James Hetfield is officially a benefactor of the Marin County, Calif., park system, as county supervisors have agreed to accept a 438.5-acre easement from the Metallica singer/guitarist.

James Hetfield is officially a benefactor of the Marin County, Calif., park system, as county supervisors have agreed to accept a 438.5-acre easement from the Metallica singer/guitarist. By giving property rights to the county's Department of Parks, Open Space & Cultural Development, Hetfield is guaranteed the land will be preserved and its care will be the responsibility of the county.

Located in San Rafael, the area includes a highly visible ridge line separating Lucas Valley to the north and portions of the upper Ross Valley and San Geronimo Valley. Hetfield and his wife, Francesca, plan to build a 14,000-square-foot house, swimming pool, and another 6,000-square-foot building that would house a music studio, garage, and caretaker's residence on part of the land they kept for development.

"I'm very excited about this easement and I consider it to be a generous offer on the part of the Hetfields," Supervisor Steve Kinsey said. "It puts another nail in the coffin for suburban sprawl in Lucas Valley."

As previously reported, Metallica is working on its next Elektra studio album and first since the departure of bassist Jason Newsted.


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