Viewing entries tagged
save Martha

The appraisal process accelerates. It is up to Tiburon Open Space to pay for it. Can you help us do that?

Image Credit to Jocelyn Knight

Image Credit to Jocelyn Knight

You will recall the recent and exciting announcement that the owners of the Martha Property have agreed to an appraisal process with The Trust for Public Land to determine the property’s value. We continue to be single-mindedly focused upon seeing that process through to completion.

Appraisals of this nature are complex, they often take months to complete, and they require specialized, highly skilled firms. It is critically important that both parties be satisfied with the firm and the process so that there is a comfort level with the ultimate conclusions. So that we can then move forward to purchasing the property at fair market value.

Appraisals such as these are expensive. Current estimates suggest that the cost could be nearly $60,000. The Trust for Public Land needs our help. Our role, as the champions of keeping this property open forever, will be to foot that bill. It is important that we do.

TRUST is helping raise funds for the appraisal costs. TRUST is the organization working to keep the Martha trails open.

We really need your help. This process is ready to begin and it needs to be paid for. It’s as simple as that.

Can you help us do that? We will thank you for your generosity. And so will the generations of people and kids and open space explorers who will walk upon and enjoy that land. Forever.

Thank you.

Tiburon Open Space

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The Beautiful Scene of Martha

Sunset-across-Martha-Property.jpg

This is the scene we want to save.

There’s a whole lot going on behind it.

How we love this place. This is Martha.

Each day we look up to that ridge which we are now forbidden to walk upon, leaving us to imagine Spring’s green becoming Summer’s gold. In these moments we are reminded that Martha is worth saving; that Martha must be saved.

We offer another reminder: behind that beautiful scene, we are working to save her trails from concrete, and her views of city lights and the bay from the unnatural disruption of fences, automobiles, and fire’s danger.

While you may not hear specific news at the moment, we hear the phone ringing, the meetings gathering, and the constant call of bills to be paid.

We are working with attorneys to challenge the County’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR), a report that we view as woefully inadequate and potentially tragic. The Town of Tiburon has joined us in that challenge, by the way. We have committed countless hours and expenses to this effort. As we must.

We are working tirelessly to get an objective appraisal for Martha. Not just any appraisal, but one that reflects the realities of both parties…something that we view as an essential step given a transaction of this magnitude. Her owners don’t want to contribute or cooperate yet, but we hope they will have a change of heart.

Lastly, we are working to engage and activate more of our neighbors in this cause. More of us united will strengthen our position with The Trust for Public Lands, and other potential donors when the time comes to purchase Martha. Perhaps you know of someone who might join in?

Behind Martha’s scenes, her waving grasses, lonely trails, the worry of forever loss, and those views we all cherish, we are working…we are working very hard. Please join us in our work. Please tell everyone you know and meet about Martha, and why she must be saved. We will thank you.

And that is what our kids, theirs, and all who walk upon this treasured land will do as well…and forever.

Tiburon Open Space

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March 2018 Update

Dear Friends of Tiburon Open Space,

Hello.  It’s been a while.  We have some very good news.  

Yesterday, United States Federal Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James ruled against the Martha Company, denying their moves to enforce the stipulated judgments of 1976 and 2007.  Judge James wrote:
 
Having considered the parties' arguments, the relevant legal authority,
and the record in this matter, the Court RECOMMENDS
the District Judge DENY the Motion.

Said differently, the court ruled 100% in our favor!  And 100% in favor of Marin County, the other party in the legal action.  This order is actually a recommendation to Federal District Court Judge Saundra Armstrong who will then make the final order.  We are optimistic that she will accept Judge James’ order in its entirety.  The Martha Company can choose to appeal. They have 14 days to do so. 

Martha Property

We, of course, hope that they will not choose that option. In fact, we will encourage them to come to the table, sit with us and other parties, and begin a meaningful discussion to determine a fair purchase price for the land.  

