Homestead Sewer Election


January, 2006

On October 4, 1947, with over 65 per cent of registered voters turning out at the polls, residents of Homestead Valley voted 211 to 43 for an $85,000 bond issue to finance a sewer system. After decades of controversy, why did Homesteaders finally agree to pay for sewer lines they could connect to?

Extensive efforts had been made to familiarize the people of Homestead with the proposed sewer construction, its cost and the location of the lines. Two weeks earlier, the Mill Valley Record published an editorial recommending passage as well as a letter from the Homestead Valley Sanitary District board to the voters of Homestead Valley and a detailed map of the system. [A photoengraved printing plate of the map was recently discovered. It is on display at the Homestead Valley Community Center- ed.]

The letter was persuasive. Here are the main points of the letter:

“This actually means that 4 cents per day would pay the entire sewer bill for the redemption of bonds, interest and annual tax on a house and lot assessed at $1000. This is less than half the average home-owner’s telephone or water bill, and about one-third his school tax. Homestead Valley Sanitary District has an area of about 447 acres, with an estimated ultimate population of 10 persons to the acre, totaling 4500 persons and four houses to the acre. On this basis we are now one-fifth developed. We should, therefore, enjoy a good, normal increase in growth over the years. Homestead has many attractive features to draw new residents. It has a great many beautiful building sites, excellent climate, tranquil surroundings away from the main highway traffic, excellent paved roads, electricity, gas, water, telephone, an elementary school, county fire protection plus an efficient volunteer fire department, adequate police protection, a lower tax rate generally since it does not pay an incorporated city tax, although it is adjacent to the city of Mill Valley. Our service is good. We have a fine, new shopping center and it is anticipated that beginning the first of the year we will have mail delivery in Homestead Valley.”

In March 1948, Homestead’s sewer lines were tied into the city’s sewer main along Miller Ave. Easements for the system had been established in the 1920s. Raw sewage went into the bay. A treatment plant would come later.

If you have comments or questions about this article or other topics
pertaining to the history of Homestead Valley,
please feel free to e-mail Chuck Oldenburg.