The Tiburon Open Space Committee (TOS) is led by longtime Tiburon environmentalist Jerry Riessen. It is successor to the Last Chance Committee which was formed in 1988 and was instrumental in preserving Old St Hilary’s Open Space by enlisting widespread community support.
Only one major parcel of open land remains on the Tiburon Peninsula—the magnificent 110-acre Martha Property, which is privately owned and threatened with development. The best views from Old St. Hilary’s Open Space look right across it. Most visitors don’t realize how much these views will be obstructed by a proposed large housing project. The TOS Committee was formed to find a way to purchase and preserve the Martha Property as open space.
The Martha Property is owned by the Reed family—unrelated to the original John Reed who settled the Tiburon peninsula. The Reed family formed a corporation called the Martha Company to develop the land through a project called the Easton Point Development. They are seeking permission to build 43 large houses on this magnificent open land. The project began in 1976 but major logistical challenges on the Martha property—including landslides, access and water rights—have complicated and delayed it to this day.
Our Goal—Save the Martha Property as Open Space
The TOS goal is to permanently preserve the Martha Property as open space by purchasing the land from the Martha Company at a price it finds acceptable. We do not yet know what that price is, nor if the Martha Company will be willing to sell to us. But we intend to find out using the same strategy we employed to save the Jay and Harroman properties, which are now our treasured Old St. Hilary’s Open Space.
We respect the right of the Martha Property owners to develop their land. We hope to purchase the Martha Property at its fair market value once the true costs of developing it are identified. Fair market value reflects not only the value of the real estate, but also the real world costs to build on this difficult site. We anticipate that the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) on the Easton Point project will provide sufficient clarity on the logistical issues to enable independent appraisals to determine a fair market value. Once that is established, we hope to engage the Martha Company in meaningful purchase negotiations.
Trust for Public Land (www.tpl.org) has recently expressed a strong interest in protecting the property. This is significant news as TPL is renowned land conservation organization.
To have any chance of success, we know we will need to raise a substantial amount of money. We intend to do this by enlisting every fundraising tool available, from major donors and foundations to individuals who treasure this open land. Although we are very encouraged by the commitment of those who know about the Martha Property, we need to cast a wider net.
And thus was born our “Tiburon Ridge” vision. Click to read more about Tiburon Ridge.
All donations are made through the Marin Community Foundation and are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Your donations allow us to continue fighting to save the property.
If you'd prefer to donate by check, please mail your donation to:
Marin Community Foundation
c/o Tiburon Open Space
P.O. Box 68
Tiburon, CA 94920
Photography courtesy of Jocelyn Knight.