By Del Schembari, Boardmember San Bruno Mountain Watch
Member of Friends of Sign Hill
San Bruno Mountain Watch (Mountain Watch) is currently working with City of South San Francisco (SSF) staff to include areas of SSF in a Priority Conservation Area (PCA)--a state grant program. Areas chosen for inclusion must be approved by the SSF city council. Of added importance is that areas chosen are more likely to be approved for non-state grants. So far the areas included are public transportation corridors (BART, SamTrans, CalTrain, etc), El Camino Real and the Bay Trail to South Sign Hill and San Bruno Mountain.
The PCA is a non-regulatory program that does not conflict with the numerous Planned Development Areas, zoning, or building rights now planned in SSF. Private property can be added to this non-binding program. In the interest of full disclosure Mountain Watch would like to keep landowners informed of this process. It is unlikely that the SFF city council would include parcels whose owners object to the process.
In this vein, Mountain Watch is working with the owners of the North Sign Hill private parcels, has informed them of this PCA process and are attempting to gain their buy in. In fact, the eastern parcel representative has stated that one of two owners there is interested in the PCA. Mountain Watch will speak with the western parcel land owner this week. SSF planning staff and city manager have kindly granted Mountain Watch a two-week delay in the scheduled council meeting for a vote on the PCA.
The fact that the Paradise Valley open space areas south, and above Sister Cities and Hillside Boulevard, are private has been unknown to many in our community. Since the eastern Sign Hill parcels are currently for sale it is imperative to perform due diligence to include these parcels in the PCA. Mountain Watch’s vision is to keep the rare North Sign Hill habitat open space forever!