"Giving Something Back"
HMB builder Bruce Turner donates wetland parcel to HOST
by Debra Godshell

In this town, where the words "developer" and "builder" are often said in the hushed tones usually reserved for four-letter obscenities, it's refreshing to come across a developer who breaks through the stereotype.

Bruce Turner, of Turner Home Services, has donated a four-acre wetland area he owns in Miramar to the Half Moon Bay Open Space Trust. This will be the first parcel the four-year-old land trust will acquire. Founder of the trust, local resident and preservationist David Iverson was quoted in the Review as saying of the acquisition, "This starts us with a track record."

Tuner believes the difference between a builder and a developer is vision. "A developer has an overall vision for a property. Maybe the highest value back would be a strip amll, but you have to ask yourself what's best for the community," he explained. "I believe in the pendulum philosophy. For a long time, development on the coast wasn't well planned. The new trend is to make developers give something back."

When Turner was making a decision on wether or not to buy the property, he said he made a list of advantages and disadvantages. The two biggest advantages were that three were nice home sites that were big enough to build homes on, and also that three was a big chunk of land that he could preserve.

One opinion he had was to divide the open space into three segments to go with the three homes he is building adjacent to the parcel. The new owners of the homes wouldn't be able to build on it, and the uses would be limited, but they would still own it. Turner opted to donate the land to HOST and back to the community instead.

Turner and his wife have lived in Half Moon Bay for more than 20 years, and have two children at Half Moon Bay High School. He thinks it's unfortunate that developers have such a bad rap and would like to change that image.

"It's about building dreams. i do remodels and buils custom homes for people. I work with them and what pops out is their dream come true," he said.

But to Turner, a developer has to have both balance and vision, and also know the community. "Personallly, I don't want to see the rural feeling, the clean air and the community spirit that you findon the Coastside to ever go away.