By Del Schembari, Boardmember San Bruno Mountain Watch
Member of Friends of Sign Hill
I wanted to share thoughts about North Sign Hill regarding the attempt by San Bruno Watch (SBMW) to include these 33 plus acres in the SSF San Bruno Mountain Priority Conservation Area (PCA- explained below). This will be heard by the Council on February 25th.
SSF is aware of the importance of the North Sign Hill parcels. Previous Councils have done important work to keep No. Sign Hill open to this point. I have heard good things said about the area from all current Council members. There is no indication the Council is against including No. Sign Hill in the PCA. However, although staff has included many important areas, and corridors, in the proposed PCA-they will recommend not including these North Sign Hill parcels in the PCA without owner permission due to potential controversy it could cause.
Unless the private North Sign Hill owners object to the PCA designation SBMW disagrees that they should be excluded without specific permission; but we'll keep trying for such permission until we can't. Time is getting tight.
MountainWatch should be meeting with the Western Parcel owners in the next few days. The Eastern parcel owner rep said one owner was interested, but hasn't responded about the other one as yet.
The SSF San Bruno Mountain PCA is a recognition that certain areas should be on a list eligible for State grants (trails, signs, restoration, etc.) because they are important habitat and open space. Property owners will have veto power over grant proposals on their land with which they disagree. This process doesn't affect building rights or zoning. The PCA's added importance is that grants are more likely in areas where there is a broad consensus that an area is important.
Many have suggested that SSF buy North Sign Hill. I remember one response being 'come up with the money'. Including this private property in the PCA is a nice step in that direction. Plus, the Eastern Sign Hill parcel is for sale. Now is the time to start lining funds up. There is a PCA component for buying important land when funding becomes available, but we have to start now!
Feel free to share the SBMW position. Discussion is needed as a first step to making a community vision reality. The Council members will vote on the PCA on the 25th of February. You can write to encourage them to include ALL of Sign Hill by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Come to the 2/25 meeting if you can, watch it on t.v. if you can't come, or watch after the Council video is posted on the SSF web site.