UNIVERSITY ARCHITECT /PLANNING OFFICE
6S5 SERRA STREET& STANFORD, CALIFORNIA 94305-611S * (650) 723-7773 FAX(650)725-8S98
Mark Alan Frederick
Manager, Planning & Development
Environmental Resources Agency
Parks and Recreation Department
298 Garden Hill Drive
Los Gatos, CA 95032-7669
I am writing in response to your letter of September 19, 2001, which made several recommendations for further study and clarification relative to our proposal of August 3 1, 2001 for implementation of the GUP-required trail routes. The letter indicated that these clarifications would be necessary in order for the proposal to be considered complete. Although Stanford has made a concerted effort to provide the requested clarification, some of these issues are very complex and can only be conclusively resolved through continued investigation of actual feasibility, and negotiation of responsibilities relative to implementation and operation of the routes. We look forward to continuing to work with County Parks and Recreation in defining the routes, crafting the agreement and developing an implementation program.
Our basic proposal remains as we submitted on August 3 1. 1 have attached a letter from our Vice Provost for Land & Building's to Parks & Recreation Director Romero. It reiterates our basic position and the reasons for offering what we believe to be compliant and suitable trail locations. If the County does not feel that these routes can be implemented, Stanford is prepared to offer route alignments that conform as closely as possible to the alignments described in the Stanford Community Plan (SCP) and the County Wide Trails Master Plan.
Below follows specific response to each of the five recommendations contained in your September 19th letter.
Recommendation #1: Provide regional connectivity for S-1
The Stanford Ave. route that your letter recommends connecting to is not supported by adopted policy or plans for either the County or Palo Alto. The County Wide Trails Master Plan (CWTMP) and the Palo Alto Comprehensive Plan both indicate a route generally following Matadero Creek east of Page Mill Road. The creek route would be extremely difficult to implement because it passes through sensitive habitat and does not align with a street or other public right-of-way north of Foothill Expressway. We believe that routing that portion of the trail to Page Mill / JSB is the only viable option. As we suggested in our original proposal, Page Mill Road provides a reasonable opportunity close to Matadero Creek for extending this route northward to the Bay Trail. We continue to be willing to work with the County and neighboring jurisdictions to explore mutually agreeable options for achieving regional connectivity within a limited time frame. We believe that the County must ultimately be prepared to identify the routes that further the CWTMP objectives and, when necessary, provide the coordination between jurisdictions.
Stanford has contacted the neighboring jurisdictions of Palo Alto and Los Altos Hills to discuss the feasibility of extending its proposed routes though those communities. We have not received commitments from those agencies for such extensions, nor do we feel it is our obligation to obtain them. If the County feels that there is insufficient support for regional connectivity from neighboring jurisdictions, Stanford is prepared to offer an alignment on Page Mill and Old Page Mill which conforms to the S-1 alignments delineated in the CWTMP and the SCP.
Recommendation #2: Provide a complete and continuous trail. (C-1)
Stanford has also been in contact with both San Mateo County and Menlo Park to determine the feasibility of completing "gaps" in the C-1 route on Sand Hill and Alpine Roads.
We have met with Menlo Park officials to determine if that City would support implementation of interim trail improvements to the Menlo Park segment of the route until the proposed Sand I-lill Road improvements are completed. They have given preliminary indication that they would support such improvements if they are feasible. We will execute an initial agreement with Menlo Park when our engineering feasibility analysis is complete and the nature of the improvements can be more precisely described. A final agreement will address right of way or easements, schedule for construction and maintenance. We anticipate completing the feasibility study and exchanging letters of intent with Menlo Park by October 26th.
Providing continuity of the San Mateo County segment on Alpine Road between Junipero Serra Boulevard and Piers Lane is more problematic. Although this route is identified as "complete" in both Santa Clara County and San Mateo County trail plans, Stanford has offered to make improvements to bring the route up to current design guidelines. Although San Mateo County Parks department officials have expressed interest in Stanford's offer, they cannot commit to accepting Stanford's offer at this time. Stanford will continue to pursue a trail assessment study to determine the design improvements that would be made if, and when, San Mateo County is prepared to accept them. We are still in discussion with San Mateo County and Portola Valley to identify a schedule for completion of a trail assessment study.
Recommendation # 3: Provide preliminary environmental analysis of the proposed routes.
Stanford has initiated this analysis using in-house expertise and can provide a preliminary report to the County by October 26'. We request that the County provide some clarification regarding the overall environmental review process. It is important to understand the relationship of Stanford's environmental analysis to the preliminary consultant prepared environmental analysis. How will these analyses be incorporated into the formal CEQA analysis that will be completed when the precise alignments are deigned? We will use a checklist based on the program EIR for the GUP as the basis for this analysis and look to demonstrate that the trails impacts can be address within that document? One of our primary concerns will be to limit time delays and costs by avoiding duplication of work. Another concern is protecting the integrity of the GLT EIR.
Recommendation #4: Provide Topographic information for the S-1 proposal.
Attached exhibit 1 shows a refined alignment for the 8/31 proposal for S-1 superimposed on a topographic map. We believe a trail that generally follows this alignment, will conform to County guidelines for slopes and gradients. Stanford is prepared to dedicate an easement and construct a trail on this refined alignment.
Recommendation #5: Expand the description of maintenance and management responsibilities.
We presume that Stanford's proposal for maintenance of the S- I route is acceptable to the County. Stanford's letter of agreement with Menlo Park for that segment of C- I will outline the maintenance responsibilities that we believe to be mutually acceptable.
We are continuing to work with San Mateo County and Portola Valley to develop schedules and descriptions of maintenance responsibilities, and will provide the County with a written status r I eport by October 26'. This report will specify, to the degree possible, the level of concurrence we can reach with those agencies within that time. We will continue to work with those agencies beyond that date to develop detailed implementation and management programs sufficient to meet the GUP requirements.
Charles S. Carter
Tim Heffington, County Planning Office
Laura Kisielius, McCutchen Doyle, Brown and Enerson