Inter-Departmental Correspondence

Environmental Services Agency



October 10, 2002


October 29, 2002


9:00 a.m.


Honorable Board of Supervisors


Marcia Raines, Director


Executive Summary: Review of Draft Mid-Coast Recreational Needs Assessment



Review the Draft Mid-Coast Recreational Needs Assessment.




Accept the Mid-Coast Recreational Needs Assessment; and


Consider establishment of a Task Force to study the issues of governance and finance for how the Assessment will be implemented.


The Mid-Coast has been trying since the 1970's to implement a local neighborhood park plan. Ongoing efforts have achieved some limited success, but a concerted effort is required to make a system a reality. Following the Board of Supervisors approval of the Coastside Subregional Planning Project, and a Mid-Coast Fiscal Annexation Study in 1998, the Board of Supervisors requested that the Environmental Services Agency, County Parks and Recreation Division initiate the Mid-Coast Recreational Needs Assessment in the summer of 2000. The purpose of the Assessment is to assist the Mid-Coast community in moving forward with a vision of a coastside park and recreation system and outline a strategy for implementation of an overall plan. The location of the Mid-Coast Recreational Needs Assessment is the unincorporated Mid-Coast between City of Pacifica and Half Moon Bay. The east of inland boundary used in this study is the same as used as the easterly Project Area Boundary used in the Mid-Coast Local Coastal Plan Update Report 2002. Towards that end, the Assessment will:



Produce a needs assessment of desired park and recreation elements.


Provide the estimated costs of the park and recreation system.


Outline funding and opportunities for implementation of the plan.


Enable policy makers to implement an action plan.


Over the past 18 months, County Parks and Recreation Division has been engaged in a community participation process that has included two community meetings, a number of stakeholder interviews and analysis of the census data for the Mid-Coast area. The County's Needs Analysis and Financing Options Study scientifically measured community values and cited a strong level of support at the current time. This is matched by the State's recent passage of Proposition 12 and Proposition 40 yielding significant sources for local entities. National Recreation and Park Association standards have been analyzed for Levels of Service to determine need based on the current and projected populations and related that to what is needed in the Mid-Coast area for current residents as well projected out for the next 20 years.


During the Parks and Recreation Commission's consideration of the Mid-Coast Recreational Needs Assessment, one Commissioner expressed concern that the established standard of 6 acres per 1,000 was high, and recommended a standard of 3 acres per 1,000 based on comparative standards of local jurisdictions. The Commission voted in favor of the standard as a goal. As shown in the Assessment, many communities have high goals, which have not been met to date.


The County Parks and Recreation Division's role in this process has been that of facilitator. The Division is not currently charged with the responsibility of constructing, maintaining, operating, or administering a neighborhood and community park system in the Mid-Coast area. It is not within the Division's Mission Statement, or is it within the Division's current capabilities and resources. Should the Division be redirected to provide or assist with implementing such a local system, significant new resources (staff, capital, administrative, etc.) would have to be found and allocated.


While the County has funded and facilitated this Assessment, it may be more appropriate for a local entity to implement and manage this park system. A number of opportunities for partnering with a variety of entities have also been identified. These opportunities cannot be adequately seized without an organized and committed resource of experienced personnel. Comparing population and local interest, the Mid-Coast has much in common with the Half Moon Bay community.


Staff recommends that the Board of Supervisors consider establishment of a Task Force to study and recommend the most feasible entity to govern the system and evaluate funding options. Part of the work of that Task Force will also be to develop an overall funding strategy to pay for facilities for the existing population and to develop a funding source to pay for the cost of operations, maintenance and recreational programming.


To supplement the work of the task force, staff has begun work on the analysis of development fees for new residential units as one of the funding mechanisms to be analyzed. At the Board's October 29, 2002 meeting, you will also hear a presentation of a preliminary proposal regarding options for such fees. That item is intended to begin a public review process.