Santa Clara Board delays proposal until August

May 23, 2012, 2:05 a.m.

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors decided Tuesday to push back voting on two proposals that would have dipped into a fund the University created in 2001 under agreement with its General Use Permit. The board will take up the issue again in August.

The two projects in question include a proposed pedestrian and bike bridge over Highway 101 and the completion of a Bay Trail link. These projects would cost $5 million and $3 million, respectively.

The fund of $10.37 million was established to counter the reduction of recreation space that resulted from Stanford’s 5-million-square foot expansion.

Stanford Campus Residential Leaseholders (SCRL) claim that these projects would not benefit Stanford households and would be a misuse of the funds, according to an article in the San Jose Mercury News.

“The two proposed projects would not mitigate the adverse effect,” wrote James Sweeney, president of the SCRL board, in a letter to the board on Sunday.

“Thus spending these funds for these projects would be a breach of the contract and an inappropriate diversion of funds that were to be used only as a mitigation specific to campus residents and facilities users, not meant as a general mitigation to the entire region,” the letter continued.

Different proposals for the use of the fund, such as improving a trail around Alpine Road, have been presented and rejected over the past year.

Meanwhile, proponents of the proposal — such as Corrine Winter, president and director of the Committee for Green Foothills and the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition — have urged board members to examine the advantages she predicts the projects would have for those living in the surrounding areas.

“The proposed projects will serve a far greater number of people and keep the whole area healthy and active,” Winter said in an article in the San Jose Mercury News.

— Mary Ann Toman-Miller

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