While we would love to, we’ll host no party just yet.  There’s still a long way to go. There will be considerable expense involved with the effort to determine that fair price.

So, yes, we are asking for your continued public, emotional and financial support.  We need money to take a major step closer to the ultimate finish line: a Martha open space that will be open, forever.

We welcome your enthusiasm, questions and support.  Thank you.

Tiburon Open Space

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It’s not quite sitting down at the table, but it’s a start.

Mark&Jerry.jpg
That’s Mark Reed on the left. He's the representative of the Reed Family who owns and wants to develop the Martha Property. On the right is the leader of Tiburon Open Space, Jerry Riessen. Jerry represents those of us in the region who want to buy the Martha Property from Mark, and then keep it as open space forever.
These two gentleman shared the podium the other night at Marin Green Drinks, an organization in San Rafael that sponsors social events about important environmental issues.

It seems to us that talking is a pretty good way to bridge the gap between the two sides. So this felt pretty good.

We wish you all good things as you sit around a table with your family to eat, drink and talk this week.  We hope that, soon, Mark and Jerry and their counsel will find the opportunity, and a table, to do the very same.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Your friends at Tiburon Open Space.

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November 2017 Update Part 2

Dear Friends of Tiburon Open Space,

Based upon the flurry of activity that has recently taken place, and as a result of our discussions and email exchanges with many of you, we thought it wise to offer some clarification about Martha and her current status.

Now that the Marin County Board of Supervisors (BOS) has certified the Environmental Impact Report (EIR), several of you have asked us if it’s now all over. Is Martha lost?

View towards Angel Island © Jocelyn Knight

View towards Angel Island © Jocelyn Knight

To which we offer a resounding response: absolutely not! Our cause is alive, well, and energized. The BOS reluctantly certified the EIR, pointing to the power of the earlier federal judgment. Even the BOS have voiced their hopes that Martha will not be developed.

You should know that our mission has not changed: We want to buy the Martha Property so that it will remain open space that will remain open forever.

There are still years to go in this process: scores of approvals and regulatory steps, likely including legal action, and much negotiating to be done. We are even hopeful that there might be an opening, sometime in 2018, for us to get the property owners to sit at the bargaining table with us and other interested parties. In the meantime, there is much work to do.

Given the massive tragedy of the wine country fires, we continue to be greatly concerned about the overwhelming number of safety dangers that the proposed development creates.

There is the significant and awful possibility of fires in Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) areas as this project creates; the severe, dangerous limitations of the proposed construction road; the challenges of first responders to work their way towards danger as they attempt to navigate the narrow roads of Tiburon while citizens attempt to flee…these are all quite real dangers.  Another? The lack of water pressure…the estimates of pressure we have seen are woefully low for one house, let alone for multi-house fires. There are other significant safety issues across the spectrum of this project. They are very real, and the EIR certification has not made them go away.

This is the reason why TOS has filed suit against the BOS stating that the safety mitigations that Martha has proposed, and that the Board has certified, are not only inadequate, they will place residents of Tiburon in danger. We will keep you updated on this. We need your help with this.

We respectfully and hopefully ask that you please stay engaged, speak up!, comment, log on, speak to your friends and other interested parties, and keep the dialogue going. Help us greatly expand the number of people who will hear about and understand our actions as we attempt to save Martha.

And, as the year-end approaches, we humbly ask you to donate to this collective cause as much as you possibly can. We have retained legal counsel, and will soon be retaining additional subject matter, safety and construction experts. We need you.

Our thanks. Let’s talk again soon.

Tiburon Open Space Committee

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November 2017 Update

To Friends of Tiburon Open Space,
 
Today Martha and Marin County met in private to discuss the open issues and plan next steps. I was included.

Martha Property.jpg

The issues didn’t change:  there are still disagreements about the restrictions Marin County placed on the project when the Board of Supervisors certified the Environmental Impact Report on October 3rd.

Martha counsel will now file documents detailing their claims and Marin County will respond. The Federal Court date is now set for January 11, 2018.

