Reasons for Not Giving Up the Lozano Lane Access Path
The Lozano Lane access path is an easement that the city was given by the HOA as a condition for forming the HOA, many decades ago. The city wanted to make sure that local residents would continue to have easy access through the property to the planned Regnart Creek Trail. This is clearly documented in the HOA incorporation documents and was signed by and fully disclosed to all 8 homeowners in the HOA when they bought their homes.
Here's why the Council should vote NO on this proposal:
Reason 1 - Thousands of Residents Would Benefit from the Access Path
There are hundreds of townhouses and apartments along Rodrigues with thousands of residents who would benefit from using the easement path at Lozano Lane to go to the Regnart Creek trail. Having more entrances to the Trail means that it can be used more, especially for students traveling to Eaton from these homes. If a crosswalk needs to be added later, it would be easy to add at the path entrance and would help slow down traffic speeds on Rodrigues, an added benefit.
Reason 2 - It's Fiscally Irresponsible
It is fiscally irresponsible of city officials to simply give away property with a value of approximately $1 million in public funds to 8 private property owners. In addition, the Council has already spent almost $2 million in mitigation to Regnart Creek Trail homeowners--approximately $25,000 per property--in increased privacy measures to make homeowners feel more comfortable with the new trail. All of these funds could be used for purposes to help all residents of Cupertino, instead of a handful.
Reason 3 - It Sets a Dangerous Precedent
There are dozens of similar easements in Cupertino. If the city gives this easement back, there will be legal justification for all these other residents to demand that their easement be closed too. See this document for examples of multiple similar easements around the city.
Reason 4 - It Looks Like Favoritism
Treating this easement differently than all the other easements in Cupertino gives the impression of an improper sweetheart deal for a handful of residents. Why are these 8 home owners being given $1 Million worth of Cupertino land 20 years after the legal creation of the easement, to the detriment of the rest of the tax paying Cupertino community? The Cupertino community needs multiple easy entry paths to Regnart Trail to facilitate its increased use and for the greater good of the community.
Reason 5 - Restricting Access to the Biggest Trail Project in Cupertino is Wrong
The Regnart Creek Trail is a $5 Million project. Given its importance, it’s inconceivable that the city would reduce public access to the trail for thousands of residents to benefit just 8 homeowners.
Reason 6 - It Goes Against the City's Own Priorities
One of the city’s core priorities is greater connectivity among neighborhoods and residents. Preserving and increasing NOT decreasing the entry points to Regnart Trail allows for increased walking and biking along Regnart Trail with neighbors meeting neighbors, intermingling and forming friendships and relationships. Per the approved Parks & Recreation Master Plan, over 80% of residents wish for more trails and connecting paths in our community.