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Rosalie Weigle Real Estate Broker “She cares...and it shows� Serving Marin County in Residential Real Estate for 32 years East San Rafael and Peacock Gap Area Specialist Frank Howard Allen Realtors (415) 925-3233 Website: Email:

Enjoy...Peacock Gap Golf and Country Club, Peacock Gap Community Park, China Camp State Park with Hiking & Biking Trails, McNear’s Beach, Loch Lomond Yacht Harbor and stroll along the water by the Bay...





!NDERSEN$Rs3AN2AFAEL #!s  s HTTPWWWMARINSANITARYCOM Marineighborhoods Summer 2009 19

Terra Linda, where Marin met the modern world...

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r. Ce ith one of the Bay Area’s earliest-built Terra Linda Sleepy Hollow Divide Sk outdoor shopping malls, a y set of 1960s ranch-style homes Las Rap that became post-war architecture De l Gan classics and the Jetsons-like Frank a L as Lloyd Wright Civic Center across the highway, Terra Linda is Marin’s most fully Colindas R d. realized contribution to the modern era. Post 101 Located in the Las Gallinas Valley area of the Office Oleander Rd. Park T. county, with about 10,000 residents, Terra Linda was developed on the former land of Manuel T. Frietas, one of Fre el M it a nu s Ma the original immigrant Portuguese Spanish land-grant ownHillview Pk w ers. Freitas, who emigrated to the U.S. in 1896 and made his Park y. fortune in banking, ran the area—about 6,000 acres—as a dairy Ga Maria B. Freitas lli n a s farm. Freitas’s former ranch house is currently the location of St. Memorial Park Av. Isabella’s Catholic Church and School on Trinity Way. As the Freitas land was subdivided following World War II, the Terra Linda neighborhood emerged and became one of the county’s busiest areas Kaiser E sm Medical e ye r of development throughout the 1950s and ‘60s. Center One of its most renowned developments in the area was the goods, proliferation of what became known as Eichler homes, the lunch No va courtyard-centered, naturally lit style popularized by architect destinaA lb i on Joseph Eichler from 1955 through the following decade. Terra tions and D ev . on vd Linda boasts about 900 Eichlers. much-needed e Bl Dr. H in d Located beyond the parkway that bares the Freitas name, the infusions of Mall at Northgate has been a shopping destination for Terra takeout coffee. Linda residents—as well as the entire county and beyond—since To the east of opening in 1965. One of the state’s earliest-built outdoor malls, Terra Linda, across Northgate has often been ahead of the mall game design-wise; it Highway 101, is the converted to an enclosed building in 1987 when the then-new Vil- landmark Marin Civic Center, lage in Corte Madera brought a bit of outdoor-mall competition designed by Frank Lloyd Wright; it’s to Marin. Today, plans are in the works to revert back to an outspace-age modern architecture—intended from a design standdoor design to keep up with ever-shifting shopping trends. Nearby point to blend in with the rolling Marin hills—brings many is Northgate One Shopping Center, which is closer in design to Wright devotees to the area to tour the structure. The Civic a strip mall, offering neighbors market Center’s futuristic persona has been put to great effect in such sci-fi fi lms as 1994’s Gattaca and George Lucas’s debut 1970 feature THX 1138. Still unincorporated into the 1960s, Terra Linda founded its own Community Services District to serve the neighborhood, but in the early 1970s the area was annexed by the City of San Rafael. Despite their decades-long status as San Rafaelites, when asked the place they call home, residents are still almost certain to reply, “Terra Linda.”—SHELLEY SHEPHERD KLANER



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FFIRE Station 6, 650 Del Ganado Road LLIBRARY Civic Center Library, 3501 Civic Center Drive, #427 P PARKS Maria B. Freitas Memorial Park P POST OFFICE 603 Del Ganado Road

hills of lave is surrounded by pristine The Terra Linda business enc open space.

20 Pacific Sun - Marin’s Best Every Week

P PUBLIC SCHOOLS Terra Linda High, 320 Nova Albion Way; V Vallecito Elementary School, 50 Nova Albion Way

Wayka Bartolacelli—

“Your best investment is my ultimate goal.�–Wayka

Wayka Bartolacelli

Specializing in North San Rafael properties for the past 23 years. This Terra Linda home is in pristine condition on a large, level corner lot. Kenney PaciďŹ ca Model with 4BD/2BA + Family Room.


