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Nothing Is Shaking On Sir Francis Boulevard
It’s official: Greatful Dead bassist Phil Lesh and his wife Jill have pulled the plug on his plans to construct a new music venue in Fairfax, CA call Terrapin Station. Phil hasn’t given up on the entire concept, but he has given up on Fairfax, thanks to a loud minority of local residents worried about potential crime, parking, and traffic issues. Many of the opposition actually lived outside of Fairfax in nearby Ross Valley, a much more affluent area than Fairfax. They were mostly upset because their towns would see more traffic while Fairfax reaped the benefits. While most residents like the idea, this small group of protesters flyered cars and posted opposition signs in Lesh’s neighborhood, and argued against the venue at public meetings.
Just as the rich horse owners of West Marin (some with 50+ acres of very expensive land) have worked to close many of the local mountain bike trails in public lands in the name of righteousness, the 1% of Ross Valley have successfully shutdown what could have been the best thing to happen to Fairfax since “The Scoop“. But unlike Wall Street, it was not corporate greed that knocked Casey Jones’ train off the tracks; it was classic N.I.M.B.Y. thinking. The economy of Fairfax, CA is suffering, and the proposed job site, one of two closed gas stations on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in Fairfax, will probably be left abandoned for another few years. Maybe we should change the unofficial Fairfax town motto from “Only In Fairfax” to “Only If You Don’t Drive Through Ross Valley To Get Here” or “Only If You Can Convince Your Rich Neighbors That Your Idea Will Increase Their Property Value”?
For those who have not seen them, here are the preliminary architectural plans that Phil and his friends Jazz Builders released to the public a few months back.
Personally, I think Terrapin Crossroads could have been an amazing venue for live music, and I would have felt blessed to have it here in Fairfax. Hopefully, it will still happen in Marin County (and within biking distance).