Birds eye view of Linda Mar Woods (center) and the rugged ridgeline of Montara Mountain
and the Pacifica Mountain Parks.
The 58.87-acre site is situated in the southwest corner of Linda Mar, in the northern Santa Cruz Mountain Range’s foothills as it descends into the Pacifica Valley and the Pacific Ocean. The site rises dramatically from the valley below and encompasses more than 600 feet of total elevation, rising to just over 800 feet above sea level at Linda Mar Peak. From the peak looking north, Linda Mar Beach can be seen just a little over a mile away. Looking south, Montara Mountain and the Pacifica Mountain Parks frame an expansive ~20,000 acre open space and rugged ridgeline that stretches to the horizon. For many residents in the Linda Mar neighborhood, the greater Pacifica community, and beyond, the area has become both a destination and a crucial gateway to world-class outdoor recreation, adventure, exploration, and enlightenment provided by the wide open spaces, natural landscapes, and ecosystems of the Pacifica Mountain Parks and more than ~50+ miles of hiking and biking trails.
Birds eye view of the Linda Mar Woods forest canopy.
STUNNING NATURAL SETTING
The rugged northern California coastal terrain of the Linda Mar Woods site is a stunning natural setting, shrouded under a thick canopy of Eucalyptus dominated woodlands and bathed daily in thick coastal fog. Rising from the Pacifica Valley the site provides spectacular views to the south of Montara Mountain commanding the horizon and to the north through the trees overlooking Linda Mar Beach and the waves breaking in the distance. The stillness of the forest and open space is calming even when the wind and fog is racing to and from the sea as the sounds of life in the valley floor below seem far away.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF PACIFICA
Pacifica was established in 1957 as an incorporated city through the merger of five communities located along the Pacific Ocean south of San Francisco. The Linda Mar community was one of five communities included in the union. The Higgins Way neighborhood in southwest Linda Mar, adjacent to the site’s lower northern boundary, was originally developed in the 1960s. More recent projects in this neighborhood include the development of the Higgins Way Apartment building in 2001, single-family residential construction in 1997, 2005, and 2018, and the Linda Mar Montessori School in 2007.
View of the Pacifica Valley at the turn of the century.
Old San Pedro Mountain Road bounds much of the lower site perimeter to the north, east and south.
A Brief HISTORY OF
LINDA MAR WOODS
Originally surveyed in the early 1900s, ownership of the Linda Mar Woods property was transferred between three owners, before being purchased in 2019 by the current Owner.
The one-mile partially paved and decomposing San Pedro Mountain Road bounding the northern, eastern, and southern boundaries of the property was constructed over one-hundred years ago on the site’s perimeter. The road served as one of the main coastal roads for the area before the construction of the Highway 1 tunnel and overpass in 1987. The road has not been maintained over the years. Nonetheless, this road provides one of the most critical public access points to the Pacifica Mountain Parks network of trails and open spaces.
As the property itself is undeveloped and has been minimally maintained or managed over the years, the community has enjoyed unencumbered access to the site for hiking and off-road biking. And the network of social mountain bike and hiking trails in Linda Mar Woods has become both a gateway to accessing the Pacifica Mountain Parks and as a destination for freeride mountain bikers from around the region coming to ride the famed Boy Scout Trail and the hand crafted jumps, berms and ladder drops that have been fit to the terrain to provide some of the most technical and fun riding in the area.
WILD UNMANAGED forest, MONOCULTURE & INVASIVE SPECIES
As stunning and beautiful a natural setting as Linda Mar Woods is, the site has a monoculture of non-native Eucalyptus forest and a landscape dominated by coyote brush scrub, pampas grass, poison oak, cape ivy, English ivy, French broom, ruderland grasses and other invasive species. The understory of the Eucalyptus forest contains substantial amounts of thatch and bark, originating from the eucalyptus trees and invasive species growth. These conditions represent high fire hazards risk with excessive flashy fuels.
Unchecked wild and invasive Ivy covering the interior of the forest floor.
In California, most wildfire damage occurs in wildland urban interface areas, where homes and woodland vegetation are directly adjacent. The California Department of Forestry has determined more than half of the project area as located within an area designated by Cal Fire as a Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone. Cal Fire uses a model to evaluate properties for fire hazard safety risk based on fire history, existing and potential fuels, flame length, blowing embers, terrain, weather, and the likelihood of buildings igniting. This is a serious problem in that a fire in the project area will be difficult to control and likely spread into the residential areas adjacent to the site on Adobe Drive, Higgins Way, and Perez Drive and then beyond into the Linda Mar neighborhoods nearby destroying hundreds of homes.
The development of Linda Mar Woods will include a wildfire risk mitigation plan. The plan will result in the creation of firebreaks around most of the perimeter of the site that will both stop fire from spreading into adjacent residential areas and give access to the fire department to the interior of the site to fight the fire. Also included in the mitigation plan is the removal of many of the highly flammable eucalyptus trees and replacement with native species that are not as fire prone. The site will be cleaned up to remove the excessive flashy fuels sitting on the forest floor and a fire hydrant system installed to bring water into the site for firefighting use. Finally, the homes built within the project will have safety zones established around them to further minimize both the spread of fire and destruction of the homes.