Inter-Departmental Correspondence

County Manager’s Office



April 27, 2011


May 24, 2011


Publish once per week for 3 weeks





Honorable Board of Supervisors


Steve Alms, Manager, Real Property Services Division


The Purchase of Real Property known as Pillar Point Bluffs in Unincorporated San Mateo County from Peninsula Open Space Trust for $3,000,000



Adopt a Resolution authorizing the:

    A) President of the Board of Supervisors to execute a Transfer Agreement for the acquisition of three Pillar Point Bluff parcels consisting of approximately 140 acres of land in unincorporated San Mateo County from Peninsula Open Space Trust for $3,000,000; and

    B) County Manager or his designee to execute notices, documents and agreements associated with the acquisition of the property, including, without limitation, escrow instructions and a certificate of acceptance, in order to facilitate the acquisition of the Property and to meet the intent of the Resolution and the Board.



On May 10, 2011, this Board authorized the execution of a Grant Agreement which provides for $3,000,000 in grant funds from the Wildlife Conservation Board for the acquisition of three Pillar Point Bluff parcels (Assessor’s Parcels 037-300-010 Gunn; 037-300-080 Pillar Point Bluff; and 047-311-070 Pillar Point Bluff South).


The Real Property Division reviewed independent appraisals completed in July of 2010 for Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) which established a combined value of $3,816,000.00. It is the opinion of the Real Property Services Division that the acquisition price of $3,000,000 does not exceed the fair market value of the interests being acquired. The Agreement provides for a ten (10) day due diligence period and is conditioned upon receipt of the grant from the Wildlife Conservation Board and approval of the State Coastal Conservancy, which holds an Irrevocable Offer To Dedicate Title in Fee over a portion of the property. The County is responsible for all closing costs and other expenses associated with completing the transaction.


The purchase price of $3,000,000 is approximately $21,400 per acre.


On June 2, 2011, the Wildlife Conservation Board will review and is expected to approve the Grant Agreement.

Acquisition of the Property is categorically exempt under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). A notice of exemption was filed April 27, 2011.

With regard to the environmental condition of the Pillar Point Bluff parcels, the Phase I Environmental Site Assessments completed for POST’s acquisition did not conclude that there was any overt evidence of a problem. POST has indicated that there have been no hazardous substances releases on the property during POST's ownership of the property, and that beyond the trail construction and restoration activities, POST has not performed any activities on the properties that have modified the on-site conditions from those at the time of POST’s acquisition. The County has been managing the land, under agreement with POST, for the past 3+ years. As currently written, the agreement effectively provides that the County would acquire the property in an “as is” condition and would be responsible for the environmental condition of the property, without recourse against POST. Staff believes that, under the totality of the circumstances, the potential risk associated with accepting the Property as is, is not significant enough to require that the County undertake a Phase II investigation before acquiring the property pursuant to the terms of the transfer agreement.


A Notice of Intent to Purchase Real Property has been published once each week for three weeks in compliance with California law. County Counsel has reviewed and approved the Transfer Agreement and the Resolution as to form. The Director of Public Works concurs in this recommendation.


Approval of this Resolution contributes to the Shared Vision 2025 outcome of an Environmentally Conscious Community as execution of the Transfer Agreement is a condition under the Grant Agreement with the Wildlife Conservation Board and allows the County of San Mateo to work in conjunction with the Wildlife Conservation Board and the Peninsula Open Space Trust toward a goal of preserving natural landscapes in San Mateo County.



The acceptance of the Grant has no fiscal impact. Once the County has fulfilled the terms of the Grant Agreement, the $3,000,000 grant will be deposited directly into escrow 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.