Preservation group buys coastal property

The Peninsula Open Space Trust has reached an agreement to purchase and preserve the 216-acre Wavecrest property, a desirable piece of land developers had been eyeing for decades.

The pending sale — POST would not provide details, as the project is closing escrow — is a big win for the open-space preservation group, which has fought to keep the property, located west of Highway 1 on the southern end of Half Moon Bay, in its recreation-ready state.

“This has been going on and on for years,” said Anne Trela, POST vice president of advancement, who added that the terms of the agreement are confidential until the purchase is officially arpproved. “This is wonderful news. We’re certainly thrilled to preserve more open space on that beautiful coast.”

If developed, the parcel would have provided an enviable view of the Pacific Ocean for which deep-pocketed would-be homebuyers would likely pay top dollar. Though the previous landowners had considered several alternatives for the property, POST came out on top with an as-yet undisclosed purchase price. The group plans to make few, if any, changes to the land.

Wavecrest is home to meadows and coastal bluffs, animal life and hiking trails linked to the popular California Coastal Trail. A baseball diamond sits on the property and the spot has been a favorite for horseshoe games and dog walkers.

Bruce Russell, CEO of Kenmark Real Estate Group and representative of the land’s sellers, concurred and said that the sellers determined that substantial development was not appropriate here.

“As a community, we know that interacting with the land for recreational purposes — whether by playing ball or hiking the trails — is an important aspect of life in our town,” Half Moon Bay Mayor Naomi Patridge said in a statement. “We look forward to working with POST to develop a permanent arrangement for the ball fields and other recreational opportunities.”

POST has permanently protected a number of other lands on the San Mateo coast, including Johnston Ranch across the street from the Wavecrest property, Pillar Point Bluff and Rancho Corral de Tierra.

tramroop@examiner.com

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