Should El Cerrito Buy Open Space Below Madera School?

Three local outdoors and environmental groups are urging the City of El cerrito to buy a seven-acre site.

Members of three local outdoors and environmental groups are asking the city to purchase a seven-acre parcel below Madera School that would link El Cerrito's northern and southern hillside trails, according to an article in the San Jose Mercury News.

The El Cerrito Trekkers, the West Contra Costa branch of the Sierra Club and Friends of Five Creeks say the undeveloped plot, known locally as the "Busby property," is one of the last major privately owned open spaces in El Cerrito.

It could serve as a park and allow hikers and mountain bikers access to longer, linked trails, backers of the proposal say.

Group members have emailed city officials to urge the purchase, but to date there's been no public action by the city.

You may read the complete Mercury News article here.

What do you think — should the city buy the Busby property and add it to El Cerrito's park system? Tell us in the comments section below.

Borris Batanov February 02, 2013 at 04:00 PM
"Flush with cash?" If EC is "flush with cash," the first thing it should do is rescind the recent increase in sales tax to bring it in line with that of neighboring cities. If there's any funds left over after this, the city ought to hire more cops and beef up law enforcement. The level of crime in this city is unacceptable.
Mark Kay February 02, 2013 at 10:30 PM
Yes, please, to open space. Our city has all the houses it can handle. Open space is precious. I would gladly donate, as long as it doesn't become another soccer field.
Elizabeth Whipple February 03, 2013 at 12:54 AM
Yes, buy the land, then be sure it's available to all. Maybe an off-leash dog area?
Borris Batanov February 03, 2013 at 04:12 PM
Land is extremely steep and would not make a very good park. Most likely, if bought by the city, it would sit unused.
Dave Weinstein February 08, 2013 at 04:09 AM
Actually, the land already gets a lot of use, and has, for at least three decades. When I first moved to El Cerrito in 1981, before Regency Court was developed and was just wild land, all of this area was considered to be part of the Hillside Area, even though it was privately owned. Even today, many people walk it. Trail Trekkers, which I chair, would love to see an improved network of trails throughout our city, both in open space like this property, and using public stairs and pathways through neighborhoods. If the city owned this property it would make it possible to go from the southern to the northern portions of the Hillside Area without detouring on streets. You'd have to cross streets sure, but not walk along them. If you haven't been to this spot, you should visit.


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