What is the Almonte Neighborhood?
The Almonte Neighborhood is located north of the Tamalpais Valley neighborhood, on a minor high ridge which runs parallel to Richardson Bay. The area is currently defined by the boundaries of the Almonte Sanitary District.
However, the community has existed since the 1870s and is focused on an old railroad stop which served as the junction of the Sausalito to Eureka line and the spur to Mill Valley. The trains stopped service decades ago and the railway grade is now used as a multipurpose path which adjoins the marsh side of Tam Junction.
Almonte neighborhood boundaries turn uphill from Shoreline Highway mid-way between Gibson Street and Dolan Avenue, then along the ridge crest to Five Corners where Almonte meets the Homestead Valley neighborhood boundary. The boundary then proceeds along Homestead Boulevard to the intersection of Loring Avenue, then to Morning Sun, down to Miller Avenue, and along the Tamalpais High School properties to Almonte Boulevard.
The Almonte neighborhood is primarily a residential area with the exception of the Tam Junction commercial area located on the east side of Shoreline between Coyote Creek and Almonte Blvd, the Tam Junction commercial area located on the north side of Hwy One as well as the two small strip commercial areas located at Almonte Boulevard and Wisteria Way and on Miller Avenue near Gomez Way. The residential portion consists of an estimated 712 dwelling units in the Almonte neighborhood, 603 are single family dwellings, 103 are multiple units and 6 are units shared with commercial business. The neighborhood has 162 vacant parcels of land which for the most part are individual lots scattered throughout the neighborhood. The vacant parcels have an estimated development potential of 84 single family dwelling units and 9 multifamily units under the current County zoning regulations including the Slope Ordinance.
The Almonte neighborhood’s development pattern is similar to that of Tamalpais Valley’s hillside areas because the neighborhood is comprised of a steep ridge which extends to Richardson Bay and was platted in the same newspaper subscription program. Roadways serving the Almonte neighborhood are narrow, twisting, and steep. Utility mains are not sized to provide capacity for extensive additional development. Geologic hazards and poor soils are a threat to public safety if properties are not improved properly, and existing storm drainage facilities in the area are often found to be insufficient. The neighborhood is also prone to high fire hazard because homes are located very close to one another in close vicinity to dry grasslands. Non-native vegetation, such as the numerous stands of eucalyptus, contribute to the fire problem.