Save the Brisbane Acres!

Publisher: San Francisco Bay Area Indymedia
Reporter: Mountain Watch

San Bruno Mountain Watch and the Brisbane Acres

San Bruno Mountain Watch is committed to preserving and enhancing as much of the Brisbane Acres as possible. We believe that every parcel has significant resource value, whether as rare species habitat, common species habitat, protective buffering between developed Brisbane and more biologically intact habitat, recreational resources for Brisbane residents and visitors, and as open space features integral to the threatened character of this rare type of town. We assert that the great majority of Brisbane's residents want to see the Acres, especially those above the center of town, remain undeveloped.

Mountain Watch recognizes that the Acres, as privately owned land, cannot simply be declared open space without just compensation to landowners. We endorse the City of Brisbane's purchase of lots from willing sellers and support those planning methods that result in substantive preservation.

However, we oppose the development of parcels deemed to have "no significant resources" because, together, these areas form an important, protective buffer zone that should be enhanced to promote habitat value and not utterly ruined as such through development because of the perceived marginal quality of habitat. These areas are certainly inhabited by numerous important species, even if they are not yet considered rare. Further, pushing development into this urban-open space interface will simply move the buffer zone up into the more intact areas, which will invariably degrade their value for wildlife.

While this is particularly true for the Acres above town, it is also true, in part, for the undeveloped parcels northeast of San Bruno Avenue in the Thomas Hill area. At very least, should development occur here, we hope that a trail corridor from the City Park up and past San Bruno Avenue to the Mountain itself will be established, with as much adjoining area and scenic value protected as possible. We foresee that the citizens of Brisbane will feel privileged to steward such a resource in years to come.

No matter what level of development occurs in the Acres, we insist that it be contiguous. Our overarching concern is to retain the biological integrity of this irreplaceable, spectacular place. Non-contiguous building, with the installation of roads and infrastructure to remote sites, will significantly fragment and degrade the Acres. The Habitat Conservation Plan presents a raw deal to threatened species there, mandating that only 40% of each parcel be preserved. This is clearly inadequate, and we hope the City of Brisbane, as signatory to the HCP, will recognize the shortcomings of the HCP in general and of it's 40% standard in particular and will aim higher simply because, as stewards of a unique ecosystem, it is the right thing to do.

San Bruno Mountain Watch is pleased to be part of the Brisbane community. Our work in protecting San Bruno Mountain is inseparable from our concern for the quality and vision of planning that occurs here. For people and for wildlife -- let's save every Acre.

The Brisbane Acres...

- are valuable open space: habitats for wildlife, from common to very, very rare; places for recreation, education, trails, and extraordinairy scenic vistas.

- are central, as open space, to the character of Brisbane, which has grown quite enough.

- could get irreparably degraded if non-contiguous, isloated developments proceed.

- are not protected by the San Bruno Mountain Habitat Conservation Plan and its inadequate standards.

- are a treasure for which we are responsible, fortunate stewards.

The vision is of PRESERVATION! Let's plan for the future and save every Acre. Thank You

San Bruno Mountain Watch
PO Box 53, Brisbane, CA 94005

Visitor's Center at 44 Visitacion Avenue