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Offered at $665,000

Wayka Bartolacelli—Specializing in North San Rafael Properties /


Villa Marin


28 Distinctive Floor Plans $250,000 to $1,500,000 Contact Bobbie O. Heldt for a personal tour

415 - 492-2408

100 T H O R N D A L E D R . • S A N R A FA E L Visit our web site at CA LIC. #210108102 CCRCLIC #158

Marineighborhoods Summer 2009 21

Marinwood, over the creek and through the woods






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inding Marinwood L uc was like discoveras be rr y ing uranium!” That was what Gerald Hoytt, developer and president of the R d. Marinwood Builders Inc., claimed on his sales L uc as Lucas Valley brochures when promoting the area in the 1950s. Mem. Prk. Also touted in the brochures as the “choicest location in the Bay Area,” Marinwood continues to be a neighborhood favored by locals, who appreciate the unique setting found northeast of San Rafael. A unique aspect of the mostly rural area, nestled in valleys surrounded by open space and hills with wide roads and the feeling of neighborhood, is the architecture. Marinwood’s house styles are a blend of Hoytt-developed homes and the more renowned houses made famous by architect Joseph Eichler, whose open-air, multi-windowed designs built mostly in the late 1950s and early 1960s became modern-era classics. Although the homes were originally constructed to appeal to middle-class families, they have become an emblem of days gone by and originality longed for by many lovers of home design and architectural fanatics. The charming Eichler houses are typically built around a courtyard with loads of natural light, open space and, during their heyday, were considered emblematic of post-war baby boom suburbia. Homes feature post and beam construction, floor-toceiling glass and radiant heat. More recently preservation of the structures has become an imperative with some of the Bay Area housing divisions placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Neighboring Lucas Valley has an architectural review committee that guides homeowners remodeling their homes to preserve the noted Eichler style. These mainly single-level homes are what define an area whose individuality can make it seem like a separate entity from the rest of the county. Its history is straightforward. Irishman James Miller, who migrated over the Sierra in perilous

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Pacifi c Sun Hom e & Gard en photo byJulie Vader

conditions when many did not make it, originally purchased the land that now makes up the Marinwood area in 1846. The parcel included Miller Creek, which runs through the neighborhood and fittingly bares the town founder’s name. Miller rebuilt an adobe on a hill were the current Miller Creek Condominiums are located. By 1862 Miller had 10 children in his brood, so he set aside a site for the construction of a school along the winding, tree-lined Idylberry Road where Dixie Elementary School now resides. (The original school house still stands and is part of the National Registry of Historic Places, but has been relocated in front of Miller Creek Middle School on Las Gallinas Avenue. ) After Miller died, the 1,084-acre ranch was sold to the Sequeira family in 1935 and by the 1950s the area blossomed into what it is still today—a homey Bay Area suburb. Though it lies within City of San Rafael borders, an unofficial adjunct to Marinwood is St. Vincent’s School for Boys, a Catholic Charities residential treatment home for youth age 7 to 17. Located a stone’s throw from Marinwood, east of Highway 101, St. Vincent’s has been an area icon since the 1850s when Timothy Murphy granted the land to the San Francisco archdioses on the condition it be turned into a school. St. Vincent’s hosts first-rate public events throughout the year--the October pumpkin patch is a kid’s delight—and the grand Most Holy Rosary Chapel, built in 1930, is still open to the public for Sunday services. Marinwood, an unincorporated area, is self-governed by the Marinwood Community Services District, under county jurisdiction. The Marinwood Association, meanwhile, is a nonprofit volunteer community organization that works for its neighborhoods and offers annual memberships to community members. The neighborhood’s primary business center is the Marinwood Shopping Plaza, which is currently eyed for a major redevelopment in the coming years; meaning Marinwood’s best days may still lay ahead.—SHELLEY SHEPHERD KLANER M A R I N W O O D




FFIRE Station 6, 650 Del Ganado Road LLIBRARY Civic Center Library, 3501 Civic Center Drive, #427 PARKS Jerry Russom Memorial Park, Marinwood Park P POST OFFICE 603 Del Ganado Road P

rnia Modern’—or

est population of ‘Califo Marinwood boasts the larg Eichler—homes in Marin.

22 Pacific Sun - Marin’s Best Every Week

PUBLIC SCHOOLS Miller Creek Middle School, 2255 Las Gallinas P Ave.; Mary E. Silveira Elementary School, 375 Blackstone Drive; A Dixie Elementary School, 1175 Idylberry Road D

Wayka Bartolacelli—

“Your best investment is my ultimate goal.�–Wayka


ayka and her husband discovered Marinwood in their quest to find a home in Marin Wayka Bartolacelli with their first born in 1983. After the rewarding experience of putting sweat equity into a house that needed a lot of TLC, the joys of home ownership inspired Wayka to become a realtor specializing in her own neighborhood. After selling hundreds of homes, Wayka has became known and recognized as “The Marinwood Specialist.� Homeowners trusted her knowledge of the area and appreciated her community involvement. She knew how to promote the

homes and the benefits of living near parks, beautiful nature trails in the open-space hills, and Community Center with activities for all ages. The quality of the schools as well as the tight-knit community where everyone knows their neighbor are some of the reasons people want to live here. Her two kids grew up through the Dixie School District and have gone through college in the meantime. After 23 years in the business, Wayka is still called on by the Marinwood residents and buyers alike to assist them with their real estate needs. Wayka is not only well acquainted with Marinwood, but is familiar with all areas of Marin County.

Wayka’s 2009 listings and sales in Marinwood 15 Valleystone: In Contract 12 Unionstone: Sold to Buyer 5 Pueblo: Sold to Buyer 390 Quietwood: For Sale

295 Blackstone: Sold 364 Peachstone: In Contract 275 Johnstone: In Contract 884 Flaxberry: Sold


Marineighborhoods Summer 2009 23

Marin’s fastest-growing city keeps its small-town feel

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even made it to the big screen in 1992’s Vallej Radio Flyer, which o Av. was set in early 1970s Novato and featured Tom Hanks. The fi lm utilized much of Grant Avenue, Av. as well as locations such as Novato High School and g Lon Av. e the Novato movie D Blv theater. The single-screen d. .v A theater was designed by architect blo a i D William Kelly and opened to the public in 1948. The theater closed in 1991, shortly before Radio Flyer came out, and has sat unused since. Talks of turning it into a multipurpose theater/performance venue have been ongoing since 1996 when it was purchased by a local nonprofit in the hopes of revitalizing the downtown. While the theater has yet to make a comeback, the downtown went ahead and upgraded anyway. In the late 1990s the city repaved much of Grant Avenue, reconfigured sidewalks, parking spaces and planted new trees. Taking advantage of the city’s new look are the many longrunning festivals and events that Novato puts on for community members. Event highlights include a Fourth of July parade, the annual Festival of Art, Wine and Music, old-time car shows, a “salsa festival” and a seasonal farmers market. Redw ood

lthough Vir Novato is gin a Marion a cluster Rec. Area W of diverse neighborhoods— arner Av. such as Ignacio, Hamilton Grant and San Marin—when one thinks of Marin’s most Creek Lee N northern outpost, what Ge ovato rne Lu Sutton rP springs to mind is often the k. Rec. Area growing city’s quaint and charming downtown. While the city’s population is about 50,000, the downtown area gives Novato a small-town feel. And for many Novato residents, a walk downtown is like a stroll into Marin’s past. The city hall is housed in a stately former Presbyterian church on Sherman Avenue. The iconic red church, built in 1896, was the longtime home of city offices; a safety retrofitting project is currently under way and city officials hope to move back sometime in 2010. It is this building that can be found on most of the city post cards and promotional brochures; you can even find birdhouses built to look like it. Near the old red church is Novato’s busiest street and the hub of downtown—Grant Avenue. The eastern end of Grant is known as Old Town, and was the bustling town center through the 19th century and into the 20th (when it was referred to as “new town,” ironically enough)—featuring a railroad depot, hotel, general store, post office, blacksmith and small school. The city’s nostalgia-laden charm

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Pa cifi c Sun Ho

Pacifi c Sun Hom e & Gard en


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FFIRE Station 1, 7025 Redwood Blvd. LLIBRARY Novato Library, 1720 Novato Blvd. P PARKS Miwok Park, located off Novato Blvd.; P Pioneer Park, located on Simmons Boulevard P POST OFFICE 1537 South Novato Blvd.

d red Presbyterian church The rooster-weather-veine landmark. Novato’s most recognizable

24 Pacific Sun - Marin’s Best Every Week


P PUBLIC SCHOOLS Lu Sutton Elementary, 1800 Center Road; O Olive Elementary, 629 Plum St.; Hill Middle, 720 Diablo Ave.; N Novato High, 625 Arthur St.

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Serving the community as Marin County’s ONLY Ford Lincoln Mercury Dealer. 1. Based on RDA Group’s cumulative survey at three months of service in three surveys if 2008 Ford and competive owners conducted 9/07-5/08. 2. Based on vehicle registration data and latest odometer readings available to R.L.Polk& Co. for 1992 and newer model year full-size pickups still on the road in the US as of 4/08. 3. Based on unadjusted city fuel economu from EPA (10/08) and VCA (5/08). EPA estimated 34city/31hwy mpg, FWD. Actual mileage will vary. Excluding vehicles built for Mazda. 4. EPA estimated 41city/36hwy mpg. Actual mileage will vary. Midsize class per R.L.Polk& Co. 6. SIRIUS Travel Link is a trademark of SIRIUS XM Radio, Inc.

Marineighborhoods Summer 2009 25

Ignacio, where the boulevard meets the bucolic



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gnacio may seem like just another Marin suburb dominated by the freeway and encompassed by open space, but like San Quentin, Ocean Roar, Homestead Valley and many another unincorporated county communities, there’s lots of history, distinction and individual charm behind the neighborhood’s tract-house facade. Within Ignacio’s minimal boundaries are two acclaimed wineries, a Spanish Colonial b&b complete with nightclub, the headquarters of two nationally renowned confectioners, a community theater, a restaurant headed by superstar chef George Morrone, two award-winning art studios, a medical marijuana dispensary, the county’s only Greek Orthodox church plus lots of mid-century architecture, and we haven’t even mentioned the imported spices, the many varieties of cheesecake... The Coast Miwok had a couple of townships in the immediate vicinity—it was a good place to hunt deer, bear and the ducks and quail of the adjoining wetlands—and after the conquistadores came and went and the Mexican government divided Marin into land grants, the region became part of Rancho San Jose, stretching from San Pablo Bay to the western reaches of Rancho Nicasio, with Novato to the north and San Rafael to the south. Enter retired military man Ignacio Pacheco of Santa Clara. His father was part of the Anza expedition that settled San Francisco in 1776 and, after a distinguished career as a Presidio customs officer and San Rafael alcalde, Ignacio was granted that 6,659acre rancho up north. Here he built a beautiful hacienda and raised cattle, horses and (over the course of three marriages) nine children, pausing at one point to challenge Yankee upstart John Fremont to a duel. Pacheco managed to hold onto his rancho after California joined the Union, and upon his death in 1864 the land was divided among his numerous heirs. When a post office was established in 1895, the area’s name was changed

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from Pacheco to Ignacio to distinguish it from the community across the bay (if not the future Pacheco Valley development down the road). Dairies and open space dominated the landscape until Hamilton Air Field, one of World War II’s primary bomber and transport facilities, was constructed just to the south and makeshift housing was built on either side of Ignacio Boulevard for the use of the field’s military personnel and their families. After the war the housing was largely replaced with low-slung three-bedroom homes more ideal for suburban sprawling and other such baby boomery. (The 1992 coming-of-age drama Radio Flyer got much of its Vietnam-era ambience from being fi lmed hereabouts.) Today’s Ignacio has much to recommend it. The Apela Collective, one of three medical marijuana collectives in the county, dispenses the ganja on Entrada Drive. Luxurious old Rancho Rafael has been refurbished into Inn Marin, a swell place to pass a weekend. Pacheco Plaza is likewise being renovated into a “lifestyle village” complete with local outpost of upscale Paradise Foods and the ongoing presence of the Pacheco Playhouse, home of the Novato Theater Company. Lois Curtin Park and Josef Hoog Park offer plenty of ambient greenery, and there’s more expansive open space just to the south and west if you feel like stretching your legs. And just off the highway is another winery, Pacheco Ranch. The thing that makes this 70-acre vineyard notable isn’t its acclaimed cabs and chardonnays or the lovely 125-year-old Italiante Victorian that dwells there. It’s the fact that Ignacio Pacheco’s direct descendants still own and operate this tiny parcel of the old man’s vast holdings: the only Mexican California land grant still worked by the same kinfolk. It’s nice to keep things all in the family. — MATTHEW STAFFORD I G N A C I O




FFIRE Station 4, 319 Enfrente Drive LLIBRARY Novato Library, 1720 Novato Blvd. P PARKS Josef Hoog Park, located off Ignacio Boulevard P POST OFFICE 1537 South Novato Blvd.

for a street facing Fairway Drive, aptly named Club golf course.

26 Pacific Sun - Marin’s Best Every Week

the Marin Country

P PUBLIC SCHOOLS Loma Verde Elementary, 399 Alameda de la LLoma; San Jose Middle, 1000 Sunset Parkway; Novato High, 6625 Arthur St.

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Authentic Traditions (SBOU"WFOVF /PWBUP$Bt.7655 Located between Lucky’s and Long’s in the Downtown Novato Center Marineighborhoods Summer 2009 27

Bel Marin Keys, a high-water mark for Novato

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any Marin residents may only link Bel Marin Keys to the array of businesses, restaurants and local agencies—such as the Marin Humane Society—that can be found up and down Bel Marin Keys Boulevard and along the side streets in the business district. But for those patient enough to follow the 37 winding boulevard east, straight down past a stretch of open space, they’ll find the Cre picturesque comek munity of Bel Marin Keys. The original development was Keys conceived in the early Marin 1960s, when developer Bell Jack West envisioned waterfront homes in an area that was originally farmland. West broke into Novato 101 Creek and dredged the lagoons, creating the unique neighborhood. Digital Dr. Most of the homes feature a Commercial modern style of tract architecture, Blv d. many still occupied by the development’s original owners. Commuters and Novatans have snapped up many of the other houses—after falling head over heels for the waterfront lifestyle unique to Bel Marin Keys (some extensively remodeling their properties, bringing the value into the $1 million neighborhood). Resident Claudine Whitney describes it as “like being on vacation every day, even when it’s raining. I don’t know any other place that you can jump into your boat in your backyard and go for a cruise and be invited to a neighbor’s house that you have never met for a drink. I think it’s just the vacation mentality.”


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The majority of the houses along the lagoon do Ignacio Reservoir indeed have their own boat ramps with lengthy backyards leading to the water, which is dredged regularly (adding to the locals’ tax burden and maintained by the local homeowners’ organization that began in the 1960s). Many homeowners own more than one boat, including powerboats, sailboats, canoes and kayaks. The two locks provide boating access to Novato Creek, Petaluma Creek and the San Francisco Bay. And many of the residents consider everyone living in the area to be part of a big family. Much of the residents’ social life is linked to several community organizations: the Bel Marin Keys Yacht Club, which for more than 40 years has sponsored game nights, Fourth of July parties, Christmas boat parades and other activities; the Bel Marin Keys Women’s Club, which was formed in 1966 to help neighbors in times of need and includes monthly luncheons and other social activities; as well as the Bel Marin Keys Men’s Club, which meets twice a month and has events such as fishing trips and target shooting. The area is self-governed by the Bel Marin Keys Community Services District, which serves the more than 700 homes in the area. The residents of Bel Marin Keys love their home base and many believe it to be the best-kept secret in Marin County. —SHELLEY SHEPHERD KLANER







FFIRE Station 5, 5 Bolling Drive LLIBRARY Novato Library, 1720 Novato Blvd. PARKS Josef Hoog Park, located off Ignacio Blvd. P POST OFFICE 1537 South Novato Blvd. P

picturesque in the 1960s to create the Novato Creek was dredged s. waterways of Bel Marin Key

28 Pacific Sun - Marin’s Best Every Week

PUBLIC SCHOOLS Hamilton Elementary, One Main Gate Road; P San Jose Middle, 1000 Sunset Parkway; Novato High, 625 Arthur St. S


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Your Southern Novato Specialists Abby Tanem

,ISA'ARAVENTA has lived in the Ignacio Valley for the last 31 years. Living in Marin Country Club, Loma Verde and currently Pointe Marin, she is very knowledgeable about the neighborhoods and community. She has represented buyers and sellers throughout the entire county but is well known as being one of the experts in the Marin Country Club and Pointe Marin neighborhoods. Lisa works out of Frank Howard Allen’s Central Marin Office in Greenbrae, the most productive real estate office in the County. She would be happy to meet with you to discuss your move to Ignacio.

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Lisa Garaventa 415.925.3267 ofďŹ ce, 415.518.2772 cell LGARAVENTA FHALLENCOMsWWWlNEMARINLIVINGCOM

Bel Marin Keys

with Frank Howard Allen Realtors, lives in the glorious Southern Novato area featured here! Please contact Abby if you are interested in either of these Southern Novato locales, and she will offer you a tour of these hidden Marin niches! With her office in Central Marin at Frank Howard Allen, and her home in Novato, Abby has the best of all worlds and will happily “convert� you into a Novatan!!

