Some neighbors in the Skymont area of Belmont recently learned some disturbing news: there are plans for development in the San Juan Canyon!
This sanctuary of undeveloped land is just off Ralston Avenue, near 92. It is the last segment of natural open space connecting Sugarloaf Mountain in San Mateo with the 280 corridor.
Although the city purchased the land in 2009, essentially to preserve it as open space, there is a need to reimburse Belmont coffers. The council's solution is to sell some lots to a developer.
The timeline the council has recommended is to name a preferred developer by December or January. That means as early as the next city council meeting, a development partner could be named.
The developer will study the land and ultimately come up with a proposal for the development. Early suggestions so far have included 10-15 homes of 3000 sq ft. Some of us fear it will go well beyond that.
This obviously is a concern for the Skymont residents, but is also a concern for all residents of Belmont and nearby communities, as it is to me, a San Mateo resident. This land is the natural habitat for countless wildlife, and provides access to natural trails for walking, biking, even horseback riding.
The residents of Belmont, and all those concerned, need more time to find a non-development solution. Once the first tractor pulls in, it will be too late for all of us to protect and preserve the land.
I urge residents to attend the City Council meeting on November 13 and ask the Council to halt any agreement with developers or realtors until the residents can work out a solution that will save the canyon for all of us to enjoy.
And in the meantime, while you can, why not take a wonderful hike in the canyon this weekend!
Realtor, San Mateo