You can view a map of the current District boundary, and the proposed expansion, on the MROSD website.
On February 11, the Santa Clara County LAFCo board voted unanimously to endorse the proposed expansion. The results of this advisory vote, called for because the majority of existing MROSD lands is in Santa Clara County, will pass to the San Mateo County LAFCo board. This is further evidence of the overwhelming public support for the expansion of the District and the protection of coastal open space.Committee for Green Foothills activists were integral in the formation of the District thirty years ago, and supported its subsequent expansion to include the southern part of San Mateo County. It's time once again for CGF activists to show support for MROSD and speak up for open space protections. This is CGF's highest priority for San Mateo County -- please get involved!
Why this is important
The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District was founded in 1972 to protect regional open space for viewshed and public enjoyment. Over the last 30 years, the District has preserved 47,000 acres of open space on the Peninsula, and manages 26 public preserves from Los Gatos to San Carlos.
In 1998, San Mateo County coastal voters passed an advisory measure (Measure F) requesting that MROSD expand its boundaries to the San Mateo County Coastside. The District is now proposing to add the San Mateo County Coastal Area, a total of 140,000 acres west of Skyline. The District Service Plan anticipates purchasing or protecting about 11,000 acres over the first 15 years - which would increase the District's public open space by about 25%.
This boundary expansion, the MROSD Coastside Protection Program, provides all Bay Area residents with the opportunity to protect significant public open space and to preserve agricultural lands on the Coast.
In June 2003, the MROSD Board unanimously approved the Final Environmental Impact Report for the expansion of the San Mateo County Coastal Area, and submitted the application for this expansion to the San Mateo County LAFCo (Local Agency Formation Commission), the Commission that must approve the change in the District's boundary. The LAFCo application was submitted in October 2003 and hearings began in January 2004.Committee for Green Foothills and a number of other leading environmental organizations (Greenbelt Alliance, Half Moon Bay Open Space Trust, Midcoast Park Lands, Peninsula Open Space Trust, Save Our Shores, Sierra Club and Surfrider Foundation San Mateo County) have joined with a number of individuals to form Coastal Open Space Alliance (COSA), a new committee to support the MROSD boundary expansion.
The proposed boundary expansion enjoys broad support from elected officials and community leaders; the Half Moon Bay Coastside Chamber of Commerce and the San Mateo County Farm Bureau recently added their endorsement. Many hundreds of coastal residents have added their public endorsement to the proposal as well. However, a small group of opponents is vociferously opposing the proposal, and is attempting to swamp the LAFCo offices with letters of opposition.
What's next UPDATED
This is a critical time for us to speak up and
let the San Mateo County LAFCo board hear from the majority of citizens
who support this expansion. We need to send as many letters of support
as possible to LAFCo in support of these coastal protections. Please let
our local LAFCo Commissioners know that the public supports the boundary
expansion for MROSD and the protection of our coastal open space and agricultural
1. Write to LAFCo and ask them to approve
the MROSD boundary change.
Please write to the LAFCo board (see sample letters) and ask them to approve the proposed MROSD boundary expansion. Send your letters as soon as possible, and no later than April 7, 2004.
San Mateo LAFCo Commissioners
For tips on writing letters, check out the CGF
2. Attend one of the public hearings and speak
up for coastal protection.
3. Write a Letter to the Editor.
For tips on writing a Letter to the Editor,
and contact info for local newspapers, check out the CGF
Visit the new website of the alliance formed to support the MROSD expansion, Coastal Open Space Alliance. Their Frequently Asked Questions page is particularly helpful.
The Open Space District website has some good information about the proposal, including maps and planning documents.
November 13, 2003 Mercury News article showing strong support for Coastal protections.
June 4, 2003 article in the Mercury News.
July 2, 2003 editorial in the Half Moon Bay Review.
Stay on top of the latest with this and other local environmental issues -- sign up to receive Committee for Green Foothills action alerts by email.
Questions? Want to help support the expansion of MROSD to the Coast? Contact CGF Legislative Advocate April Vargas at (650) 728-5215.
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