Wall Property

Fairfax Hills

Wall Property Open Space Project

On September 26, 2023, the Town Council assigned a Council subcommittee of Councilmembers Chance Cutrano and Barbara Coler to enter into an agreement with the Marin Open Space Trust (MOST) to explore a possible purchase of the Wall Property for open space. This land rises dramatically above Fairfax, with three prominent ridgelines, and its trails have long been used by the community. In November 2023, MOST signed an agreement with the current owners of the 100-acre Wall property. MOST has until April 22, 2024 to identify an ownership entity/steward, conduct due diligence and line up acquisition funding.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the community to come together and acquire the crown jewel of open space in Fairfax.

- Susan Pascal Beran, Fairfax Open Space Committee Chair

The Wall Property rises dramatically above downtown Fairfax, with three prominent ridgelines, and the community has long used its trails. The land is adjacent to and connects to a trail on the Upper Hawthorne Canyon property in San Anselmo, and the Marinda fire road connects to the County’s Wilder Trail leading to Loma Alta Open Space Preserve.

The undeveloped, hilly property offers magnificent views in all directions, especially from the land’s high point at 720 feet, the highest northern ridgeline above Fairfax. The primary view from most of the property is of the Ross Valley, Mt Tamalpais, and White Hill. At higher elevations, trail users have unobstructed views of Loma Alta and the San Francisco skyline.  The land is a mix of native coast live oak woodland, grasslands, and chaparral, and is a refuge for wildlife. The woodland also includes California bay laurel, Pacific madrone, California buckeye, and big-leaf maple.

For 20 years, the Town of Fairfax has designated this property as proposed open space in its General Plan. The Town and the Association of Bay Area Governments also designated the land as a Priority Conservation Area. Despite the Town’s desire to preserve the land, from 2013 to 2023, the property owner made several development proposals.  MOST now has a short timeframe, until April 22, 2024, to line up the long-term property steward and acquisition funding.  Under MOST’s leadership, we need to raise $2.35 million for acquisition and project costs. The Council subcommittee (Mayor Coler and Councilmember Cutrano) are actively engaged in next steps with MOST; FOSC will primarily be focused on fundraising with MOST.

Donate to the Wall Property Project

Supporters can make donations or pledges during this period. You can stay up to date and also donate to the acquisition by checking MOST's website.

History of the Wall Property

Dr. Wall, a retired prominent heart surgeon, purchased the approximate 99 acres that compose this meandering property in the 1960s.  Through the years, the property was rezoned a number of times.  Current zoning allows for the development of one dwelling unit per ten acres, or a potential of nine dwelling units.  Unlike nearby parcels, there have been very few proposals for improvements to the property.  In the past 20 years, one development proposal for the property was been a tower for a cellular company.  This project was never permitted, and thus was not developed.

The property was prioritized as an Open Space Priority by the Town Council in 2007 and is memorialized as such in the General Plan.  In the subsequent years, Dr. Wall suffered a severe medical illness and passed away.  The property was sold to a private party as a result of a court-ordered sale. Attached (see links) are a number of documents that provide a chronology of the Town’s interest in the property as Open Space, partial listings of birds and flora found on the property by prominent biologists, and other materials.

Marinda Heights Map

For review and commentary

The Committee reviewed and drafted comments on the Proposed Development in November 2018 in the form of a memorandum.  The opening commentary provides insight into why we did this, how we included public expressions, and what issues we addressed.

The memorandum reviewed the Development and provide the Committee’s concerns and conclusions based on the information gathering it did over the past year or so.  The framework for the memorandum mirrored the four primary “Goals” of the Open Space Element of the General Plan and the underlying policies and objectives.


  • Goal 1: Protect and preserve open space lands and native biotic resources within the Fairfax Planning Area;
  • Goal 2: Manage, enhance, and restore open space to ensure long-term vitality and viability;
  • Goal 3: Preserve the sensory qualities of open space for recreational, cultural, educational, and spiritual experiences.
  • Goal 4: Balance the interests of public health and safety with the preservation of open space.
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