homeowner risks $500 per day fines for each violation.
a. 300 SF addition is net of removals: Your allowance for 300 SF additional lot coverage should be cumulative, after netting out impervious area you remove from the same parcel. Example: Remove 100 SF of old hot tub and deck, and add a 400 SF driveway. (Question: Does the 2:1 vegetation ratio require you to plant 800 square feet of native shrubs to mitigate the 400 SF driveway?)
b. Access for Disabled People: Within the 35 foot buffer zone or the 36-100 foot stream setback, you should be allowed to install ramps and covered walkways necessary for disability access, without Site Plan Review. Disability access should not count toward your 300 SF maximum for lot coverage additions. The ordinance does not state this, but staff interprets it.
c. Accessory Dwelling Units: California law now requires the County to allow a Category 1 ADU up to 800 square feet, even in an environmentally sensitive area. Staff interprets this to allow the ADU inside the 100 foot stream area, and not require Site Plan Review. However, the ordinance does not state this and does not say if the ADU counts toward your 300 SF allowance. Staff cautions that every ADU will require a building permit, and that your septic must satisfy current Code. Staff cautions the ADU cannot be built in "wetland", such as the 35-foot buffer zone close to a creek.
d. Old Houses May Be "Legal Non-Conforming":
The stream ordinance has allowances and exemptions only for "existing permitted structures." The ordinance should state allowances and exemptions also apply to "legal non-conforming structures" under Marin Development Code Chapter 22.112. Staff interpretations are confusing.
Many houses in San Geronimo were built following the 1906 earthquake, and through the 1950's, when Marin County did not require permits. A fire in San Rafael destroyed some pre-1960 County permit records.
Old existing houses may qualify as "legal non-conforming structures" even if they do not conform to the current County Development Code.
Staff interpretation is confusing: You cannot add more non-conforming structures, but you should be able to repair and maintain the old legal non-conforming house. Does staff intend that any expansion of the old house requires the entire structure be brought up to current Code, including septic?
Fire Defensible Space VERSUS Replanting Vegetation in 2:1 ratio:
You will be fined $500 per day if you do not replant all native vegetation in 2:1 ratio. Homeowners are trapped between the stream and fire safety defensible space.
California law requires every forest residence to have 100 feet of defensible space, and to comply with local fire guidelines. Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority and FireSafeMarin inspect properties and require owners in San Geronimo to clear all brush and ladder up tree limbs. Many San Geronimo families are denied fire insurance, or suffer enormous rate increases.
Neither the Ordinance nor the Site Plan review require you or your neighbor to comply with fire guidelines. The stream ordinance does not strike a good balance between fire safety that preserves big trees in our old growth forest, versus thin saplings and native shrubs that add to fuel load.
Enforcement and Penalties
SG Valley Stewards will request the Supervisors reduce punitive measures:
1. Do not harass families by investigating anonymous complaints.
2. Give homeowners a 2-year grace period to fix violations before imposing fines.
3. Reduce fines to $50 per day, down from $500 per day.
4. An impartial arbiter (not CDA staff) should determine contested violations or appeals.5. Do not create a private right organization to sue a homeowner for a stream violation as a "public nuisance". Shady lawyers could file public nuisance lawsuits and demand their fees as the price for settlement. If SPAWN or any enforcement action is needed, it should be by Marin County.
County Should Assist Property Owners to Correct Stream Map Errors.
Is your homesite located within a Stream Conservation Area? The ordinance defines the stream setback as solid or dashed blue lines on the official map located at this website: www.marinmap.org. Click "Main Map Viewer". Click "Hydrology"
Some San Geronimo residents have found errors in mapping their parcels. If the map erroneously shows your parcel inside the SCA, your property may suffer decades of depreciated value due to stream ordinance restrictions.
Only one California state official is authorized to request the United States government to correct the National Hydrology Dataset map. Marin County should assist San Geronimo homeowners to collect data on map errors, and ask the California official to make corrections with NHD. This is not a task for individual homeowners.
Public Reports Twice Each Year.
The ordinance should require Marin County to make public reports twice each year. The ordinance is silent on reports. Reports should be published on the County website for all to read.
The stream program is an experiment imposed on 900 families in SG Valley. We need data to monitor success and failure. The reports should include numbers and types of stream assessments applied for, granted, or denied; complaints, fines and enforcement measures; gain or loss of impervious area and habitat; fees and costs paid by County and homeowners. We can then evaluate the stream program and the yearly fish counts published by Marin Municipal Water District.
The Stream Ordinance Should Sunset in 5 Years.
In year 2027, the stream ordinance should expire automatically, unless extended or amended by the Board of Supervisors.
Spawn demanded the ordinance as settlement of its 4th lawsuit against Marin County. The settlement goes far beyond the recommendations of the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Report approved July 2019 (which was commissioned at the request of Spawn).
It is an uncontrolled experiment, using 900 San Geronimo families as lab rats. Unless there is measurable success in salmon populations, the ordinance should expire.
By 2027, we will have 10 biannual reports to measure success and failure. We should take a fresh look in 2027.
Marin County mailed you notice of the Planning Commission hearing on June 13 for a new stream ordinance in San Geronimo Valley. The Board of Supervisors will vote July 19.
What the County notice did not tell you: The new stream rules were written by SPAWN (Turtle Island) and Center for Biological Diversity, as settlement of their 4th lawsuit against Marin taxpayers.The new stream rules bind the 900 San Geronimo families whose homes are located close to creeks. The rules would not effect any other part of Marin County, nor the 60,000 acres of fish habitat owned by federal, state, and local governments west of Lagunitas. We encourage you to email County officials at the addresses below and voice your objections and concerns. This is a partial summary of the new stream rules for Valley homes:
What Can You Do?
