UNIVERSITY ARCHITECT/ PLANNING OFFICE
6SS SERRA STREET = STANFORD, CALIFORNIA 9430S-6115 = (650) 723-7773 FAX (650) 725-8598
August 31, 2001
Manager of Planning and Development
County of Santa Clara
Environmental Resources Agency
Parks and Recreation Department
298 Garden Hill Drive
Los Gatos, CA 95032-7669
I am writing to propose specific alignments for the trail routes identified in the 2000 Stanford Community Plan and General Use Permit. This proposal has been structured to meet the requirements of the GUP and to conform to Community Plan Policies as stated below:
Require dedication of trails on Stanford land as specified in the Countywide Trails Master Plan, consistent with environmental objectives, academic uses and with the priorities of the County Parks and Recreation Department.
Protect sensitive habitat areas, areas used for academic purposes, and areas under active agricultural use in the alignment and design of trails.
Plan for, design, and develop trails on Stanford lands in a manner consistent with the policies articulated in the Countywide Trails Master Plan.
Minimize impacts of recreational activities on academic and environmental resources.
SCP-OS (i) 4
Coordinate efforts among Stanford and local agencies to define more precise trail alignments for the trails crossing Stanford lands as described in the Countywide Trails Master Plan, and to determine terms for trail development, maintenance, and liability.
SCP-OS (i) 5 Restrict access to sensitive habitat or hazardous areas, locations under ecological restoration, and research sites.
General Use Permit Condition of Approval 1.2 requires that:
Stanford shall dedicate easements for, develop, and maintain the portions of the two trail alignments which cross Stanford lands shown in the 1995 Santa Clara Countywide Trails Master Plan (Routes S 1 and C 1), according to the following timeline:
a. In consultation with the County Parks and Recreation Department, Stanford shall identify trail easements and complete Agreements for Trail Easements within one year of GUP approval. For purposes of this condition, the term "easement" includes any other equally enforceable mechanism acceptable to the County Board of Supervisors.
b. Stanford shall work with the County Parks and Recreation Department to identify responsibilities for trail construction, management and maintenance. An agreement regarding these issues, including but not limited to a time frame for implementation, shall be reached within one year of GUP approval.
We propose to implement the Community Plan policy and meet the GUP requirements by designating and improving trails on alignments generally following those shown in figure 5.3 of the Community Plan (Figure 1), and as described below. Figure 2 shows the specific proposed alignments on an aerial photograph and labels trail segments to match the written descriptions.
Following the description of the route alignments, we will outline a program of implementation, management and maintenance.
ROUTE S1: Matadero Creek / Page Mill
This route is described in the Countywide Trails Master Plan as a Regional Connector accommodating pedestrians and bicycles. We are proposing a location on undeveloped Stanford county land east of Page Mill Road beginning at Page Mill Road and Junipero Serra Boulevard and ending at a junction with the Arastradero Trail (County route C2) near 1-280. This alignment closely follows the route shown in the County Wide Trails
Master Plan. The beginning and ending points are located where the route crosses Stanford land in unincorporated Santa Clara County and provide reasonable opportunities for the routes to be extended in the neighboring jurisdictions of Palo Alto and Los Altos Hills. Our proposal is for an all-new trail adjacent to a road and or open space and as such, should conform to County design guidelines T- 1, T-4, and T-5. The proposed route is described in more detail below, by segments.
Segment A: This route begins at the southeast comer of Page Mill Expressway (PME) and Junipero Serra Boulevard and extends southerly paralleling PME to its intersection with Coyote Hill Road. This segment will include a crossing of Matadero Creek and the associated Special Conservation Area (SCA). A biological assessment must be completed to determine how to design the crossing to minimize impact to this area and conform to Community Plan and GUP requirements for the SCA designation.
Segment B: Begins at the PME / Coyote Hill Rd. intersection and extends to the PME Deer Creek Road intersection. Street crossings similar to County design guideline T-12A will be included at both intersections.
Segment C: This segment extends from the PME / Deer Cr. Rd. inter section to the Arastradero, Trail junction and transverse a variety of topographic conditions. Determining more precise location and alignment will require field reconnaissance and survey to maintain conformity with trail alignment and grading guidelines. Our desire will be to maintain a perimeter location to avoid segmenting of lands and impact to existing agricultural leaseholds; that this route abuts. The terminus of the route crosses Deer Creek and its associated Special Conservation Area (SCA). As with the Matadero crossing, a biological assessment must be completed to determine how to, design the crossing to minimize impact to this area and conform to Community Plan and GUP requirements for the SCA designation.
Implementation, Management and Maintenance
We propose to build this route as the first phase of implementation of the trail requirements. Much of route C 1 is in place (and described below) while none of the S 1 route has been completed. Although a detailed schedule can only be developed after a final agreement is executed, we believe that construction could begin as early as summer of 2002. The entire length of this route should be fenced from the adjacent agricultural leasehold. These lands are attractive for recreational use and currently experience trespass problems. In order to provide for adequate public safety, to minimize Stanford's liability, and to protect the property of Stanford and the leaseholders, access beyond the
trail must be controlled. We may wish to operate this trail similarly to the Stanford dish trails and use the personnel and management structures currently in place for that purpose
ROUTE C-1: San Francisquito Creek / Alpine Road
This route is described in the Countywide Trails Master Plan as a Regional Connector accommodating pedestrians and bicycles and should also conform to County design guidelines T-1, T-4, and T-5 where possible. The route abuts or traverses Stanford land in unincorporated Santa Clara County from Sand Hill Road at San Francisquito Creek to Alpine Road at Arastradero Road but for the purpose of this proposal will begin at Sand Hill Road and El Camino Real in the City of Palo Alto. The proposal for this route includes adoption of recent improvements, new construction, and improvements to existing sub-standard trail segments.
