regarding Stanford's compliance with the GUP trails condition
Posted October 9, 2002 / Updated
September 12, 2010
Stanford says: "We
reached an agreement with the County on trail routes that are acceptable
to Stanford and County staff, and we are living up to the agreements,"
Stanford spokesman Gordon Earle said. (Stanford Report, September 11,
The truth: The
County and Stanford have not reached agreement. The Santa Clara County
Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 in December 2001 not to accept the trail
routes as proposed by Stanford and to continue to work for trails that
had greater value for the community. In addition, Stanford withdrew their
own proposal, through a letter from their attorney, immediately before
the board met. Clearly, no agreement was reached.
Stanford says: "When
Stanford accepted the General Use Permit, it did so based on diagrams
showing trails along the edges of its property" (August 29, 2002 Bingham
McCutchen letter on Stanford's behalf, Page 1)
The truth: The
trail alignments required in the GUP are taken from the Countywide Trails
Master Plan. These trail alignments are not intended to be exact alignments,
but are meant to be a guide to an appropriate location based on criteria
of the property owner
There is no mandate that these trails have
to be on the periphery of Stanford's lands and there is no explicit agreement
regarding their location. Stanford must propose reasonable and appropriate
trails that meet all five of these conditions. To date this has not occurred.
The Countywide Trails Master Plan map shows
trail C-1 as a "trail across private property" in Santa Clara County on
the south side of San Francisquito Creek, heading towards Arastradero
Stanford's proposed trail does
not meet the conditions of the GUP because portions of the trail would
be on private property that does not belong to Stanford; it is not within
Santa Clara County, as it is almost entirely in San Mateo County; it is
very near Alpine Road, and thus a poor recreational trail; it is unsafe
-- it would put two-way bike traffic across many private driveways and
access roads on Alpine Road; and it would cause significant environmental
impacts to San Francisquito Creek.
more about why Stanford's S-1 trail alignment is inappropriate.
Stanford says: "There
is no reason to evaluate nine alternative trail routes." (August 29, 2002
Bingham McCutchen letter on Stanford's behalf, Page 4)
The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors ordered that evaluation on
June 25, 2002. As the elected body that governs Santa Clara County, they
have the discretion to order such a study. The
County has the obligation to avoid agreeing to a trail route that is likely
to prove infeasible. One of Stanford's proposed routes is right through
the middle of the Stanford Golf Course. The Countywide Trails Master Plan
states that trails should not conflict with existing recreational uses.
Stanford actually offered easements for this route, which would destroy
portions of the Stanford golf course. Several other of Stanford's proposed
trail routes have similarly serious flaws. Because
of these flaws, the County has proposed studying alternate routes that
will not have the legal and logistical problems as those proposed by Stanford.
Among the alternatives, County staff has identified "optimal" trail routes
that are acceptable to the environmental and trail-using community.
Stanford says: "Under
the GUP condition, the trails must be located in areas of Stanford land
that Stanford identifies and agrees to dedicate." (August 29, 2002 Bingham
McCutchen letter on Stanford's behalf, Page 4)
The truth: It
is an important condition of the Countywide Trails Master Plan to have
landowner agreement. However, until the landowner offers trails that are
safe, recreational, connected and feasible, the County has every right
to demand alternative trail alignments that fulfill the goals of the Countywide
Trails Master Plan.
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