FOSTP members and associates: Mike Boulland, Ronald Horii, Kitty
Mike and Holly Davis, Mario Blaum, Debi Falconio-Poras, Travis
Dorothy Wuss, Lynnne Paulson, John Klimaszewski, Hazen Anderson, Janice
Officials and park representatives: Rachael Gibson, Ken Silveira, Roy
Community members: Lance Burrow, Cynthia Greenblatt, Dave & Pat
Georgia Bradley, Bart & Joan Berquist, Al & Rose Draeger, Rich
& Rose Sanborn, Kathy Bennett, Matt Freeman, Gina Turner
This was a special meeting with a large community turnout because of
about access to the former Buck Norred Ranch, now the Mounted Ranger
There were residents of the neighborhood near the Mounted Ranger Unit
had concerns about problems caused by increased usage of the park and
Canal next to their houses. Other members of the community were
about restrictions on neighborhood access to the park. Rachel Gibson
Supervisor Don Gage's office gave the County's perspective and plans.
Ichinaga gave his perspectives as a trail lead. Members of the Santa
Foothills Neighborhood Association were also there. (Note: there was a
lot of discussion back and forth. This page is a summary of that
See here for pictures of the
in question: the Coyote-Alamitos Canal, the Bear Tree Lot, the Pyzak
Curie Drive, the paddock on Curie and San Ignacio, the Bonetti House,
Buck Norred Ranch buildings, the Mounted Ranger Facility, and the Mine
Ron Horii read the minutes from the March meeting.
One item from the last meeting was that the Boy Scouts were not allowed
to have another campout at Santa Teresa. It was not clear why. Parking
and trampling on sensitive areas may have been a concern. The Boy
district is now split, so there would be less scouts this time. Ken
will ask Jeff Sewell about it.
There's $696.95 left in the account.
Ron Horii showed slideshows of the Bernal-Gulnac-Joice Ranch, the
Canal to Santa Teresa Spring, the canal up to the closure above the
Tree Lot, the Bear Tree Lot, the Pyzak Ranch, the narrowing of Curie by
the Pyzak Ranch, the Pedro Bernal/Bonetti house and the field below it,
the canal and hills along Heaton Moor Drive, homes below the canal on
Moor, the entrance to the Mounted Ranger Facility, and the canal levee
from Bernal Road to the Mine Trail. He pointed out that the fences and
signs (or lack of in certain places) along the Coyote-Alamitos Canal.
showed pictures of the Buck Norred Ranch buildings from 2001, when they
were vandalized and covered with grafitti. He compared it to more
pictures of the ranch, including those from the dedication ceremony. He
pointed out that the Mine Trail comes down to the Buck Norred property
below the Coyote-Alamitos Canal siphon. The trail has signs. At this
the Coyote-Alamitos Canal is not fenced off or posted for no
unlike the canal to the west of the site.
Mike Boulland described the goals of the meeting: to get a team
list ideas and concerns, and report them back to the parks department.
Senior Ranger Ken Silveira was there and will report back to assistant
park director Joe Schultz. We would like to see some closure on these
by the spring of next year.
Bear Tee Lot: Public access is currently restricted.
The Pyzak Ranch house is a park employee residence. Access to the ranch
grounds is also restricted.
Fence along the Pyzak Ranch:
Eastbound Curie Drive narrows starting at the Bear Tree Lot, where the
sidewalk turns into dirt. At the Pyzak Ranch, a wooden fence intrudes
the road, narrowing it considerably. Beyond that is a barbed wire fence
surrounding the empty field that used to be a paddock. The narrowing of
the road and the barbed wire fence are hazards to bicyclists and make
unsafe for pedestrians to use that side of the road. Bernal School is
the end of Curie, and experiences very heavy school traffic.
We recommend moving the wooden fence and barbed wire fence back about 5
feet to improve access and safety for pedestrians and bicyclists. There
is no need for a barbed wire fence any longer, but the neighbors would
like to see the lot maintain a country-like atmosphere, so a split-rail
fence would be the best.
