Stewards Blog


Stewards Request Planning Commission Protect Homeowners

Riparian Restoration: Hands-On!
Saturday, March 7th 10:00 am-1:30 pm
Nicasio, CA

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.

For questions, contact Arianna at:


Stewards Request Planning Commission Protect Homeowners

Please come to the Planning Commission hearing at 1 pm Monday July 22, at Marin Civic Center Room 328.  Below is the request San Geronimo Valley Stewards made to the Planning Commission, regarding the Supplemental Environmental Impact Report describing the cumulative impact on salmon caused by existing homes and projected new development.

We respectfully request the Planning Commission Resolution include the following statement:

"The Planning Commission shall continue to consider (in addition to the information in the SEIR) the economic, social, and housing factors, in determining whether a project (such as a countywide plan or expanded stream ordinance) is feasible or to avoid or mitigate effects on the environment."

The additional language is consistent with CEQA Guideline 15131 (c) which states:  "economic, social, and housing factors shall be considered by public agencies, together with technological and environmental factors, in determining whether a project is feasible or to avoid the effects on the environment."  In this case, the "project" is the Expanded SCA Ordinance (recommended by the consultant who authored the SEIR), and  the next countywide plan (as County staff has publicly stated the SEIR will guide the draft of the next countywide plan).

Why add this to the Resolution?

Because this SEIR recommends the Marin Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors adopt an "Expanded SCA Ordinance".  Indeed, the private consultant goes so far as to  dictate the details of a new stream ordinance.  We understand the Planning Commission does not edit or change the technical or scientific findings of the SEIR.  Within the narrow scope of its duties and expertise, the consultant's role is to state observable facts and reasonable projections.

But the duty of public agencies is broader--to apply technical findings and to consider also economic, social and housing factors in making sound policy decisions for a new countywide plan and /or a proposed ordinance. 

The duty and cost of saving salmon would be shifted to 741 existing homeowners. 

The SEIR fails to consider any other source of mitigation or impact reduction.  Completed or proposed projects by SPAWN and government agencies are dismissed as "speculative".  Half the Valley homeowners (those within 100 feet of any stream or rain runoff) would be charged with fixing all the salmon impacts caused by half the homes outside the SCA, agriculture, projected new homes not yet constructed, and government agencies (County Open Space and MMWD who own 40% of the land mass).   The SEIR proposes no other remedy--only an "Expanded SCA Ordinance" imposed on 741 family homes. 

Planning Commissioners' experience and expertise should guide consideration of economic, social and housing factors. 

SG Valley Stewards looks forward to further consideration by the Planning Commission of possible remedies that enhance salmon habitat and permit improved living conditions for Valley families    Planning Commissioners are uniquely qualified to suggest creative solutions because of their backgrounds in architecture, land use planning, and construction.  The Planning Commissioners' experience in enforcement would inform the need for a simple and affordable ordinance that encourages voluntary compliance.

Stewards request changes in proposed ordinance.

--Delete the requirement of discretionary permits  for small home projects (less than 500 square feet).  Discretionary permits generate litigation, and the Valley has had enough.  

--Allow site assessments for small projects to be done by County staff or a contractor hired by the homeowner. For the new ordinance to require a "qualified professional with 5 years experience in stream ecology, hydrology, and salmon"  sounds like  full employment for SPAWN.  Costs would increase by $300 per hour. 

--Handicap ramps and small accessibility projects should be categorically exempt.

--People must able to replace a leaking roof and fix gutters with no outside expert opinion, if impervious area does not increase.  Will the County force a family to abandon their home and suffer structural damage in the rain, while waiting for a salmon expert to devise a stormwater plan?

--One-for-one tree replacement is adequate to maintain shade over fish-bearing main creek channels.  No tree replacement should be required for uphill streams or ephemeral or seasonal creeks where salmon do not summer-over.  The Valley needs fire fuel reduction, not more trees.

Less than one percent.

Total impervious area in the Valley would increase less than one percent (0.06%), under the SEIR projections of future build out. (SGVStewards Comment 4, pages 8- 9.)   A light regulatory touch is needed to preserve existing family homes.  The Planning Commission should demand measured salmon benefit
 mass).   The SEIR proposes no other remedy--only an "Expanded SCA Ordinance" imposed on 741 family homes. 

SGV Stewards reserve objections and requests for information.

Our October 2018 comments have not been fully addressed, and we reserve our objections, requests for information, and recommendations for accurate measurements regarding riparian habitat, benefits for salmon, existing impervious area, housing conditions, and build out projections.  

Click here to read our full letter.

County to Meet July 22 on SG Valley Streams Report

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!


Wildfire Preparedness

The 2018-2019 Marin County Civil Grand Jury has released a Wildfire Preparedness: A New Approach is now available to the pubic.  

Click here to read the entire report.

Also feel free to read a letter that was sent to the Marin County Board of Supervisors in anticipation of their review of the report.  

