The Deal to Save the Mountain

The Deal to Save the Mountain


Lu Drake, Brisbane Citizens for Civic Progress

I’ll tell ya how they saved the mountain. The Sierra Club made a deal. They traded the Saddle Area in exchange for development on the Northeast Ridge, South Slopes, and Radio Ridge. I never belonged to the CSSBM because I knew the Sierra Club had infiltrated—they had all the control—and so I never went near the CSSBM. And I knew Fred Smith was on the Brisbane City Council and he and his wife were the connection to the Sierra Club. And there were two women from the Sierra Club who lived in San Bruno, one was Sylvia Gregory and the other was Ellie Larsen, and they were keepin an eye on what was goin on with the CSSBM.


When the Sierra Club made this deal, it was done at the county level and Governer Moonbeam (Brown, you know) was the governer at the time. And I can remember Schooley and a bunch of us went to the public hearings.Ya see the deal was,

the developers can take the edges of the mountain if they leave us the Saddle. But even that deal didn’t hold because they’re taking the top of the mountain. The very crest of the mountain is going for the Antenna Farm. So the deal about you leave us the Saddle in exchange for edges...that’s a joke. And look at the houses they pushed up against the mountain, in Daly City behind the Cow Palace—the Carter-Martin Extension. Those houses are in there like tight. It’s like a rabbit hutch. And they’re dieing to get in.


What temporarily got in the way of the deal is the butterflies. Richard Arnold, that UC Berkeley student discovered the endangered butterflies. And then the feds said they couldn’t build anywhere on the mountain because that was endangered species habitat.

And I talked to Sherman Eubanks one night on the Northeast Ridge. I asked him what was gonna happen on the NER and he told me were gonna have to get the Endangered Species Act (ESA) changed in order to put in the development.


So in order to get the development put in over there they had to get the ESA changed to the Habitat Conservation Plan and the HCP was the key to breaking the ESA. And that was done by the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club didn’t do it—they got a firm from Los Angeles to do it. I’ve got the hearings down, where they did it in Washington, that was all done in ‘82.


Well the final deal, I hope, has been made on the mountain. The Antenna Farm—that thing is gonna glow up there at night. That’s how we saved the mountain. That’s the deal. It was all the HCP. The Sierra Club were the ones who negotiated the whole thing. The CSSBM never did. We never did. Nothing ever came to us. That deal was signed sealed and delivered. It was presented for signing and who signed on behalf of Brisbane but honeybee’s husband, the one who plays Santa Claus, Bill Lawrence. Bill Lawrence signed the HCP, he was the Mayor for Brisbane at that time. Kerwin was the City Manager and that did it. The real CSSBM never had anything to do with it.






Lu Drake—The Deal