POST is buying Wavecrest
The Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) announced today that it has reached an agreement with the owners of Wavecrest to purchase the contentious site.
Wavecrest is a 216 acre property located at the southern end of Half Moon Bay, between Highway 1 and the ocean. "Wavecrest is a breathtaking window to the Pacific Ocean," said Audrey Rust, president and CEO of POST, in the press release. "This agreement will help preserve the rural coastside character of the Half Moon Bay area for countless generations to come."
Wavecrest has been planned for development since 1947, but the current era began in 1995 [timeline] and picked up steam when the school district decided to build a new middle school on the site. The site was the center of wrangling between pro-development and slow-growth forces until November 2005, when the district finally acknowledged that it couldn't afford to build there. However, the real blow to Wavecrest came a year earlier in August 2004 when the site was determined by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to be California red-legged frog habitat. The project became mired in the federal endangered species habitat process. It became clear that the site was a long way from being developable, regardless of what happened in Half Moon Bay.
"Economic considerations, environmental concerns and community input led the sellers to approach POST about purchasing this land," Bruce Russell, CEO of Kenmark Real Estate Group and representative of the land’s sellers, said in the same release. "It’s the best plan for all parties involved, including the sellers, the city, residents and visitors. The community can enjoy the land for recreation today and in the years to come while protecting a unique natural environment."
POST noted the recreational qualities of the site. It's a link on the California Coastal Trail. It is also the site of the Smith Field ballfields, which the city has been leasing from the owners.Three views of Wavecrest
Wavecrest is so big that it's difficult to represent in a single picture. Here we see the site from directly above in a satellite shot, photographed from the air over the ocean, and as the owners envisioned its development in 2004.
Copyright © 2002-2005 Kenneth & Gabrielle Adelman, California Coastal Records Project.
POST Announces Agreement to Purchase Wavecrest Property in Half Moon Bay
Sellers determine new option as most economically viable;
Property includes recreational opportunities and valuable wildlife habitat.
Today the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) announced that it has reached an agreement with the owners of Wavecrest — a 216-acre property located on Cabrillo Highway on the southern tip of Half Moon Bay. The landowners have considered multiple alternatives for the property and decided that selling it to POST so that the organization may protect the land for environmental and recreational purposes is the best option to pursue.
"Wavecrest is a breathtaking window to the Pacific Ocean," said Audrey Rust, president and CEO of POST. "This agreement will help preserve the rural coastside character of the Half Moon Bay area for countless generations to come."
With its open meadows and windswept coastal bluffs, Wavecrest gives those who visit a snapshot of what Half Moon Bay — once called Spanishtown — was like more than 150 years ago. From majestic raptors soaring overhead to its spectacular hiking trails, Wavecrest is a stunning seaside property that provides a vital link to the California Coastal Trail. In addition to hiking, people are drawn here by other recreational opportunities — from baseball to horseshoes to dog-walking.
For more than 30 years, owners of this land have considered various plans for developing Wavecrest, including projects ranging from approximately 200 to 600 residences. The sellers have now determined that selling the land to POST is their best option.
Bruce Russell, CEO of Kenmark Real Estate Group and representative of the land’s sellers, concurred and said that the sellers determined that substantial development was not appropriate here.
"Economic considerations, environmental concerns and community input led the sellers to approach POST about purchasing this land," Russell said. "It’s the best plan for all parties involved, including the sellers, the city, residents and visitors. The community can enjoy the land for recreation today and in the years to come while protecting a unique natural environment."
Although the purchase is not finalized, POST and the landowners decided to announce the agreement because of compelling public interest in the Wavecrest area, which includes recreational opportunities and protected habitat.
Half Moon Bay Mayor Naomi Patridge anticipated that the public will be interested to learn of the new agreement, which she says demonstrates a commitment to both recreation and conservation that will benefit residents.
"As a community, we know that interacting with the land for recreational purposes — whether by playing ball or hiking the trails — is an important aspect of life in our town," Patridge said. "We look forward to working with POST to develop a permanent arrangement for the ball fields and other recreational opportunities."
POST has permanently protected a number of other lands on the San Mateo Coast, including Johnston Ranch across the street from Wavecrest, in addition to Pillar Point Bluff and Rancho Corral de Tierra.