On Wednesday, the City of Belmont completed the sale of its eight-acre city- owned Bishop Road property for $2.05 million (six acres of this property will be dedicated back to the city as public open space).
“This sale represents a significant milestone for the preservation of Open Space in the San Juan Hills Area,” stated City Manager, Greg Scoles.
History of property sale
In December of 2009, the Belmont City Council authorized the purchase of 87 vacant parcels (comprising approximately 35 acres) located in the San Juan Hills Area. These parcels were being offered at auction by the U.S. Marshal’s Service and were acquired by the city for about $1.5 Million ($975k original purchase + back taxes + interest).
The city’s main goal in this acquisition was to preserve as much of the property as public open space as possible while minimizing the cost to the city.
In order to finance the purchase, the council determined that it would be appropriate to sell a small portion of the property for residential development and retain the remainder as Public Open Space.
Conditions by which the property was sold
In March of 2013, the council directed the sale of the eight-acre Bishop Road property, which was part of the original purchase, subject to the following conditions:
- Preserve approximately six acres of permanent open space on the lower elevations of the property near the Sugarloaf open space area;
- Provide for approximately two acres of developable area near the Bishop Road frontage;
- Permit up to three single-family residential parcels within the 2-acre developable area;
- Maintain a fire road/public access trail from Bishop Road to the Sugarloaf open space area;
- Purchaser would be responsible for obtaining all entitlements necessary for development.
Deleon Realty buys the land
In June of this year, the city signed an agreement with Deleon Realty to market the City owned Bishop Road property with a list price of $1,898,000. The City received 5 offers to purchase the property and the Council ultimately approved the sale in August for $2.05 Million.
Mayor Christine Wozniak noted that, “Completion of this sale is an outstanding achievement for the City of Belmont. The Council’s decision in 2009 to purchase the property resulted in the acquisition of over 33 acres of Public Open Space at no cost to the public. I'd like to thank the councilmembers who had the vision to move the initial purchase forward; the staff, led by City Attorney Scott Rennie and City Manager Greg Scoles, who worked diligently over the last months to complete the sale; and the citizens who cared enough about Belmont to contribute their ideas to move these actions forward. This acquisition of San Juan Canyon open space will benefit Belmont residents for years to come.”
New owners will create three single-family lots
The new property owners, Shikui Chen and Jie Yan, have indicated they will be moving quickly to process a parcel map which will then create three single family residential lots (two acres) and the required Open Space dedication (six acres).
In September, the council initiated a General Plan Amendment and Rezoning process for the remaining 27 acre city owned San Juan Hills Area properties as Public Open Space.