Vignette 254 > Homestead Owns Mill Valley Streets

Mill Valley’s City Hall is on Corte Madera Ave. The Homestead Valley Land Trust (HVLT) owns this street. How come? The Tamalpais Land & Water Company (TL&WC) sold properties in Almonte, Homestead Valley and part of the city of Mill Valley, but it retained ownership of the streets, something rare for a land developer. In 1888, TL&WC was chartered as a 100-year corporation. Before it had to go out of business in 1988, the Homestead Valley Land Trust accepted TL&WC’s quitclaim deed for all its assets, hoping for open space land. In 1995, HVLT hired a title specialist to identify the properties it had acquired.  The specialist was surprised to discover that HVLT had acquired streets and lanes in Almonte, Homestead Valley and the City of Mill Valley. In 1998, the County of Marin responsibly accepted a quitclaim deed conveying to the County all HVLT-owned streets in Almonte and Homestead Valley that were maintained by the County Public Works Dept. Since 1999, the County Board of Supervisors and HVLT have endeavored to convince the Mill Valley City Council to accept a quitclaim deed for 60 streets. Talks continue.