The corner field at San Ignacio and Curie is currently empty, but plans
call for a parking lot to go in here eventually. This could provide
for a trail access and for the Pyzak Ranch/Bear Tree Lot once they are
developed into interpretive areas.
Buck Norred Ranch/Mounted Ranger Unit
Buck Norred sold his property about 11 years ago. (The County no longer
refers to it as the Buck Norred Ranch, except informally. It is
called the Mounted Ranger Unit.) In 1992, the subdivision was
along the ranch property below the Coyote-Alamitos Canal. The property
owners own the land for some 300 feet into the lot, which includes the
canal and about 20 feet up the hill above it, though this varies. The
line of the lot on the west corner of Brockenhurst Drive also includes
part of the road going up the hill.
The neighbors below the canal have complained about people trespassing
on the canal levee and causing problems, such as littering and throwing
rocks into their yards. They do not like the loss of privacy due to
property being visible from the canal levee They have been disturbed in
early mornings by the noise made by users of the canal levee.
Only the Santa Clara Valley Water District has an easement to access
canal and levee. The canal was used for flood retention up until the
In the 1970's, better drainage in the valley prevented homes from
flooded, so the Water District abandoned the use of the canal for flood
control. However, they maintained access easements. In other areas
the canal runs, private property stops at the canal. The Buck Norred
is the only location where the private property lines from the houses
include the canal and go up on the other side.
Several community members attending said they avoid trespassing on the
canal because they respect private property, but they have been
the park trails from Brockenhurst Drive by going to the left at the
and going up the Mine Trail and want to continue to do so.
Brockenhurst Drive is not, has never been, and is not planned to be an
official park entrance. It is an old driveway between houses that was
to access buildings on the Buck Norred property. It is not in the
Plan as a trail entrance. (The Master Plan was written before the Buck
Norred property was acquired by the County.) If park rangers see people
using the entrance, they can be told not to use it. Technically, park
can cite people using routes that are not official trails or being in
that are not open to the public.
Mario Blaum mentioned that the entrance to Santa Teresa Spring in front
of his house on Manlia Drive is not on the park Master Plan either and
said that if rangers were to cite people entering the park at
they should also cite people entering Santa Teresa Spring from the
The neighbors said that that usage of the Brockenhurst entrance has
since parking machines were installed in the Pueblo Area. People are
the park from below to avoid paying parking fees on top. There was a
consensus by community members that they would like to see the parking
fees removed. They said it has inhibited frequent casual use of the
by families and by nearby workers for picnic lunches. Given the
budget situation, dropping the fees might be difficult.
The neighbors also mentioned that use of the Brockenhurst entry has
since the Mounted Ranger Unit was installed.
Usage of parks in general has increased because of population increases.
Neighbors were concerned about people parking on Brockenhurst Drive and
Heaton Moor by those wanting to access the park. There was some
about issuing neighborhood parking permits. Many of the neighbors in
said they walked to the park from their homes. (Roy Ichinaga said that
the neighbors around the McAbee entrance to Almaden Quicksilver have
complaining about people parking in the streets of their neighborhood.
Rachael Gibson said the parks recognized this and would be buying the
next to the entrance to provide parking.)
There were also concerns about parking at the Bernal Road entrance to
park. The area near the fence at the entrance to the park is now a "no
parking" area, so people must park along the nearby streets. There is a
flat area just beyond the entrance that could be used for a parking
We would not want to have an entry fee station there though. (Bernal
is also used to access the IBM Research Center and the Muriel Wright
The community wants access to the Santa Teresa Park Trails. The
near the Brockenhurst gate agree that the community should have access
to the trails. They just want their property rights and privacy
Holly Davis recommended not closing off access until there is an
Rachael Gibson talked about how plans are in the works to provide an
trail to access the Mine Trail. The trail will start from the bottom of
the Mine trail, will run around the edges of the valley behind the
Ranger Unit and out the other side. It will then go over the hills and
end up at the Pyzak Ranch. There will be a staging area at the Pyzak
A trail planner will need to be assigned to work on the trail. There
lots of steps to go through to make it happen, but they hope to have it
done by next spring.
The community does not want this staging area to be a fee area (which
just cause people to park on the neighborhood streets to avoid the
Equestrian access to the trails is also a concern. [So is bicycle
The Mine Trail is a bicycle route.]
Ron Horii pointed out that the Coyote Alamitos Canal levee has no "keep
out" signs or fences to prevent entry between Bernal Road and Buck
just "no vehicles signs" and is a frequently-used unofficial tral
(One of the neighbors pointed out that fences are frequently torn down
and signs removed.) The canal levee above the houses to the west has
a SCVWD sign, which may lead people to believe that it has the same
as the canal levee on the other side. The neighbors said that "private
property" signs have been posted in the past, but keep getting torn
They said that the county will be putting a fence above the canal along
the private property line to discourage entry.
Ron suggested that the neighbors organize a trail watch or
watch committee to help police the canal area and report trouble-makers
to the authorities.
The neighbors said they have had problems getting law enforcement to
to problems on the canal. The park rangers do not have jurisdiction,
it is private property. The county sheriff will not respond, since it
under San Jose city jurisdiction. The San Jose police will not respond
quickly unless there are serious problems. It was pointed out that in
to access the private property along the canal, people would have
to cross through county park property, which would be in the
of the park rangers.
Nancy Ray from the Bonetti Family wrote recommending that we recognize
the previous owners of the historical properties in the park when
The Pyzak Ranch house was Jacoba Bernal's House, built by Pedro Bernal,
later occupied by the Fishers, the Browns, then Pyzak.
The house across from Bernal School, was built by Pedro Bernal, then
by the Bonetti Family.
The ranch house at the Mounted Ranger Unit was owned by the Herschel
Family, then the Andersens, then Buck Norred.
FOSTP Volunteer Hours for March-April:
Secretary, Friends of Santa Teresa Park
Kitty Monahan: 8
Holly Davis: 16
Riley Davis: 16
Madeline Davis: 4
Ron Horii: 112
Mike Boulland: 40
Hazen Anderson: 25
Lynne Paulson: 4
John Klimaszewski: 4
Ronald Horii: 112 (17 in Santa Teresa Park)
(End of meeting summary)
Summary of recommendations (the following is from Mike Boulland):
Note: The group wants a neighborhood access to the Mounted Patrol Unit
the way it was before the issue. I see the building of the new parking
lot as a solution to decreasing the demand at the MPU entrance. My
during the meeting was, “We want to keep the entrance to MPU the same
it was before this issue.”
Create a formal staging area connected to the Mine Trail across from
Use the empty lot.
Adjust the fence line to provide more room on Curie Drive.
Use split-rail fence.
Keep the country look on the corner. Don’t make it a city parking lot
Connect a trail to the other park areas from the lot across from Bernal
School. – Connection around the Mounted Patrol Unit, Bear Tree lot,
Do not make the parking lot a destination point where a fee is charged.
The new trail would be above the property owners' land.
Allow the MPU entrance open for neighborhood use. Do not close off
unless there is an agreed-upon alternative.
Do not mark for public entrance on park maps.
Similar entrance as in front of Santa Teresa Springs.
Respect private property owners land. No access onto their property.
Control parking on Heaton Moor by signage showing parking down the
at the corner of Curie and San Ignacio.
Develop/expand a joint Department/Neighborhood Park Watch program
that will be eyes for the rangers, police, and sheriff’s to protect the
Vandals throwing garbage.
Kids walking from school in the park.
Identify private property area with signage.
Allow widening Curie Drive by moving the fences at the Pyzak Ranch back
Remove parking fees from the Pueblo Area.
Provide an alternate trail, entrance, and staging area to access the
Trail at the Mounted Patrol Unit..
The group is planning to re-address the three points during
FOSTP meeting. I told the members we will hear back from the Parks
with some ideas that address the MPU entrance, parking lot, and the new
Also, I understand that the Mine Hill trail is the connecting
for the National De Anza trail. This will be a major link in the
Return to the Friends of Santa Teresa