A pending 1,300-acre open-space land acquisition involving four major properties will link Skyline Ridge open-space lands to the sea by mid-2009, the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD) has announced.
The contiguous properties rise to an elevation of about 1,200 feet just southeast of Purisima Creek Road. They provide "unparalleled views of the San Mateo County coast and the western Santa Cruz Mountains," according to a description by district staff.
The district Board of Directors has scheduled a special meeting for 2 p.m. Thursday (Jan. 22) at the Elkus 4-H Ranch Retreat Center at 1500 Purisima Creek Road, Half Moon Bay, to hear a staff description of the properties.
The meeting will be followed at 3:15 p.m. by public tours of the properties – providing people make reservations by Wednesday by calling Jean Chung, real property administrative assistant at the district, 650-691-1200.
The landscape of the properties, beginning at the western margin of the redwood/fir forest, "consists of grazed rolling grasslands, steep brushy canyons, productive crop land and lush creek corriders," the staff fact sheet states.
The properties lie due east of the Cowell Ranch State Beach. At the upper end they connect with MROSD's 3,361-acre Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve that touches Skyline Boulevard just north of Swett Road.
At the lower end they connect with properties over which the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) has an easement, completing the link to the Pacific Ocean.
The combined value of the lands is estimated at between $10 million and $12 million, although precise costs are still being negotiated, according to Rudy Jurgensen, the district's public affairs manager.
The largest of the four parcels is a 450-acre upper portion of the Elkus Ranch property owned by the University of California, which would retain control of the Elkus Ranch facilities.
Two properties, the 340-acre Lobitos Ridge and the 260-acre Blue Brush Canyon, are owned by POST, which acquires lands and turns them over to public agencies.
The final property is 250-acres of the uplands, non-agricultural portion of the Guisti family's Purisima Farms.
The purchases are for the purpose of preserving agricultural uses, protecting the ecology of the site and adding public trails in addition to preserving open space, Jurgensen said.
The district board is scheduled to discuss the Elkus Ranch property either at its Feb. 25 or March 11 meeting, he said.
The POST properties are scheduled to be discussed by the MROSD board this summer, and the Purisima Farms property will be discussed later, pending word on a state grant, Jurgensen said. The properties will be purchased individually as the negotiations are concluded, he said.