Stewards Blog


July 19 Tuesday 1:30 pm Supervisors Meet on Stream Rules

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. 


Tell Your Supervisors--Vote NO on Stream Ordinance

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:

1. By Wednesday July 13, send your personal emails to County

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

3.  Visit San Geronimo Valley Stewards website and read the ordinance summary.    

  • On October 11, 2022 the stream rules will take effect and govern your property:
      • • All development will be restricted for 100 feet on both sides of any stream, including ephemeral flows that appear only during rain.  
      • • County will require $2,000 to $3,000 in permit fees and environmental reviews.
      • • You must pay an "impact fee" into a "habitat fund" that SPAWN could use for its projects.
      • • Expert reports will dictate how you replace your leaking roof or make normal home repairs.
      • • Repair and maintenance may not be allowed on old houses built before permits were required. 
      • • There is no clear exemption for building an ADU, handicap access ramp, solar panels, or EV charging station. 
      • • Rules against vegetation management and tree removal will increase wildfire risk, endanger evacuation routes, and lead to cancelled home fire insurance.
      • • Violations can be punished by $500 per day fines. 
      • • SPAWN could file public nuisance lawsuits against individual homeowners. 
      • • Stream restrictions will depreciate the value of your property for decades to come and your property may become unsaleable. 

    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.  

  • • County should publish reports twice each year on the numbers and types of project permits, and the gain or loss of habitat.
  • • 5-year sunset: the new ordinance should expire in 2027, unless biannual reports demonstrate actual improvements in habitat and salmon populations. 

Send emails. Show up July 19. Tell your Supervisors to vote NO on stream ordinance. 


Don't Give Fire the Final Vote

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.

Every stream ordinance should require property owners to create defensible pace around their homes. You and your neighbors have a common interest in protecting homes and people from forest fires, and protecting our beautiful forest from house fires.

Fire fighters know the only way to survive extreme burn periods is prepare in advance. Before the outbreak, clear your ground of ladder fuels such as grass, debris, leaf litter, small flammable shrubs, and crowded tree saplings. Create a shaded break by opening spaces between big trees. Remove fuel ladders that allow fire to jump from ground level to tree tops.

In contrast to the effective vegetation management prescribed by California fire authorities, the SPAWN ordinance doubles our fuel load. It requires all vegetation removed by a property owner to be replanted on the same parcel in a 2:1 ratio. It requires homeowners to retain all vegetation within 15 feet from top of bank, not remove more than 2 trees, preserve all riparian shrubs, and maintain at least 125 square feet of tree canopy within 35 feet of streams.

The SPAWN rules are similar to those in effect in the Lake Tahoe area, when it was swept by wildlfire in 2007. The Angorra fire destroyed 262 homes. The fire agencies' after action report faulted the local vegetation ordinance for its lack of defensible space and impediments to fire safety.

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.

Summary of Stream Ordinance Effective Oct. 11, 2022

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:

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,
--off-site retrofits,
--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: 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.


County Surrenders to SPAWN:
Punitive Stream Law Binds SG Valley

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:

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 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.

What Can You Do?
You can visit the Marin County website links in your mailed notice.

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 by ZOOM in the June13 Planning Commission meeting. Each person gets 3 minutes for public comment. Follow the Planning Commission website for Zoom instructions.

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:
Supervisor Dennis Rodoni:
Aide to Suprvr Rodoni:
Board of Supervisors:
Community Development Agency:


Visit for updates.
Subscribe to SGValley Stewards Constant Contact emails, we will send you information as it develops.
Click here to join our mailing list.


County Hits Homeowners with $500 Day Fines

On March 15, 2022, County Supervisors voted unanimously to charge families $500 per day for violations of any County Code that relates to their real property. If a homeowner objects, the County hearing officer, in his sole discretion, determines the violation and amount of fine. There is no appeal to an elected officer or a court, unless the homeowner hires a lawyer to file a lawsuit against the County. The changes are in Marin County Administrative Code sections 1.07.010 - 1.07.150.

San Geronimo Valley Stewards thank all of you who wrote emails to county officials objecting to the excessive penalties and unfair process. We are disappointed our local District 4 Supervisor Dennis Rodoni on March 15 would not consider an exception for the proposed new San Geronimo stream ordinance.

In late spring 2022, the new stream ordinance will come before the Board of Supervisors. Stewards have requested that the first two years of the stream conservation program should be devoted to education of homeowners, clarification of the new rules, hands-on workshops with County staff, and generous time periods for compliance. Enforcement and fines should be gradually phased in.

