Guidelines for Proposing a Mini-Park

In 2015, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors approved a Mini-Park Policy developed by the San Mateo County Parks Department. The County Mini-Park Policy aligns with and supports the overall priorities of the Shared Vision 2025 of San Mateo County for a safe, prosperous, livable, environmentally conscious, and collaborative community. County Parks had recently acquired two Mini-Parks: Friendship Park in North Fair Oaks and Moss Beach Park in Moss Beach. Both parks measure less than one acre in size and serve nearby residents and neighborhood visitors.

These new Mini-Parks represent the growing demand for smaller parks within the more urban unincorporated areas of the County where there are no governmental agencies providing this service. Parks are essential to the health and well-being of all people.

Through this policy, the County added Mini-Parks to the County Parks classification system within the San Mateo County General Plan which includes: Park, Recreation Area, Natural Preserve, Wild Area, Linear Park and Trail, and Historic Site. The policy serves as a guiding document for the Parks Department to manage future adopted or created Mini-Parks within the County. The policy established the definition, goals, and policies for the need, acceptance requirements and management of Mini-Parks.

The policy outlines the process of submitting a formal proposal to the Parks Director for the purchase of land, construction of a park facility, and/or adoption of a Mini-Park.

The County at its discretion may purchase lease or transfer land for a Mini-Park. It may also consider partnering with another public agency or nonprofit organization to undertake the management and operations of an existing park.

Moss Beach Playground

Moss Beach Playground

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Community building Friendship Park

Requirements and Criteria

In order to submit a proposal, an applicant needs to meet the following requirements and criteria:

  • Must be a public agency or an active 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization with a board of directors that meets regularly and formally records its deliberations.
  • Demonstrate community need and support for a new mini-park in the neighborhood of the proposed area. Community support can be shown by petitions, public gatherings, surveys and other demand analysis.
  • Describe partnership with County or other entities if there is unmet need that should be filled.

Review and approval of a new Mini-Park will take several months after initial contact with the Parks Department.

The Mini-Park Application Form and Proposal must be submitted to the County Parks Director for evaluation.  After evaluation, applicants will be contacted to answer questions and schedule a site visit at the proposed Mini-Park location.

If considered for further review, the Parks Department will prepare a staff report that will accompany a proposal for review at a Parks and Recreation Commission meeting. The Commission will consider the proposal and will provide specific recommendations to the Board of Supervisors with detailed reasons as to why a proposal should be approved or denied.

If recommended for further review, the Parks Department will prepare a staff report and resolution for the Board of Supervisors. The Board will consider the recommendation of the Commission and if accepted as a Mini-Park, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be developed between the County and the applicant.