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
or Val Metcalfe at
for more information.