Consideration of Purchase of Pfeiffer Family Property
for Conversion from Private Open Space to Public Open Space

Follow up Report, December, 2001

The Santa Clara County Open Space Authority has decided not to take any action towards purchasing this land as described below.

Original AVCA Report
March 29, 2001

To: Councilperson Pat Dando
Subject: Pfeiffer Family Private Open Space, located above the Graystone of Almaden housing development

AVCA has been requested to comment about the desirability of converting the subject Private Open Space to Public Open Space, purchased by the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority, (SCCOSA).

AVCA listened to a presentation by David Bohnen, real estate broker, representing the Pfeiffer family.  Mr. Bohnen is requesting a letter from AVCA recommending the highest priority for the purchase of this property by the SCCOSA.  After visiting the site and asking questions of the Pfeiffer family and some homeowners, it is AVCA's conclusion that it can neither recommend nor oppose this project.

The asking price for this property is $8,000 an acre or $416,000 total.  This property is relatively steep, with many boulders and narrow in places.  It can not be used for residential development because the slope exceeds fifteen percent.  There are existing trails where the public trespasses without seeming objection.  The property does not appear to go completely to the ridge because of a fence protecting high voltage wire towers, but a view of the east hills is available at the very end.  It is contiguous with the Boulder Ridge Golf Course, but not the Los Alamitos Trail.  The trail to the end of the property at the golf course is about two miles.  The view from the top of the valley is not as good as that from the ridge of Quicksilver Park or the road up Mt Umunhum.  Entrance to the property would likely be on Pramukh Way, which is the first street to the left off Graystone Lane after crossing the Alamitos Creek Bridge.

AVCA can not recommend this sale, not knowing the status of SCCOSA's funds or priorities with other projects, and it would be presumptuous to suggest to the SCCOSA how to conduct their affairs.  Of course, AVCA will respect SCCOSA's decision.  There are also questions about the original development contract and as to whether the property was dedicated as Private Open Space as part of the contract agreement.  It would be interesting to know this status and whether the property could be sold at all.  Also, what would be the city of San Jose's intentions towards this land with the twenty percent of SCCOSA's tax income from San Jose available for local purchase by the city?

The family states that it must be paid for the land and rejects a donation of it as a tax deduction.  It wants to rid itself of any liability exposure for incidents that may occur on the land.

AVCA found none of the interested parties in objection to this sale.  The Graystone of Almaden housing development at the base of the hills would be relatively unaffected;  there is a twenty-acre parcel, owned by three lawyers in Los Angeles, which is not part of the package and serves as a buffer area.  In fact, there is a trail directly through this parcel which leads to the subject property which the Graystone of Almaden homeowners would probably continue to use.  This parcel can not be developed without the homeowners' consent.  There would be no traffic or parking problem for them because the SCCOSA trail head would be several blocks away.

The Pramukh trail head involves the six homes located there.  They have consent rights in their deeds.  AVCA talked to the homeowner closest to the proposed trail head.  This person knew of the potential sale, but did not oppose it.  Pramukh Way is a short street curving to the left.  The trail head would only affect the first two houses, where one of the homeowners is the one we talked to and the other home is up for sale.  The other four homes are beyond the trail head and would be little affected.

AVCA will try to assist homeowner groups when there is organized opposition, but in this case there appears to be none.  Therefore, AVCA has no basis for opposing the proposed sale.

Bob Boydston, AVCA Past President