Letter from Andrea Mackenzie of the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation & Open Space District to the City of Sonoma denying its request for funding to help implement a trail through that city's hillside open space.


747 Mendocino Avenue
Suite 100
Santa Rosa, CA
(707) 524-7360
Fax: (707) 524-7370

May 10, 2000

Pamela Gibson
City Manager
City of Sonoma
No. I The Plaza
Sonoma, CA 95476-9000

Subject: Request for Matching Funds

Dear Pam:

This is a follow-up to our conversation and your letter regarding the availability of District funds for a public hiking trail on the Mountain Cemetery property. Through the Competitive Matching Grant Program, cities may request funding from the District for the acquisition of open space which has benefits for both incorporated and unincorporated areas. The types of projects that qualify under this program are local open space, public access and community recreation projects that are included in adopted plans, consistent with a City's General Plan and have a resolution of support from the City Council. Typically, the District's funding is allocated for acquisition of the property and the City's match is project implementation (e.g. restoration and development costs). The City's match can also be 50 percent of the acquisition costs.

In the case of the Mountain Cemetary property, the City already owns the property and therefore does not need acquisition assistance from the District. In addition, the property is not currently designated for parkland or open space in the City's General Plan. These two factors would make it unlikely that the District would provide grant funding for trail construction on this property. There may be other more appropriate grants available for trail construction on city-owned property.

However, the District is interested in working with the City on protecting significant properties within its surrounding viewsheds which are designated as "Priority Greenbelt" in the District's Draft Acquisition Plan 2000. Upon adoption of Acquisition Plan 2000, District staff would be happy to discuss such potential conservation partnerships with the City.


Andrea Mackenzie

Andrea Mackenzie
Senior Open Space Planner

cc: Steve Sharpe
Maria Cipriani