Crown Nine Ranch

Location: San Mateo, California

Price: $9.75 Million – SOLD


LOCATION: The front gate of Crown Nine Ranch is a little over 1 mile east of the charming coastal town of Pescadero, and a little over 3 miles east of Coast Highway One and Pescadero Beach. Pescadero is a village known for its historic buildings and the famous quaint “Duarte’s Tavern”, with its renown cioppino.

Drive time from Woodside is 35 minutes via Highway 84 (La Honda Rd.), or 1 hour 15 minutes south of San Francisco via coast Highway 1. If you are flying in, the County airport at Half Moon Bay is about 25 minutes north of the ranch.

DESCRIPTION: Only once every few years does a major ranch come on the public market on the San Mateo Coast. The Crown Nine Ranch is one of the large coastal ranches covering almost 1 3/4 square miles, an historic property containing its own private watershed, whose present owners have owned the property for almost five decades. The diversity of all the coastal ecosystems are here: large open meadows, deep forests, classic riparian stream habitat, majestic canyons, flat pastures, and a complex diversity of wildlife and flora. Like many of the older coastal ranches, the Crown Nine was operated as a dairy for many years, though for over 25 years the absentee owner has leased it for cattle grazing, hunting, and some farming.

Approached off a paved County road through aging gates and alongside open pastures with hills on both sides for privacy, the ranch road continues northeasterly into its own private valley for about a half mile before crossing the Creek and entering the main compound. The hills surrounding as you drive in are part of the ranch.

The main compound consists of 5 older dwellings, hay barns, old stables, and various outbuildings all whitewashed as in historic times, but now mostly beyond their useful life, other than employee housing. Leaving the compound and turning to the southeast, one follows a ranch road up the hillside out of the valley below into spectacular open meadows filled with wildflowers and panoramic views of the hills rising to the north and east, the ranch below, and the entire coastline to the west.

In this upper part of the ranch, it is not uncommon to see deer and/or bobcats as the road winds its way for about 3 miles through forests, glens, ridges, flower-filled meadows, and wonderful hiking and riding country with sweeping vistas of the coastal range.

The back end of the ranch rises to 1,240 ft. elevation from about 140 feet in the valley below. While there are several steep areas, a high proportion of this upper country is very gentle, and, in fact, was dry farmed for peas, hay, barley, and even pumpkins. The forests here are mostly fir with some oaks and redwoods.

Returning to the valley floor by a loop road, one can follow the creek up the west side through stands of willows, eucalyptus, oaks, and small finger meadows leading into the hills to the north. There is even an old apple orchard, the site of an old homestead, with trees still laden with fruit in late summer, though no one has tended them for years too many to recall.

Bring your ideas and paint your own fresh pallet in this magical setting, as one feels he is frozen in time, immersed in Nature, without the drone of car traffic, nor even a hint that you are actually only a half hour from the bustling Bay side of the Peninsula.

ZONING AND LAND USE: The ranch is within the County’s Planned Agricultural District (PAD) and Coastal Development District ((CD). It has been assigned 4 density credits by the County of San Mateo, though the Planning Department wrote a letter in 1980 stating that there are 5 legal parcels on the ranch. The legal description shows 8 parcels, of which there is a good chance that 7 of the parcels are legal. No Certificates of Compliance have been applied for, and the Assessor has combined the legal parcels into 4 Assessor parcels. The ranch is in the Williamson Act.

TAXES: Due to the Williamson Act, the property taxes are less than $2,000/year, so there will not be a reassessment under Proposition 13, except with regard to the minimal existing improvements.

WATER: The Crown Nine Ranch is blessed with some of the best potential for water on the San Mateo Coast. A hydrology report mentions that annual runoff in the watershed totals 600-900 acre feet per year including Honsinger Creek, reportedly, a perennial stream running through the heart of the ranch. While the present homes are all served by existing springs with water delivery system, two producing wells were drilled on the ranch many years ago. A well report shows one well drilled in 1960 to a depth of 108 ft. yielded 16 gal/min. in a 10 inch diameter casing. Notes show an earlier well drilled in 1948 to 120 ft. with 12 inch casing yielding 6 gal/min.

UTILITIES: The ranch has power and phone to the main compound.

CONSERVATION: The Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) has expressed an active interest in the Crown Nine Ranch, and we can discuss very attractive financial opportunities for a buyer interested in preserving the property through a conservation easement.

PRICE: $9,750,000.00 cash to Seller.

SUMMARY: This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire a large ranch ( almost 1 3/4 square miles) with no public access and natural barriers of high hills and forest, yet offers the security of a private river valley all to its own, along with all of the ecosystems common to the Coast: rolling hills, high meadows edged with fir forests, sweeping coastal views of ocean and mountains, flat pastures, all year creek, steep canyons, secret glens, and a panoply of mammals, birds, flora, and coastal trees including firs, redwoods, oaks, eucalyptus and willows.

INQUIRIES: All interested parties must first make arrangements to visit the ranch through The Chickering Company, exclusive agents for the Seller.

NOTICE: Offering is subject to errors, omissions, prior sale, change or withdrawal without notice, and approval of purchase by owner. Information regarding land classifications,potential profits, etc., are intended only as general guidelines and have been provided by sources deemed reliable, but whose accuracy we cannot guarantee. Sale may be subject to court approval.