The Planning Commission approved the stream ordinance, after two long hearings, which revealed confusion and flaws in the conservation program. Some changes requested by SG Valley Stewards were adopted by the Planning Commission. County staff has not yet provided us with the revisions.

We thank you for your support and participation in local government actions that impact homes in our beautiful valley. San Geronimo Valley Stewards is an all-volunteer California non-profit. We have no employees and we do not spend your tax dollars.


$500 Per Day Fines for San Geronimo Homeowners

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?
County administrators could levy $500 per day fines for any violation of a County regulation related to your real property. There would be no prior court hearing and no oversight by elected officials. County administrators would have sole discretion to determine the violation and set the amount of fine. If the homeowner objects, the homeowner must hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit against the County. Meanwhile, the $500 fine accrues each day the homeowner continues in violation.

San Geronimo Valley Stewards Request Supervisors VOTE NO on this proposal.

---$500 per day is excessive, and there is no timely remedy for the aggrieved homeowner.
---Complaints will create feuds of neighbors against neighbors.
---Excessive discretionary fines will reduce voluntary compliance.
---Homeowners cannot be expected to know all the regulations in 1500 pages of County codes.
---People will file lawsuits to set aside the fines as violations of due process.

For San Geronimo Valley, any fines under the proposed Stream Conservation Area Ordinance should be gradually phased in over 5 years, and should not exceed $50 per day.

Do Not Approve Excessive Fines for Common Code Violations.

County Counsel described examples of real property violations that could trigger a $500 fine:
--your roof gutters discharge stormwater, or
--you build a fence higher than 6 feet, or
--you cut a tree without a permit.

In response to objections from San Geronimo Valley Stewards, County Counsel assured the Supervisors that fines "would be used sparingly". In other words: "Trust us. We're from the government."

$500 Per Day Fines Target San Geronimo Valley Homeowners.

About 900 families in San Geronimo Valley live in homes near creeks, and will be burdened with the new Stream Conservation Area Ordinance. The County Planning Commission approved the SCAO in 2021, and the Board of Supervisors may hear it in late spring 2022.

The SCA Ordinance is a trap for the unwary. Even a small simple home improvement project will require an expert inspection of your home site, strict size limits and set backs, and expensive construction methods.

The SCA Ordinance and regulations total 48 pages of details controlling every home improvement and landscape project within 200 feet on both sides of any creek. It is not limited to fish-bearing streams, but also applies to land located near ephemerals, which drain water only when it rains.

County administrators would have personal discretion to order $500 per day fines. Can you afford the risk of contesting the County administrator, knowing he can slap you with this penalty? You would have no remedy except an expensive lawsuit.

San Geronimo Stream Conservation Program is a Unique Experiment.

San Geronimo Valley homeowners are the lab rats in the County's experiment of a comprehensive stream conservation program. It is required by court orders in lawsuits filed by SPAWN (Turtle Island), a private corporation that purports to save salmon.

The County admits it does not know if the SCA program will actually increase salmon numbers or survival rate. If the experiment does not work, should we be fined $500 each day?

The SCA Ordinance applies only to the San Geronimo Valley--not any other area of Marin County.

Stream Conservation Success Depends on Homeowners' Voluntary Compliance, Not Excessive Fines.

Homeowner voluntary compliance is essential for the stream experiment to generate meaningful results. Voluntary compliance will come only if residents believe the stream program is clear, affordable, simple and enforceable.

Without wide-spread community support, the SCA Ordinance will depend on complaints filed neighbor against neighbor. Excessive fines are really bad governance.

Any Fines Under the San Geronimo Stream Ordinance Should Be Affordable and Gradually Phased In.

$500 is a lot of money for a family in San Geronimo. We should not be placed at risk of an administrator's discretionary enforcement, under a new, confusing, and detailed stream ordinance.

For the first 2 years of the San Geronimo SCA Ordinance, the administrative fines should be waived or deferred. During the next 3 years, each fine should not exceed $50 per day.

After the 5th year, the SCA Ordinance should automatically sunset, and be of no effect, unless the Board of Supervisors votes to amend it and apply it for the entire County.

What can you do? Please send your emails today.
Stop this abuse of our property rights and due process!

New Stream Rules Zoom Meeting
Planning Commission Dec. 13 Monday at 1pm

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.

By computer:
If you have not already installed zoom app, go to
Meeting ID is 878 0117 8611
Password is 299372
Use the "Raise Hand" button if you want to speak.

By telephone:
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


Monday, Dec. 13 Planning Commission Votes on New Stream Rules

Please email your comments and requests for changes by Wednesday Dec. 8 to and to our Supervisor:

The Planning Commission meeting will be on Zoom at 1 pm Monday December 13. Zoom meeting ID and password will be posted on 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:

A complete set of new rules, including Standard Management Practices and Preparation of Site Assessments, can be found at:, search for SCA Ordinance project webpage

Let your voice be heard! Send your email today!


Please participate Nov. 8 Monday 1 pm Workshop on New Stream Rules

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

Please read the "Summary of New Stream Rules for Homeowners" on website 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.
Meeting ID: 885 0116 9789
Password: 296866
Click "Raise Hand" button to tell moderator you want to make a comment.

You can listen by telephone:
Dial: +1 669 219 2599
or +1 253 215 8782
Meeting ID: 885 0116 9789
Password: 296866
Press *9 to tell moderator you want to make a comment.

Public testimony is limited to 3 minutes per person.
A public speaker cannot allocate his time to another speaker.

You may ask to speak at the 1 pm start of the meeting during the "Open Time for Public Comment"
Or, the Commission may request that all public comments be made after the County staff presentation and after the Commissioners have asked their questions.

People are encouraged to send written comments or questions BEFORE 9 am Thursday Nov. 4, by email to Written comments are part of the public record, so you need not read them at the meeting.

On Monday December 13, 2021, the Planning Commission will have a second meeting about the new stream rules, and may vote at that time. The Marin County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to consider the stream rules March 8, 2022.

Summary of New Stream Rules for Homeowners

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.


A. Where to read the new stream rules: This is a brief summary. You can read the exact language of the new rules by going to the Marin County website:

Scroll down to "2021 SCA Ordinance Documents" Exhibit A is the Stream Conservation Area Ordinance (SCAO). Supporting Resource Materials include: Exhibit C on Site Assessment Exhibit D Standard Management Practices (SMP's)

B. Your comments are welcome: Please send your questions, objections, and recommendations to the public officials we list at the end of this email.

We hope you will participate in the Monday November 8 workshop for the community and the County Planning Commission. Watch your emails for exact time and details how to log onto the virtual meeting. The Planning Commission is scheduled to vote Monday December 13.

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?

Read More


County Postpones Meetings on Stream Ordinance

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.


Here is New SGValley Stream Ordinance!

Marin County released a draft new Stream Conservation Area Ordinance (SCAO) on September 16,2021. The County may revise the draft and adopt the SCAO December 7, 2021.
Your family home and property may be effected  by new regulations if: 
  1. 1. any part of your lot is within 100 feet of a stream (including a seasonal creek or ephemeral rain run-off), and
  2. 2. you plan exterior improvements, repair or replacement of existing structures, or landscaping within 100 feet of any stream.
If you are working with a contractor, architect, or tree professional, you may discuss whether the new regulations effect your project. Please note Exhibit D Standard Management Practices (SMP's) are mandatory for every project within the stream area.
SGVStewards is preparing and will send you a short homeowner summary explaining some important features. Watch for our next Constant Contact email.
Can we revise the ordinance to be "homeowner friendly"? The SCAO and SMP's must comply with court orders entered in SPAWN's lawsuits against Marin County.  Specific wording is required by the July 2019 Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (FSEIR). 
However, the Directors of SGValley Stewards recommend changes that would encourage voluntary compliance, reduce homeowners' time delay and expense, promote fire resilient forests, and limit disagreements and potential lawsuits. SGVStewards will communicate with County staff, Planning Commissioners, and Supervisors. We will send you the addresses of County officials so you can make your own public comments.
Please note:  The new stream regulations will apply only in San Geronimo Valley, which will be re-zoned as a special "combining district".
Important dates: 
    • Now: The public comment period has started. County staff may amend the draft, based on public comments or request of County officials. 
  • Monday October 25, 2021: Planning Commission public workshop meeting. 
  • Tuesday December 7, 2021:  Board of Supervisors meets and votes on SCAO. 
Below is the County release of the SCAO and regulations. You can click on the blue links to read and download.

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. 

Supporting Resource Materials Exhibits B through G (42 pages)  
Exhibit C has requirements for site assessment of your property.
Exhibit D is Standard Management Practices (SMP's) required for every  project.

Schedule (1 page) 
Sets dates for drafting and official meetings.


Take the Marin Parks Survey

Please take 5 minutes to complete this survey and send it to Marin County Parks.  Here is the LINK to click and state your opinions:

Marin County Parks owns and manages about 2500 acres in San Geronimo Valley, including:  Giacomini Preserve, Roys Redwoods, White Hill, French Ranch Preserve  and Forest Knolls Park.