Click here to read the letter: Comment on the Marin County Civil Grand Jury's Report on "Wildfire Preparedness" by: Garril Page  


Tell Marin Parks What You Want!

Dear Valley Stewards--Marin County  wants YOUR opinion!  Please go online and complete the Marin Parks Department survey.

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. is a good opportunity to help guide the Marin Parks Department budget and future planning!


Community Meeting

Woodacre/San Geronimo Flats Wastewater Recycling Project

Feasibility Report

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 or 415.473.7146


Court Hearing on Golf Course 

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


Court Hearing on Golf Course 

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

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.


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 is hosting a series of "Coffee Talks" open to the public with the next two scheduled for:

March 21, Wednesday, 7:30am-10:30am
April 4, Wednesday, 5:00-7:00pm

The location of the Coffee Talks is the SGV Golf Course Clubhouse.

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:

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.

Koa Pickering, President, San Geronimo Valley Stewards


Do Supervisors Know What They Are Buying?
Toxins on the San Geronimo Golf Course

This is a public letter written by the San Geronimo Valley Stewards Support Team. We have sent a detailed letter with documentation to the Marin Board of Supervisors and the Trust for Public Land on December 21st. We also sent this letter to local newspapers on December 28th. Please forward this to your family, friends and neighbors who live in Marin County.

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?

    1. In the rush to buy the San Geronimo Golf Course for $8.85 million from Trust for Public Land, neither the County nor TPL have disclosed any physical inspection or research of the property condition. Has Marin County obtained from TPL soil samples, groundwater tests, or geo-technical analysis? Marin County's duty is to protect the public from potential environmental hazards and expenses.
    2. Continue Reading


Tues. Nov 14 @ 1 pm--Supervisors Meet to "Re-Wild" San Geronimo Golf Course

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 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:

1:00 p.m.

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.

1:30 p.m. Reconvene in Open Session (in Room 330)
Announcement from Closed Session.
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.

[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.]


County Postpones Golf Sale Hearing

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!


Send your emails to:


Bd Supvrs Meetings: Calendar Tues Nov. 14

Please come to Supervisor meetings!
Voice Your Opinions About Golf Course Sale!

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, 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.


Please Vote NO on San Geronimo Golf Course Deal
San Geronimo Valley Stewards Request Better Alternatives for Golf Course
Below is the letter that was sent November 8th to the Board of Supervisors

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
Supervisor Judy Arnold
Supervisor Katie Rice
Supervisor Kate Sears
Parks Director Max Korten
Clerk of the Board Diane Patterson

Please if you haven't sent in your NO's please send your letters now.

Continue Reading


Please send emails to the county:
Vote NO on San Geronimo Golf Coures deal

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 all Marin residents.

Act now--time is urgent! Please send your emails before Friday October 27.

  • 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:
    full advance disclosure of sale and funding terms; and
  • meaningful opportunity for public discussion.
  • Now is not the time to lock in or prohibit future uses of the property.

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.

Continue Reading
















Your Call to Action! Your Home Your Rights
Send your comments to County Officials before June 15th

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 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.

Continue Reading


SG Valley Stewards Comments to Draft SEIR

San Geronimo Valley Stewards - Koa Pickering, President, Denis Poggio, Peggy Sheneman
By US Mail To:
Rachel Reid
Environmental Planning Manager
Marin Community Development Agency
3501 Civic Center Drive, Suite #308
San Rafael CA 94903
By Email:
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?

Continue Reading


Your Home Your Rights - Public Forum May 16

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.


You can read the SEIR report online at the website:

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

We suggest you copy our Supervisor Rodoni with your

Nobel Prize winner, Dr Elinor Ostrom:
"Fisheries and natural resources are best managed by local communities."

SGV Stewards philosophy.


Environmental Impact Report Scoping Session Lagunitas School Multipurpose Room

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


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)


Clear Invasive Weeds

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:, website:


Marin Court Denies Spawns's Request for Injunction

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

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.

Continue Reading



Summer English Ivy Bash Woodacre Creek



Valley Fire

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



Next Court Date

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.



Next Hearing

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.



What's Next

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.

Continue Reading


Hearing Update

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.

Continue Reading


SPAWN Fees Hearing is Nov 20

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.)

Continue Reading


Creek Clean Up October 17

Creek Clean Up October 17

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.
More Pictures


Map Our San Geronimo Trails

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.


Stewards Support Remodel of Old Family Home

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.

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Educational Evening on: Eroding Creek Banks and Salmon!

Thursday, July 2nd
7-9 pm
Spirit Rock Center
5000 Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
Woodacre, CA

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.

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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.

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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.

Sarah Phillips and Community of San Geronimo Valley

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Control Access to Your Creek Property

Control Access to Your Creek Property

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.


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Court Victory for County and Homeowners

Court Victory for County and Homeowners

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.

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Peak Spawning Season is Heres

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.

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San Geronimo Valley Supports Streams, Not Injunctions

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.

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Our New Fence Sign

SGV Stewards Bumper Stickers 2014

Stewards Signs and Bumper Stickers