Meeeting on the New Trail and Access Point in Santa Teresa County
October 19, 2005
6:30 to 8:00 PM
Santa Teresa Golf Club
260 Bernal Road
San Jose, CA 95119
A presentation of these proposals, and of the project's California
Quality Act (CEQA) Negative Declaration will occur on Thursday, October
19. If you are interested in the new trail and access point, you are
The Santa Teresa County Park Master Plan, adopted by the Board of
in 1992, identified future trail alignments within the park. One such
utilized a Santa Clara Valley Water District canal in the vicinity of
Drive. However, the District does not allow public use of the canal and
a portion of the canal passes over private property.
In order to implement this component of the Master Plan, Santa Clara
County Parks Department intends to relocate and develop the West Norred
trail alignment identified in the Master Plan. The new alignment would
provide the same trail connection as identified in the Master Plan
that the alignment would be located lower on the hillside.
The 1992 Master Plan did not identify the gate at Brockenhurst Drive
as an entrance to the park. However, this access point would provide a
convenient trail head for neighbors. Therefore, the Santa Clara County
Parks Department is proposing to amend the 1992 Master Plan and make
Brockenhurst Drive entrance a neighborhood trailhead non-vehicular
<>Copies of the CEQA documents and the trails segment of the 1992
Plan are available for review at the Park Rangers Office; the Santa
County Parks and Recreation Department Administrative Office, 298
Hill Drive, Los Gatos, and will be available at our Parks Web site at
the week of October 10, 2005.
(Copy of meeting notice from the Santa Clara County Parks Department.)
See the County
Parks Webpage on the Proposed New Trail.
The meeting on
the new trail was well-attended. It was moved to the lower clubhouse. I
saw Mike Boulland, Kitty Monahan, Sam Drake, Mario Blaum, Holly Davis,
and Paul Vincze there, along with people from the neighborhood and the
Santa Teresa Foothills
Neighborhood Association. County representatives included real estate
planner Mark Frederick, park planner Antoinette Romeo, senior ranger
for Santa Teresa Park Jeff Sewell, natural resources supervisor Don
Rocha, park maintenance supervisor Jim O'Connor, and
Rachael Gibson, land use planner for Supervisor Don Gage.
- The purpose of the meeting was to have a public review, as
required by CEQA, concerning an amendment to the 1992 Santa Teresa
County Park Master plan to designate the Brockenhurst Drive entrance as
a neighborhod entrance, and a new proposed trail.
proposed trail will run for 0.7 miles on the hillside through
grasslands between the Joice Trail and Mine Trail. It will join those
trails partway up the hill.
- It will
run above and roughly parallel to the Coyote-Alamitos Canal, which has
been used as a trail, but not legally.
entomologist studied the trail route and recommended changing the
original trail alignment to avoid an
endangered species (bay checkerspot butterfly) habitat. The trail route
a jog around this.
presence of such critical habitats farther up the hill prevents a trail
connection running uphill to join the Bernal Hill Loop Trail.
- The proposed trail will run behind the
Mounted Ranger Unit. It uses an existing old road in the Buck Norred
Mounted Ranger Unit itself will not be open to the public. (No change
from its current status.)
- The trail will allow
hikers and bikes.
- Kitty Monahan
requested adding equestrian access. This will require the trail to be widened
from 4 feet to 6 feet. They said they would add this as a comment to
the CEQA document. If they had to re-do the CEQA document, it
would have to go through another 30-day cycle.
- The trail will be a
full bench cut. It will have a 2% out-slope to allow sheet flow.
- The trail
will be native soil-surfaced with grades mostly <10%. The
steepest grade is on the old Buck Norred gravel road. The
steepest trail section is around the butterfly habitat bypass.
- The trail
will be visible from the road for the first few years. The sides will
be reseeded, and vegetation growth will eventually hide the trail.
- The trail
may be closed the first winter to "winterize" it.
county received a petition with 236 signatures to open up the
Brockenhurst gate, which was closed after a neighbor complained that it
was not in the master plan as a public entrance.
- The proposal is that
the Brockenhurst gate will be opened as a neighborhood entrance, with no signs
advertising it as an entrance.
will be park rules signs farther
in. This will allow access to the Mine Trail.
will be no staging area at the Brockenhurst entrance and no public
parking at the Mounted Ranger Unit.
nearest existing staging area is at the Bernal-Gulnac-Joice Ranch.
- There will be no
changes to the Mine Trail (or the Joice Trail).
- Nothing in this
trail proposal involves the Coyote-Alamitos Canal.
- On Oct.
20, the proposal first goes to a sub-committee for approval, and then
to the County Board of Supervisors.
- This proposal goes
before the Board of Supervisors on December 6.
- If approved, the
Brockenhurst gate can be opened almost immediately.
neighbors expressed concerns about parking and littering at the Brockenhurst gate.
Sam Drake commented that with it becoming an official entrance, it's more
likely to get more maintenance support. If parking becomes a
problem, that's an issue to take up the with the City, since the
street is in the city limits.
- The trail
construction will take longer, depending on winter conditions.
Construction may be able to start in April. It might be open by June.
- Planning for a
staging area at the Pyzak/Bonetti Ranch at the corner of Curie and San
Ignacio will start in a few months, though construction will
probably not be complete for 2-3 years.
- Besides interpretive
displays, it will have a parking lot and access to the new trail.
- There was
some discussion about opening the gate to the parking lot at the
Bernal-Gulnac-Joice Ranch. This is an operational issue to bring up
with Jeff Sewell.
- The Bernal-Gulnac-Joice
Ranch was never intended to be a formal staging area. Manila Drive is
not wide enough. The Pyzak and Bonetti Ranches were purchased to be
developed into a staging area.
Created by Ronald Horii, 10/24/05