In 2012 Marin County Parks & Open Space District adopted a quarter-cent sales tax called "Measure A".  You have been paying .25 cents on every dollar of goods you buy, for the past 9 years.  The tax expires March 2022.

  • • Do you agree with how Marin Parks uses your money?
• Should Measure A sales tax be extended for another 9 years until 2031?  Or another 20 years until 2042?
• What changes do you recommend?
• What are your priorities for spending money?

Please fill out the anonymous survey and click to send directly to Marin County Parks.


Stream Conservation Area Ordinance(SCAO)

Marin County moves forward with a new Stream Conservation Area Ordinance (SCAO). The County calendared: Sept 7 release of draft ordinance and begin public comments; October 25 Planning Commission hearing; December 7 Board of Supervisors hearing.

SGVStewards leadership is participating in meetings with Marin County staff and a professional facilitator hired by the County. We are reviewing a tentative non-public draft of the proposed ordinance and other materials.

We are particularly concerned about fire prevention and defensible space around homes. One goal should be maintaining our mature oak trees and redwoods, while thinning fire-prone shrubs and separating tree canopies that spread wildlfire.

We are also exploring government assistance for the various reports and certifications that the new ordinance will require for ordinary home repairs and improvements.
June 2021

New Stream Ordinance is Coming, Ask Supervisors to Pay for Valley Home Assistance

Marin County announced Supervisors will adopt a new stream ordinance for San Geronimo Valley on December 7, 2021.  Planning Commission will consider the new rules October 25, 2021. 
Stewards' Action Plan:   Please calendar those dates.  Attend the hearings on Zoom or in person.  Send your comments 10 days before each hearing.  Email to Planning Commission is  Email to Board of Supervisors is  
County officials admit the new ordinance will be very strict and expensive for homeowners.  Even for small projects, such as repairing an existing roof, the homeowner must get reports from a hydrology expert and fish biologist.  New materials requirements and building practices will increase construction costs. See June 16 Point Reyes Light article here:

This week, June 21 - 23, Supervisors will consider the County budget for 2021-22.  Stewards ask the budget include funds for a homeowner assistance program to help our 900 families who live near creeks.  We ask the county to pay for the consultants and experts required by the new stream ordinance.
Stewards' Action Plan:  As soon as possible, send your personal email to and to (the County Budget Manager) asking for a budget reserve to assist homeowner assistance compliance with the new stream ordinance.
Court orders impose environmental obligations on the entire County, so 900 family homes should not be burdened with all the costs.
Without County money to pay for expert reports,  we cannot expect widespread voluntary compliance.  Instead, a few unlucky families will be selected for red tags or another Spawn lawsuit.
The Stewards support the County's arrangements with Marin Resource Conservation District to conduct home site assessments--if the County (not the homeowner) pays Marin RCD.  The County should also pay for any fish or hydrology reports required by the new ordinance.
Support San Geronimo Valley Stewards.  Visit our website at
Apr 2021

Stream Ordinance: Court Criticizes Delay and Denies Spawn Requests

Friday April 9, 2021, Marin Superior Court criticized the County for taking several years to prepare and adopt a new expanded stream ordinance for San Geronimo Valley. Judge Andrew Sweet also advised the County to include in the new ordinance "specific performance criteria" for mitigation measures required by the August 2019 environmental report.

However, the Court denied requests by SPAWN and Center for Biological Diversity for:
--new or additional environmental review,
--six-month deadline for the County to adopt a new stream ordinance,
--building moratorium in San Geronimo Valley pending adoption of a new ordinance.

On March 2, 2021, County staff estimated a 12-month process to draft a new ordinance, obtain public comments, and conduct Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors meetings. The staff report summarized the requirements of the SEIR, homeowner activities that will require a permit, and mandatory inspections and mitigation measures.

The March 2, 2021 Community Development Agency report can be found at, Attachment to Agenda item 13.

In August 2019, County Supervisors approved the Supplemental Environmental Impact Report for San Geronimo Valley, which had been required under a previous Court order issued in another SPAWN lawsuit. In 2019, SPAWN and CBD promptly filed a new lawsuit, CV 1004866, complaining the SEIR did not adequately protect salmon and protesting the County's delay in adopting salmon protections. The 2019 case and April 9, 2021 court ruling can be found at, CV 1004866, Salmon Protection and Watershed Network, et al vs. County of Marin, see Tentative Rulings for Thursday April 8, 2021.

