By Courtesy of Marin County
In a move to ensure more public access to San Francisco Bay wetlands and recreation, Marin County Parks is seeking approval to purchase 7.27 acres of the Buck’s Landing property on the edge of Gallinas Creek in unincorporated San Rafael. The County bought an adjacent property two years ago.
Parks personnel on July 12 will present a notice of intent to purchase before the Marin County Board of Supervisors for a parcel owned by three trusts of the Smith family. The purchase price is $1,850,000, with funds coming from Parks’ Measure A tax revenues that are earmarked for land acquisitions. Parks plans to present a draft purchase and sale agreement to the Board for consideration on August 9.
Buck’s Landing is at 665 North San Pedro Road, just over 2 miles northeast of the Marin County Civic Center. It is between the Santa Venetia neighborhood to the west and China Camp State Park to the east. Gallinas Creek flows into San Francisco Bay about a quarter mile from Buck’s Landing.
The County of Marin purchased 33 acres of the Buck’s Landing site in 2020 for $1.6 million – $1.1 million from Measure A and $500,000 from the California State Coastal Conservancy. The purchase was a culmination of almost a decade of advocacy by members of the Santa Venetia community, who sought more public access to Gallinas Creek. The site had been privately owned by the same family for about 70 years and used as a roadside bar, a brickyard, and a boat storage facility.
With the proposed purchase of an additional 7.27 acres, Parks’ long-term goal for the property is to maintain public access to the bay, protect natural habitat, and provide recreational opportunities, said Carl Somers, Parks’ Chief of Planning, Real Property, and Government Affairs. Community members have advocated for the acquisition of the site as a park for many years, leading staff to identify the area for protection in the 2008 Parks Strategic Plan.
“This is a long-term community priority that, if it comes to fruition, would secure public access to the bay,” Somers said. “It has existed there providing bay access for decades under private ownership. This acquisition would allow for much more flexibility in how the site can be managed as a park in the future.”
Measure A, a quarter-cent sales tax, was approved by countywide voters in 2012. An updated version of the measure was approved this June with nearly 75% support. By law, Measure A funds projects and programs that benefit parks, open space, and agricultural lands across Marin. In recent years, Parks has used Measure A acquisition funds to purchase Sky Ranch near Fairfax, the Corte Madera Baylands, and a portion of Bowman Canyon Ranch in western Novato.
On July 12, the Board will be asked to approve a resolution issuing a notice of intent to purchase the property and schedule a public hearing August 9 to collect feedback on and consider approving the proposal.