Well before January, Tiburon Open Space (TOS) will retain water hydraulic experts to evaluate the Martha project’s ability to fight a grass/forest fire such as in Napa/Sonoma. TOS will also have legal bills assessing whether aspects of the project may not be safe.

We can really use your help. Please consider a donation as the year end approaches.  And, if you can, invite several of your friends, living nearby or far away, to like us on Facebook. We need more people sounding the call for saving Martha.

Ultimately, our goal is to buy the land for everyone forever. Thank you.

 All the best,

Jerry

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Reminder: Board of Supervisors Meeting is Tomorrow

Dear Friends of Tiburon Open Space,

Tomorrow is the Board of Supervisors meeting when they will publicly consider certification of the Martha Property Environmental Impact Report.  

And here is the promised reminder: we hope that you can join us in the Supervisor's Chambers for the hearing. This isacritical milestone as they consider certification, and as we work to keep Martha open. Your support will be noticed by the Board, and it will be gratefully appreciated by all of us who want to save Martha from development.

Date:     Tomorrow, Tuesday September 19
Time:     1:30 PM (not 1:00 pm)
Place:    Supervisors Chambers 3rd Floor
              Marin County Civic Center
              10 Avenue of the Flags. San Rafael

Thank you. It will be great to see you there.

Tiburon Open Space Committee

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Tiburon Open Space: Save Martha Property

Dear Friends of Tiburon Open Space,
 
The Board of Supervisors meeting is next Tuesday September 19. We hope that you can join us there to voice your concerns about the Martha Property and, among other issues, the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) document certification which we oppose.

In preparation for the meeting, we thought that we'd take a quiet moment to remind ourselves about why we are doing this. Why it is so important to save Martha from development for our town and this region, for its plant and animal inhabitants, for our sense of home and place, for our children, and theirs.  

We also thought that you might appreciate a moment of quiet to consider the stakes...there is so much to gain. And there is so much to possibly lose forever.

So click the link below and enjoy a message that reminds us of all of these things. Please enjoy Martha Property and this view from above in this YouTube video.


Barry Wilson is to be deeply thanked for his efforts in conceiving, filming, shooting and interviewing for the video. Barry's countless hours of determination and care gave voice to Martha and our desire to keep her as she is. Thank you for it all, Barry. Jacob and Doriane of the agency LAtelier in Tiburon helped complete the story and did a great job of editing. Thanks.... Thanks to you both for your work and raising your hands.  

We hope to see you Tuesday the 19th @ 1:00 in the Supervisor's chambers @ the Marin Civic Center.  It's worth it.

We'll talk again soon.
 
The Tiburon Open Space Committee

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July 2017 Update Part 2

Dear Friends of Tiburon Open Space,

A curious thing has happened. Remember this?

The gate to Spanish Trail is now gone. No one has claimed responsibility. Was it an angry lover of open space? The sewer district doing maintenance work? We don’t know.

 Now, remember this?

private property large 2.jpg

We sure do. This also represents the destruction of property. Tragically, this sign still stands as a stark symbol of what lies ahead for Martha.

We respect private property. We do not condone its destruction in the case of a gate that restricts access. Nor do we condone it in the case of a solitary and ancient rock.

This is terribly troubling. In our minds, it unquestioningly confirms that the best outcome is to keep Martha as open space for all and forever.

There is increased activity on and about Martha. Consequential decisions lie ahead. We are in the process of screening subject matter experts to assist us as we respond to the complex environmental, engineering and construction questions raised by the recently submitted plan revisions.

And it is all very serious. Please make a contribution to help us in our efforts. We need it and will be most grateful for it.

Give us a call. Like us on Facebook. Pass this story and your thoughts along to friends near and far. We are endeavoring to grow this community of citizens dedicated to keeping Martha open. Thank you. We’ll talk again soon.

The Tiburon Open Space Committee

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May 2017 Update

Welcome to Déjà vu.  All over again.

