Editorial: Toxics don't belong next to homes | April 27, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - April 27, 2012

Editorial: Toxics don't belong next to homes

Zoning should prohibit use of industrial toxic chemicals near Barron Park and other neighborhoods

The six-year conflict between Barron Park residents and Communications & Power Industries (CPI) over the company's use of toxic chemicals illustrates the difficulty of removing a legal non-conforming use from a neighborhood that is threatened by a spill or the accidental release of these dangerous substances.

This story contains 851 words.

If you are a paid subscriber, check to make sure you have logged in. Otherwise our system cannot recognize you as having full free access to our site.

If you are a paid print subscriber and haven't yet set up an online account, click here to get your online account activated.


Posted by Freida Leigh, a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 28, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Barron Park was not developed after Varian. My family bought their home in Barron Park in 1942 .

Posted by Don't-Forget, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 28, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Barron Park was not officially a part of Palo Alto until 1976, when the Annexation was completed.

Posted by Tyler Hanley, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2012 at 10:26 am

The following comments were moved from a duplicate thread:

Posted by Douglas Moran, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on April 28, 2012 at 3:27 a.m.
Douglas Moran is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online

"And while Barron Park was developed after Varian built its facility,..." (paragraph 3):

This is highly misleading. The issue of who moved in next to who is important factor because the false inference licensed gives has given rise to false assessments and arguments.

While the overall Barron Park neighborhood had significant development after Varian built its facility, the section closest to that facility was one of the earliest areas in BP to develop and already had substantial residential development by that time. The dates I have seen for the creation of the Stanford Research Park is 1951, with the Varian facility dated as 1953 or 1957.

According to a database compiled by Barron Park historian Douglas Graham, of the 73 current residential properties on the street (Chimalus) adjacent to the facility, 49 were already had homes built by 1950 (67%), with another 9 in 1951-52, and 6 in 1954-57 (cumulative 79% and 88% respectively).

One block over on Matadero (from El Camino to Laguna), there are 57 residential properties (excluding the apartments). 34 (60%) had houses by 1950; 41 (72%) by 1953, 48 (84%) by 1957.

The Varian/CPI HazMat operation moved in next to a well established residential neighborhood, both in the beginning of the SRP and when CPI greatly expanded it by moving in a operation previously located in an industrial park in San Carlos.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton, 17 hours ago
Peter Carpenter is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online

Remember that even oxygen in high concentrations is very toxic, even fatal.

The issue is not toxicity but the manner in which a particular chemical entitiy is stored and processed.

Posted by susie, a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 29, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Its not just Barron Park. This whole place is toxic. There is dumping in the creeks, all of them> Stanford Labs put radioactive material down the drains. Over near 101 you are always within quarter of a mile of a superfund site. College Terrace IS on a superfund site - the old HP plant on S. California. Los Altos Hills is on its own fault line. The railway makes a huge noise as do 101, El Camino, Middlefield, Escondido, Pagemill, and San Antonio! And Cancer rates are very high here!

Posted by sotru, a resident of Southgate
on Apr 29, 2012 at 2:57 pm

finally, its noticed the entire area is TOXIC... mainly ,constant acrid industry odors ,always some kind of smoke smell or ''burning plastic'' kind of smell. too many apartment buildings that are literally chemical factories with the constant laundy soap fumes, artificial and toxic sickening. believe it or not, there are people who cannot function like a normal person because of so much toxic air in society. silicon valley no longer smells like blossoms in the evening. like it did 30 years ago. it s completely horrible acrid industry odors. rarely without SOME kind of smoke smell. crimes against the environment.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields