News

Mill Valley City Council Adopts Resolution to Preserve and Protect Steps, Lanes, and Paths

The Mill Valley City Council has adopted a resolution that takes deliberate and thoughtful action to directly address community concerns about the preservation and protection of the community’s very special Steps, Lanes, and Paths (SLPs). The resolution implement's City Council's 9-point action plan for SLPs (adopted January 17, 2017) and gives direction to:

  • Adopt a resolution reaffirming the City’s continuing commitment to the improvement, preservation, and protection of the City’s SLP network.
  • Adopt an official SLP inventory.  The Resolution also calls for preparation of a map to be delivered to the County Recorder’s Office for recording.  This was not a part of the City’s initial nine-point plan, but it became abundantly clear in discussions with the community that there was a strong desire to record a map of the SLPs.  The City Council directed the City Attorney to explore ways to mitigate risks associated with recording a map.
  • Formalize the City’s new enforcement protocol, which includes enforcement against encroachment upon any developed or undeveloped SLP in the City’s inventory.  The City has already made significant progress in enforcement actions against SLP encroachments.
  • Provide more formal communication and reporting on the status of SLP’s.

 

The adoption of the resolution occurred a week after the City of Mill Valley settled an agreement with trail advocate and plaintiff Victoria Talkington, whose lawsuit prompted a greater community conversation about the state of the Steps, Lanes, and Paths program.

Over the course of the last 2 months the City has worked to address community concerns over encroachments on Steps, Lanes, and Paths. Code Enforcement Officer Denise Stoneham has logged over 20 complaints from the community to address specific encroachments onto existing SLPs. A majority of encroachment complaints have been resolved while a few remain under investigation or will require additional abatement action.

Dan Murray, president of the Save Our Trails Committee, expressed his appreciation of City Council and City staff for listening to the community.  “This whole process has reaffirmed my faith in a representative democracy,” Murray said.  “The constituency loudly said what they believed in and the ability for our representatives to hear that and act on it reaffirms my faith in how things work. It was wonderful to be able to work with you all and I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for making Mill Valley the place that we all love and protecting it so future generations will have the same opportunities to fall in love with it the way we love it today.”

The City of Mill Valley is committed to the success of the SLP program and will continue to engage community members around SLP issues and seek community volunteers for SLP improvement and maintenance projects.