1. 35-foot no development zone. You cannot install any impervious surface (deck, carport, etc), or plant a garden, or install a fence within 35 feet of a stream.
2. 100-foot allowed uses zone. The 100 feet on both sides of any stream cannot be improved or developed except for "allowed uses" of up to 300 square feet impervious area. The 300 SF is cumulative, as an eternal maximum for each parcel.
3. Every major creek, seasonal stream, or ephemeral rain flow is a "stream" with 35-foot and 100-foot zones on both sides.
4. Habitat must be replaced on 2:1 ratio. For example, if you build a 300 square foot deck, you must remove 600 feet of gravel driveway. For your 20 square foot tomato garden, there must be a 40 square feet of "complete replacement of habitat equivalent" shrubs. Home space will decrease and wildfire risk will increase.
The 2:1 ratio of re-planting habitat vegetation does not comply with FireSafeMarin guidelines orr California Natural Resources Code section 4291 on defensible space.
5. Excessive Costs and Punitive Enforcement.
The County will charge an "impact fee" for any project within the 100 foot zone. The fee will go into a "Habitat Fund" which Spawn could use.
You must pay a County officer to inspect your property and enforce any past violations, before you are allowed to develop a new project within the 100-foot zone. In addition, you must pay building permit fees, septic inspection, or other project costs.
$500 per day fine is imposed for any future or past violations. The $500 runs each day until the mitigation remedy is inspected and approved.
The SPAWN settlement encourages a network of informants, who can make anonymous complaints. The County will have a "hotline" open 24 hours, 7days a week for complaints.
Every violation of the stream ordinance is a "public nuisance". The informant could file a lawsuit and collect his attorneys fees from the homeowner.
6. Increased Wildfire Risk.
The new regulations do not require you or your neighbor to obey the guidelines published on www.FireSafeMarin.org or the defensible space rules of Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority. Any underbrush or trees removed or trimmed within the 100 foot zone, must be replaced in a 2:1 ratio, with new similar vegetation on the same home parcel.
Marin Community Development Agency will publish Friday May 27 a staff report. Look for a redraft showing changes from the ordinance approved by Planning Commission Dec. 13, 2021, which was more tolerable for family homes.Make Your Voice Heard
You can participate in the July 19 Board of Supervisors meeting, by Zoom or attend in person. Each person gets 2 minutes to speak.
Send Emails to County officials
Planning Commission: firstname.lastname@example.org
Supervisor Dennis Rodoni: DRodoni@marincounty.org
Aide to Suprvr Rodoni: RKutter@marincounty.org
Board of Supervisors: BOS@marincounty.org
Community Development Agency:
Visit www.sgvstewards.com for updates.
Subscribe to SGValley Stewards Constant Contact emails, we will send you information as it develops.
Click here to join our mailing list.
Dear Valley Families,Please send your emails by this Sunday March 13, objecting to the Board of Supervisors vote allowing the County to impose $500 per day fines for Code violations related to your property. Please send your emails to these addresses:
Your objections may persuade Supervisors to VOTE NO on this proposal Tuesday March 15.What is Proposed?
Dear San Geronimo Valley Stewards, Friends, and Homeowners,
Marin County Planning Commission will hold its meeting on the new stream ordinance Dec. 13, 2021 Monday at 1 pm. The new stream rules will impact all homes and improvements located within 100 feet of any stream in San Geronimo Valley (not the rest of Marin). The Commission will likely vote to approve the ordinance. Stewards asked for some changes they may consider.
You can participate by Zoom on your computer, or by telephone.
If you have not already installed zoom app, go to www.zoom.us/join.
Meeting ID is 878 0117 8611
Password is 299372
Use the "Raise Hand" button if you want to speak.
Dial 669-219-2599 or 253-215-8782
Meeting ID is 878 0117 8611 #
Attendee ID is #
Password is 299372 #
If you want to speak, press *9.
Then press *6 to unmute your mic.
Each person speaking is limited to 3 minutes.
The meeting agenda, with attached copies of stream ordinance and other documents, can be found at this LINK:
Planning Commission Hearings - Community Development Agency – County of Marin marincounty.org
The Planning Commission meeting will be on Zoom at 1 pm Monday December 13. Zoom meeting ID and password will be posted on marincounty.org website.
San Geronimo Valley Stewards have stated our concerns about costs and delays for homeowners.
• Over $3800 was the estimate County staff gave on November 8 for a building permit and stream site plan review to add 500 square feet of floor area or impervious surface such as a driveway. Marin County should subsidize these costs.
• Can a small accessory dwelling unit be built close to a stream?
• The rules about ADU's are confusing and contradictory.
• The County should not require septic inspection as condition to a stream site plan, unless the owner proposes a project to repair or replace his septic.
• Fire prevention and vegetation management recommended by fire agencies should be allowed without site plan review.
• The County should simplify access to the stream map so people can find their homesites. The County should determine how many homes in San Geronimo Valley are located within the stream area.
• The County should publish a report each year on the number of home projects impacted by the rules, and whether the rules result in measurable improvement in fish habitat.
The new SCA Ordinance and Resolution can be found at this LINK: www.marincounty.org/-/media/files/departments/cd/planning/sca/san-geronimo-valley/pc_resolution
A complete set of new rules, including Standard Management Practices and Preparation of Site Assessments, can be found at: marincounty.org, search for SCA Ordinance project webpage
Let your voice be heard! Send your email today!
