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The Alhambra Highlands may end up dodging development after all.
In an updated vote tally released Tuesday afternoon, Measure F — which looked like it was headed for a narrow defeat on election night — was passing with 68.8 percent, just inching past the necessary two-thirds majority.
The parcel tax would enable the City of Martinez to acquire and maintain 297 acres of permanent public parkland and wildlife habitat known as the Alhambra Highlands, just about a mile south of Highway 4 and John Muir’s historical home. Preservationists say there is evidence Muir owned a parcel on the property’s northern end during the 1890s.
As the initial vote count was released after polls closed June 7, only 66 percent of voters approved — less than one percentage point shy of the threshold. But all the early votes had yet to be counted.
The tax, which if approved would be in place for 30 years, would cost a maximum $79 annually for single-family parcels and at specified maximum rates for other parcel types, providing approximately $1.2 million annually. Exemptions would be available for low-income households.
The proceeds would allow the city to buy the Alhambra Highlands for $19.25 million. The city plans to finance the deal by issuing municipal bonds or other debt, to be repaid by the special tax.
The county must certify official election results by July 7.