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Marin County to Preserve Undeveloped Ranch Land Owned by Metallica Co-Founder

SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF) -- The Marin County Open Space District is poised to preserve 1,000 acres of agricultural land not very far from the privately-owned Skywalker Ranch in Lucas Valley.

The Marin County Board of Supervisors, in its role as the Open Space District's Board of Directors, will consider creating a 1,000-acre agricultural conservation easement Tuesday morning. If approved, the land will be used by the Marin Agricultural Land Trust.

The Open Space District owns two adjacent easements over private property registered with Luiz Ranch Inc. and owned by James and Francesca Hetfield.

In 2016, Luiz Ranch Inc. offered to allow the trust to use 240 additional acres of land and connect it to two existing easements totaling 760 acres of preserved private open space held by the Open Space District.

The approval on Tuesday would retire development rights for the easement property, and require the 1,000 acres be used for economically viable agriculture.

Luiz Ranch in Lucas Valley, Marin County
Luiz Ranch in Lucas Valley. (Photo: Marin County)


The three properties are in a rural, rolling hills area six miles northwest of downtown San Rafael and about four miles west of U.S. Highway 101.

The land is not far from Skywalker Ranch, directly across Lucas Valley Road from the Lucas Valley Open Space Preserve and just north of the Loma Alta Open Space Preserve.

In a statement, the Hetfields said, "We believe this is a huge community benefit, and one of our goals is to keep agriculture on the ranch for a very long time."

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