At their March 1, 2011 meeting, the East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors unanimously agreed to purchase 955 acres located on Palomares Road in the unincorporated Castro Valley area of Alameda County. The property will ultimately be an addition to Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park and provide access to the western portion of that park. The acquisition is funded by Measure WW, with additional support from third parties.
The Owen property has panoramic views of the Bay Area in all directions, climbing from 990 feet at roadside to an elevation of 1,800 feet atop Sunol Ridge. The diverse habitats consist of rolling grasslands, chapparal-covered hills, heavily wooded drainages and, on the western boundary, Palomares Creek. The land is potential habitat for protected species such as the Alameda whipsnake, California red-legged frog, and California tiger salamander. Over eight miles of existing ranch roads may serve as the beginning of a trail system through the property.
The Park District is acquiring the property from the Owen family for a total of $3,965,000. The Park District will contribute $2 million from Measure WW funds. The Park District has applied to the San Francisco Bay Area Conservancy Program for a $1 million grant towards the purchase. The Park District is pursuing other outside funding for an additional $1 million towards the purchase. Measure WW was a $500 million bond measure passed by voters in 2008.
The property offers the opportunity for future public trail access and a staging area on the western side of Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park. "We've been waiting for this access from Palomares Road for a long time," states Board Member Carol Severin. "The puzzle pieces are really coming together to round out Pleasanton Ridge."
At Park District staff recommendation, the property will be placed in land bank status until an amendment to the Pleasanton Ridge Land Use Plan is approved.
Download > Owen Property - (Acrobat PDF):
Board Materials, Acquisition Evaluation and Property Map