Golf course for sale, county in talks

06/22/2017

The owners of the San Geronimo Valley Golf Course are looking to sell the 158-acre property, and Marin County is a prospective buyer. 

Supervisor Dennis Rodoni said he brought the idea to Marin County Parks because it was a “tremendous opportunity for the county and San Geronimo Valley.” He noted the course’s proximity to Roy’s Redwoods and the San Geronimo and Larson Creeks as reasons for county to absorb it. “I thought it was a natural fit for them,” he said. 

Max Korten, director and general manager for the parks department, said discussions with the owners were preliminary. Since 2009, Jennifer Kim has operated the course alongside her father, Robert Lee, a managing partner and co-owner, and two silent partners. She said the idea to sell the links was raised by one of the silent partners. There are other interested buyers besides the county, but Ms. Kim declined to name them. 

What the county might do with the property is uncertain. Some have speculated that it could be the site of a new fire station. A facilities vision plan for the Marin County Fire Department in 2010 identified the headquarters and the fire station at Woodacre as “past useful life and recommended to be replaced.” Marin County Fire Chief Jason Weber said an ideal location for a new station would be between Woodacre and Lagunitas along the Sir Francis Drake Boulevard corridor. 

Turtle Island Restoration Network has completed dozens of habitat restoration projects at the golf course throughout the decade. Todd Steiner, the group’s executive director, said he had been prepared to make an offer on the course, but decided against it once the county became involved. “Our intentions would be to restore the habitat and, at some point, to hand it back to the county as a park,” he said. Mr. Steiner said if the county decided not to purchase the course, they could reenter negotiations. 

The property, which the county recorder’s office says is worth over $1.8 million, is zoned as a resort and commercial-recreation district. According to county’s development code, that zoning district “is intended to create and protect resort facilities in pleasing and harmonious surroundings with emphasis on public access to recreational areas within and adjacent to developed areas.” 

Megan Alton, assistant planner for the county’s development agency, said rezoning requires a “pretty in-depth process and it’s not necessarily easy.”