Frequently Asked Questions: FAQ’s
How the Martis Fund was formed
The Martis Fund (the “Fund”) was incorporated during 2006 in the state of California. The Fund was created by conservationists and landowners committed to the long-term future of Martis Valley. The Fund’s primary role is managing and dispersing financial resources raised in connection with real estate sales at Martis Camp. The mission of the Fund is to support programs to conserve open space; manage and restore habitat and forest lands; and promote opportunities for workforce housing and related community purposes in the Martis Valley Region. It fulfills its mission primarily through grants to qualifying non-profit organizations active in the region.
The Fund administers funds collected pursuant to a fee covenant recorded on all residential lots at Martis Camp. Upon each lot sale and resale, the fund receives Conservation Fees as described below (currently equaling one percent of the sale price). The Fund may make grants of the funds received or engage in its own projects. All funds must be used in accordance with the terms of the fee covenant. The specific text of the fee covenant describing the Conservation Fees and restrictions on their use is presented below with italics added to descriptions of permissible programmatic functions. Habitat/Forest Restoration and Management Fee. A fee equal to one-quarter of one percent (0.25%) of the Purchase Price of each Retail Residential Sale of a Residential Lot occurring during the period beginning with the first Retail Residential Sale of that Residential Lot and continuing for a period of twenty-five (25) years thereafter (the “Habitat/Forest Restoration and Management Fee”). The proceeds of the Habitat/Forest Restoration and Management Fee shall be held by the Fund in a separate account and disbursed exclusively to pay, either by direct expenditure or by payment to one or more Qualified Recipients, for the cost of habitat management and restoration, including, but without limitation, restoration planning on sites within eastern Placer County, or elsewhere in the region, in consultation with the County of Placer.
Workforce Housing Fee. A fee equal to one-quarter of one percent (0.25%) of the Purchase Price of each “Retail Residential Sale” (the “Workforce Housing Fee”). The proceeds of the Workforce Housing Fee shall be held by the Fund in a separate account and disbursed exclusively to pay, either by direct expenditure or by payment to one or more Qualified Recipients, costs of planning, design, construction, development, repair, maintenance, and/or reconstruction of Workforce Housing, transit (including transit operational expenses), passive recreation and management and enhancement of open space on portions not owned by Declarant of the property commonly known as the Hopkins Ranch, and related community purposes elsewhere within eastern Placer County, or elsewhere in the region, in consultation with the County of Placer.
Conservation Open Space Fee. A fee equal to one-half of one percent (0.50%) of the Purchase Price of each Residential Retail Sale (the “Conservation Open Space Fee”). The proceeds of the Conservation Open Space Fee shall be held by the Fund in a separate account and disbursed exclusively to pay, either by direct expenditure (including reimbursement to Declarant, to the extent specified in Section 7.3) or by payment to one or more Qualified Recipients, costs of acquiring, maintaining and restoring open space within eastern Placer County, or elsewhere in the region, in consultation with the County of Placer.
Qualified Grant Recipient
Must be a non-profit corporation qualified under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and may not be organizations prohibited to receive transfer fees under California law. (Fee Covenant sections 7.1, 1.17.) In addition, funds may not be used to finance political action or advocacy, or to pay costs of litigation (other than in connection with administration of the Fee Covenant).
What are Community Benefits Fees?
Community benefits fees are a sustainable way to provide long-term benefits to homeowners and communities. Community benefits fees are paid at the time of each sale of a home or lot to help integrate new development with existing natural and physical communities. The fee is a payment to a non-profit or other qualified entity that is made upon a transfer of qualifying property. It may only be used as specified in the covenant establishing the fee and providing notice to the buyer. The fee is generally set as a percentage of the purchase price and is paid upon closing. Community benefit fees are fully disclosed. A buyer considers all factors when purchasing a home, including the associated community benefit fee.
Benefits to Martis Camp Residents
Key to the success of the community benefits fee is informing Martis Camp purchasers (as part of the real estate disclosure process and standard disclosures in the title report) so that they understand the fee, the benefits and how the fee is calculated. To date, the community benefits fee does not appear to be a deterrent to sales or prices at Martis Camp. Martis Camp is among the best-selling, best performing new community development projects in the county. Martis Camp residents benefit from the protected open space in the Valley, a vibrant ecosystem, restored trails, and the other community priorities supported by the Martis Fund.
When will my grant application be reviewed?
Grant applications are reviewed by the Executive Director and then reviewed at each quarterly Board meeting. The Martis Fund typically considers grant applications once during each fiscal quarter.