The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District is quickly running out of money to purchase open space. Since 1972 the low-key government agency has preserved almost 60,000 acres – about twice the size of San Francisco – in the Peninsula for hikers, bicyclists, and horseback riders and has prevented the tide of suburban sprawl. The agency is now considering charging entrance fees to its 26 preserves or may go to voters in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties to ask for a parcel tax to fund expenses. The agency says by 2017 it will have less than $1 million a year to buy open space. [Read more -San Jose Mercury News].
San Francisco has been identified as one of the most vulnerable cities in the nation when it comes to water-related impacts of climate change....
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Thank you for taking an interest in the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District. Please consider altering your headline as the District will not go broke by 2017. Part of the District’s fiscal discipline is looking ahead and managing changes responsibly and sustainably. If the District continues to purchase land consistent with its historical rates, in 2017 it will have less than $1 million per year to buy open space. That’s because as the District acquired more open space land, the costs to manage these lands also increased. This has resulted in the District looking to expand and diversify its ability to fund its mission going forward. To approach this issue logically and responsibly: By 2017, without new revenue sources, MROSD will have to pare down the rate at which it purchases land in order to manage what’s been acquired. Regarding charging fees, the District conducted a survey to see if the public would be willing to consider a parking fee at select preserves at some point in the future but the board is not considering implementing public access fees at this time. The board is only gathering information in order to assess potential future opportunities that might enhance the District’s revenue. Thank you for your time and for allowing me to clarify a few points.
[...] Brown has come to the rescue of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District. The agency recently reported that it is running dry of cash to save new land from the clutches of suburban sprawl. The new law, [...]