For information about these featured homes, call Abby or Lisa

Abby Tanem 415.464.2425 ofďŹ ce, 415.497.9542 cell ATANEM FHALLENCOMsWWWABBYTANEMCOM Marineighborhoods Summer 2009 29

Hamilton, county homeowners’ newest ‘base’ of operations

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arin old-timers know the rich history of Hamilton Field, but many of the young families who live on the former United States Air Force base aren’t fully aware of the area’s vibrant military past—and the struggles it took the city of Novato to redevelop the area to make it into this unique community. In the late 1920s, the War Department was looking to construct a new air base in California. The site chosen was a pea, sugar beet and grain farm called Marin Meadows. A Marin Air Base Committee known as Marvelous Marin Inc., along with the Farm Bureau, persuaded the government to locate Hamilton Field there. The secretary of war named the airfield in honor of First Lieutenant Lloyd Andrews Hamilton, who was the first American officer to fly with the Royal Flying Corps and first in his squadron to shoot down an enemy aircraft. Constructing the base was a big undertaking, providing many jobs. The first troops arrived in 1933 with Martin B-12 bombers; construction was completed in 1934. Hamilton Field was dedicated in 1935 by Brigadier General “Hap” Arnold. A runway was then built, which was tricky because it was below sea level. In 1947 Hamilton Field was renamed Hamilton Air Force Base, when the Air Force became a separate branch of the service. Thousands of servicemen were stationed in the area during World War II in Spanish-style housing, some of which still exists on the base. Rafael Village, along what is now Ignacio Boulevard, was constructed to provide additional housing and 550 more units that still stand were built in 1959 under the name Capehart. The base was deactivated in 1975, but the housing continued to be used by military personnel in the Bay Area. The long process of redevelopment began in the 1980s. Today many take for granted the housing developments in the area, as well as local parks and activities; but it was a political hot potato for years, as no-growth factions opposed the additional costs to city infrastructure, as well as the need for more schools that would come with such a development. Other politicos extolled the virtues of Hamilton, dubbing it the “future” of Novato. The fi rst homes were put up for sale in 1998 and others followed.


Pacifi c Sun Hom e & Gard en photo by Ken Piek ny

Now the families who live in Hamilton enjoy a quiet, self-contained lifestyle. Signs warn visitors to slow down when passing through the military gates. Hamilton Elementary School is located within the gates and North Bay Children’s Center provides preschool and after-school care. There’s also a pool, community center, amphitheater, skate park and YMCA. The original hangars have been restructured to house a variety of business headquarters—serving everything from large corporations to restaurants. Dubbed Hamilton Landing, you can find Birkenstock Distribution USA, Oracle and Sony Image Works, as well as other ventures. Many of the historic buildings have been converted to modern-day use, but the original chapel and officers’ buildings remain intact. —SHELLEY SHEPHERD KLANER H A M I L T O N




FFIRE Station 5, 5 Bolling Drive LLIBRARY South Novato Library, 6 Hamilton Landing P PARKS Hamilton Ball, Pool & Park, Hamilton Field Grounds; JJosef Hoog Park, located off Ignacio Blvd. P POST OFFICE 1537 South Novato Blvd.

Hamilton, with views of the

San Pablo Bay.

30 Pacific Sun - Marin’s Best Every Week

P PUBLIC SCHOOLS Hamilton Elementary, One Main Gate Road; S San Jose Middle, 1000 Sunset Parkway; Novato High, 625 Arthur St.

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Marineighborhoods Summer 2009 31

Indian Valley, a horseback ride into the past

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ndian Valley is the perfect suburrecognized the largely unspoiled beauty of its surroundban enclave for anyone who wants ings and resisted the blandishments of tract houses and to live the rural Marin lifestyle strip malls. To keep housing density to a minimum, new without getting all hippie about it. settlers had to build their homes on Ind Situated near the junction of parcels of at least 10,000 square ian Val the old Nicasio, Novato feet, a requirement later upped ley and Ignacio land grants, to an acre for flat parcels, two the neighborhood does acres for sloped parcels. Ridgeline its damnedest to preserve development was largely restricted. the idyllic rancho days of the 19th century. Street and other exterior lighting Modern-day annoyances like streetlights and was minimized as much as possible to sidewalks are frowned upon. Horseback riding preserve that woodsy night-sky ambience. is a primary—the primary—pastime. Widely Curbs and gutters were verboten; every spaced low-density housing is the law of the dwelling was responsible for its own land. And several hundred glorious sewage or septic system. And any service acres of tree-shaded open space are or business venture outside of ranches, as close as your neighbor’s back kennels, orchards and nurseries were College of Marin yard. (The place isn’t 100 percent strictly prohibited. of n ri rustic, though; check out that fiveThe neighborhood is still a M Indian Valley Av. Ignacio Creek Open Space bedroom Indian Valley Road French a splendid place to mingle Preserve chateau with swimming pool, wine cellar, with the landed gentry and projection room, six-car garage and 16 acres raise a family in an atmoof greensward. Asking price: $7 million.) sphere of pastoral refinement. Its Indian Valley For a century or so Indian Valley was nothing 630 adamantly unincorporated acres Campus but orchards, chicken farms and virgin landscape, of winding streets and single-family but with the end of World War II and the birth of the homes are bounded on the north and east baby boom, the neighborhood, like the rest of the county, by Novato’s city limits and on the south and west evolved into a bedroom community to accommodate all of by the Indian Valley Open Space Preserve, a 639-acre wooded those returning servicemen and their newly hatched families. wonderland that gives the area its bucolic charm. Here one can But unlike many of these slapped-together overnight settlements, hike or canter over gentle, winding trails shaded by oaks, laurels, Indian Valley madrones and manzanitas. Frogs and newts frolic in Pacheco Pond, the creeks and waterfalls rush with the winter rains, and in the spring the place is blanketed with ferns, honeysuckle and wildflowers. Pencil Belly Ranch and Indian Valley Carriage, just about the only two businesses in the neighborhood, let you experience these natural wonders just like any other local equestrian. In 1975, Indian Valley College opened on a 333-acre parcel in the preserve’s southeast corner, becoming a College of Marin satellite campus 10 years later. Built to accommodate 5,000 students, for years it’s struggled to attract less than half that amount, but a new curriculum devoted to solar technology, water management, landscape design and other environmentally acute subjects has encouraged a dramatic increase in enrollment. Must be the location. What better place to learn the ins and outs of preserving a given natural environment, horses, newts, starlight and all? Coll ege


