County of Santa Clara
Environmental Resources Agency

Parks and Recreation Department
298 Garden Hill Drive
Los Gatos, California 95032-7669

(408) 358-3741 FAX 358-3245

Reservations (408) 358-3751 TDD (408) 356-7146

September 19, 2001
Mr. Charles Carter, Associate Director
Stanford University
University Architect/Planning Office
655 Serra Street
Stanford, CA 94035-6115

Dear Charles:

The Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department has received and reviewed the initial trail alignments proposal that Stanford University submitted on August 31, 2001, in order to satisfy Condition 1.2 of the Stanford Community Plan and General Use Permit (GUP). First of all, the County Parks Department would like to thank you and your staff for working so closely with our staff in preparing the necessary steps for the implementation of the countywide master plan trails routes. We appreciate this kind of cooperation in working towards completion of the trail easement agreements.

On review of Stanford's interpretation of the countywide trail route alignments and based upon our evaluation of the feasibility of the proposed trail alignments, the County Parks Department has highlighted several areas that require further study and clarification, as shown in Table 1. Though Stanford has worked continuously with the County in evaluating potential trail alignments, these ar;= do not meet the criteria set forth by our Santa Clara County Countywi4e Trails Master Plan Update (1995) and Uniform Interjurisdictional Design, Use, and Management Guidelines (1999). At this time, the County Parks Department will have to consider the Stanford trails proposal incomplete until Stanford provides further clarification on the specific trail alignment descriptions and expands their current description of implementation, management, and maintenance for the Matadero Creek/Page Nfill (S1) and the San Francisquito Creek/Los Trancos Creeks (Cl) trail routes.

Under the Implementation, Management, and Maintenance section for Route C1, the proposal states, "Stanford proposes to turn over the improvements that it makes, to those agencies for continued operation and maintenance." The County believes it is appropriate for Stanford to maintain and operate the trail because the trail requirement was imposed to mitigate impacts associated with Stanford development. Therefore, we recommend that Stanford outlines a detailed management and maintenance program for Route C1. The County strongly encourages Stanford to demonstrate its commitment towards providing for the future safety and enjoyment of the public on both trail routes.


TABLE 1. Recommendations for the Stanford Trails Proposal for Routes S1 and C1


Recommendation 1: Provide regional connectivity for the Bay Trail to the Bay Area Ridge Trail route by linking the S1 Route on unincorporated Stanford lands to the countywide network of regional trails.

  • Extend Route S1 - Segment A from its proposed start/terminus location at Page Mill Road and Junipero Serra Boulevard to connect to the City of Palo Alto's Trails Master Plan route(s) that will continue to the San Francisco Bay Trail (See Map 1).


Recommendation 2: Provide a complete and continuous trail as per the GUP conditions by

providing either alternative trail alignments outside of Stanford lands and/or alternative solutions

on Stanford unincorporated lands. There should be no unaccounted for gaps in the proposed trail


Gap identified on Route C1 -Segment B (Sand Hill Road Area):

  • Develop Route C1 - Segment B alternative alignments that can be used by trail users in the interim period, given that the status of the Sand Hill Road improvement project in Menlo Park remains unresolved at this time.
  • Develop and execute an Agreement with the City of Menlo Park to indicate the specific time frame that Stanford will complete the trail alignment along Sand Hill Road within MenloPark's jurisdiction.
  • Or, identify alternative trail alignments within Stanford's unincorporated lands to fulfill the GUP conditions.

Gap identified on Route CI-Segment E (Happy Hollow Area):

  • Submit a trail assessment study of the existing conditions for the Alpine Recreational Trail, incollaboration with San Mateo County and Portola Valley, as noted in the proposal. Trail assessment should consider the following design recommendations:

a) Incorporation of the existing bike lanes on Alpine Road, where existing, into the widening of the improved Alpine Recreational Trail.

b) Use and design of safety barriers and landscaped buffers within the appropriate trail setbacks, as determined in Table UD-1 of the Uniform Interjurisdictional Trail

Design, Use, and Management Guidelines, to provide for the safety and aesthetic experience of the trail users on Route C1.

  • Develop and execute an Agreement with San Mateo County and other necessary jurisdictions for the construction, maintenance, and management of the improved Alpine Recreational Trail segment for Route Cl.


Recommendation 3: Provide preliminary environmental analyses for the evaluation of the trail

feasibility of Routes S1 and C1.

  • Identify significant environmental issues and provide information on the possible environmental impacts in the proposed locations of Routes S1 and C1. Stanford may refer to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Initial Study Environmental Checklist document as a guideline for preparing a preliminary environmental analysis. However, an independent consultant retained by the County at Stanford's expense will prepare an Initial Study, if one is needed, for CEQA documentation.
  • Include analyses of trail user safety, traffic, circulation, and parking impacts for the proposed trail routes.
  • Identify areas of environmental concern(s) for biological resources, such as red-legged frog and riparian habitat areas, on a map showing the proposed trail alignments.


Recommendation 4: Provide site topographic maps to determine the feasibility of aligning Route S1 trail segments along the agricultural leasehold lands east of Page Mill Road.

  • Provide a trail slope analysis for Route S1 to identify portions of the trail alignment that exceeds the optimum I I % slope.
  • Where needed, complete a grading plan to indicate how Route S1 will be designed to meet the Countywide Trails Master Plan design guidelines for trail grades within 11 % and not to exceed 15% slope in the foothills.


Recommendation 5: Expand the current program description of maintenance and management

responsibilities for Routes S1 and C1.

  • Meet with the involved agencies, such as the San Mateo County Parks and Recreation, Portola Valley, and etc. to determine the responsibilities.of the maintenance and management for Route C1
  • Develop and execute an Agreement with the involved agencies for maintenance and management of Route C1

As we already know, the amount of work that will need to be coordinated between the County and Stanford is tremendous. We intend to continue working cooperatively with the applicant, so that Stanford may fulfill their development conditions within the time frame specified by the GUP. In order to proceed effectively, Stanford should develop a schedule for planning and implementation that will refer to the following benchmark dates for completing the Trail Easement Agreements for presentation to the Board of Supervisors on December 4, 2001.

Planning Schedule

October 1st - Submittal of Draft Easement Agreements for Routes S I and C1

October 15th - Re-submittal of the trails proposal by Stanford with the above recommendations addressed for future review by the County

November 1st - Target Date for Public Meeting for the presentation of the trails proposal

December 4th - Presentation of the Trail Easement Agreements to the Board of Supervisors

Implementation Schedule

Develop a detailed implementation schedule for Routes S1 and C1, specifying the time frame for the first and second phases of trail construction, maintenance, and management.

If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact me at (408) 358-3741, extension 143.


Mark Frederick

Manager, Planning and Development

Enclosure: Map

CC: Lisa Killough, Deputy Director, Administration
Tim Heffington, Santa Clara County Planning Office
Kathryn Berry, Office of the County Counsel
Lizanne Reynolds, Office of the County Counsel
Samuel F. Herzberg, San Mateo County Parks and Recreation

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