Inverness Park borough to vote on special road tax


A group of residents of Inverness Park’s Paradise Ranch Estates will see a four-year effort to repave their neighborhood roads decided in a special election on April 12. Roads in the division are private, and a two-thirds vote in favor of a new annual levy would mean Drakes View Drive would be repaved for the first time since 1993. The measure would levy $968 per package per year for 10 years starting this year, then $135 per package for 15 years. The Marin Department of Finance accepted a loan for the improvements, which were valued at approximately $1,540,000, including county staff costs for oversight and management. Paradise Ranch Estates permanent road division is the oldest in Marin County, established in 1970. With 159 parcels, it is also the largest. It is one of seven permanent divisions, which are authorized by the state’s streets and highways code, operating in Marin as a means for residents to maintain roads where the county does not. Mr Drexler said the Paradise Ranch Estates road advisory board, made up of ‘people who drive the roads every day and know if a rut needs fixing’, helped the public works department and the board of supervisors of Marin County since 1982 evaluating the steep and narrow roads of the division. “We have six miles of road in the Paradise Ranch estates, of which about three miles were paved,” he said. Seventy percent of the proposed funding is for repaving Drakes View Drive, the only road in and out of the community and made up of a series of fragments of private lots. “It’s essential that people have access to the only road in and out of the housing estate,” Drexler said. About half of the division’s roads will remain unpaved, but some sections of accessory roads will be newly paved, including Dover Road, which leads to an alternate fire exit owned by the park service. “This section of road is very rough, with bumps and exposed pipes,” said owner Gordon Bennett. “There have been concerns during a fire emergency that a car could bottom out and block access to the fire escape.” A county assessment determined that two plots which have direct access to Sir Francis Drake Boulevard would not benefit from the improvements and may be exempt from road tax. Excluding these properties reduced the division from 161 parcels to 159 parcels. The scope and scale of the improvements may be adjusted as the division receives bids from contractors and more is known about the true costs of the project, but a petition signed by 72% of landowners has showed strong support for the measure.


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