SG Valley Stewards will give you updates as the process continues.

Mar 2021

New Stream Ordinance, March 2 Tuesday 1:30pm Supervisors Zoom

March 2 , 2021, Tuesday at 1:30 pm,  Marin County Board of Supervisors will receive a report from Marin Community Development Agency about the proposed new stream ordinance, which will regulate our 2,000 homes in San Geronimo Valley. The ordinance will apply to only to our little Valley, not to the rest of Marin. 

The ordinance will strictly control repairs, replacements, and additions to your existing home. It will limit tree removal and changes to garden vegetation. You will be required to pay for environmental experts, site assessments, discretionary permits, drainage requirements, and design/construction standards, even for modest projects.  
Read the 6-page Report: 
Scroll down to the BOS Meeting Agenda for March 2. Scroll down to Agenda Item 13. Click on the Staff Report attachment.
SGVStewards represent YOU:  Our volunteers have communicated with County officials since 2009, when SPAWN filed its first lawsuit. We studied and made public comments on the environmental reports and prior draft ordinances. Over the coming weeks, watch for our Constant Contact emails explaining how the proposed regulations may effect your property.
Who pays the increased costs? SGVStewards have voiced concerns about the social and economic impacts of imposing new costs on Valley families. For example, must the owner of a small house pay for a fish hydrology report before replacing the old roof? If the purpose is to save salmon for the good of all Marin, should the County pay some cost-sharing? Will County Supervisors reduce permit fees and offer public subsidies for site assessments?
Send your email to the Supervisors:  You can comment by email to Your subject line must state "3-2-2021 Agenda Item 13, Stream Ordinance". Please send your email before 3:30 pm Monday March 1, so it will appear in the Supervisors' information packet.
Join the Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 947 4251 8384
Password: 352533
Watch the meeting:  On your computer at:
Or tune your television to Comcast Channel 27 or AT&T channel 99
oct 2020

Roys' Redwoods Proposed Project

For decades, Roys' Redwoods has been a local treasure, much beloved by the 4,000 residents of San Geronimo Valley. The site has recently been discovered by many people from the Bay Area. Generations of hikers, horse riders, dog walkers, and children have left evidence of their visits near streams and under the trees.

Marin County Open Space District owns the land and is leading an effort to obtain funding for improvements to Roys' Redwoods, as part of the OneTam team (National Park Service, GG National Park Conservancy, MM Water District, and California State Parks). Starting in 2017, Marin County Parks staff engaged local groups in community outreach with workshops, site walks, and visitor surveys.

The OneTam team has published a plan for improvements to protect the old-growth redwoods and stream habitat by installing wooden board walks, bridging the water flows of upper Larsen Creek, improving access for differently-abled people, and reducing foot traffic on social trails.

The project plan does not propose to increase vehicle traffic or promote Roys' Redwoods as a tourist destination. However, the nearby large parking lot of the former golf course (now owned by Trust for Public Land) could increase the number of visitors.

The San Geronimo Valley Stewards have not taken a position for or against the project. We are currently gathering information from Marin County Parks and the proposed project sponsors to learn about costs, funding, construction timeline, potential adverse impacts, and other facts.

You can read more about the Roys Redwoods project here:

oct 2020

San Geronimo Valley Stewards Support Urban Streams Coordinator Program

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.

July 2020

Watch for New Stream Map and County 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

mar 2020

Streambank Stabilization Workshop for Homeowners: Riparian Restoration Hands-On

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:

jul 2019

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.
jul 2019

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!

Jul 2019

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  

feb 2019

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!

feb 2019

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

Oct 2018

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

June 2018

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.

Mar 2018


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.

Mar 2018


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

Dec 2017

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

Nov 2017

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.]

Nov 2017

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:

nov 2017

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.

nov 2017

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

Oct 2017

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.

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June 2017














June 2017

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.

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June 2017

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?

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may 2017

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.

apr 2017

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)

Mar 2017

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:

Feb 2017

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.

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june 2016

Summer English Ivy Bash Woodacre Creek

May 2016


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


Apr 2016

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.


Feb 2016

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.


dec 2015

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.

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Nov 2015

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.

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Nov 2015

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.)

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Oct 2015

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

Oct 2015

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.

July 2015

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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July 2015

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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JAN 2015


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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JAN 2015


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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dec 2014

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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dec 2014

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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dec 2014

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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dec 2014

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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Jun 2014

Our New Fence Sign

SGV Stewards Bumper Stickers 2014

Stewards Signs and Bumper Stickers