Del Monte conservancy buys empty
lot for $4.1M
Published: January 4, 2012
ONE OF the most scenic pieces
of private property on 17 Mile Drive was acquired last week by
the Del Monte Forest Conservancy for $4.1 million and will be
protected “forever” by an open space easement, according to the
The two-acre lot, which is adjacent to the Cypress Point Club’s
13th Hole and overlooks Fanshell Beach, has been zoned for
decades for a single-family home and could have been the site of
a magnificent mansion.
“Now, it’s going to be held in open space,” said the
conservancy’s president, Rick Verbanec. “Nothing’s going to be
done with it.”
He said the property had probably been held by the same family
since it was originally subdivided in the early days of the
Pebble Beach Company. But, despite its stunning location and
obvious value, it has never been developed.
According to records on file at the county courthouse, the
sellers, Stephen and Geoffrey Peters, and their sister, Anne
Battle, inherited the property from their parents, prominent
Palo Alto attorney Colin Peters, who died in 2008, and his wife
and fellow Stanford Law graduate, Carol Peters, who died in
The kids still own another prominent piece of property on 17
Mile Drive, this one with an existing home, they also inherited
from their parents. It is just up the street from the vacant
property, which they decided to sell.
Donors with a lot on their minds
Verbanec said the two-acre open space had been put “on the
market and off the market a couple times” in recent years. But
the idea of it being acquired by the conservancy began when a
group of what he called “anonymous donors” offered to pay for
“Some of the donors contacted the sellers, who saw the
possibility of doing something here, and then they involved the
conservancy to make sure we could do the deal,” Verbanec said.
“We were contacted by the donors’ representative, and then we
negotiated with the family,” said Paul Gullion, the
conservancy’s attorney. “It took time to get everybody together
on all the issues.”
In addition to the $4.1 million purchase price, the donors also
contributed money for an endowment to maintain the scenic
property and keep an eye on it, Verbanec said.
Escrow closed Dec. 28.
The land is right next door to the home owned by Robert
Feduniak which was the subject of a lengthy battle waged by the
coastal commission to force the removal of a mini golf course in
the front yard in order to protect the neighborhood’s
environment, and especially its scenery.
Gullion said the acquisition is not only the most significant
in the history of the Del Monte Forest Conservancy in dollar
terms, but also in importance.
“It’s a beautiful piece of property,” he said.
Verbanec said it would become an integral part of the vast
acreage in Del Monte Forest under the conservancy’s protection —
acreage that’s about to get a lot bigger.
“We have 690 acres now, and in a few months, we’re going to get
another 635 acres,” Verbanec said.
The additional property is being donated in the form of a
conservation easement by the Pebble Beach Company as part of its
build-out plan for the forest, which includes new hotel rooms
and conference facilities at The Lodge and the Inn at Spanish
Bay, and about 90 new homes in various locations.
But the most important open space, including Pescadero Canyon
and Huckleberry Hill, will be protected, Verbanec said.