Mt. Umunhum site acquisition update, by Steve Rodrigues.
I've had my eye on Mt. Umunhum for many years, so was very excited to learn that the Mid-Peninsula Open Space District (MPOSD) is developing a Master Plan for the area.
Eric Froehlich and I both attended the initial public meeting, and got Hang and Para gliding mentioned as a use possibility.
They led a walking tour of the peak last week, and while I was excited to attend, I was not encouraged by what I learned about the current situation. It seems that while the site could be an awesome albeit challenging place to fly, it is likely a very long term project.
We stand a fair chance of getting permission for a launch, but we would also need to negotiate an LZ with the Santa Clara Park Department.
The MPOSD inherited some very limiting easements when they purchased this former Air Force Base. The access road crosses four private properties whose owners highly value their privacy, so getting public access to the peak will be a problem.
The military was not very conscientious in regard to toxic materials, and the presence of lead paint, petroleum products, asbestos, and probably PCB's create an environmental hazard that currently prohibits public access. Getting the site cleaned up is a big priority, and when the time comes, the MPOSD will appreciate our help with a letter writing campaign to prod public officials into funding the clean-up.
Please watch this newsletter for future announcements.