Pacifi c Sun Hom e & Gard en

photo by Julie Vader







FIRE Station 1, 7025 Redwood Blvd. LIBRARY Novato Library, 1720 Novato Blvd. PARKS Pioneer Park, located on Simmons Boulevard POST OFFICE 1537 South Novato Blvd.

n space paths link the The popular Indian Valley ope pus. cam e neighborhood to the colleg

32 Pacific Sun - Marin’s Best Every Week

PUBLIC SCHOOLS Lu Sutton Elementary, 1800 Center Road; Hill Middle, 720 Diablo Ave.; Novato High, 625 Arthur St.

Yipppee—it’s summer! We bet you’re ready to get your home in shape for the season of outdoor entertaining. Stop in see sample all the wonderful we can help. For We have completed ourand floor sale, andnew ourways subsequent the ďŹ rst time we are introducing a seasonal boutique aptly named “INSIDE/OUTâ€?. It remodeling, repainting and re-carpeting – the store looks and feels great – features furnishings that can live outside all summer long—and they are comfortable, stoplooking in to see newfun! pared down, edited collections. While great andour wildly We also have several great bargain areaswe thatare cannot help a floor sample salego(that always in January!), we do have ‘leftovers’. your decorating dollar a littleisfurther‌

Visit us now for immediate gratification, great prices and start making SUNBRELLA FABRICS your home feel fresh, hopeful and happy!

We have sunbrella fabrics available by the yard for immediate gratiďŹ cation - Cheerful solid colors at $34 per yard and great stripes at $44 per yard. We also have the largest Lighting collection of Sunbrella books in the Bay Area so if you don’t ďŹ nd what you are looking for in our in-stock baskets you can order yardage weofare to order it, get it We are redoing our ‘sconce’ wall and so all thehappy sample here quickly and even to treat you to the ups fees!

scones are 75% off. Selected chandeliers areBUTTERFLY 50% off. Selected table lamps are 50% off. CHAIRS

We have been carrying the classic, original buttery chair for over twenty years. This year Rugs we are excited to add our very own designs to our offerings—now you can get ten different solid color canvas covers for $38 each. OR any of our sunbrella covers with kicky We are closing out our area rug boutique. ALL of our remaining rugs contrasting welting OR any of our striped Sunbrella covers for $88. These chairs are still are 60% WeďŹ fty stillyears have a great selection ofcomfortable, styles, sizescool & qualities. current after off. almost simply because they are looking, easy care AND you can change out your look year after year. We have the very best selection in California, and NOW our very ownThrows Sunrise exclusive designs as well. Buy two complete chairs and covers and get a solid canvas cover for free!

With summer approaching we are ready to clear out our winter inventory of chenille, cotton &OUTDOOR wool throws CUSHIONS – 65% off remaining inventory.

We have three workrooms ready to make up new outdoor cushions for you. Nothing makes your garden, patio or deck feelPillows more cheerful than fresh new custom cushions. Not only can you come in and choose a great sunbrella fabric that is ideally suited to your We wide we variety of decorative pillows thatawe areand reducing in happily price. ownhave speciala decor, can now whip up cushions within week have them While Stock remains they arefor 50% ready to grace your garden‌(Bring your old cushions us tooff. give you a quote).


