Town Square

Post a New Topic

Do not open Foothills Park

Original post made by Anne T., Duveneck/St. Francis, on Jul 16, 2007

I am not sure where to begin I have so many thoughts and comments about this subject. But simply, I strongly oppose opening Foothills Park to neighboring communities.

1) First, the precious ecosystem of this park is not something to be bargained with. Further, I can't believe we would even be considering trades at $50,000 to $135,000.
2) I find it strange that Los Altos is suggesting payment of $135,000 to Palo Alto for opening Foothills Park to their residents but then as quoted by Council Member Breen Kerr in the Daily News, "There would be no strings attached to the money, but we anticipate it would be used to open Fire Station 8" in Foothills Park. If we need a fire station to remain open for public safety, then that should be a priority and it should have nothing to do with access to Foothills Park.
3) Foothills Park is a treasure and we do not need to open it up further. It is my understanding that it is currently open to non-resident foot traffic (why is this any different than some of our other local/regional parks, such as Windy Hill?). We have few areas in Palo Alto that maintain such pristine beauty-- why risk that? And aren't there currently a couple of times a year that it is opened to neighboring communities?
4) We have over 30 other city parks that are open to non-residents. One is in my neighborhood: Eleanor Pardee Park. This morning was typical as I walked my dog before the maintenance crews came through and found the park strewn with trash, leftover food and human waste. I see no reason to increase our exposure in Foothills Park which will surely only increase our annual maintenance fees and possibly threaten the natural beauty of the park.
5) If we were to open up Foothills Park to non-residents how can we limit it to just Los Altos? And the thought of charging different communities "by their ability to pay" is positively absurd. This would be an act that we could never change.

If you are looking for some money, how about starting with the $181,000 earmarked for an Environmental Coordinator. I bet that person wouldn't support opening up Foothills!

Comments (48)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by openspace
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 16, 2007 at 3:20 pm

It is absurd that Foothills Park is not open to everyone. All the other parks are. Add in a parking fee for non-residents if you want to generate money. We don't put resident restrictions on baylands and there shouldn't be any for Foothills.

"And the thought of charging different communities "by their ability to pay" is positively absurd."
Yep!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by openspace
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 16, 2007 at 3:21 pm

btw, this is being debated here: Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 16, 2007 at 3:32 pm

Why is it assumed that non Palo Alto residents would trash a park any more so than PA residents? From my experience, particularly around school campuses and school events, (May Fete parade) that PA residents are quite able to trash a park on their own.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Is he joking?
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Jul 16, 2007 at 4:43 pm

Did Kerr really say there were no strings attached? oh yes, he added a "but". Give me a break from doubletalk.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jenny
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2007 at 5:43 am

It is naive of Palo Altans to believe Foothill Park is closed to everyone but Palo Alto residents, it is as porous as an open sieve. You can walk in over the fence which many local residents do, you can bike or drive in through the exit gate, and there are houses which back onto the park from surrounding communities. I think it's great that Los Altos Hills is offering to pay for somethings they have access to anyway.




 +   Like this comment
Posted by Offended in EPA
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 17, 2007 at 10:48 am

Ann, I am offended by your statements. Most of us in neighboring cities do our part in keeping all parks clean, but there are a few that make it hard for everyone. These folks exist in PALO ALTO TOO!!! I can guarantee you it's not folks from surrounding cities trashing Eleanor Park...give me a break!! Believe me, most would not choose Eleanor Park with the much nicer/larger Rinconada around the corner. You shouldn't be able to visit other parks outside of Palo Alto! I'm an African American woman from East Palo Alto and attended St. Albert the Great School (now named St. Elizabeth Seton School) and it was the kids from Palo Alto, not East Palo Alto, that trashed Eleanor Park when we were growing up in the 70's. Travel to other parks, like Lake Elizabeth in Fremont (where I currently own a home), and you'll see people really do care.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Luana
a resident of Stanford
on Jul 17, 2007 at 11:25 am

As a Stanford homeowner whose house is close to the Dish, I've always thought it absurd that Palo Alto does not allow us access to Foothill Park. Palo Altans see it as their right to park on Stanford Avenue and walk the Dish. Why not reciprocate?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2007 at 12:23 pm

With all due respect, the Dish does not have a parking lot and street parking is necessary.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Jul 17, 2007 at 1:32 pm

Aside from the gangbangers that do trash Eleanor Park regularly, I, too, have seen Palo Altans not treat that park well - they're as bad as the gangbangers!

The OP's only argument that washes is the ecosystem one. The rest, of course, is based on snobbery.

EPA should have toll roads to IKEA & to Dumbarton.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 17, 2007 at 1:49 pm

"EPA should have toll roads to IKEA & to Dumbarton"

I like the idea of toll roads in EPA. It could be a cash cow, and very few PA folk would complain loudly. However, I would not have a toll road to get to IKEA (bad for business). But a toll road for the Dunbarton...hmmm... Think about it EPA (if it is leagal).


 +   Like this comment
Posted by eric
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 17, 2007 at 2:12 pm

I think you missed the point, resident.

