MROSD board votes to place bond measure on June ballot
The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District Board of Directors voted unanimously last week to move forward with a bond measure slated for the June 3 ballot. MROSD is based in Los Altos and has a seven-member board.
The bond would enable the district to fulfill major regional open-space projects within its tri-county boundaries, according to an MROSD press release issued after the Feb. 26 board meeting.
“We’ve listened to thousands of residents over the past year, and we’ve heard them clearly,” said Cecily Harris, board president. “They want increased access to open-space lands and more trails. They want us to have the capacity to conserve redwood forests and watershed lands as they become available, and they want us to be able to take care of the land, which benefits all of us by creating a healthier environment. This funding measure, if passed, will accomplish these important public priorities.”
The measure requires a two-thirds vote in the district’s jurisdiction in western Santa Clara County – including Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View – southern San Mateo County and a small portion of unincorporated Santa Cruz County.
If voters approve, the district would authorize the sale of $300 million in general-obligation bonds for capital improvements over the next 20-40 years at a rate not to exceed $3.18 per $100,000 of assessed value of property owned. An independent citizens’ oversight committee would verify expenditures, according to MROSD officials.
Funds from the bond measure would support the completion of 25 high-priority open-space projects identified through a two-year public Vision Plan process. Significant portions of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties’ greenbelt are slated for improvements. The bond measure includes a number of key coastal and bayshore initiatives.
Projects fall under three major categories: expand access to open-space lands and improve the outdoor recreation and nature experience; preserve critical lands, redwood forests, wildlife habitats and agricultural lands; and improve the natural environment by restoring creeks and watersheds and by reducing forest fire risk.
“Over the last 41 years, the district has preserved 62,000 acres of open space in 26 separate preserves,” said Steve Abbors, the district’s general manager. “But as our population has grown, so has the demand for outdoor recreational opportunities and the cost of land. After hearing from the public on their vision for the future of open space, we now take it to the voters to see if they support funding the vision to make these quality-of-life priorities a reality.”
For more information, visit openspace.org/imagine.