New Entrance for Castle Rock State Park, California

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Messages 21 - 40 of total 43 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Nov 14, 2012 - 04:04pm PT
If you can't manage to make the meeting on the evening of November 20th, it might be a good idea to email your ideas and opinions directly to the Sempervirens Fund:

http://www.sempervirens.org/

Of course, one breathing, living, talking person at the meeting is probably worth a hundred email messages you've got to remember.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Nov 14, 2012 - 04:17pm PT
google maps satellite photo link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Saratoga,+CA&hl=en&ll=37.231499,-122.100785&spn=0.005766,0.013078&sll=37.269174,-119.306607&sspn=11.793333,26.784668&oq=sara&hnear=Saratoga,+Santa+Clara,+California&t=h&z=17
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Nov 16, 2012 - 12:58pm PT
I was going to say, "Don't fix what ain't broken", but Bruce said;

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.


And that makes more sense.

What don't I know where this Saratoga Fire Station is??? Bruce? Donde esta?
looks easy from here

climber
Ben Lomond, CA
Nov 16, 2012 - 02:37pm PT
What don't I know where this Saratoga Fire Station is??? Bruce? Donde esta?

It's the CalFire station on 35 just a bit north of the 35/9 intersection. It is on the left if you're heading north on 35.
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Nov 16, 2012 - 04:56pm PT
There's a water spigot at the Saratoga Fire Station. It's the only place to draw water along the Skyline driving south to Castle. About a mile north of the Saratoga Gag intersection of 35 and 9 on the west side of the road.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Nov 17, 2012 - 10:38am PT
Oh, okay. On the way to Aquarian Valley!

I'll try to make it.
ahebert

climber
San Francisco
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 19, 2012 - 03:27pm PT
Hi all,

Thanks for your comments and questions. If I don't get to them all, my apologies.

We own the parcel in question detailed in the map and have a for a few years. Right now the line between our parcels on the neighbors is not seen on the ground by any kind of fence. But the map shows the boundary.

There are three other public meetings related to this project yet to be scheduled. One has to do with agriculture, one is planning commission, and one is Board of Supervisors. I imagine these will be spaced throughout 2013. I'll try to keep folks in the loop, but email me if you haven't heard. Further, when (and hopefully not if) the property becomes part of Castle Rock, the State will have to chew over the project in the context of its State Parks master plan.

Caltrans owns the right of way along the highway regarding the 'free' parking on the shoulder. It is our expectation that this will be closed, though it is not our right to close or open. It is a safety issue and is directly related to why Castle Rock was slated for closure.

The design of the new entrance is geared to keeping the carrying capacity of Castle Rock as is. So the number of parking spaces is equivalent to the 'free' street parking and the parking within the current entrance. No campgrounds are part of this project.

As one commenter mentioned, State Parks needs all kinds of money and why is this project a priority? We are fortunate to have a generous donation funding a lot of this project and we also believe that Castle Rock does need to increase revenue in order to stay open. Sempervirens and the other groups keeping it open simply cannot afford to pay for it over a long period of time.

Again, feel free to email me at ahebert@sempervirens.org with more comments or questions if you have them.

-Aaron

Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Nov 20, 2012 - 03:06am PT
Echo article:

The entrance will provide safe and convenient access to the park and
enhancements such as off-street parking, restrooms,
campgrounds, and a visitor center.

Sounds as though some of those "enhancements" are still in the planning stages, such as the "campgrounds". Any design yet for the Visitor Center? I guess there'll be more specifics at the meeting Wednesday night.
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Nov 20, 2012 - 08:15pm PT
From this email Stuart Langdoc sent to Paul Minault of the Access Fund today, it sounds as though the Portola and Castle Rock Foundation doesn't want the free parking strip to remain open once the new entrance is built:

Hi Paul,
I'll be at that meting [sic], which is ONLY about a new entrance, parking lot, and eventually visitor center. It's Sempervirens Fund's meting [sic] as the property in question is theirs. Main issue is that once the new parking opens, the free road parking will be closed. I also attach SF letter announcing the meeting and, explaining the project as it stands.
Stu
Stuart Langdoc
Secretary, Portola and Castle Rock Foundation
408-395-1167
stulangdoc@verizon.net
http://www.portolaandcastlerockfound.org

Whether this happens or no is very much up to CalTrans. The last time the free parking strip was closed it was quickly reopened due to complaints from those who arrived late and couldn't fit into the main Parking Lot because it was already full. Interesting that the Portola and Castle Rock Foundation is associated with the South Skyline Association (SSA), the local property owners group that has been opposed to the parking strips for many, many years. Stu Langdoc is also one of the two members of the Friends of Castle Rock (Bruce Bettencourt is the other) who sued the State to block the walk-in campground out at Partridge Farm back in 2003.

Are all these people married and/or related?

Boy, this meeting sure is loaded with intentions!


HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Nov 20, 2012 - 09:00pm PT
Portola and Castle Rock Foundation is associated with the South Skyline Association (SSA)
There no relationship between Portola And Castle Rock Foundation and the South Skyline Association. There is also no relationship between either and Sempervirens Fund.

The charters of each of these organizations are different and they do not act in concert. They all have mutual interests in the use AND preservation of CRSP, PCRF specifically to support State Parks and SSA to represent interests of the residents of the SSA area. SSA area is the Skyline Blvd corridor from Hwy 84 (Skylonda) to Bear Creek Road. This is a very diverse population, in politics, in income and in relationship to CRSP.

Because many residents in this area are neighbors of one or both of these parks, many have strong interests in Portola Redwoods State Park and Castle Rock State Park. In the SSA there are certainly people who are also active in PCRF. There are also many who support Sempervirens Fund and just as many who often disagree with what Sempervirens Fund is about.

Sempirvirens Fund and PRCF are non profit fund raising organizations with different charters.
SSA is a non profit which represents the interests of its members.

South Skyline Association (SSA), the local property owners group that has been opposed to the parking strips for many, many years
In the past 10 years, SSA has taken no position on the roadside parking. I can't say before that.
Members of SSA have differing opinions on whether or not they should be closed. There is strong consensus that the roadside parking is a road safety issue.
There is also a consensus that CRSP and the other roadside turnouts attract miscreants to the neighborhood. Including armed men growing pot in the Parks or on adjacent private property, and Friday/Saturday night drunk partying kids.

A Hebert states:
So the number of parking spaces is equivalent to the 'free' street parking and the parking within the current entrance
This needs to be verified.

Fred Glover
ex-President, SSA
(as ex-President, I certainly am not speaking for the SSA at the present time)
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Nov 20, 2012 - 09:34pm PT
Mutually self-interested = incestuous

Don't show your cards before you lay your hand down.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 20, 2012 - 10:04pm PT
I gotta say I don't see where the animosity and suspicion by climbers towards these non-profits is particularly productive especially when you have Fred posting up here.
Kurt Jensen

Trad climber
Aptos,CA
Nov 21, 2012 - 01:52am PT
I live an easy day trip distance from Castle Rock, a bit South of Santa Cruz.
I typically climb elsewhere,
yet one of the biggest issues to me up there is the lack of parking!

I have made the mistake twice of driving up there to climb during a busy weekend, and have looked up and down for free roadside space, after being turned away at the ranger kiosk due to the (way too small for a busy weekend) parking lot. Both times I was shocked that State Parks were turning the cash carrying public away, while cars circled about relentlessly in search of an opening, many circling and circling the little parking lot and the highway outside repeatedly. The ranger I spoke with told me how frustrated he was, and that a new parking had been talked about for years. There was nothing to do but keep circling, or come up with another plan for the day.

It seems ridiculous to me to not address the real need here for more parking with this new proposal. Sempervirons sounds set on "maintaining" very few parking spaces. Miles of trails and boulders can tolerate only 40 cars or so worth of people near a large population craving connection to Nature? State Parks of California regularly turning people away who desire to pay and experience the park seems like terrible strategy to stay afloat. If the Sempervirons want to help so much, they should be utilizing that land in a way that at least allows some expansion of overall parking spaces. Simply let more people pay to park and experience the park! The rewards of this to the community at large and the parks as well seem obvious!



tornado

climber
lawrence kansas
Nov 21, 2012 - 01:59am PT
There is also a consensus that CRSP and the other roadside turnouts attract miscreants to the neighborhood. Including armed men growing pot in the Parks or on adjacent private property, and Friday/Saturday night drunk partying kids.

What attracts armed men growing pot in the park is not turnouts it is "Nature Preserves" and "Bio Corridors"

There no relationship between Portola And Castle Rock Foundation and the South Skyline Association

There might not be a relationship but there is a common interest which is property values.

Funny how this meeting is scheduled for the night before Thanksgiving when most folks (like myself) leave town.

Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Nov 25, 2012 - 04:08pm PT
Well, did any SuperTopoians attend this shindig or was it a reactionary local property owners-only affair?
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Nov 26, 2012 - 05:20pm PT
reactionary local property owners-only affair
Bruce
As you weren't there to represent "outsiders", this claim might actually be true.
You could however try to move past your stereotypes. Too bad you weren't there, it was rather interesting and there was plenty of good feedback, a lot of it not positive.
Since you took a great interest and an active part in the Castle Rock Park master plan meetings so many years ago, your input would have been useful. No sarcasm intended.

There is in fact NO plan to reduce the total amount of parking, either along the road or in the parking area. There IS an effort to force more cars to pay for parking. That is a public policy discussion.

The assumption that Portola And Castle Rock Parks Foundation members are mostly local property owners is off base. There are many more members of that foundation than there are local property owners. Most I've spoken to live in the "flatlands" of the Bay area. Some are actually (perish the thought) climbers.

tornado
There might not be a relationship but there is a common interest which is property values.
Wrong assumption. There's only a small intersecting set of SSA and PCRF members.

