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News Release —
County Prepares Offer for San Geronimo Property

A section of the former golf course is eyed for a future Fire Department headquarters.
An exterior view of the clubhouse at the former San Geronimo Golf Course.
 March 28, 2024

Body of News Release

UPDATE: The Board of Supervisors voted to adopt the MND of environmental impact at the April 2 meeting.

San Rafael, CA – The County of Marin will consider an option Tuesday to buy a former golf course property in San Geronimo, creating an opportunity to develop a portion of the site into a new headquarters for the Marin County Fire Department. 

A public hearing on the proposal is scheduled for the April 2 meeting of the Marin County Board of Supervisors, no earlier than 2:30 p.m. 

At the hearing, staff from the Office of the County Executive and the Community Development Agency plan to ask the Board to adopt a mitigated negative declaration (MND) of environmental impact. If the Board adopts the MND, staff will also request that the Board enter into a property purchase agreement for 5800 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, totaling 157.3 acres. The purchase price would be $4.5 million, plus escrow costs and transaction fees of approximately $45,000. 

The April 2 request follows on a Board resolution approved March 5 about the County’s issuance and publishing of intent to consider the purchase. The documents for the Supervisors’ consideration describe the basic outline of the Fire Department’s new station and reuse of the existing former clubhouse building for the Fire Headquarters project, an environmental report, and any mitigation measures required to reduce effects on the environment. The initial environmental study of a potential new Fire headquarters concluded that there would be no significant impacts relating to aesthetics, air quality, tribal/cultural resources, or biological resources.

The land is owned by the Trust for Public Land (TPL), a California nonprofit corporation that bought the acreage after closure of the San Geronimo Golf Course in 2018. With its conservation easement of the land, TPL’s goal with San Geronimo Commons has been to prevent commercial development on the property and guarantee public usage and enjoyment of the greenbelt. It also provides a continuous network of open-space trails out to Point Reyes National Seashore and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

The Fire Department’s headquarters (shown) have been based at 33 Castle Rock Avenue in Woodacre for more than a century, dating to when the county’s first organized fire protection company was formed. The department has outgrown its antiquated 1940s-era facilities, and its remote location within a wooded neighborhood is undesirable for swift response in the Greater San Geronimo Valley and across the county. 

The San Geronimo property is on the main corridor that connects West Marin with Highway 101, 1.8 miles west of the current Fire headquarters.  Relocating the Fire Department headquarters could improve public safety by shortening response times and expanding the crew’s scope of fire services.

Some parcels on the property, operated as a public park by TPL, would be left unchanged if the Fire Department project moves forward. TPL’s easement over those parcels restricts their use to passive recreation such as hiking, biking, and equestrian access. Those park parcels would be maintained and overseen by Marin County Parks if the sale is completed.

The $4.5 million price would be fully offset through a corresponding reduction in prior year available General Fund balance that had been set aside for fire facility improvements. More details are available on the staff presentation that is part of the April 2 meeting agenda.

While the Board meeting begins at 9 a.m., this item will occur no earlier than 2:30 p.m. The Board chamber is in Suite 330 of the Marin County Civic Center, 3501 Civic Center Drive, San Rafael. Meetings are streamed live on the County website and aired on public access television for Comcast subscribers. Instructions on how to participate in the meeting are on the meeting agenda. 

For disability accommodations, please call (415) 473-7355 (Voice), CA Relay 711, or e-mail County staff in advance of the event. The County will do its best to fulfill requests received with less than five business days’ notice. Copies of documents are available in alternative formats, upon request.

Page updated April 2, 2024