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March 3, 2020 — Primary Election

Marin County
Measure D - Majority Approval Required

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Resultados electorales

No se aprueba

42,271 votos si (39.24%)

65,448 votos no (60.76%)

100% de distritos activos (157/157).

115,923 boletas electorales serán contadas.

Shall the measure amending the San Geronimo Valley Community Plan and the Marin County Development Code to require voter approval for any change in the primary golf course use of the San Geronimo Valley Golf Course property, and requiring that the County prepare economic and environmental analyses of the proposed change, be adopted?

¿Qué es esta propuesta?

Información básica sobre la iniciativa de ley — Información oficial sobre esta iniciativa

Análisis del analista legislativo / Proposal

BRIAN E. WASHINGTON, Marin County Counsel

This initiative Measure would amend the San Geronimo Valley Community Plan (part of Marin County’s general plan) and the Marin County Development Code to require that prior to the County approving any change in use for the property formerly operated as the San Geronimo Golf Course, the County must undertake certain studies regarding the proposed change of use, and the proposed change must be approved by a majority vote of the electorate of Marin County.

Some impacts of the Measure are uncertain due to changed circumstances since the Measure was drafted. The Ballot Title and Summary for this Measure was approved on July 13, 2018. In December 2018, the former San Geronimo Golf Course ceased operations, and at this writing, the property is not maintained as a golf course. The Measure provides that its purpose, among other things, is to “ensure that County decision-makers conduct accurate and complete environmental review and fiscal analyses before eliminating the San Geronimo Golf Course.” The Measure provides text amendments to the San Geronimo Valley Community Plan that state that the golf course must be retained and that uses must support the primary golf course use. It is uncertain how these provisions will be interpreted since the property has not been used as a golf course for approximately one year.

The Measure also provides that prior to the County approving any change of use (that does not include golf) on the former San Geronimo Golf Course property, the County would be required to prepare and approve an economic study of the golf course use and a fiscal and environmental impact analysis of the proposed change, and follow certain additional procedures. Before County approval of the proposed change, the Measure requires that the proposal be approved by a majority vote of the electorate of Marin County. The Measure defines change of use to include “landscape modifications or changes associated with termination of use.” It is uncertain whether California law permits landscape modifications to constitute a change in a land use. It is also uncertain how this provision will be interpreted, considering that golf use is no longer occurring on the property and golf landscaping is no longer being maintained.

The legality of the Measure’s voter approval requirement for a land use change is also uncertain. The requirement applies to only one property, and no similar restriction would apply to other properties in the County’s jurisdiction. This may result in claims, for example, of an unconstitutional “taking” under state and/or federal law.

If approved, this Measure can only be amended or repealed by a majority vote in an election held in accordance with state law. This Measure was placed on the ballot by petition signed by the requisite number of voters.

A “yes” vote on the Measure is a vote in favor of the Measure’s adoption. A “no” vote is a vote against its adoption.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Argumento A FAVOR

VOTE YES ON MEASURE D. PROTECT YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE. Prevent County officials’ overreach. 12,000 Marin people opposed County officials’ action and signed the citizens’ petition to place Measure D on your ballot.

Measure D doesn’t require any property owner to operate a golf course. Measure D does require voter approval, and study of environmental impacts and economic effects, before the County authorizes a change in the primary golf use in the San Geronimo Valley Community Plan. With Measure D in place, County officials must consult the voters before adopting a new use for San Geronimo.

In 2018, with no public disclosure, County officials developed a back room deal with Trust for Public Land, a private corporation. TPL would purchase the property, and then Marin County would use taxpayer funds to buy out TPL and change the use.

County officials tried to override the San Geronimo Valley Community Plan, which protects this visual and recreational resource. Environmentally sound golf operations benefited youth teams and seniors, employed 30 people, generated tax revenue, and served as a fire break. Local residents’ concerns were ignored. TPL bought the property and claims exemption from property taxes. But the court ordered environmental review, and the County’s deal was put on hold.

Why We Need Measure D Now: The government overreach will continue without Measure D. Approval by only 3 County Supervisors could permit TPL to alter the land or develop the property as TPL chooses.

Measure D is the only remedy to protect the San Geronimo Valley Community Plan trampled by Supervisors’ overreach. All Marin voters have an interest in passing this measure because, unless rebuked by Measure D, Supervisors may decide to override your community plan, without your neighborhood’s consent.

VOTE YES ON MEASURE D to check abuse by County officials. No secret deals to spend tax dollars. No override of community plans.

Charles Hardeman, Principal Officer

Mimi Willard, President

Resident of San Geronimo Valley

Argumento EN CONTRA

Vote NO on Measure D to Preserve Our Quality of Life in Marin County.

