An article in the November Vibration advocated in favor of asking the County of Marin to designate Lucas Valley Road a Scenic Roadway.
If this were to occur, Caltrans and the County of Marin would be required to comply with the state laws governing the Scenic Highway Program in the Streets and Highways Code, Sections 260 through 263. This requires that Caltrans install signs with a special poppy logo along Lucas Valley Road and more importantly, the poppy logo identifies scenic highways on travel maps, and maps produced by the State Division of Tourism.
Authors of travel articles in magazines such as Sunset Magazine, TV shows such as Bay Area Back Roads, and travel websites will all recommend that more people drive along Lucas Valley Road to enjoy the scenic views along this newly designated scenic roadway. The Marin Convention & Visitors Bureau will list Lucas Valley Road as one of the attractions in Marin. Merchants in Point Reyes Station will recommend that tourists come to Point Reyes and the Point Reyes National Seashore via “scenic” Lucas Valley Road. After all, the reason to designate anything as “scenic” is to invite others to come to look at the view. Neither Caltrans, the County of Marin, nor LVHA would have the authority to prevent this publicity. This designation would bring much more traffic to Lucas Valley Road.
Do we really want any more traffic on Lucas Valley Road? For many years long-time residents of Lucas Valley have worked to minimize the traffic on Lucas Valley Road by keeping Lucas Valley Road off tourism maps and stopping a proposal that Lucas Valley Road be made into a four lane highway. This designation would reverse all of this work and bring more traffic.
Additionally, the provisions of the California Scenic Highway Program would require the County of Marin to spend an estimated $40,000 of tax payer funds to develop additional “Corridor Protection” restrictions on what homeowners in the LVHA community can do with their homes and landscaping. That will result in requirements for County approval of any changes to property and landscaping that will affect the view as well as additional fees and requirements for County permits. The LVHA CC&R’s, the Architectural Review Committee, and County ordinances already provide excellent protection for the appearance of our community. An additional layer of bureaucracy and more permit fees are not needed.
The LVHA Board of Directors should not request that the County of Marin designate Lucas Valley Road as a scenic Roadway. Note: Please attend the January meeting as this will be voted on at that time.