Marin County Planning Commission will hold a public workshop by ZOOM on the new stream rules proposed for San Geronimo Valley. You can read the official proposal at www.marincounty.org/sca.Please read the "Summary of New Stream Rules for Homeowners" on website www.sgvstewards.com. The new rules will prohibit certain land uses and impose costly requirements for home improvements on all parcels located fully or partially within the Stream Conservation Area. The SCA extends for 100 feet on both sides of any seasonal or perennial watercourse and may apply to ephemerals that carry water only when it rains. The new rules will apply to about 900 homes in San Geronimo Valley, but not to any other properties in Marin County. The Zoom meeting will begin at 1 pm. The public cannot attend in person. You can join by computer or mobile device.
We offer this summary of how the new stream rules proposed by Marin County may effect your property and house. We believe the ordinance and exhibits will burden families with costs and delays for ordinary home maintenance and improvements. The rules are confusing and will require homeowners to consult lawyers and pay experts for common projects.In San Geronimo Valley, 4200 people live in a forest surrounded by dry grassland. The new stream rules discourage sensible vegetation management, and do not require compliance with state law and local fire agencies regarding defensible space and fire prevention. The SGV Stewards and supporters are not professional developers building new mansions. We are the 2,000 families who live in existing homes, many built decades ago, on small lots close to creeks. The new stream rules apply to only the San Geronimo Valley. Marin County does not burden any other area with these new costs and delays. INTRODUCTION
C. New Stream Rules: Do you want to: replace your wood deck, repair your roof shingles, or add 400 square feet to your home, or pave your dirt driveway, or build a tool shed, or install solar panels?
Here are the new dates for Marin County's consideration of the proposed Stream Conservation Area Ordinance:
Monday November 8: Workshop with Planning Commission and Community.
We will send exact time and directions for you to participate online, when notified by County staff.
Monday December 13: Planning Commission hearing on SCAO
February 2022: Date unknown, Planning Commission will vote to recommend SCAO to Board of Supervisors
Tuesday March 8, 2022: Board of Supervisors hearing on SCAO
San Geronimo Valley Stewards will be sending you a short homeowners summary of the proposed new stream rules, and directions on how to find your property parcel on the new stream map.
The period for open public comment runs from Sept 20, 2021 through March 8, 2022.
SCA Ordinance Documents:
• Cover Letter (5 pages)
Explains how ordinance complies with FSEIR and 2007 Countywide Plan.
• Proposed Development Code Amendments Exhibit A( 14 pages)
This is the SCA Ordinance.
• Schedule (1 page)
Sets dates for drafting and official meetings.
Please fill out the anonymous survey and click to send directly to Marin County Parks.
The Board of Directors of San Geronimo Valley Stewards sent a letter to the Marin County Board of Supervisors, for its October 6, 2020 meeting, supporting continuation of the Urban Stream Coordinator program, through June 2021.
Families in San Geronimo Valley have benefited from the advice and support of the Marin Resource Conservation District and its Urban Stream Coordinator program, in particular the high energy and attention devoted by Sarah Phillips. She completed homeowners' stream restoration projects that had been languishing for several years. Sarah helped organize and publicize a volunteer creek clean up sponsored by SG Valley Stewards. The SGV Stewards representatives on the Lagunitas Creeks Technical Advisory Committee have found her services as Chair, and now Vice Chair, valuable for all participants.
SG Valley Stewards look forward to working with County Staff, the One Tam project team, and Marin RCD on the new LIDAR map and stream protection ordinance.
Marin County is preparing a new Lidar map of San Geronimo Valley streams and land contours. SGV Stewards has requested County staff to post on its website a search tool, so each family can locate their property and determine whether it is within the Stream Conservation Area. County staff expects the new map may be available in early 2021.
County staff is also drafting a new stream ordinance that would apply only in San Geronimo Valley. Every parcel that is completely or partially within 100 feet of any stream would be governed by the new ordinance. A "stream" may include seasonal run-offs and ephemeral flows that are wet only when it rains.
We believe the new regulations should have positive incentives to encourage voluntary compliance, with less emphasis on complaint-based punitive enforcement. The County has stated SGV Stewards and other groups would have opportunities to submit comments and confer with staff about the draft ordinance. SGVStewards will alert you to times and dates of public community meetings, which may be virtual online because of Covid restrictions.
SG Valley Stewards seek to protect and maintain our existing family homes. We are not developers. We request a stream ordinance that encourages reasonable and effective stream conservation, and permits low cost solutions for home repairs, small property improvements, affordable housing accessory units, and fire protection.
Stay current on new announcements! You can receive future SGV Stewards emails by CLICK HERE
Riparian Restoration: Hands-On!
Saturday, March 7th 10:00 am-1:30 pm
If you live next to a stream, a typical problem experienced is creek bank erosion. Soil bioengineering includes many biotechnical techniques that combine plant materials and soil to accomplish bank stabilization, erosion control, and improve habitat and water quality. This approach has many benefits over “traditional” erosion control methods that include the following but are not limited to:
- It is cost effective: Many of these techniques can be done by homeowners. Willow stakes can be locally harvested. It is cheaper in relations to long-term maintenance when compared to the traditional structural, hard engineering techniques such as rip rap, retaining walls and/or concrete.
- Long-term stability: Planting riparian vegetation can offer long-term protection against erosion due to roots having similar to greater strength than concrete. Roots can absorb erosive energy from the stream without deflecting the problem to another section of the creek bank or channel. Rooting can also quickly control channel incision.
- Improve habitat for wildlife: Riparian vegetation provides food and shelter for wildlife. When trees are established, they provide canopy cover over the channel, which keeps the water temperatures cool, and allows stream life to thrive.