A NO Vote on Measure D will:

  • Conserve critical wildlife habitat and help restore the Bay Area’s last great Coho salmon run;
  • Reserve a critical new fire headquarters site, helping protect all of Marin from wildfire;
  • Preserve a beloved Valley site for public rather than private resort use;
  • Improve West Marin’s water quality now and for future generations;
  • Create new recreation and trail opportunities for everyone to enjoy; and
  • Provide nature education for children of all ages

...all at NO cost to taxpayers.

If approved, Measure D would sacrifice the public’s legitimate interest in the future of a 150-acre former golf course in San Geronimo Valley to serve a singular use, not the community. If Measure D succeeds, it will rewrite the San Geronimo Valley Community Plan to limit the land’s use to golf only; a use that is no longer viable and would foreclose many lasting public benefits. If approved, Measure D would block conservation of the property and prevent locating a critical new fire department headquarters there, reducing protection for all of Marin County from wildfires.

If successful, Measure D could expose all local community plans to a future countywide referendum. It would take away valuable local participation in future land use decisions. It is a misguided special interest effort that would prevent many public benefits, solely to benefit golf.

Vote NO to protect water quality in Marin County, provide for fire safety, protect wildlife habitat from development, create new recreational opportunities, and preserve local control of our land. A NO vote costs Marin County taxpayers nothing.

NO on Measure D endorsed by respected community organizations you trust.

Mike Tribolet, President

Former Marin County Supervisor

Diane Regas, President and Chief Executive Officer

Linda Novy, President

Janet McBride, Executive Director

Refutación al argumento A FAVOR

NO on Measure D is a united campaign of residents and organizations who cherish Marin County’s legacy of environmental stewardship and responsible local planning.

Organizations you trust urge a NO vote on Measure D, including:

  • Marin County Fire Department Firefighters Association
  • Marin Conservation League
  • Sierra Club
  • Marin Audubon Society
  • Trout Unlimited
  • Marin Open Space Trust
  • Marin Horse Council
  • San Geronimo Valley Planning Group
  • Watershed Alliance of Marin, and many more.

Measure D threatens land owned by The Trust for Public Land, a respected environmental nonprofit founded in Marin. A community process is underway to ensure it benefits everyone - hikers, families, school children, seniors, bicyclists, equestrians, dog walkers, recreational users of all kinds - not just a single group.

This measure was placed on the ballot with no public process of any kind. If the poorly written Measure D passes, it would override local control and stop plans for a fire station and conservation of the land, with nothing in return.

This measure would limit the use of the property to golf but the course closed long ago and is not financially feasible to bring back.

Marin County firefighters oppose Measure D because it blocks a critical new fire station.

Vote NO to protect water quality in Marin County, provide for fire safety, protect wildlife habitat from development, create new recreational opportunities, and preserve local control of our land. A NO vote costs Marin County taxpayers nothing.

This land is your land. To keep it, vote NO.

Judy Schriebman, Chair

Brian Staley, Chairman

Co-founder of The Trust for Public Land

Tarrell Kullaway, Executive Director

Joyce Britt, Vice-President

Refutación al argumento EN CONTRA

Yes on Measure D lets you vote, protects Marin from a land grab, and prevents confiscation of your tax dollars.

Do not trust TPL’s promise of “no cost to taxpayers.” In 2018, Marin County tried to use $8.9 million tax dollars to buy out TPL. County officials and TPL planned additional $10 million in government grants for major site changes. TPL may again try to capture public funds to recoup its investment unless Measure D passes.

Vote for public revenues, not private subsidies. As a non-profit, TPL is a private corporation that does not pay property value taxes. San Geronimo Golf Course paid $1.6 million in property and sales taxes during its last 7 years.

Measure D does not block community meetings, conservation efforts, or public trails. It does not require golf to be the exclusive use forever. YES ON MEASURE D says Marin County must win your vote before approving a change in primary use.

Measure D lets you vote on plans before Marin County approves changes.

--Wildlife habitat: The course obeyed the 2014 CohoFriendly Plan approved by California Department of Fish and Wildlife and complied with Marin County Integrated Pest Management Program.

--New fire station: There is space for fire headquarters, golf and other recreation. TPL’s neglect of the land increases fire fuel load and reduces emergency evacuation options.

--Public access: Bicycling, hiking, gardens and nature study can co-exist with golf on 157 acres.

Measure D does not spend your tax dollars. It stops secret County deals and opens disclosure of public expenses.


Charles Hardeman, Principal Officer

Mimi Willard, President

Resident of San Geronimo Valley

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