Skyline area residents are rightfully concerned about public safety along Skyline Blvd. The safety of the visitors included. Pedestrians on Skyline in the Castle Rock area have been killed by passing cars. On a busy day cars park outside the marked roadside areas. This results in cars, and worse their occupants, being too close to 50 mph traffic. The current parking situation is unsafe and unsustainable for the amount of weekend users of the park.

The Sempervirens Fund proposal was criticized by many for not providing enough off street parking.
It also doesn't provide for pedestrian traffic across Skyline to Sanborn Park/Indian Rock.

Feel free to send your critiques to Aaron Hebert who put his email address in a post on the previous page.

Having read this thread again carefully, I'm at a loss as to why there is such suspicion of the Sempervirens Fund, CRPF, State Parks and local landowners. We are all interested in preserving AND using one of the few remaining "wilderness" areas near the south Bay Area. Complaining about vague conspiracies and assuming negative motives detracts from the positive value of well thought out criticisms of the planning process.

EDIT: Sempervirens Fund started this thread to let climbers know of this meeting. It was not a meeting for "reactionary local property owners" only.
rrider

climber
Mckinleyville, Ca
Nov 26, 2012 - 06:44pm PT
I was critical about the value of building more little designer walkways and toilets and parking lots, because it obviously won’t solve anything in the face of the real problem, which is (duh:) overpopulation (and nobody’s fault directly). Building more amenities for a privileged few visitors seems unlikely to solve land owner issues nor will it accommodate enough of the huge modern crowds. Tough situation for sure, just like in Yosemite.

I wish funding and regulation could solve all our problems, but these days it looks to me just like a lot of well-intentioned and competent involvement, mechanically going through the financial motions of progress, but the building contractors are the only ones who end up getting something real out of it. Sadly this problem is not exclusive to climbers, hikers, and their world-class parks, either (it is also in schools, health-care, you-name-it).

But we wouldn’t even be at this place if many of these funding agencies hadn’t done such a wonderful job of saving so much prime land when they had the chance (back in the 70’s thru 90’s?) This land could have ended up being way more logged-out and privately developed. I grew up in what is now the above-mentioned South Skyline Association area, and now when I return and visit, I marvel at the quality of what is left in these mountains. A lot of money and effort has been spent, and to good effect. Many battles have been won, but the war goes on indefinitely. And there is no real enemy. Best wishes to all involved.
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Nov 26, 2012 - 06:55pm PT
rrider
Excellent critique. Even of the "designer walkways".
I and several others strongly expressed concern along similar lines. That a lot of the plan diminishes the unique (for the Bay area) wilderness aspect of Castle Rock. The planning process is just beginning.
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Nov 29, 2012 - 04:55pm PT
So we must assume that nothing at all was settled at the meeting that would impact the content of a rock climbing guide to the Skyline Boulevard area? Whenever the new parking lot is built, we will certainly have to include it in a subsequent edition of the Castle Rock guidebook. But in the meanwhile, there doesn't really seem to be anything to do until some definite plans have been finalized. A walk-in campground would certainly make Castle Rock SP a better venue for visiting national and international rock climbers who might want to spend a couple of days sampling the routes in the area. So far, we haven't heard any word about if and when such a campground is to be built (even though it was authorized in an amendment to the Castle Rock Master Plan ratified in 2001). Now about the RAC (Resource Advisory Committee): Exactly who is sitting on this committee that was supposed to be composed of environmentalists and scientists and what sort of carrying capacity limits have they recommended for Castle Rock State Park? Is it really this shadowy group who stopped construction of the walk-in campground at Partridge Farm back in 2003? Or does the RAC even exist? These are real questions that need to be answered because the directly impact the content of the CR guidebook. One important issue that needs to be acknowledged first is that Castle Rock has now emerged as not only a local but a national and international climbing and bouldering venue.
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Dec 6, 2012 - 09:37pm PT
The following document contains minutes of a Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Commission meeting that records the conflict between the Sempervirens Fund and the "Friends of Castle Rock State Park" (i.e. Stu Langdoc and Bruce Bettencourt) over the proposed walk-in campground at Partridge Farm in Castle Rock State Park:

http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/843/files/m1000.pdf

It sounds as though Sempervirens Fund wanted to defer addressing the issue of the 20-site walk-in campground at Partridge Farm until after the opening the the new entrance that is the subject of this string. You'll notice that the Black Oak Forest, as one participant was quick to point out, does not need protection because it's already protected.

You'll notice too that there are a coalition of groups that basically will manufacture any excuse to keep people from going to Castle Rock, from climbing at Castle Rock, and, especially, from camping at Castle Rock. But you'll too notice that the Sempervirens Fund is basically pro-camping.

Interesting reading nonetheless.
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