SPACE IS LIMITED and ADDRESS WILL BE PROVIDED UPON SUCCESSFUL REGISTRATION. PLEASE REGISTER HERE: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/streambank-stabilization-workshop-tickets-94728616843 Reply-To: email@example.com
For questions, contact Arianna at: Arianna.Topbjerg@waterboards.ca.gov
Please come to the Monday July 22, 2019 hearing at 1pm when the Marin County Planning Commission votes to accept the Final SEIR (Supplemental Environmental Impact Report) for San Geronimo Valley. The meeting is at Civic Center, Suite 328. It begins at 1pm, but the Final SEIR may be on the agenda as later.
Do you need to replace your roof or pave your driveway? Are you considering any home improvements? Your costs are about to increase--the SEIR recommends a discretionary permit, site assessment by a salmon expert, and stormwater control plan by a hydrologist, before you start construction.
The County estimates 741 existing homes are located within the stream conservation area (SCA). The SCA includes all land located within 100 feet of any ephemeral stream (small channels of runoff when it rains) and any seasonal creek (even if dry in summer with no fish).
The SEIR makes fact findings which will impact future uses of the golf course property. It would require people to double or triple the number of trees in our fire-prone valley.
The SEIR was prepared under court orders when SPAWN sued the County. It is supposed to measure the cumulative impact on salmon caused by our homes and human activities. The SEIR supplements the 2007 Countywide Plan. County staff states the SEIR will also guide a new countywide plan that will be drafted over the next few years.
The SEIR effects your home now and will govern our community in future decades. Please attend the hearing Monday July 22!
Dear Valley Stewards--Marin County wants YOUR opinion! Please go online and complete the Marin Parks Department survey. www.marinparkssurvey.com.
It takes only 3 minutes and is easy to check the boxes. Watch for the boxes labeled "Other" where you can state your own suggestions.
Marinparkssurvey.com is a good opportunity to help guide the Marin Parks Department budget and future planning!
Woodacre/San Geronimo Flats Wastewater Recycling Project
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Multipurpose Room, Lagunitas School, 7:00 pm
This is an informal meeting to present the final feasibility report on a community wastewater recycling project. While the future use of the golf course property is uncertain, the report was revised to accommodate various uses of the recycled water, with or without a golf course.
This meeting is co-sponsored by the Woodacre & San Geronimo Flats Wastewater Group
Please note this is not a meeting on the environmental review for the project.
For more information contact Lorene Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415.473.7146
On Friday October 26, 2018, Marin Superior Court will conduct a final hearing on the motion to require the County to comply with CEQA and do an environmental impact report, before the County closes golf operations and converts the San Geronimo Golf Course to open space.
You may attend the hearing in Courtroom E, but only the lawyers are allowed to speak. The Court does not invite public comment.
San Geronimo Valley Stewards will send representatives on October 26, and we will report back to you. A tentative ruling may be posted for case # CIV 1704467 on the website www.marincourts.org.
Friday June 8 at 1:30 pm is the new hearing date for Marin Superior Court to consider the County's Golf Course proposal. You may attend the hearing in Courtroom E, but only lawyers for the parties are allowed to speak. The Court does not invite public comment.
San Geronimo Valley Stewards will send representatives and report back to you June 8. A tentative ruling for case # CIV 1704467 may be posted June 7 on the website www.marincourt.org.
San Geronimo Advocates headed by Niz Brown asks the Court to require the County comply with CEQA and do an environmental impact report, before the Golf Course stops operations and converts to open space. The lawsuit also objects to the change in land use as violating the San Geronimo Community Plan and the Countywide Plan.
Marin Parks has cancelled the April 4 evening meeting. Director Max Korten apologizes, but he wants to give Touchstone Golf room to re-open operations on April 14. Stewards are arranging a public meeting with Parks staff for later in April. The purpose is to make an evening available for working folks not able to attend the mid-day meetings.
Marin Parks will ask our Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, March 27 at 9am to approve a two-year contract with Touchstone Golf to temporarily operate the San Geronimo Golf Course.
We will send you more information when available. The BOS meeting begins at 9am in San Rafael at Civic Center. Please attend if you are able.
The County plans to close the course by 2020 and "re-wild" the property for stream restoration and fish habitat projects. However, the door is not closed on possibly combining golf operations with other open space uses. Temporary operations with Touchstone are an opportunity to demonstrate the viability of golf play compatible with stream restoration and other community uses.
EVENING MEETING WITH MARIN PARKS STAFF?
Marin Parks has cancelled the April 4 evening meeting. Director Max Korten apologizes, but he wants to give Touchstone Golf room to re-open operations on April 14. Stewards are arranging a public meeting with Parks staff for later in April. The purpose is to make an evening available for working folks not able to attend the mid-day meetings.
The County and Trust for Public Land have moved forward with the purchase of the golf course and are embarking on a public input process to involve you - the SGV Community - to learn what is important to you about the possible future of this amazing 157 acres of land in the heart of the Valley.
The County and Supervisor Rodoni have made it clear that golf is not going to be possible in the long-term future of land, and regardless of how you may feel about golf, you should care about what happens with this land in the long-term.
We urge you to get involved, attend meetings to learn about the ideas and plans the County is already considering, and to make your voices heard.
The County intends to spend $7 to $10 million on environmental restoration and other improvements. This is in addition to the $8.9-million purchase price with taxpayer dollars.
Many ideas have been suggested such as a new parkland, skateboard park, bike trails, sustainable agriculture, passive and active recreational uses. Creek restoration for salmon is already underway, and significantly more is planned, with rebuild of Roy's fish ladder and a new creek channel along the front nine.
If you can't attend the County meetings, you can view the County's project updates here and sign up to get future email update announcements: https://www.marincountyparks.org/depts/pk/our-work/parks-main-projects/san-geronimo-property-acquisition
The time to get involved is NOW. The transformation of this land in the heart of the SGV is a once-in-a-lifetime change.
