Inter-Departmental Correspondence

Department of Public Works



April 28, 2011


May 10, 2011







Honorable Board of Supervisors


James C. Porter, Director of Public Works


Grant Agreement with the California Wildlife Conservation Board for the Pillar Point Bluff Acquisition



Adopt a Resolution authorizing the Director of Public Works:



To execute a grant agreement offered by the California Wildlife Conservation Board to be used for the acquisition of three Pillar Point Bluff parcels; and



Or his designee, to execute on behalf of the County any other documents associated with acceptance of $3 Million in grant funding from the California Wildlife Conservation Board.



Pillar Point Bluff is located along the Pacific Ocean coastline just north of Pillar Point. The land borders Half Moon Bay Airport and the El Granada Mobile Home Park to the east, residential and agriculture lots of Seal Cove to the north, and 2,500 feet of shoreline to the west. In the vicinity are Pillar Point Harbor, Pillar Point Marsh, and the fishing/industrial community of Princeton. The adjacent intertidal zone and offshore area is part of San Mateo County’s 402-acre James V. Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, designated as a “Marine Life Refuge” and “Area of Special Biological Significance” by the State of California. Furthermore, the James V. Fitzgerald Marine Reserve is part of the Gulf of the Farallones and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuaries of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s national marine sanctuary system.


The Department of Public Works seeks to add three parcels totaling 139.544 acres of Pillar Point Bluff to the James V. Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in order to preserve the significant natural landscapes, habitats for the protection of threatened and endangered species, and for compatible public uses that are consistent with wildlife habitat preservation.


Since 2006, the Department has been in negotiations with Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), the land owner, regarding the sale of the three parcels once full grant funding is secured. POST has made improvements to the parcels using grant funding from the California State Coastal Conservancy to create a trail system and parking lot. They have also implemented habitat restoration projects to eliminate nonnative plants.


In November 2008, the Parks Division began maintaining the Pillar Point Bluff parcels for POST through a management agreement.



On June 2, 2011, the Wildlife Conservation Board will review and is expected to approve award of a grant agreement to the County of San Mateo for the acquisition of three parcels of Pillar Point Bluff. (Assessor’s Parcels 037-300-010 Gunn [3.673 acres]; 037-300-080 Pillar Point Bluff [119.021 acres]; and 047-311-070 Pillar Point Bluff South [16.85 acres]). The Department will return to the Board for the approval of a purchase agreement for the acquisition of the three parcels of Pillar Point Bluff from Peninsula Open Space Trust.


County Counsel has reviewed and approved the Grant Agreement and the Resolution as to form.


Approval of this Resolution contributes to the Shared Vision 2025 outcome of an Environmentally Conscious Community as execution of the Grant Agreement establishes the funding for the County’s acquisition of the Pillar Point Bluff parcels, and such acquisition would increase the number and quality of natural experiences for County Park visitors. Each visitor that experiences the County’s natural resources gains a greater appreciation of the need for their preservation.



The acceptance of the Grant has no fiscal impact. Once the County has fulfilled the terms of the Grant Agreement, the County will receive $3 Million for the purchase of the property. The cost for evaluation and processing of real property transactions is part of the cost associated with the acquisition of real property, and will be financed from the Mid-coast Parks Development Fund.


There is no impact to the General Fund.