Notice of Intent to Adopt a Mitigated Negative Declaration
A public hearing for the proposed project is scheduled for the Board of Directors meeting on November 16, 2016 at 7:00 PM at the Costano Elementary School Gym located at 2695 Fordham Street in East Palo Alto. It should be noted that the approval of a Mitigated Negative Declaration does not constitute approval of the project under consideration. The decision to approve or deny the project will be made separately.
The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District has prepared a Notice of Intent to Adopt a Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Bay Trail Connection at Ravenswood Open Space Preserve.
The Mitigated Negative Declaration and Initial Study was available for public review and comment. The comment period closed at 5 p.m. on November 1, 2016.
Location and Background
The Ravenswood Bay Trail will complete a 0.6 mile critical missing gap in the San Francisco Bay Trail on the San Francisco Peninsula, between the existing Bay Trail along University Avenue and the existing unpaved multi-purpose trail in the Ravenswood Open Space Preserve and the City of East Palo Alto’s Cooley Landing. Completing this trail gap will open up 80 miles of continuous Bay Trail connecting to Menlo Park to the north, Mt. View/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara to the south and across the Dumbarton Bridge to the East Bay. The San Francisco Bay Trail is a planned 500 mile walking and cycling path around the entire San Francisco Bay through all nine Bay Area counties and 47 cities.
The Ravenswood Bay Trail will provide easily accessible recreational opportunities for the East Palo Alto and Menlo Park communities, outdoor enthusiasts, including hikers, joggers and bicyclists. It offers a setting for wildlife viewing and environmental education, and increases public respect and appreciation for the Bay. It also has important transportation benefits, providing a commute alternative for cyclists including a bicycle crossing at University Avenue and the Dumbarton Bridge.
- A Draft Initial Study / Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Bay Trail Connection at Ravenswood Open Space Preserve has been developed was available for public review and comment. The comment period closed at 5 p.m. on November 1, 2016.
- A public hearing for the proposed project is scheduled for the Board of Directors on November 16, 2016 at 7:00 PM at the Costano Elementary School Gym located at 2695 Fordham Street in East Palo Alto.
- Midpen's Board of Directors will consider the proposed property exchange at a public meeting in 2016. Included for consideration at that time will be an easement exchange with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC).
- Upon approval by Midpen's Board of Directors, the City and County of San Francisco will consider approval of the easement exchange.
- In 2005, a Ravenswood Bay Trail feasibility study was prepared by the City of Menlo Park to evaluate trail alignment alternatives for the gap between University Avenue and the Preserve.
- In 2008, the SFPUC contacted MROSD requesting a pipeline tunnel easement for the Hetch Hetchy waterline underneath the Preserve.
- In 2010, MROSD granted SFPUC a pipeline tunnel easement in exchange for an open space easement on the southern portion of the SFPUC property where the preferred Bay Trail route was identified in the 2005 Bay Trail feasibility study.
- MROSD has consulted with the following public agencies and stakeholders on this project: Cities of East Palo Alto and Menlo Park, the Counties of San Mateo and Santa Clara, the San Francisco Bay Trail Committee and US Fish and Wildlife Service.
- In 2015, the SFPUC Ravenswood Valve Lot pipeline project was completed.
- In the summer of 2015, the SFPUC Project Review Committee agreed to the preferred alignment for Ravenswood Bay Trail.
- MROSD has received a $1 million dollar grant from the County of San Mateo’s Measure A funds, a $400,000 from Santa Clara County and $40,000 from The Bay Trail Project through the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG).
The total project cost is estimated at $2.4 million. The trail easement is in exchange for the pipeline easement granted to the SFPUC, and no funds will change hands between the parties. Trail design and permitting will utilize San Mateo ($1 million) and Santa Clara County ($400,000) grant funds. Trail construction will use grant funds and voter approved Midpen Measure AA funds to help complete Vision Plan Portfolio #2 – Build New Bayfront Trails.
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