Thanks to Burbed reader madhaus for this guest post!
Everyone knows construction costs in the Bay Area are “through the roof” because it’s so Special here. What everyone did not know is that some places are so Special that it will cost more for a water meter than a house almost anywhere else.
Bolinas is north of San Francisco, but the residents don’t want you to find them. The state has given up replacing any direction signs to the town, because they keep getting torn down. And even if you can find your way there, don’t plan on moving into a new house. There are exactly 580 water meters allowed in Bolinas, and they don’t come up for sale very often. No water meter, no new construction.
One is coming up for sale very soon, and it’s going up for auction. Minimum bid: $300,000. It’s for sale because a the town, aided by billionaire venture capitalist Michael Moritz, bought a house that burnt down and is turning the lot into a park. The auction ended Friday, April 16th, after this NY Times article was published.
For most of the last 39 years, “the only way a water meter came free was when a house burnt down, or fell off a cliff,” said Barbara Rothwell, a longtime Bolinas resident.
The meter moratorium has survived, even through protracted litigation, with the support of residents who like this isolated town the way it is.
The last water meter to come up for auction was in 2005, and it sold for $310,000. Now, that’s Special! How are your Special communities keeping out the riff-raff?
Incidentally, don’t you think The Bolinas Water Meters would be an awesome name for a rock band?
Update, 4/20/10: Nobody submitted a bid for the coveted water meter. The deadline has been extended another week, ending on Friday April 24th.
Update, 4/28/10: No bidders on water meter, auction extended to May 14th
Your chance to get a rare Bolinas water meter has been extended to May 14.
“We want to give people more time,” said Flower Fraser, owner of Seadrift Realty, who is ready to collect the bids.
The original deadline was April 16, then was extended to Friday and now until mid-May. Seven parties have inquired about the meter, but no one has submitted a bid.
Maybe some properties outside the RBA aren’t all that Special.