Creekside rules please nobody

An expanded environmental ordinance affecting over 3,600 parcels of land in Marin has pitted environmental groups against San Geronimo Valley property owners who believe their rights are being trampled. The Marin County Planning Commission met on Monday to hear public comment on a proposed ordinance that would expand a streamside conservation area and voted unanimously to recommend its approval by the Board of Supervisors. The board will consider the ordinance in June. The last substantive Stream Conservation Area (SCA) ordinance was adopted a decade ago and applied to undeveloped parcels. The current regulations up for debate would bring in conventionally zoned properties or those with residential houses already on them. Members of a property-rights group and a realtors association spoke out against the proposal Monday. While...

Judges grill both sides of the oyster

Lawyers faced rounds of tough questioning from appellate court judges on Tuesday as the battle between the federal government and oysterman Kevin Lunny reached a decisive moment in which a court will decide if farming can continue while litigation continues. An emotionally pitched battle for the future of Drakes Estero has turned almost completely to the legal arena, with lawsuits pending in several courts contesting overlapping legal issues that one judge who heard the case on Tuesday said were analogous to a Rubik’s cube or Russian matryoshka dolls. “Everything seems to be wrapped up inside each other,” Ms. Margaret McKeown said. Ms. McKeown and Paul J. Watford, who sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, joined...

Nicasio cell tower plan ill-received

A cell tower designed to look like a water tower has caused some consternation among local residents concerned about Nicasio’s pastoral landscape. The Nicasio Design Review Board met with an AT&T representative on Friday evening to discuss plans for a new cell tower. The facility, which would be designed to look like a water tower and located on the Dolcini Ranch near the intersection of Point Reyes-Petaluma and Nicasio Valley Roads, drew concerns and questions on Friday. Board members told the telecommunications company that they did not see how the current design and location could meet the board’s design standards and asked AT&T to investigate moving it to an unobtrusive location. Bill Harrison, a longtime Nicasio resident and board member, said the project as proposed “doesn’t fit our guidelines in spirit or in technicality,” and disturbed the scenic area. One...

Quake device hits Inverness

The Inverness Public Utility District is participating in a seismic monitoring program sponsored by the United States Geological Survey, the district announced last week. During earthquakes, a small seismograph the size of a shoebox bolted to the floor in a storage closet at district headquarters will send seismic data through...

Nicasio debuts oil-saving trucks

This Friday, three trucks employed by West Marin Compost and Lunny Grading and Paving will become the first in the state to be outfitted with devices that filter and clean engine oil while the truck is running. Kevin Lunny said he stumbled upon the technology, developed by the company OnBoard...

Tomales Bay mariculture forum

While the largest oyster supplier in Marin County is fighting for its survival, oysterman and restaurateur Luc Chamberland envisions an expansion of mariculture in Tomales Bay. Mr. Chamberland, owner of Saltwater Oyster Depot in Inverness and founder of Pickleweed Point Community Oyster Farm, is promoting Farming on the Half Shell,...

Inverness group polls locals

The Inverness Association has begun a fundraising and membership drive in advance of an annual meeting on July 13. As part of its campaign, the eight-decade-old advocacy group, which has shrunk to 240 members from a peak of 600, is polling residents, visitors and business owners to find out how...

Marin ag groups parse Coastal Act with regulators

In a rare appearance in Marin County, the California Coastal Commission sought feedback Wednesday on the agricultural regulations at the heart of its voter-mandated mission to preserve, protect and restore the shoreline from sweeping development and environmental degradation. Nearly all of Marin’s coast is protected from development by national park ownership or agricultural land-use policies endorsed by the Coastal Act, the 1976 state policy that empowered the coastal commission to have quasi-judicial regulatory authority over land use as much as several miles from the coast, from Stinson to Dillon Beach. West Marin’s coastal agricultural operations—not to mention other proposed and existing developments—are often bound by the controversial decisions made by politically...

Watchdog criticizes library oversight

In its first report on libraries in more than a decade, the county’s independent watchdog said the financially strapped Marin County Free Library must develop clearer plans of how to fund its operations and do a better job consulting with its employees and the public about how it spends taxpayer...

Dance on Mount Tamalpais

The 33rd Annual Planetary Dance, which will take place on Sunday, June 2, is calling for peace among people and with the Earth. The main event starts at 11 a.m. at Santos Meadow in Mount Tamalpais State Park, where people can commit themselves to supporting a peaceful planet during a simple dance accompanied by drums. The Planetary Dance Association also asks attendees to bring food and utensils for the potluck celebration. The dance originated after six women were murdered on the mountain. A group of community members performed a dance in the areas where the women died; a few days later the serial killer was caught. A Huichol shaman instructed the participants that, in order to truly purify the mountain, the dance must take place for the next five years.


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