Almanac

News - September 28, 2011

Portola Valley may support trail upgrade through unincorporated areas

The Portola Valley Town Council on Wednesday, Sept. 28, will discuss and possibly approve a letter to the county supervisors recommending acceptance of an offer of up to $10.2 million from Stanford University to upgrade a trail along Alpine Road.

In what has become an annual fall event, the council will change its normal start time and venue and meet at 7 p.m. in Hanson Hall at The Sequoias retirement community at 501 Portola Road.

The so-called C-1 trail passes through the unincorporated communities of Ladera and Stanford Weekend Acres. At the Ladera border, the trail continues into Portola Valley and workers, at Stanford's expense, are in the last stages of completing an upgrade to a one-mile stretch of it.

Stanford's 2006 offer included both sections of trail, but only Portola Valley accepted it. Vocal opponents in Ladera and Weekend Acres rejected it, in part out of concern that a "suburban sidewalk" would traverse their laidback and arguably rural communities.

The offer, which expires in December, would fulfill a condition in the university's use permit with Santa Clara County. The environmental group Committee for Green Foothills argued in court that the trail should run on the Santa Clara County side of the creek, but the state Supreme Court decided that Green Foothills missed a statutory deadline with its lawsuit.

In view of the December deadline, and after two round-table community discussions held in Ladera earlier this month, Dave Holland of the county manager's office in San Mateo County is compiling round-table comments for posting online. A follow-up session that will include an open microphone is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, in Ladera.

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors is set to vote on Stanford's offer at its Oct. 18 meeting.

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