Come to any meetings you can, and let the County know your thoughts. Other local community interest groups are attending, and are voicing their concerns and preferences for what the future of the golf course should include.
Thank you for your ongoing support and the Stewards leadership will strive to send periodic updates as this process unfolds.
San Geronimo Valley Stewards
Do Supervisors Know What They Are Buying?
Toxics on the SG Golf Course
Do Marin County Supervisors know what they are buying with our tax dollars? Will Marin county pay an inflated price to purchase a golf course with potentially toxic materials? Will Marin taxpayers foot the bill to clean up hazardous waste and to protect Native American artifacts?
Tuesday November 14 - Marin Board of Supervisors will consider the County's purchase of the San Geronimo Golf Course from Trust for Public Land. The purchase agreement and financing arrangements will:
-- bail out TPL (a private charity) using $8.8 million of taxpayer dollars,
--close golf operations,
--not require any report on fire danger or environmental impacts, and
--re-wild 157 acres as salmon refuge for SPAWN.
Spawn's lawsuits against the County taxpayers will continue. Homeowners will not receive permits to make small improvements on older homes. Community needs will be ignored for waste water treatment, fire protection, affordable housing, etc.
Please come to the BOS meeting at 1 pm at Marin Civic Center, Tuesday Nov. 14.
You may be allowed 1 or 2 minutes to speak at the time for public comment. There will be a big crowd, seats will be filled.
Go to www.marincounty.org website, click on Board of Supervisors, click on Agenda, to read staff reports and more information.
Here is the afternoon agenda, and what you may expect:
13. Supervisors meet in Closed Session. [Taxpayers and voters are not allowed to see or hear this secret meeting.] Conference with real property negotiator(s) pursuant to California Government Code Section 54956.8 on the matter as follows: Real Property Address: 5800 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., San Geronimo, CA 94963 (APNs 168-250-41, 172-371-04, 172-372-14, & 172-372-01) Agency Negotiator(s): Carl Sommers, Chief of Planning & Acquisition; Max Korten, Director of Parks and Open Space; Eric Lueder, Chief Real Property Agent. Negotiating Party: Robert Lee Trust for Public Land. Under Negotiation: Price and terms of option to purchase.
13 - STAFF REPORT
1:30 p.m. Reconvene in Open Session (in Room 330)
Announcement from Closed Session.
15 - DRAFT ORDINANCE
2:15 p.m. [This is the public portion of the meeting]
16. Request to adopt a resolution authorizing the purchase of the San Geronimo Golf Course from The Trust for Public Land, and authorize execution of a purchase and sale agreement.
Recommended actions: Request to adopt a resolution authorizing the purchase of the San Geronimo Golf Course from The Trust for Public Land and finding that the purchase is exempt for the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA"), and authorize execution of a purchase and sale agreement.
16 - STAFF REPORT
16 - AGREEMENT
16 - DRAFT RESOLUTION
16 - PRESENTATION
[Following presentation by staff, Supervisors can ask questions of Staff. Supervisors will then allow time for public comments. Supervisors do not engage in conversations with members of the public--they just listen to what you say.]
Marin Board of Supervisors has postponed the hearing on the San Geronimo Golf Course to possibly November 14.
Please continue to send your emails to the County. The County still proposes to buy the Golf Course for $8.8 million, shut operations, and turn the 157 acres into fire-prone wild land and salmon refuge. You have time to send your email to the addresses below. You can click here to view email/posting from San Geronimo Valley Stewards, and add your personal thoughts. Please send emails by November 10.
Thanks for your continued support!
November 14 Tuesday 9:30 am at Marin Civic Center
County Board of Supervisors meet, and allow public comment, for matters not on the agenda. You may speak for 3 minutes, unless Supervisors set special procedures to accommodate the number of people who may appear.
Agenda Item 8 states the public hearing on the Golf Course is continued until November 14.
Visit www.marincounty.org, Board of Supervisors page, click on Agenda.
November 14 Tuesday at Marin Civic Center
Public hearing on San Geronimo Golf Course.
Supervisors may take final VOTE.
Please calendar this date and show up!
We will advise of time when Agenda is published.
This beautiful jewel is set in the heart of our Valley. It is a treasured recreation and community resource for over 2,000 San Geronimo families and all Marin residents.
San Geronimo Valley Stewards request:
--If Marin County takes title, the County must control the land, the purchase terms, and financing; and
--future uses must meet community needs, not be imposed by outside corporations or agencies.
If public money is used to buy the Course, there must be:
--complete MAI appraisal for use of any taxpayer money;
--full advance disclosure of sale and funding terms; and
--meaningful opportunity for public discussion.
Please do not now lock in or prohibit uses for 130 acres (83%) of the golf course land.
SG Valley Stewards send this request to:
Supervisor Damon Connolly DConnolly@marincounty.org
Supervisor Judy Arnold JArnold@marincounty.org
Supervisor Katie Rice KRice@marincounty.org
Supervisor Kate Sears KSears@marincounty.org
Parks Director Max Korten MKorten@marincounty.org
Clerk of the Board Diane Patterson DPatterson@marincounty.org
Please if you haven't sent in your NO's please send your letters now.
Act now--time is urgent! Please send your emails before Friday October 27.
Please send your emails by Friday October 27 to County officials and the addresses below.
Give them there are alternatives to the current proposal.
Explain the reasons this is a bad deal for the valley and the County.
County Supervisors meet and VOTE on Tuesday October 31.
PLEASE JOIN US!
SATURDAY JUNE 17TH • 10:00 AM
LAGUNITAS SCHOOL MULTI PURPOSE ROOM
(JUST OFF THE SCHOOL PARKING LOT IN FRONT OF THE GYM)
YOU WILL BE ASSIGNED A SECTION OF ROAD, OBTAIN A SAFETY VEST, GRABBERS AND PLASTIC BAGS. BE BACK BY NOON, RETURN VEST, GRABBERS, AND LITTER BAGS. THE LITTER WILL BE SORTED AND ALL RECYCLABLES WILL BE DISPOSED OF PROPERLY.
