The San Mateo County Tax Collector’s Office agreed on Friday afternoon to cancel the sale of the Moss Beach Park, provided the property’s outstanding tax bill can be paid within about two weeks.

County Supervisor Don Horsley made the announcement Friday afternoon in an email, calling for the park’s supporters to begin a renewed fundraising effort. He said the new deal came after reviewing details of the sale with county counsel and the Tax Collector’s Office.

Coastside residents were appalled to recently learn that the Moss Beach Park had been sold last month in auction to a Pacifica developer. It was revealed that the former custodian of the parcel, the nonprofit Coastside Preservation and Recreation Inc., was negligent for years on paying its property taxes. The park, identified only by its parcel number, was approved for sale in April by the county Board of Supervisors.

Park supporters have pointed out that the sale never would have gone forward if the county had informed the Midcoast community in advance. A spokeswoman with the County Tax Collector’s Office said her office followed standard protocol, publishing notice in the San Mateo County Times and sending a letter to the nonprofit’s last address on file. However, the Coastside Preservation’s last address, a Moss Beach P.O. Box, was no longer in use.

The property was put up for sale in July by a private online auction company, It was later learned that the auction sale listed the Moss Beach Park by its parcel number, but it included a picture of a completely different property. All buyers on the auction site are required to agree to a disclaimer that the county can reverse the sale before the deed is recorded.

If the sale were reversed, the Pacifica buyer would receive a refund. But the park would still be considered in default for more than $8,000 in property taxes.

In his letter, Horsley pointed out that the community and county would need to hastily find ways to raise money to pay this bill. He announced a new meeting to discuss the park, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Sept. 4. at the Farallone View Elementary School.

(4) comments

Zack B

Thank you Mr Horsley, for your efforts and the results. There are, as you know, precious few resources for kids on the coast as it is. Precious few resources for kids on the coast? Do we need amusment parks when there are miles and miles of pristine beaches; hiking trails; a marine reserve; the new Cunha school athletic field; ....... Lots of resources here for the resourceful.

J C Cervantes

We are all thankful for the reprieve. The position the Tax Collectors Office is taking is reprehensible. Perhaps that is normal for tax collectors. What would he do if the delinquent taxes are not paid in Two weeks? Nuke the park?

The community will come up with the eight grand, but the real issue is how to prevent it from happening again.

Just Sayin'

Thank you Mr Horsley!


Thank you Mr Horsley, for your efforts and the results. There are, as you know, precious few resources for kids on the coast as it is. To have lost this park, over an incredible collection of errors, would be a shame indeed.

I'm glad to hear the sale was reversed.

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