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Packard Trust to keep apricot orchard as conservation easement

Hikers, bikers and motorists touring Altamont Road will continue to enjoy the site of apricot orchards on the 60-acre David Packard property, thanks to a resolution adopted last month by the Los Altos Hills City Council.

The council adopted a resolution to authorize the Packard Trust to establish a conservation easement preserving the apricot orchard instead of developing the open land.

The council also approved a conditional use permit for the David Packard homestead allowing the site to be used for occasional meetings of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation board of directors, its committees and the many non-profit organizations funded by the foundation.

When Hewlett-Packard Company co-founder David Packard died in 1996, Packard's children became the trustees. All assets except the Los Altos Hills property were transferred to the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

Originally, Packard planned to transfer all his Los Altos Hills property to the Foundation so it could establish its headquarters on the property at 26580 and 26790 Taaffe Road.

A request to withdraw the application was submitted to the city council in response to complaints from residents about additional traffic and the growth of the Foundation.

Los Altos Hills planning director Curtis Williams said one of the conditions of approval for meetings was the establishment of the conservation easement over the apricot orchard and any riparian open space.

Each of the trustees, David W. Packard, Nancy P. Burnett, Susan P. Orr and Julie Packard signed the agreement.

The property will be conveyed from the Packard Trust to the David and Lucile Packard Foundation when the conservation and pathway easements are recorded.

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