JOIN US FOR A COMPLEMENTARY BBQ PREPARED BY OUR OWN ED HEALY!
ENJOY LIVE MUSIC BY WOODACRES JASON JONES (TOM FINCH BAND, THE WRONGLERS, BROTHER LOVE, AND THE SALVATIONS.)
LET'S MAKE A DIFFERENCE
AND HAVE FUN!
MANY THANKS TO OUR YEAR ROUND LITTER REMOVAL VOLUNTEERS, FOR KEEPING TRASH OUT OF THE CREEKS AND OFF OUR ROADWAY!
NOBEL PRIZE WINNER,
DR. ELINOR OSTROM:
"FISHERIES AND NATURAL RESOURCES ARE BEST MANAGED BY LOCAL COMMUNITIES
SGV STEWARDS PHILOSOPHY
WE ARE VALLEY PROUD
Mail Your comments to County Officials before June 15th deadline
On May 1, 2017 Marin County released a Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (SEIR) for San Geronimo Valley, describing the effects of our family homes on the creek habitat for coho salmon. This report and actions by Marin County and other government agencies, will impact your home and your neighbors for the next decade!
Time is limited!
You must send the government your comments, questions, and corrections on the SEIR no later than June 15. If County does not receive your comments by that date, your rights are forever waived to request changes in the SEIR.
Go to the MarinCounty.org website and click on the page for environmental reviews. You may also "subscribe" to this page so you will receive emails announcing any revisions to the San Geronimo SEIR, and future environmental reports.
San Geronimo Valley Stewards - Koa Pickering, President, Denis Poggio, Peggy Sheneman
By US Mail To:
Environmental Planning Manager
Marin Community Development Agency
3501 Civic Center Drive, Suite #308
San Rafael CA 94903
By Email: email@example.com
Hard Copies Mailed To County Of Marin Officials Listed On Page 14
RE: Comments from the San Geronimo Valley Stewards
County of Marin - Draft April 2017 Supplemental EIR
San Geronimo Valley Stewards thanks the Marin Community Development Agency and Marin County Counsel for their diligent and professional work on the SEIR draft. We appreciate the research of Stillwater Sciences in this difficult assignment.
Our comments are made with the intent of improving the SEIR and providing more information, so the County can move forward with a 2018 Countywide Plan and a new stream ordinance. Mitigation steps which require taxpayer dollars should be informed by data to make the projects effective.
SG Valley Stewards supported adoption of the 2013 Marin County Interim Stream Conservation Area Ordinance. The 2013 Ordinance was also supported by Marin Conservation League, Marin Audubon Society, and other responsible conservation groups. Unfortunately, it never took effect in San Geronimo Valley because Spawn sued to stop it, which triggered the "poison pill" clause. The 2013 Ordinance governed the other unincorporated areas of Marin, until sunset by its own terms in April 2016.
Why the SEIR is Important to 800 Families Living in Existing Homes Near the Creeks.
The draft SEIR evaluates only one development scenario--a full build out of 358 new units. (SEIR pages 2-25 to 2-45.) The SEIR recommends mitigating the impact of full build out by adopting a new stream ordinance, with strict adherence to 100-foot setbacks, discretionary design review, and hiring expensive experts for every activity within the stream conservation area. (SEIR pages 5-12 to 5-22.) The SEIR recommendations are similar to the Tier 3 stream permit required for large new house construction under Marin's 2013 interim stream ordinance.
The SEIR makes no mention of exceptions or exemptions for small improvements to existing homes, most of which were built in before 1980 on small lots within 100 feet of streams. In suggesting a mitigation ordinance, the SEIR should acknowledge the precedent of the 2013 ordinance Tier 1 and Tier 2 permits for small projects. Consider for an existing home a handicap ramp, children's' play structure, garbage can enclosure, vegetable garden, or driveway paving. Do these small projects justify discretionary design review, Planning Commission hearings, and appeal to the Board of Supervisors?
Since the 2007 Countywide Plan, Marin County has recognized the crises in affordable housing, especially in West Marin. Second units and junior second units are the least expensive and fastest way to add housing, privately financed, without taxpayer dollars. A 350 square foot addition to an existing house can create a new bathroom and studio/bedroom. This would provide caregiver housing for a senior, or enable a homeowner to rent space for workforce housing.
Marin Community Development Agency has recommended that a stream ordinance should follow guidelines for "CASE": The ordinance should be Clear, Affordable, Simple and Enforceable.
SGV Stewards respectfully request the following corrections and additions be made to the Draft SEIR before it is approved by the Board of Supervisors:
A. Amend the SEIR to also evaluate two reasonably probable developments with lesser impact on habits; Building 108 new houses, and /or permitting small improvements to existing homes. Calibrate the new stream ordinance (suggested as a mitigation measure) to the lesser impacts of these projects.
B. Recognize and accommodate geographic constraints, by studying the impact of a 35-foot setback for existing homes on small lots near the creeks.
C. Do not place regulatory obstacles to fire prevention. Vegetation and tree management is dictated by state law, our fire insurance policies, and the Marin Fire Department. Fire conflagration would be a disaster for the San Geronimo salmon species.
D. Provide more information and hard data on: How TIA is measured under existing conditions, impervious area caused by roads and paved surfaces, current and historic water flows, sediment impact on watershed lands owned by exempt parties (government agencies and agriculture), and effect of septic effluent on groundwater.
