Staff to Return to Board With Additional Information on Road Abandonment Request

Published on December 12, 2014

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday instructed County staff to return to the Board at a later date with additional information on a request to abandon two roadways in the Retreat at Northstar development in the Martis Valley: Mill Site Road and Cross Cut Court.

Property owners in the Retreat at Northstar filed a request earlier this year with the County for the abandonment of the public's interest in Mill Site Road and Cross Cut Court, and to dissolve the County Service Area for the public maintenance of these roadways. Retreat property owners stated in their application that the request was intended to privatize the two roadways and prevent through traffic on Mill Site Road from the adjoining Martis Camp subdivision.

Staff’s recommendation to the Board was to deny the request, however, after testimony and public comment, the Board voted to approve a different option and requested staff to return in the future with additional environmental review, preparation of technical documentation, and public noticing before a possible abandonment could occur.

The Retreat at Northstar subdivision is a residential development approved in February 2005 consisting of 31 acres, 18 residential lots and one open space lot. Martis Camp is a 668-lot development that was approved in January 2005, then known as Siller Ranch. To date, 536 Martis Camp lots have been sold and about 235 residences completed. The primary point of contention between the two developments is the use of an electronically-controlled gate by vehicles coming from or going to Martis Camp for access to and from the Northstar resort.

The Retreat property owners argued that the current use of Mill Site Road is not safe, prevents their full enjoyment of their property and was not contemplated by their development or the Martis Camp development, and is not part of the Martis Valley Community Plan. The Retreat owners said the private road in the Martis Camp development that abuts up to Mill Site Road is only intended for emergency vehicle and public transit access to Mill Site Road. Martis Camp has asserted that its use is consistent with Martis Camp’s conditions of approval and is not prohibited. The Board of Supervisors has directed staff to return to the Board at a future meeting for further Board consideration of the matter, including potential approval of the abandonment request, while taking into account the respective positions of the two developments.