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Santa Clara County Commits $5.2 Million in Recreational Improvements in San Mateo County

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                            

May 14, 2020


For More Information, Contact:

Charlsie Chang
(408) 299-5050 office
(626) 898-2395 cell 




SAN JOSE – The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday unanimously (5-0) to fund seven projects in six San Mateo County communities using funds stemming from the 2000 Stanford University General Use Permit approval. This is a collaborative effort with San Mateo County to increase recreational facilities as well as expand trail access. The effort was spearheaded by County Supervisor Joe Simitian, whose district includes Stanford University, and who formerly represented South San Mateo County when he served in the California State Legislature from 2000-2012.

“Development is increasingly regional, and the impacts of development in our area are certainly felt on both sides of the County line. I’m pleased we’re able to work collaboratively with our neighbors in San Mateo County,” said Simitian. “Safer trails and more opportunities for recreational activities are beneficial for all neighboring residents and cities.”


As part of the 2000 Stanford General Use Permit (GUP), a program Environmental Impact Report (EIR) determined that Stanford’s housing and academic development with an increased resident and worker population would increase the demand for recreational facilities, while reducing the availability of those facilities.


To mitigate the loss of recreational facilities, Stanford was required to dedicate trail easements. When one of the easements in San Mateo County proved elusive, the University put the in lieu fees into escrow with the County. Now, almost two decades later, the last of those funds are finally being allocated.


Previously, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors provided $5.5 million for Palo Alto’s Adobe Creek/Highway 101 Bicycle Overcrossing Project.


At its January 28, 2020 Board meeting, the Board approved Simitian’s referral directing Administration to report to the Board with recommendations for the expenditure of funds from the Stanford Recreation Mitigation Fund and for the remainder of the funds to be allocated to projects in San Mateo County cities most impacted by development undertaken by Stanford University.  


San Mateo County Manager Mike Callagy shared, “We were thrilled to have the opportunity to put together a package of projects to increase recreational opportunities for our residents. We’re looking forward to continued cross-county collaboration with our partners to the South.”


Simitian observed, “It’s been a long and twisting path to get here (pun intended), but I couldn’t be happier to see the funds finally getting into some of the areas of our region most impacted by development at the University over these last many years. We shouldn’t let artificial boundaries deter us from doing the important work we need to do together.”


The San Mateo County projects, totaling approximately five million dollars and funded by the Stanford Recreation Mitigation Fund, are:


·      Reimagine Flood Park (County of San Mateo) – Construction of new park amenities in conformance with the Park Landscape Plan. The funding will help pay for the construction of a new baseball field with a multi-use field in the outfield, a second separate multi-use field and a pump track (mountain/dirt bike course);

·      Holbrook Palmer Park (Atherton) – Construction of new accessible 
pathways along the park entry and exit drives to access park recreation amenities as identified in the County of San Mateo’s Park Master Plan;

·      Martin Luther King Park Lighting (East Palo Alto) – Installation of fixed lighting to allow for nighttime sports activity at Martin Luther 
King Park. Mobile lights are also included as part of this proposal (thus allowing East Palo Alto to light other city parks with active sports facilities);

·      US 101/University Avenue Pedestrian/Bicycle Overcrossing (East Palo Alto) – Construction of a new pedestrian/bicycle overcrossing at the US 101/University Avenue Interchange that completes a critical missing gap in the existing bikeway network on University Avenue;

·      Middle Avenue Pedestrian/Bicycle Undercrossing (Menlo Park) –
Construction of a tunnel to provide safe pedestrian and bicycle access underneath the Caltrain railroad tracks, providing a direct connection between Burgess Park on the East side of the tracks with Middle Avenue on the West side of the tracks at El Camino Real in the City of Menlo Park;

·      Alpine Trail (Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District) – 
Conversion of a closed portion of Alpine Road to a multi-use trail, South of Skyline Boulevard with the repair of washouts from major storm events and shoring up of other stream crossings that are at risk of failing. This trail would directly link with other Midpeninsula Open Space regional trails in the Coal Creek and Monte Bello Open Space Preserves, including the Bay Area Ridge Trail; and,

·      Library Parking Lot A Conversion (Redwood City) – Construction of a new public park adjacent to the Downtown Redwood City Public Library, across from City of Redwood City Hall, converting an existing 0.45 acre, 51-space parking lot with park amenities immediately adjacent to Rosselli Garden. This would result in the creation of a new larger 1.65-acre park that would include features, such as, a plaza, children’s play area, water feature, public art, turf and a garden area.


Prior funding in San Mateo County included $400,000 for the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District’s Ravenswood Bay Trail Connector project in East Palo Alto. Simitian has consistently said he believes that, “When the impacts of development are shared regionally, the mitigations and benefits should be shared regionally as well. City limit lines and county boundaries aren’t particularly relevant here; people live their lives across those artificial lines.”



Last updated: 6/4/2020 9:40 AM