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  1. #1
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    MPOS Mount Umunhum "Grand Opening" scheduled for September 16-17th

    Following up on a January 19th, 2017 informational post by Moe-Ped in the "los gatos trails questions" thread about the status of the Mount Umunhum trails:

    Midpenninsula Regional Open Space District (MPOS) put out this press release today (March 15th, 2017) emailed to me this morning by Peggy Gibbons (650-691-1200, pgibbons@openspace.org if you want more information).


    Here are the original posts providing a detailed head's up as to what the legal stumbling blocks were...

    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    The point I'd like to make is that MidPen will (most likely) open the summit of Mount Umunhum later this year, it's taken them 30 years and Mt Um is of much more public interest than a connector trail between El Sereno and Sanborn.

    The funny thing about Mt Um is that a few years back the GM was saying MidPen would never resort to using eminent domain to secure access.

    Guess what? They're resorting to eminent domain to get the project completed:

    "The Public Resources Code allows the District to exercise the power of eminent domain to
    acquire property for public parks, public trails, natural areas, and ecological and open space
    preserves (Public Resources Code sections 5540, 5541 and 5542). The proposed acquisitions are
    consistent with that authority. Acquisition of the property rights will allow for public access and
    District patrol to one of the great mountain tops in the Bay Area."


    That's from here: http://www.openspace.org/sites/defau...9_R-15-167.pdf

    Some more fun stuff is here: http://www.openspace.org/sites/defau...9_R-15-168.pdf

    I've had the opportunity to meet the landowner of the parcel in dispute; on the once-a-year day he would close Woods Trail to maintain his property rights. The rangers had the trail blocked off at the parking lot and they explained the matter of the trail closure to me. I asked them "what if" the landowner gave me permission and they said if the land owner said OK then I could go on through. (I was on my MTB)

    The land owner was parked a few hundred feet further down the trail and after a short discussion was more than happy to give me permission to continue my ride; he said that doing so helped further establish his property rights.

    If MidPen cared to do so, they could get the Aquinas Trail punched through (eminent domain etc) "tomorrow"; but the wants of a few thousand bikers (based on Strava) mean nothing to them.
    Quote Originally Posted by BigLarry View Post
    Very good information, and thanks for the links.

    IMO, MidPen tried very hard with good faith negotiations over many years. But some of the owners just don't want to compromise, and really just want to block everyone's access on existing roads and trails so they can have the mountain to themselves, including what they don't own.

    And the Woods Trail property boundaries and rights are a complex issue. So it's cleaner legally for MidPen to just buy it off, even if it needs eminent domain and some money.

    So in this case, MidPen was really left with no choice if we are to continue having trails and access to areas they already own. I think MidPen is morally on the right side of this battle, in spite of their general strong reluctance to go this way.

    Similar issues have occurred in CA when land owners blocked the public beach, and other situations. The court often sides with giving an easement for such access.


    According to the documents that Moe-Ped unearthed, the land owners are apparently Michael and Leonard Rossetta.

    After skimming the documents, it appears that MPOS is paying over half a million dollars for just two things:
    1. Easement for a 60-foot wide 43Ksqft for public access (and drainage)
    2. "Fee interest" in 19 acres to resolve a boundary dispute

    According my take on what the document says, MPOS "thought" they had an easement, and they did have an easement, but that easement wasn't for the public (it was mostly for specific government personnel). Apparently MPOS also thought they owned some of the land but a survey showed that they didn't.

    Another detail that popped up from skimming that document was this concept of "fee interest" (which seems to be called "fee simple interest" in the documents I found on the web).

    Before reading that document, I had no prior idea what a "fee interest" entails.

    Googling, I find it's more complicated than I would have wanted it to be, where I can only find articles about "fee simple interest", which seems to be an almost ownership, but not quite complete ownership (but actually more complex than that simplification).

    I find it interesting that the documents Moe-Ped unearthed say that the land owners can't videotape the cyclists within that easement! They can't install any signs. No fences or gates either.

    There's no parking for the public either, so, it's hike or cycle, where not many people are going to hike, so it's going to mostly be cyclists, I would guess.


  2. #2
    Dirty by Nature
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    Bonus points if anybody knows how Mt. Uhunhum got it's name.



    (the answer is why I wish they would've knocked down the building and planted flowers)
    Friends don't let friends ride e-"bikes" on dirt.

    Nature is not a sidewalk (I'm looking at you, MidPen).

  3. #3
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    Local native name for hummingbird.