Segment A: Sand Hill Road from El Camino Real to the Menlo Park border where Sand Hill crosses San Francisquito Creek. A six to eight foot wide paved path on the west side of Sand Hill Road and on-road bike lanes were completed with the Sand Hill Road improvements made by Stanford in the City of Palo Alto. Public access easements are executed for the road and paths and a public recreation easement is provided for a dirt trail adjacent to San Francisquito Creek west of the residential development that fronts the road (segment Ai on exhibit 2).
This segment does not conform precisely to the County design guideline. The improvements are less than two years old, provide a variety of safe and comfortable recreation and transportation opportunities for pedestrians and cyclists. The improvements were acceptable to the City of Palo Alto for public easement, and the segment extends well beyond the portion of Stanford lands subject to GUP regulation. Because of the above conditions we propose that this segment be accepted as-is for implementation of the trail requirement.
Segment B: This is the Menlo park portion of Sand Hill Road extending from the San Francisquito Bridge to the Sand Hill / Santa Cruz intersection where improvements similar to those described for Segment A above have not yet been approved by that municipality. We propose to implement extension of the route when Menlo Park agrees to the improvements and within a time frame acceptable to the County.
Segment C: The route continues from the Sand Hill / Santa Cruz intersection to Alpine Road via an existing path paralleling San Francisquito Creek under the Junipero Serra Blvd. bridge, next to the Stanford Golf Course. This segment appears to be within the
Menlo Park road right of way but does not appear to be regularly maintained. We propose to make necessary improvements to the paving and signage of this segment. The .path's location within the environmentally sensitive stream corridor may prevent widening to optimal width.
Segment D: This segment follows Alpine Road from its intersection with JSB to a point where Stanford lands end and the unincorporated San Mateo County residential area on Alpine Road begins. The undeveloped piece of Stanford land traversed by this segment is commonly called the Rural Lane parcel and is in unincorporated San Mateo County and Menlo Park. It separates the Stanford Golf Course from Alpine Road. The existing trail in this segment is a 6-8 foot wide asphalt path at the base of a small slope below Alpine Road. It climbs the slope and reduces to approximately 4-5' of pavement immediately adjacent to the vehicle lane. Stanford proposes to widen this segment to a minimum of 10', per the County design guideline, and provide additional separation between the path and the roadway. These improvements can be applied to the length of this segment along the Stanford Rural Lane parcel.
Segment E: The route leaves Stanford land at this point and traverses a number of unincorporated SM county residential parcels commonly know as Happy Hollow. The current trail in this segment is a mix of narrow pavement adjacent to the on-road bike lane or separated by a vehicular guardrail, frontage road sections, or no trail. County of San Mateo Parks Department officials have indicated that a trail easement exists in this segment and that it would be feasible and desirable to construct a improved trail in this area to current safety and design standards.
Segment F: This segment is the existing Alpine Bike Trail from Piers Lane at Alpine Road (the end of the Happy Hollow area) to the Alpine Road / Arastradero Road intersection. Although an existing dedicated trail does exist here, it is not built to current guidelines for either County, and suffers from numerous deficiencies, including: "slipouts" (erosion from adjacent watercourse at the trail edge), insufficient width, low vertical clearance, inadequate separation from the roadway, etc. We propose to conduct, in cooperation with San Mateo County and Portola Valley, an assessment of trail condition and then to develop a program of improvements for which Stanford will assume responsibility of implementation.
Implementation, Management and Maintenance
We propose to improve this route as the second phase of implementation of the trail requirements. Much of route C 1 is in place and is deemed complete by both County's Trails Master Plans. The trail is used regularly by the public in its current condition. Improvements could reasonably be implemented over a longer period of time. We propose to work out a longer-range schedule of improvement with the appropriate agencies in conjunction with the condition and needs assessment.
Stanford has initiated an investigation into the Alpine Road and Trail rights of way to determine Stanford ownership. Much of the ownership appears to be fragmented although maintenance is done regularly by San Mateo County and Portola Valley where they have easements. Stanford proposes to turn over the improvements that it makes,1to those agencies for continued operation and maintenance.
We look forward to your response on this proposal. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. We are anxious to continue what has been a positive and rewarding working relationship, and especially want to extend our gratitude to Jane Mark, who has been so instrumental in coordinating this effort.
We have much work ahead of us and anticipate moving froward with the County Parks as we develop formal agreements, work with other affected agencies, conduct public outreach, and build these important additions to the region's open space and trails systems.
Charles S. Carter
cc: Tim Heffington, Santa Clara County Planning Office
Samuel F. Herzberg, AICP, San Mateo County Parks