Measure AA for Access, Preservation and Restoration of Open Space Lands, the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District’s bond measure to make major capital improvements to open space lands, will appear on the June 3 ballot for residents of the district, which includes 17 cities and towns in Santa Clara, San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties.
For your voter-prep purposes, here is the Open Space District's explanation of the measure:
Funding from the bond will be used to fulfill 25 high-priority open space projects that were identified through a public process that combined feedback from 2,200 residents with scientific analysis.
Out of the 54 projects identified, these 25 will have the greatest long-term beneficial impact to the region and are of highest importance to local residents. For more information about the projects, visit www.openspace.org/imagine.
Projects will improve access to hiking and biking opportunities; protect and preserve redwood forests, natural open spaces, the scenic beauty of our region and coastline, and critical wildlife habitat; restore creeks to protect water quality; and reduce forest fire risk.
If voters approve, the district, which has an AA+ bond rating, will have the authority to sell up to $300 million in general obligation bonds for capital improvements over the next 25-30 years at a rate that will range from $1 to a maximum of $3.18 per $100,000 of assessed property value.
Expenditures would be verified by an independent citizen oversight committee. The measure requires a two-thirds vote in the district’s jurisdiction in southern San Mateo County, western Santa Clara County and a small portion of unincorporated Santa Cruz County.
Created by voter initiative in 1972, the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District has successfully protected more than 62,000 acres of open space.
Midpen’s mission is to acquire and preserve a regional greenbelt of open space and agricultural land of regional significance in perpetuity, protect and restore the natural environment, and provide opportunities for ecologically-sensitive public enjoyment and education.
Currently, Midpen protects 70 rare native species in 26 unique preserves with 225 miles of publicly-accessible trails. Over 2 million visits are made to Midpen preserves annually.
For more information, visit the web site here.