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Council meeting discussions on the last remaining sizable open space in Los Altos Hills prompt action from concerned citizens

LOS ALTOS HILLS, California June 5th 2002 -- Public discussion and press reports about the future use of open space properties such as Byrne Preserve and Westwind Community Barn have prompted the formation of a group to protect Los Altos Hills open spaces and town-owned properties. "We are considering a ballot initiative to ensure residents be given an opportunity to vote on any sale of Town-owned properties and open space lands" said Nancy Couperus, a group member.

In a recent town-wide letter Mayor Toni Casey stated that "gathering all the information that might make moving Westwind Barn and its activities onto Byrne Preserve is a responsible action of the City Council that should have occurred years ago". Council person Bob Fenwick discussed putting picnic tables and a car park onto Byrne Preserve at a recent town meeting.

Supporters for the protection of open spaces recently met to learn the history of Byrne Preserve, Westwind Community Barn and the hiking and wildlife corridor connecting them to Hidden Villa and the Pacific beyond. In addition to speeches from local residents, Huey Johnson, winner of the prestigious United Nations Sasakawa Environment Prize described the need for permanence in our open spaces. "This is about value beyond price. It is unreasonable to have a person deed land to the community for posterity and then have a local council consider selling it," said Johnson.

"60% of residents said they wanted more open space according to the recent Town survey. In addition, 65% said that new picnic areas were less than important to them. Our group will attempt to appeal to the desires of that majority without becoming an 'old guard' or 'new guard' platform." said Valerie Metcalfe, a group member.

Los Altos Hills residents wanting like to learn more or who would like to help should contact Nancy Couperus at couperus@mindspring.com or Val Metcalfe at metcalfes@worldnet.att.net for more information.

Contacts: Nancy Couperus (650) 941-4808 couperus@mindspring.com
Val Metcalfe (650) 941-7481 metcalfes@worldnet.att.net

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