VIGNETTE > A Quirk of History
The Tamalpais Land & Water Co. (TL&WC) was chartered as a 100-year corporation in 1888. To go out of business in 1988 it quitclaimed its properties to the Homestead Valley Land Trust (HVLT), which had purchased open space land in 1974. HVLT hoped that accepting the quitclaim deed might result in acquisition of more open space. Surprise. HVLT had acquired streets and lanes in Homestead, Almonte and Mill Valley. In 1998, the county accepted HVLT’s quitclaim deed for streets in Homestead and Almonte. In 2009, the city of Mill Valley accepted HVLT’s quitclaim deed for 40 Steps Lanes and Paths. But the city has yet to accept a quitclaim deed for 60 Streets in Mill Valley although HVLT has made numerous requests to do so. The city is responsible for use of these streets, but HVLT owns them. Bizarre. A few examples: Throckmorton, Lovell, Molino, Summit, Corte Madera. HVLT also owns paper streets in Mill Valley open space land such as Cypress Trail. A January 2013 letter from the president of HVLT to the mayor formally requested that the City accept a quitclaim deed for all HVLT properties in the City. The mayor has not yet responded. But after 8 months of study, the city manager concluded, “no additional interests are necessary for the City to pursue its circulatory needs or for our land protection purposes.” Almost 20 years ago the then current city manager opined that this ridiculous situation would be corrected, but he warned, “these things take time.”
Want more info? Read the History of Homestead Valley article:
Who Owns the Streets?