Measure M: Martha Co. Property

To our members and friends, especially in Tiburon and Belvedere:

By approving parcel tax Measure M, you can be part of a legacy decision – unlocking the gate and permanently opening the 110-acre Martha Co. property for the enjoyment of ours and future generations!

Located at the tip of Tiburon Ridge with sweeping views overlooking Angel Island and stretching from Mt. Tamalpais to the Bay Area beyond, the so-called Martha site has been recognized as a priority for public open space for many decades – long before it was officially recognized as valuable “ridge and upland greenbelt” in the 1973 Marin Countywide Plan, only to have the dream of public access stymied in federal court in 1976.

By approving Measure M, residents of Tiburon (from Trestle Glen) and Belvedere will be playing a critical role in a public-private collaboration that can make that dream come true. As the Martha Co. landowners gradually lowered the price of the land to within reach of acquisition, the Trust for Public Land (TPL) recognized a rare opportunity and has stepped up to initially fund the purchase; Marin County has agreed to draw on Measure A and other funds, and to take ownership and manage the land as an Open Space Preserve adjacent to Old St. Hilary’s Preserve; and, in approving the parcel tax in Measure M, the residents of Tiburon and Belvedere will form the Tiburon Open Space District and provide the remaining funds.

Marin Conservation League commends the support of residents of Tiburon and Belvedere, and urges all of our members and friends who live outside this District to further the dream and make a generous donation to TPL, earmarked for the Martha property!

After decades of critical review of development proposals for this stunning – but also highly constrained site, MCL can name many practical reasons why it should not be developed, among them the presence of rare plants, threat of landslides, difficult access, and hazardous traffic on both sides of the Tiburon Peninsula. But finally it comes down to the site’s values as open space. As Alice Fredericks, 20-year Tiburon Council Member and frequent Mayor, was quoted in The Ark: “Open space is more than a recreational area. It keeps us all literally grounded to the earth and the invisible systems that sustain us. There is no greater gift than to preserve it for everyone forever.”

Martha Co Property Tiburon
Marin Conservation League leads a history walk through the Old St. Hilary Preserve in Tiburon, Calif. on Saturday, May 2, 2014, with the first presentation by Jerry Reissen. (Jocelyn Knight photo)
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