We have great dining tables that can weather the weather! They can live outside all year Weand have limited number of sanding, Ralph Lauren Sofas are available off long are amaintenance free—no re-staining or that scrubbing. We have several top options, shapes, sizesoff and–styles. If you are tiredare of teak and want something little of our floors for 60% his new designs arriving and we wouldalike more areWe ideal. They are available in astock quicksectionals ship program! tointeresting make forthese them. also have several in that are

available at 40% off. Summer goes by quickly. Let us help you thoroughly enjoy your home, garden, patio, deck or yard now! We can help Dining you customChairs design your exterior spaces the same way weWe have helped you with your interiors—great design for 32 years have lots of sets of dining chairs thatinterior we are discontinuing – and theynow outside as well!

have to be purchased as a set of 4, 6, 8 or more – BUT, they are 50% off. We have everything from fully upholstered to ladder back chairs.

SUNRISE HOME "3TREETs3AN2AFAEL #!ssWWWSUNRISEHOMECOM Marineighborhoods Summer 2009 33

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t the base of Mount Burdell in Novato is the town’s lengthy thoroughfare of San Marin Drive, the main drag of the northwest area of Nov ato town, known simply as San Marin. Neil O’Hair Park Blv S an d. Being more than a Nova stone’s throw from the to downtown has given San Marin its own identity within Novato—a bit more rural and out of the way. Sort of a suburb of the Novato suburb. The area plays host to its own mini-parades and other community activities staged by its own neighborhood association. The San Marin area is largely thought of in terms of the triangle of streets within San Marin Drive, Simmons Lane and Novato Boulevard, but its hazily defined borders are often stretched further into neighboring streets that were built up at the same time San Marin Drive was developing in the mid-1960s. San Marin Drive rests at the foot of one of the most picturesque claims of the Marin Open Space District—Mount Burdell. Long known as Rancho Olompali, the name was changed when the area came under the thumb of a San Francisco dentist named Galen Burdell in the mid-1800s. Lured by the promise of Gold Rush riches, Burdell worked as a doctor on the Duxbury, a ship which ran aground off the coast of Bolinas, stranding scores of sea-legged passengers in Marin (and giving name to Duxbury Reef). Dr. Burdell liked what he saw of Marin and set up a practice in the big city to the



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south. Like many a “forty-niner,” gold dust would not lead to future riches—but dental powder sure did. With a fortune earned from the invention and marketing of his own tooth cleaner, Burdell sparked the interest of Mary Black, the daughter of Nicasio land baron James Black. The couple was married in 1863 and, as a gift from the bride’s father, Galen and Mary were soon the proud owners of Rancho Olompali and nearly a thousand head of cattle. Familial bliss didn’t last long between the Burdells and the Blacks; Maria—James’s wife—died the following year—while under anesthetic, sitting in the dentist’s chair of Burdell. Black never forgave the young doctor, disinheriting his own daughter out of spite (the will was eventually overturned). Today, the former Burdell-owned land looks much like it did in the 19th century. Purchased by the open space district in the 1970s, the parkland is now known as the Mount Burdell Open Space Preserve and includes a vernal pool, oak trees, wildflowers and several species of rare plants. Range animals from nearby dairy farms are allowed to graze on the land. It is a common place to hike, bike and play. The area is mostly residential—though the San Marin Plaza and the Square shopping centers provide the community with its markets, coffee shops, a smattering of restaurants and other small businesses. —SHELLEY SHEPHERD KLANER






FIRE Station 3, 65 San Ramon Way LIBRARY Novato Library, 1720 Novato Blvd. PARKS Pioneer Park, located on Simmons Boulevard; Miwok Park, located off Novato Boulevard POST OFFICE 1537 South Novato Blvd. PUBLIC SCHOOLS San Ramon Elementary, 45 San Ramon Way; Pleasant Valley Elementary, 755 Sutro Ave.; Sinaloa Middle, 2045 Vineyard; San Marin High, 15 San Marin Drive

Same Great Service! Same Family! Same Location! Since 1966

Best Roofer


DeMello Roofing 45 Jordan Street • San Rafael, Ca 94901 • Lic. #290726 C-39

Tel: 415-456-0741 • Fax: 415-456-1273

Vintage Oaks photos by Bob Morris Photography


Located off of Rowland Blvd. exit, Highway 101 For more information call (415) 897.9999

NH2 Salon Bath & Body Works Sephora Vintage Nails Marin Beauty Company Supercuts Starbucks Target Costco Plus, 45 more great shops and restaurants.

Marin Neighborhoods  

Marin Neighborhoods: A look at the unique nooks that make the county a special place to live