New Entrance for Castle Rock State Park, California

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 20 of total 43 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
ahebert

climber
San Francisco
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 12, 2012 - 12:50pm PT
Fellow climbers,

I wanted to let you know Sempervirens Fund, California's oldest land trust, is planning to build a new entrance to Castle Rock State Park in collaboration with State Parks.

We have created a draft concept plan for the entrance, which includes basic amenities like water, flush toilets, and safe parking. You can view this plan here. Or see the attached image I've uploaded.
Credit: ahebert

We are holding a meeting to get input from the public, including climbers like you, on Tuesday, November 20th from 6-8pm at the Saratoga Summit Fire Station. We'd love to have you there.

If you have any questions or comments, please email me at ahebert@sempervirens.org

-Aaron Hebert, Stewardship Program Manager
Sempervirens Fund



Adamame

climber
Santa Cruz
Nov 12, 2012 - 02:09pm PT
Is this the only meeting planned for input on this plan? I would love to be there but cannot with such short notice. I have numerous concerns regarding this plan regarding the number of parking spaces, fees, and how this will effect the county parks on the other side of the road. What other forms of input will be accepted in this planning process?
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Nov 12, 2012 - 03:14pm PT
Where is the Castle Rock walk-in campground supposed to be located, the one described in the 2001 CRSP Master Plan? Is it going to be next to or behind this new parking lot? The Sierra Club - Friends of Castle Rock State Park law suit called for two alternative sites for this campground besides the original one at Partridge Farm, construction of which was suddenly aborted in 2003. Has the Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) come up with any new carrying capacity limits for CRSP? How are those limits impacted by this new Parking Lot? Plans for this new parking area certainly raise more questions than they answer. For example, once this new parking area is built will CalTrans be closing all the free parking along Skyline Boulevard (CA 35) in front of Castle Rock SP and Sanborn County Park?
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Nov 12, 2012 - 03:30pm PT
second the question about the proposed parking; will the free parking along the highway be available?



Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Nov 12, 2012 - 03:40pm PT
CalTrans has repeatedly resisted all attempts at closing the free parking strips in front of CRSP and Sanborn County Park (Summit and Indian). It does sound like the free parking in front of Indian Rock (SC County Parks) is a separate issue from free parking in front of Castle Rock (State Parks). But who really knows for sure?

Typical conflicting jurisdictions that thwart all intentions. I know that when the idea of this new parking lot was originally put forward, there was talk about a walk-in campground and even rec v hookups! Rumors. Rumors. But I don't see any indication on this map that anything like that is planned.

Between the idea and the fact falls the shadow.
tornado

climber
lawrence kansas
Nov 12, 2012 - 04:08pm PT
Looks like the new entrance is on the Christmas tree farm which was purchased by Sempervirons. Who owns it now? The state or Sempervirons?
QITNL

climber
Nov 12, 2012 - 04:35pm PT
Hey Aaron -

Thanks for the info. Do you have any more? I can't find anything on the web. Projected budget? A, B or C options, anything with lower impact?

Personally, I don't think we should be spending big bucks on new infrastructure until basic services are restored - the services listed "closed due to budget cuts" - cuts which we now know were unnecessary, since the State Parks were hiding money.

For instance, the Big Basin backcountry trail camps are now closed November 1st through April 30th. Ridiculous. Spring is the best season to go there.

A lot of State Park campgrounds don't open until late May now. Will their pervious opening dates be restored? Fees were jacked up from $20 to $35 per night in some places. Will they return to an amount more reasonable?

Your project looks interesting, but I don't think we should rush into new projects until the effects of the last "crisis" are resolved.

Thanks - Joe
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Nov 12, 2012 - 05:40pm PT
Think the Sempervirens Fund bought the X-mas tree farm from private owners and intend to transfer the property to California State Parks and Castle Rock State Park. No cost to the taxpayer. I recall they purchased the land for a little over $2 million bucks and intend to donate it to State Parks for free. However, I couldn't find anything on their Web site about the purchase or transfer (although I know I did read about it somewhere else). But that's the gig: The new parking lot is going to be donated to State Parks for free.

Anybody got any more information out there?

Bet you'll find out a whole lot more if you attend the meeting.
QITNL

climber
Nov 12, 2012 - 05:55pm PT
I'd like to - can't drive - broken hand. I dropped Aaron an email to make sure he had mine.

I know my quibbles are somewhat irrelevant to this project but this might be an opportunity to look at the situation as a whole. A fancy new parcel is nice, but I'm much more interested in seeing other standard services, access and reasonable fees restored.

Aaron, Bruce is an invaluable resource in this area, the most knowledgeable and level-headed guy you will find.

For the record, I have two thumbs up for the Sempervirens Fund. It's nice seeing Castle Rock SP get some love, which ever way it goes.
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Nov 12, 2012 - 05:56pm PT
Looks like the new entrance is on the Christmas tree farm which was purchased by Sempervirons. Who owns it now? The state or Sempervirons?

I believe the Sempervirens Trust currently owns the old X-mas tree farm property and intends to transfer it to the State after taking inputs from the public at the meeting at the Firehouse on November 20th announced above. Part of the budget problem at Castle Rock has to do with the fact that the current parking lot is too small. Therefore, it appears to State auditors that Castle Rock is not being visited as much as it really is due to the small size of the current parking lot and the free (no fee) parking on the Cal Trans strips in front of Sanborn County Park and Castle Rock State Park. Making a bigger parking lot will increase revenue at Castle Rock SP because then they won't have to turn away paying visitors on busy weekends like they do now.