E. Clarify SEIR guidance on the proposed Mitigation Ordinance: Can homeowners rebuild after disaster? Who performs and pays for site assessments?
Marin County's NEW Repor Will Govern Your House on or near a Creek
Come to the Public Forum Tuesday May 16, 2017 * 7 pm
Lagunitas School Multipurpose Roo
Speak Out Now, or your rights are waived.
San Geronimo Valley Stewards welcomes the public to a community forum:
Tuesday May 16, 2017 at 7 pm
We want to hear YOUR concerns, objections, ideas for improvements. County officials have been invited, but this meeting is for YOU.
Marin County released its 2017 Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (SEIR), per Court order in the Spawn lawsuit. The SEIR measures impact on the coho salmon and creeks of the 900 family homes now located close to the San Geronimo streams. It looks at future home-building on the 100 empty lots remaining in the Valley.
The County intends to use the SEIR to prepare a new stream ordinance which will govern how you use and improve your house over the next decade. The County is also considering a new Countywide Plan.
COME TO THE MAY 16 MEETING AND LEARN MORE!
You can read the SEIR report online at the www.marincounty.org website: www.marincounty.org/depts/cd/divisions/environmental-review
You can download and print, but it is over 150 pages, with fold out graphs and maps.
San Geronimo Valley Stewards has arranged for printed copies to be purchased at a reasonable price from Avatar, 769 Center Blvd., in Fairfax, phone 415-457-5773.
Time is limited!
The County must receive your comments by Thursday June 15.
Send comments on the SEIR to: Marin Community Development Agency
Attn: Rachel Reid
3501 Civic Center Drive, 3rd floor, San Rafael CA 94903 or by email to RReid@marincounty.org
We suggest you copy our Supervisor Rodoni with your comments:DRodoni@marincounty.org
Nobel Prize winner, Dr Elinor Ostrom:
"Fisheries and natural resources are best managed by local communities."
SGV Stewards philosophy.
WE ARE VALLEY PROUD
The SGV Stewards board and committee wish to inform you of the second important meeting concerning the progress of the waste water project, and its future. We hope you can attend.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017 • 6pm
Environmental Impact Report Scoping Session - Lagunitas School Multipurpose Room
This is an opportunity to provide input to the County regarding the issues that should be considered in the Environmental Impact Report for the Woodacre/San Geronimo Wastewater Project
The executive summary and complete draft report for the Waste Water Project can be found online at the County's webpage:
Woodacre/San Geronimo Flats Wastewater Recycling Project
FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO:
From the Woodacre/San Geronimo Flats Wastewater Group, Christin Anderson, Liza Crosse, Wypke DeVries, Maya Gladstern, Rich Lohman, Catherine McQuilkin, Denis Poggio, Jim Rawlinson, Ann Seramin, Liz Vial, Mark Weiss, Bruce Wick, Mark Wilson (technical advisor)
On Tuesday, March 7th from 7pm-9pm Marin Resource Conservation District and UC Cooperative Extension have organized a community forum on clearing invasive weeds from our watershed.
Location: SGV Community Center in the large loft above the gym.
Topic: The watershed-threatening invasive plant species specific to San Geronimo Creek and the overall Lagunitas Creek watershed called Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica). It is getting out of control and land managers downstream and upstream are becoming very concerned.
Come on March 7 to learn how to identify it, and why it’s harmful for the riparian habitat and property values. Come together as a community to identify the best steps toward getting rid of it before it’s too late. For more info, contact Sarah Phillips at Marin RCD.
Sarah Phillips Urban Streams Program Manager
Marin Resource Conservation District
phone 415.663.1170 ext 302
email: Sarah@marinrcd.org, website: www.marinrcd.org
On Feb. 9, 2017, Marin Superior Court Judge Paul Haakenson denied Spawn's request to stop all construction and home projects in the San Geronimo Valley, in Civil case # 1004866. (You can access the records on www.marincourts.org.)
In March 2014, the Court of Appeals ordered the County to prepare a new SEIR (Supplemental Environmental Impact Report), and asked Judge Haakenson to enforce that order. However, the Court of Appeals denied an injunction against building, as an improper restriction on property owners' rights.
May 31, 2016 Tuesday 7pm
FREE Public Program at
San Geronimo Comminity Presbyterian Church
6001 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., corner Nicasio Rd.
SEE color slides of Inverness Vision Fire and other firefighting actions.
LISTEN to prevention and evacuation advice from Fire Officials.
LEARN about preparation and response strategies.
Everyone is welcome!
Presented by SGV Stewards
For Info email firstname.lastname@example.org
The County will give a progress report to the Court on April 11, 2016 for the cumulative impact analysis and a Supplemental Environmental Impact Report, as ordered by the Court of Appeal.
Spawn's second lawsuit:
In 2013 Spawn filed a second lawsuit against Marin County (Civ. No. 1304716). Spawn seeks to void the Interim Stream Conservation Area Ordinance adopted in October 2013, because it was not tough enough on homeowners. (The Interim SCA Ordinance was supported by San Geronimo Valley Stewards, Marin Conservation League, and other responsible conservation groups.) The next hearing is February 26, 2016.
Your Tax Dollars Paid to SPAWN's Lawyers. What's next?
Marin Superior Court on December 11, 2015 awarded SPAWN's lawyers $652,000. The fees must be paid by Marin County taxpayers.
Stanford Law Clinic and Attorney Michael Graf originally applied for $917,000 in fees to represent SPAWN in its 2010 lawsuit (Civ. No. 1004866). Spawn demanded that the County pass a stream conservation ordinance, and asked the Court to order the County to prepare a cumulative impact analysis showing the effect on salmon of additional home improvements in San Geronimo Valley.