Yes, there has been yet another extension granted to the owners of the Martha Property.  Didn’t this just happen, you ask? It sure did.  This is the third extension. It has stretched on for years. The next new date is September 28th, 2017.  

The extension speaks of “…proposed potential revisions to their previous plans.”  Perhaps the proposed revisions will actually address the many and substantial environmental challenges.  We shall see.

In the meantime, we know this: further revisions will result in the need for us to hire expert consultants to confirm the accuracy of what is proposed, whatever it may be and whenever it occurs.  When the plans become public, we will keep you informed.

All of this will, of course, require resources.  And for those we need you.

Please log onto our website and make a donation. Like us and follow us on Facebook, too.  The longer this goes, the more help we will need. We’ll be grateful, as always.

It has been nice talking to you.  We’ll look forward to the next time.

Tiburon Open Space Committee

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March 2017 Update

Dear Friends of Tiburon Open Space,

Here’s a bit of an update.
 
At first glance, there doesn’t appear to be much to report.  There has been yet another delay.

The owners of the Martha Property have requested that the long scheduled hearing before a Federal judge scheduled for March 16th be postponed a full three months. Their request was granted. Be reminded, however, that Martha had previously requested a one month delay that resulted in the March 16th court date.

We guard against the shrugged shoulders that the delay might produce. In our view in fact, it represents both an interesting and provocative development. For the longest time, Martha’s owners have been highly and vocally critical of the time it has taken all parties to thoroughly examine the plans for developing Martha.  But now comes their request to slow things down.  Yet again.

While this request is well within their rights, it raises many questions. All of which we are attempting to answer, by the way. Why another delay? Why now?  What’s ahead?

From open space across Martha Property.jpg

We’ll keep you posted on the now scheduled June 15th court date. Or please feel free to call us or check us out on Facebook. And send this note along to a friend.

We ask for your help in raising awareness about what is at stake. We ask you to go to our website and make a financial contribution.

Help us keep this magnificent space open to all and forever. We are grateful for your support.

Thank you. It was nice talking to you. Let’s do it again soon.

Tiburon Open Space Committee

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Who would like to explain this to him?

TOS 5.png

Hikers are not the only ones shut out from the Martha Property.

Its owners are taking aggressive steps towards construction of their proposed housing development. The signs were first, then the dirt bike patrols. Now this.

Martha is closed. It’s tragic. It’s provocative. But it’s not over yet.

We are Tiburon Open Space.  We have taken on the task of working to prevent the Martha Property from becoming a tract housing development. We want to buy it from its owners, fair and square. And then we will leave it in its natural state. For alltwo- and four-legged creatures. Forever. No gates. No signs.

We’d appreciate any assistance that you can provide. We welcome any contributions to help in our work. If we all pitch in, we just might be able to kiss that gate good bye.

Thank you for reading this. We hope to talk soon.

Tiburon Open Space
 
How about it? Will you help?  Let’s save Martha.

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This is not a cop. (But he does play one on Martha.)

This fellow has certainly made his mark. For the last several weeks he has been patrolling above Tiburon demanding that unsuspecting hikers stay away from Martha Property trails, the very trails that have been open to everyone.
 
Along with years of construction, miles of new roads and fences, large houses and unprecedented traffic congestion, it appears that we now have this type of greeting to look forward to if the proposed housing development moves forward.
 
Tiburon Open Space is working hard to avoid all of that. We believe in property rights, so our goal is simple: we want to purchase the property, and keep the open space open. No patrols required.
 
If this sounds like a good idea to you, we would appreciate your help. And a financial contribution. We are moving into complex new legal and environmental territory that will require new and expanded levels of expertise. And that takes resources.
 
If this matters to you, please get involved. Like us on Facebook…the link is below. Or send this note to some friends. Spread the word. Stop by our website. Give us a call.
 
Thank you for reading this. We hope to talk soon.

Tiburon Open Space

Let’s save Martha.

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