The Grass Actually Is Greener

Population: 6351

Average 2003 home price: $1.3 million

Like Greenbrae, Kentfield is unincorporated and thus governed by the county. This is good and bad. It’s harder to demand accountability from the county level, but then again, it’s easier to put an addition on your home. The name “Kentfield” comes from the family of Albert Kent, a Chicago meat packer who settled in the area with his wife Adaline in 1872. They donated 23 acres which later became home to the College of Marin, part of the California Community College system. They also donated the lands for famous Muir Woods national park.

The Kent family name is emblazoned across Marin. It all began when family patriarch Albert Emmett Kent bought an 800-acre valley that would later become Kentfield. His son, William, was a Marin congressman, philanthropist and founder of Muir Woods. Among the area’s many attributes: gracious homes, stunning views, wooded neighborhoods and good schools.


Kentfield leads the county in precipitation, because its in the rain shadow of Mt. Tam. But that’s only during the winter months. There is generally no rain at all from May through October. Average temperature is 59 degrees. From June through September, highs are regularly into the 80s, and Kentfield is known to be warmer and less windy than Greenbrae and Larkspur.


The homes in this community are generally set well back from the streets which meander among pine, redwood and manzanita trees. The low profile roofs of the spacious homes in Kent Woodlands are designed to blend in with natural surroundings and offer a wooded, country feeling.


The Kentfield School District is widely regarded as one of Marin’s best. The parent community is very supportive of the schools, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. Major renovations have recently taken place on both the Bacich (elementary) and Kent (middle school) campuses. Most graduates of this district attend Redwood High School in Larkspur. The highly regarded Marin Catholic High School, which often dominates the Marin Athletic League in many sports, is located in this area.


Bon Air Market features an excellent Mollie Stones, and the Woodlands Market is beyond compare when it comes to an upscale market. Kentfield and Greenbrae don’t enjoy the same cozy downtown as neighbors Larkspur and San Anselmo and feels more typically suburban in many ways. The area is home to Marin General Hospital and a wide range of clinics and medical offices.


Sir Francis Drake is sometimes congested, but it’s not too far to 101, or to the ferry terminal at Larkspur Landing, where there is also shopping and dining.

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