No idea what the status of the no fee parking strips and old CRSP parking lot are going to be once the new lot is open. Good questions for the meeting!
ahebert

climber
San Francisco
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 12, 2012 - 06:28pm PT
Hi everyone,

Thanks for all these great questions. I will let these accumulate a bit and when my schedule opens up later in the week I'll try to get to them.

-Aaron
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Nov 12, 2012 - 07:32pm PT
The old Christmas Tree Farm was a single large parcel. It was divided into two pieces, effectively a North and a South piece. The South piece was purchased by Sempervirens Fund so keep in mind that the North piece will remain private property. This is the piece marked Whalen Parcel. This was a voluntary sale by the Whalens, not eminent domain or anything like that.

This project is entirely Sempervirens Fund. They own the property and have the cash in hand to proceed.

The proposed map shows:
the Whalen Parcel will share the entrance road with the Park.
the existing parking lot/kiosk/outhouse will be removed and replaced by new facilities as shown.

I don't know what CalTrans/CHP plan to do about roadside parking. This isn't up to Sempirivens Fund or State Parks although of course they'll have their opinions. Current scuttlebutt is it will remain as it is now.
The existing on-site CRSP parking will almost certainly go away. One good question is will the parking sites increase/decrease?

This entire project is funded by Sempervirens Fund who will donate it to the Park only after/if the Park has the budget to manage it. I've no idea what the contingency plan is if Parks can't step up.

As shown on the map, the main purpose of these improvements is to provide handicapped access as required by State law for new improvements to any public resources.

I haven't heard what the plans are for camping. This is not in the Sempervirens Fund purview.

A political observation: As much as we climbers think CRSP future is directed by the State, there are organized groups with lots of money who have the resources to influence the results.

A related note: Sanborn Park is now building a trail for general use (including mountain bikes) from the Sunnyvale Mountain parking area down to Lake Ranch, in the canyon to the East. Lake Ranch is also easily accessed from either Hwy 9 or Black Rd. There will certainly be an increase in mt bike traffic along Skyline Blvd soon.
This project is being pushed by ROMP who are also providing muscle and sweat for the work.
This new trail will be a needed segment of the BART (Bay Area Ridge Trail) as it is the only public land that goes from Skyline Ridge down and South to Lexington Reservoir and the MROSD trails.
Even this addition will leave a gap in BART where there is private land around Lexington Reservoir.

I have really mixed feelings about mt bike trails in these canyons which are in fact wildernesses.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Nov 12, 2012 - 07:42pm PT
thanks for the additional information all
QITNL

climber
Nov 12, 2012 - 08:10pm PT
A little more back story:

A New Entrance for Castle Rock - Sempervirens Fund
Spring 2011
http://sempervirens.org/pdf/Mountain_Echo_SP11.pdf

Sempervirens Fund Commits $250,000 to Keep Castle Rock State Park Open
Agreement with State Parks signed on June 11, 2012
http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/712/files/2012sempervirensnonprofit%20signs%20agreement%20with%20state%20parks.pdf

They've been stepping up, good for them.
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Nov 12, 2012 - 08:35pm PT
Where does the Starbucks go?
briham89

Big Wall climber
san jose, ca
Nov 12, 2012 - 08:41pm PT
Why?
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Nov 12, 2012 - 10:21pm PT
Upgrade and of course to get rid of the old septic tank bathroom. But the subtext, as I read it, is to make sure more people are counted as Park visitors when they park in the new parking lot and pay the day use fees. That way State Parks will send more money down the tube from Sacramento to CRSP too. Then, other new improvements will follow. I notice in the Echo article, incidentally, that the Sempervirens Fund is talking about new "campgrounds" plural too. That walk-in campground idea is a real hornets' nest because there are people around Castle who want to place limits on access to the Park.

Go to the November 20th meeting and ask.
briham89

Big Wall climber
san jose, ca
Nov 12, 2012 - 10:47pm PT
Thanks Bruce!
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Nov 13, 2012 - 09:53pm PT
As High Traverse suggests above, there are a number of players who have influence over the future course of development at Castle Rock SP, one of which is the South Skyline [Property Owners] Association:

http://www.southskyline.org/

And High Traverse is past president of the SSA, so definitely has a personal axe to grind both at Castle Rock and Summit Rock.

Another is the Portola and Castle Rock Foundation:

http://www.portolaandcastlerockfound.org/

The PCRF is listed, incidentally, on the SSA site.

The Ventana Chapter of the Sierra Club also wants to have a say in the process:

http://ventana.sierraclub.org/conservation/castle_rock/index.shtml

The California Native Plants Society and the 'Friends of Castle Rock State Park' are also key players as is the mountain biker organization, R.O.M.P.

It would be nice if there were a few climbers there to present our side of the story too.

Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Nov 13, 2012 - 10:08pm PT
Aaron,

Two questions:

Is there any additional planning documentation that can be reviewed prior to the meeting? The link only goes to the flickr site.


With there only being one meeting time, do you plan to open the process up to feedback channels that would allow a wider response from those climbers that may come from the North and East Bay that would not be able to attend in person? For example, will you accept feedback thru email? If so, which email should be use? Or written letters? Which address will make sure it reaches the proper planning members?

Thanks much,
M
Messages 1 - 20 of total 43 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Trip Report and Articles
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews