Saturday, February 13, 2021

Keeping open land open in Scotts Valley - Full Article

Land trust helps owner to fulfill wish to keep property near Scotts Valley undeveloped

By Jessica A. York | | Santa Cruz Sentinel
PUBLISHED: February 12, 2021

SCOTTS VALLEY — With an unquenchable love of horse riding and country living cultivated since childhood, Julie Weston Suhr did not have to be asked twice when her husband proposed buying up a vast swath of undeveloped land in the Santa Cruz Mountains some 50 years ago.

“I grew up in Santa Clara Valley in an orchard out in the country with no neighbors and I saw what happened to it, covered with concrete and it was disturbing,” Suhr said during a recent interview with the Sentinel. “And I had a very wonderful husband and he said, you’d like to live in the country with your horses, wouldn’t you? And I said yes, so we came over here and found this piece of property for sale and that was 1971 and then we built the home in ’73 and I’ve had horses here ever since.”

Suhr and her husband, Robert Suhr Sr., transported their life from Saratoga to unincorporated Scotts Valley off Weston Road, making their home in a place echoing Julie Suhr’s maiden name as a pure coincidence, she said. Robert Suhr died in 2010, after 64 years of marriage to Julie Suhr.

As with her horses, the nearly 300 acres of undeveloped land which the Suhrs and, often, their neighbors, have roamed for hours on end in the past half century have left their indelible mark on Suhr. So much so that she devised a way to protect the property’s sanctity, long after she is no longer around to watch over it. Working with the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County and a private financial gift from neighbor Ed Fenster, cofounder of Sunrun Solar, Suhr said her land will never be developed beyond an existing picnic table that overlooks a stunning view of the area. Through a conservation easement developed in the past three years, Suhr has entrusted her property’s development rights to the land trust in perpetuity, with an agreement that nothing will be built on nor taken from the land...

Read more here:

No comments: