Almanac

News - March 5, 2014

Open space district puts bond measure on ballot

by Elena Kadvany

Voters in the June 3 election face a decision on whether to approve a $300 million bond measure for the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.

Culminating a year of public outreach aimed at developing a vision plan for the district and its 62,000 acres of open space, the district's Board of Directors voted unanimously Feb. 26 to put the measure on the ballot.

To pass, the bond measure must be approved by two-thirds of the voters in the district, which includes southern San Mateo County and its coast, western Santa Clara County, and a small portion of unincorporated Santa Cruz County.

According to the district, the bond measure money would pay for projects to protect local redwood forests; add hiking, biking and equestrian trails; and restore and conserve watersheds and farm land.

The measure would increase local property taxes by $3.18 a year per $100,000 of assessed value.

The district's public affairs manager, Shelly Lewis, said the $300 million amount was chosen after hearing from public and partner agencies, environmental groups, bicyclists, walkers, runners and hikers about their visions and desires for local open spaces.

She said there were a total of 24 opportunities in the past year for the public to voice opinions on the topic.

"We've heard from the public," she said. "They want more access. They want us to be able to have the funds to preserve land when it becomes available."

She said that 54 percent of the land the district oversees is open, while 46 percent is not.

"We want to open that land," she said. "We need the funds to do it."

Go to tinyurl.com/Open-228 for more information about the bond measure proposal, the visioning plan and the 25 proposed projects.

Comments

Posted by great bargain, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 4, 2014 at 7:40 pm

In these days of soaring entertainment costs, $3/year for our beautiful local open space is the biggest bargain out there. This is something that families and residents of all ages can enjoy any day of the year. I'm glad that this money is going to projects that have been in high demand for years, such as fixing the gaps in the Bay Trail and repairing the Alpine Road trail up to Skyline.


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