The court reduced the $917,000 fees by 28%, with most of the cuts made in billings by Stanford Law Clinic. County Counsel called the reduced fees "grossly excessive" for filing one motion and one appeal brief.
Judge zeroes in on salmon group's bid to bill taxpayers $917,000
Salmon run up in Lagunitas Creek. Attorneys want $917,000 from the county after winning a court order requiring the county to study how development affects salmon in the San Geronimo Valley
A Marin judge needs a few more days to sort out how much if anything taxpayers owe fishery group lawyers who won a court order requiring the county to study how development affects salmon in the San Geronimo Valley.
On November 20 Friday at 9 am, the Court will consider Spawn's request for Marin taxpayers to fund $916,953 in SPAWN's attorneys fees for the lawsuit opposing the 2007 Countywide Plan. The hearing will be in Courtroom E at Civic Center, before Judge Haakenson.
San Geronimo Valley Stewards will attend to observe. (We are not allowed to make comments or written objections. The County is the defending party.)
San Geronimo Valley Stewards were hard at work doing creek clean up from the Montazuma Bridge in Forest Knolls down to the Lagunitas Road Bridge in the San Geronimo Valley on Saturday, October 17th. Sarah Phillips, Marin Resource Conservation Districts Urban Stream Coordinator, outfitted SGV Stewards volunteers with vests, gloves, and buckets, as well as participating in picking up all unwanted debris along that stretch of the Lagunitas creek. It was a very successful day, and a very tasteful lunch was rewarded for those that helped in Forest Knolls Park.
On Saturday October 3 from 1 pm - 4 pm, Marin Parks & Open Space District will map the trails for our San Geronimo Valley. Some new trails will be added, old trails may be closed.
If you love to hike, bike or ride horses, come to this workshop! Public comments welcome. At Lagunitas School this Saturday.
In the first test case for San Geronimo Valley, the Marin Board of Supervisors approved the reconstruction of a 90-year old home in Lagunitas and overruled Spawn's objections to the house. The five Supervisors voted unanimously in favor of the 941 square foot Saban family home. Supervisors hailed this as a model of environmentally sensitive development near the stream.
SG Valley Stewards and the neighbors of the Saban family support the project. Valley Stewards wrote letters and spoke at the Planning Commission and Supervisors hearings. We congratulate the Saban family, and welcome them to the Valley.
Thursday, July 2nd
Spirit Rock Center
5000 Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
Learn about Salmon Habitat Needs, current populations in West Marin and how best to repair and restore eroding creek banks with nationally acclaimed specialists!
Dr. Ann Riley is the author of Restoring Streams in Cities, the executive director of the Waterways Restoration Institute and a watershed and river restoration advisor for the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board. she has organized, planned, designed, constructed, and funded numerous stream restoration projects in California and throughout the United States and garnered many awards for her great work.
You can call or email the following people at public agencies to arrange for homeowner evaluations and site visits, answer questions about permits, or help with volunteer projects for creek restoration.
Marin RCD assures residents that it does not enter private property without an invitation from the owner. RCD has no regulatory authority and does not file enforcement complaints. Marin DPW uses outside consultants who have no regulatory or code enforcement duties.
San Geronimo Valley Stewards thank the volunteers, Spirit Rock Center which donated meeting space, Kallie Kull of Marin Dept. Public Works, and Sarah Phillips and Richard Plant of Marin Resource Conservation District for our January 14 program on creek restoration. Over 90 homeowners attended. People suggested volunteer projects, and asked questions about County and RCD assistance for creekside homes.
Have you seen a notice tucked in your fence or under a gate? It may be hard to see or have blown away in the wind. The notice is from SPAWN stating they will enter your property and walk your creek looking for salmon.
If you do not respond, the notice will assume you consent and SPAWN will enter your land.
SPAWN cannot operate in your creeks without your consent.
YOU CAN SAY "NO" TO SPAWN
Marin County Counsel won a victory for homeowners on December 5, 2014 when the Court denied SPAWN's request for an injunction in San Geronimo Valley. Judge Paul Haakensen ruled against SPAWN because the injunction would have affected the rights of homeowners who were given no opportunity to address the impact of the injunction. Families can once again apply for permits, including home improvements located within 100 feet of streams.
Report from Eric Ettlinger, MMWD
We’ve had an exciting couple of weeks on Lagunitas Creek with lots of both rain and fish. In that time we’ve received over eight inches of rain and Lagunitas Creek flows increased from 20 cubic feet per second to a peak of 1,800 cfs. During a break in the rain on Monday we observed 63 coho, 28 Chinook, and one a chum salmon.
The stats for the season so far include:
· 117 coho, 74 Chinook, and two chum salmon
· 24 coho redds (gravel nests), 20 Chinook redds, one chum redd, and nine redds we couldn’t classify
Our coho observations are far above average for this early in December and we’ve already seen the second-highest number of Chinook recorded for the creek.
Editorial in Marin IJ
On December 5, SPAWN (Salmon Protection and Watershed Network) will ask Marin Superior Court for a second injunction against all home improvement permits in San Geronimo Valley. SPAWN's first court injunction lasted 18 months. This followed a 24-month Valley building moratorium demanded by SPAWN. Enough is enough.
San Geronimo Valley is home for 2,000 families. The average house is 1400 square feet, on a lot measuring 110 feet by 110 feet. About half of our small lots are located near a stream, which may be a main channel with fish, a seasonal runoff, or an "ephemeral stream" (drainage that appears only in the rain).
Over the past five years, San Geronimo families have been prohibited from making normal home improvements. We cannot install a garden shed, add a bedroom, or enclose our trash containers because the County is barred from issuing permits. Our hands are tied by the legal maneuvers of SPAWN, which also calls itself Turtle Island Restoration Network.