Hearing set for San Bruno Mountain project

An embattled plan that would allow 71 homes to be built on San Bruno Mountain, but would also contribute $4 million to protect the surrounding habitat — home of two endangered species of butterflies — comes before the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

A resolution before the board would amend the San Bruno Mountain habitat conservation plan, an approval needed by developer Brookfield Homes in order to move forward with the final phase of a decades-old project.

The original plan allowed for 150 units on 40 acres. After 12 years of negotiations, the amendment to the plan reduces the project acreage to 20 and sets aside the remaining land as conserved habitat.

“We reduced the phase by half,” said Kevin Pohlson, vice president of Brookfield Homes. “It’s pretty dramatic.”

As a result of habitat management needs on the mountain, the developer was also required to contribute a $4 million endowment.

Ken McIntire, executive director of San Bruno Mountain Watch, said he’s not buying the supposed compromise.

“We feel its location is still a big problem and a threat to endangered butterflies on San Bruno Mountain,” McIntire said. “They made the project smaller, but they’re still taking valuable habitat from endangered species.”

According to Pohlson, many of the units will be built on land that now contains eucalyptus trees, an invasive evergreen that’s already slated to be removed as part of the mountain mitigation.

A public hearing before supervisors on the amendment to the habitat conservation plan is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday. If approved, the amendment would go back to Brisbane officials.

A notice on San Bruno Mountain urges those against the plan to attend the hearing, calling it the “last stand for the Callippe Silverspot butterfly.”

Brisbane City Attorney Hal Toppel said Brookside has been part of the mountain’s land agreement for 30 years and the developer worked to accommodate concerns.

“They were granted development rights and I think people are appreciative of the cooperation we’ve received in reducing size,” he said.

The Brisbane City Council will vote on the amendment and entitlements in November, Toppel said.

Public comment on the amendment to the habitat conservation plan was held from Aug. 12 to Sept. 7.

San Bruno Mountain is managed as a state and county park, and the California Department of Fish and Game also owns land, according to county documents. The conservation plan was developed in 1982.

 

Peek at a peak

Facts about San Bruno Mountain:

  • 3,400: Acres of open space
  • 1,300 feet: Highest peak
  • 8: Trails
  • 14: Rare or endangered species of plant life
  • 2: Endangered or threatened butterfly species
  • 71: Homes planned for the top of the mountain’s northeast ridge
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