Re:  Parcel B, Huckleberry Ridge No 1
For fifty-seven years, I have had the pleasure of living across the street from the greenbelt known as Parcel B, Huckleberry Ridge No. 1.  We residents of this east side of Herrmann have indeed been fortunate to have this wonderful natural hillside at our front doors all these years.  We use it, love it and appreciate it.  We have always understood it to be permanently protected open space.
We built our home on Herrmann Drive in 1951.  My husband was an instructor at the new Monterey Peninsula College and our son was two years old.  At that time, only two houses had been built on the ten lots on this block, but the other lots were quickly being bought up as the Peninsula population  expanded. We builders were all pretty much of the same generation (back in a time when a young couple could afford to build a house on one salary.)
Many neighborhood children played on the hills to the west of Herrmann (lots of little boys) from Parcel B all the way up and over to Highway 68.  At reunions decades later they still love to reminisce about those wonderful adventurous times.  After their grammar school years, they hiked up through Parcel B and around the top of the Quarry to Walter Colton Junior High School. 
Many years later, after our children were grown and off on their own,  my husband and I loved hiking up the hill every morning, greeting neighbors, most of us with our dogs.  Back then, the hills from Herrmann Drive up to Veteran’s Park were covered with a short mat-like native grass and with many Monterey pines.   Different species of small wildflowers bloomed in succession through the spring, always a delight.  Most of the pine trees died off over the years from disease or climate change.   As the pines died off the oak trees thrived.  In the 80’s the City planted a large number of new pine trees on the Parcel B hillside and watered them regularly for a few years and many still remain.
The City marked out a trail through Parcel B from Veteran’s Park to the Quarry Park on Via Del Pinar.  This is a beautiful walk with colorful native flowers in the spring.  But  most exciting, are the magnificent views along the trail, of the city, the bay, Mt. Toro and the higher mountains to the east. 
While constructing Huckleberry Ridge, storm drains were installed to carry water down through Parcel B to Herrmann Drive to a concrete gutter built along the upper side of the street. Then the hillside along Herrmann that had been disturbed was seeded (and heavily fertilized.)  The first spring this new grass grew six feet tall.  Each year thereafter it grew a little less tall but still needed clearing so as not to become a fire hazard.  The area is now covered by this nonnative grass and genista and needs yearly clearing.
The Huckleberry Ridge No. 1 subdivision, (originally called Monte Regio 2) was planned by Mr. Ward Cramer.  He was also the developer of the Toyon Heights subdivision on Via Gayuba.  Toyon Heights was built by completely stripping the hillside and stepping the one-story tract houses down both sides of this long steep street. (There was an opportunity for all the houses to have wonderful eastern views, except that the attached garages were all placed on the east, view side, of the houses.)
Peninsula residents were appalled by the devastation of the Toyon Heights project. The terrible scar was visible from all of Monterey.  City Planners vowed never to let another developer strip the land as was done there.  New zoning laws were passed to preserve the tree-covered skyline and later when Skyline Forest was developed the houses were built in cul-de-sacs barely visible from downtown Monterey and with many areas of dedicated greenbelt.
In this new project, Mr. Cramer was required to respect the natural landscape contours and to add greenbelts throughout.  The area along Herrmann was designated for greenbelt partly because it was considered too steep to build on.
The Peninsula is all the more beautiful for having great numbers of greenbelt areas everywhere.  The idea that any property association member could expect to claim as private property a publicly dedicated greenbelt area for some other purpose or just to prevent continued access by the public is totally unacceptable.  Such an action if allowed would set a disastrous precedent for the Peninsula. 

- Submitted by Mrs. Leon Edner    April 5, 2008 represents the views of a group Monterey Peninsula citizens who support continued public access to Parcel B.
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