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Marin reaches terms to buy, save 110-acre property on Tiburon Ridge

The Martha property spans across the southern Tiburon Ridge, east of the Old St. Hilary’s Open Space Preserve to Paradise Drive, as seen from Angel Island State Park across Raccoon Strait. (Jocelyn Knight archive / For The Ark 2013)

The Trust for Public Land and the county of Marin are planning to team up to purchase the Martha property on the Tiburon Ridge for $42.1 million — backed in part by a new tax on Belvedere and southern Tiburon residents — in a move that would preserve the 110-acre site as open space.

The nonprofit last week announced it had reached a tentative agreement with owner the Martha Co., represented by Signature Development Group. It plans to turn around and sell the property to the county for $26.1 million; the Board of Supervisors, acting as the Marin Open Space District board of directors, was set to meet June 21, after The Ark’s press deadline, to authorize its board president to execute the purchase-and-sale agreement.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Trust for Public Land and the county have until Aug. 30, 2024, to raise the funds and finalize the deal. In the meantime, the Martha Co. has the right to pursue alternative development plans as backup should the fundraising effort fail.

The county could add the Martha property to the 122-acre Old St. Hilary Open Space Preserve, or it could create a new preserve.

The provisional plan calls for the county to generate $18 million toward the purchase through a Mello-Roos bond that would be repaid by a parcel tax levied on residents of a new community-facilities district in Belvedere and the area of Tiburon south of Trestle Glen Boulevard.

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