Measure AA is a $300 million general obligation bond approved in June 2014 by over two-thirds of District voters. Midpen issued its first portion of bonds, sized at $45 million, in August 2015. These funds were used to implement Measure AA projects first approved by the board of directors at a public meeting in October 2014, then updated in March 2018.
Measure AA funded projects are highlighted with information through our newsletters, email, website, and social media and signage in our preserves. We encourage the public to stay involved in and aware of our project accomplishments by signing up for email notifications, attending our board meetings and providing comments. We look forward to this wonderful opportunity to expand our beautiful open spaces with habitat restoration and outdoor recreation opportunities.
Measure AA bonds will be sold in a series over the next 20-30 years. Midpen's goal is to invest the bond proceeds to:
- protect natural open space lands
- open preserves or areas of preserves that are currently closed
- construct public access improvements such as new trails and staging areas
- restore and enhance open space land, which includes forests, streams, watersheds and coastal ranch areas
Voter-Approved Measure AA Ballot Language
To improve access to hiking and biking opportunities, protect and preserve redwood forests, natural open spaces, the scenic beauty of our region and coastline, critical wildlife habitat, restore creeks to protect water quality, and reduce forest fire risk; shall Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District be authorized to issue up to $300 million in bonds, at a tax rate not to exceed $3.18 per $100,000 of assessed value of property owned, with expenditures verified by an independent citizen oversight committee.
Measure AA Bond Oversight Committee
The Measure AA Bond Oversight Committee consists of seven at-large members who reside within the District, and is essential to implementing Measure AA. The Committee is appointed by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District’s Board of Directors pursuant to Measure AA to ensure accountability, transparency, and public oversight of all funds collected and allocated under Measure AA.
The Expenditure Plan approved as part of Measure AA defines the Committee’s roles and responsibilities as follows:
- Review Plan expenditures on an annual basis to verify conformity with the Expenditure Plan.
- Review District’s Annual Audit and Annual Accountability report and present the Committee’s findings to the Board at a public meeting.
- Review any proposed amendments to the Expenditure Plan.
The Committee does not oversee any other District financial information nor does it set policy or provide input or direction on projects, budgets, work plans, or financial matters pertaining to other District funds. All actions, including decision about selecting projects for funding, will be made by the Board in public meetings.
|February 25, 2021||Measure AA Bond Oversight Committee|
|February 4, 2021||Measure AA Bond Oversight Committee|
|January 14, 2021||Measure AA Bond Oversight Committee|
The timeframe of this report spans from July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020 and reflects Measure AA expenditures during this time period. The structure of this document is guided by the Measure AA Ballot language, specifically Priority Portfolio Actions by Region, which appears on page 7 of this report.
The committee convenes at least once a year and takes the time required to thoroughly review annual Measure AA expenditures and Midpen’s Annual Audit and Accountability Report. Each year, the committee’s findings are presented to the board at a public meeting and are posted on our website.
Land acquisition is the first step to open space conservation. The Vision Plan identified 50,000 acres of open space land that, when conserved, would significantly improve wildlife conditions, wetlands, watersheds, creeks, sensitive plant communities and low-intensity outdoor recreation. As of July 2020, Midpen has protected 1,976 acres of land with $23,782,810 in funding support from Measure AA funds.
Measure AA-related accomplishments since 2014:
- preserved 1,976 acres
- opened 20.1 miles of additional trail to public access
- closed a critical 0.6-mile gap to establish 80 miles of continuous Bay Trail access
- opened three new parking areas, creating a total of 126 new parking spaces
- expanded the conservation grazing program by 315 additional acres to reduce wildand fire risk and support viable agricultural use of land resources
- opened three new preserve areas to the public: Mount Umumhum Summit of Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve, lower La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve, and Bear Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve
- invested $19.9 million in MAA funds in projects on the San Mateo County Coastside
The Midpen board of directors reviews project prioritization to adapt to changing needs and conditions. The current list of Measure AA project priorities was adopted by the board of directors in March 2018 and included opening additional areas of Bear Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve, continuing work on Bayfront habitat protection and public access partnerships, and providing additional public access and habitat restoration in La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve.
As promised, Measure AA funds are used ONLY for the 25 key priority actions identified by the community during the Vision Plan process. Those priority actions are portfolios of multiple projects that are prioritized independently. Download the Top 25 Future Open Space Project Portfolios.