    Woodrock, do you (or anyone else) know what roads and trails will be open for bikes? The grand opening announcement was remarkably content-free.

    It'd be super cool if that gate at the top of Soda Springs was open. I've been dying to go back there. Not gonna do it unless it's 100% legal.

    The road to Umunuhum is closed from the junction with Hicks during the week. For construction (I saw trucks going up). The guy guarding the gate couldn't tell me if they're repaving the road. It's gotten exciting to descend on a road bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    Local native name for hummingbird.

    Woodrock, do you (or anyone else) know what roads and trails will be open for bikes? The grand opening announcement was remarkably content-free.

    It'd be super cool if that gate at the top of Soda Springs was open. I've been dying to go back there. Not gonna do it unless it's 100% legal.

    The road to Umunuhum is closed from the junction with Hicks during the week. For construction (I saw trucks going up). The guy guarding the gate couldn't tell me if they're repaving the road. It's gotten exciting to descend on a road bike.
    My understanding is they ARE fixing up the road to accommodate the expected hoards of people driving up to the block house when it's opened.

  5. #5
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    Anyone know if there'll be a soft opening as there was for JNT?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by form49b View Post
    Anyone know if there'll be a soft opening as there was for JNT?
    Keep in mind that JNT is County Parks and Umunhum is MidPen. Different philosophies FWIW.
    Content here does not officially represent the CA DPR.

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  7. #7
    AKD
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    Really interesting reading on summit trail feasibility here: http://www.sjsu.edu/urbanplanning/do...-%20Mullin.pdf

  8. #8
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    Would there be a way to drop down to summit road from the top of mt umunhum?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by loplopk View Post
    Would there be a way to drop down to summit road from the top of mt umunhum?
    There are plans, MidPen has property right across from Demo Forest but the whole route is still a patchwork quilt and I'd expect it will be decades before it comes to fruition.
    Content here does not officially represent the CA DPR.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    It'd be super cool if that gate at the top of Soda Springs was open. I've been dying to go back there. Not gonna do it unless it's 100% legal.
    Totally agree! Connectivity with that option open would be awesome. But it's not part of this plan AFAIK.

    That whole area is ripe for legal connections that would open all sorts of possibilities for epic rides. (I rode a small non-legal connecting segment in the area earlier this year and felt like I had cracked a safe.)

    Some connections are coming, though. Like Moe Ped said, there are plans to connect Mt. Um over to Demo Forest. My understanding is once all is built out we could ride on almost entirely dirt from Silicon Valley to the coast. Hopefully it happens before we're all planning our funerals.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    There are plans, MidPen has property right across from Demo Forest but the whole route is still a patchwork quilt and I'd expect it will be decades before it comes to fruition.
    At the summit of Umunhum road, you could ride across the Loma Prieta fire road which drops you out at the top of Mt Boche rd. From there would be a short distance of pavement riding to get to the next Midpen property that would drop you down to Highland way, almost at the bridge to the parking lot of Demo. It might be years till all that is opened, but it would be super cool to ride almost all dirt from the valley all the way to Aptos if you wanted to.

    Also, it's not MPOS, it's MROSD.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Esto View Post
    At the summit of Umunhum road, you could ride across the Loma Prieta fire road which drops you out at the top of Mt Boche rd. From there would be a short distance of pavement riding to get to the next Midpen property that would drop you down to Highland way, almost at the bridge to the parking lot of Demo. It might be years till all that is opened, but it would be super cool to ride almost all dirt from the valley all the way to Aptos if you wanted to.

    Also, it's not MPOS, it's MROSD.
    Enough dreaming about future trails...they say they're building a whole five miles of new trails! So...does this mean that you will be able to access the cube from Woods trail, or still up via the road?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by starvingdavid View Post
    Enough dreaming about future trails...they say they're building a whole five miles of new trails! So...does this mean that you will be able to access the cube from Woods trail, or still up via the road?
    Indeed.

    From MidPen:
    "The gorgeous 4.8-mile Mount Umunhum Trail will extend from the Bald Mountain Parking Area (completed 2014) to the summit, crossing through the varied habitats of the mountain and offering incredible views of the valley below, the ridgelines above, and the other great peaks of the Bay Area. This multi-use trail offers easy-to-moderate terrain for hikers, bicyclists and horseback riders; and, at the summit, will be the highest point on the Bay Area Ridge Trail."

    Here's a map (page 4):
    http://www.openspace.org/CGI-BIN/age...NR_R-15-31.pdf

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott M View Post
    Nice map!
    Here it is, in JPEG format, for ease of viewing.

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