See you at Shoreline soon! No charge, of course


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bob C,
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 17, 2007 at 2:48 pm

Response to Luana, Stanford resident. Why should Palo Alto allow Stanford residents to enter Foothills Park? We Palo Alto residents cannot use any Stanford facilities such as the tennis courts or swimming pools !!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 17, 2007 at 3:00 pm

"See you at Shoreline soon! No charge, of course"

Unless you want to use the various profit centers at Shoreline (sailing, golfing, restaurant, catered events). Of course Eric wants as many "no charge" entrants, as possible, at shoreline - it is a great marketing strategy. Don't forget Shoreline Amphitheatre, a very serious profit center.

Mt. View did a very clever thing, something I admire: It converted "544 acres of junkyard, hog farm, two substandard dumps, low lying flood plains, and a sewage treatment plant!" (from the official website). into a promo for the City of Mt. View. However, Eric, where did that sewage plant go? (hint: the first letters are: P and A).

I think Palo Alto should do a similar thing, but I am in a minority. Instead, PA developed Byxbee as a natural park for peaceful walking (no charge) and a wildlife refuge. PA also agreed to take in MV's sewage (thus allowing Shoreline to develop in its current form). PA also agreed to rent out its own land for a county airport.

I think Palo Alto has gone too far, in terms of shared pain. Not only should PA insist that FHP reamain exclusive, but it should also inist that Mt. View deal with its own sewage.

Time for Palo Alto to fight back against the various whiners.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Palo alto mom
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 17, 2007 at 3:04 pm

I think we should let non-residents into Foothill, just charge them enough of a fee to pay for additional trash pick-up and additional rangers. I also think we should charge non-residents more for Rinconada pool or alternatively allow Residents to buy a pass for the whole summer.

I've lived near Pardee Park for almost 10 years. While I don't know where people live who use the park on weekends many are not residents (having taken my kids to the park for years, you know which faces are familiar and not...) There is truly a LARGE trash issue. It is the closest park to our neighbors in EPA, many walk there and are delightful people.

But in addition to the trash, there is often little supervision of the kids on the play structures - I've had to help a toddler supervised by a 4 year old down from the structure and slides many times.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lisa
a resident of another community
on Jul 18, 2007 at 8:17 am

I grew up in Palo Alto and lived there for 20 years. I have only the fondest of memories of regularly using Foothills Park. I strongly believe that if Foothills Park is open to other communities, the beautiful environment will rapidly erode. Do not open it to other communities. It is not worth the money that will be receieved from other communities and/or parking fees.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Susan
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 18, 2007 at 8:24 am

Come on folks, this is an easy one. Of course it should be open - it is crazy to have a "private" public park - show me one other! This is just like a community pool or golf course - open it to all, charge everybody (remember when it used to cost $2 to go in FHP?), charge non-residents a little more, cap out usage by counting cars, us the extra money to hire a little more staff. I know we are all super-smart, but do we really have to re-invent the wheel on everything?



 +   Like this comment
Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Jul 18, 2007 at 2:39 pm

Susan, the revenue you would collect would not even cover the cost of collecting it. It's more practical to not staff the gate and do spot checks on the people using the park.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by carla
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 18, 2007 at 4:25 pm

i believe that fhp shouldn't be open to non-residents, not because it should remain exclusive, but mainly because it's located in an environmentally fragile area. based on how our athletic fields look after a weekend of soccer, and i know for a fact that most weekend soccer users are not palo alto residents (although palo alto residents are certainly capable of creating a mess as well), it's very likely that too many visitors would damage or even destroy the delicate balance that allows wild life to thrive in this particular park. fhp isn't at all like rinconada, johnson or mitchell parks. the foothills are special vis-a-vis their wildlife and flora and that environment might not be able to handle a large increase in visitors. in addition, a large increase in traffic on a very narrow and windy road will inevitably cause traffic accidents, some fatal, and sharply decrease the quality of life of the residents living off page mill road, residents who have chosen to live in a pristine, rural, secluded environment. i am very happy that palo alto allows all non-residents to use our many city parks, but fhp definitely shouldn't be part of the deal.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mac
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 18, 2007 at 5:27 pm

look at Yellowstone and Yosemite as larger scale examples of what happens when you "let everyone in".


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ronald
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 18, 2007 at 7:25 pm

I'm not comparing the two, but the Galapagos islands may become off limits to humans in the near future because too many people had been allowed to visit and they disturbed the fragile environmental balance down there. Allowing unhindered non-residential access to Foothill Park may very well create a similar catastrophe. People should stop being so selfish and think of the environmental aspect of their actions. Like someone said on this thread, Foothill isn't Rinconada or Mitchell. Palo Alto has been more than generous in allowing all non-residents free access to our parks and neighboring soccer players virtually unlimited access to our athletic fields. E.Palo Alto does not provide its residents with soccer fields and hundreds of EPA residents use Palo Alto parks and athletic fields daily to play soccer, and they are welcome. Please, don't make the irreversable mistake of treating FHP as another Riconada or Mitchell.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Susan
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 18, 2007 at 7:56 pm

You people are so funny. What about every other open space on the Peninsula - there are tons, every single one open to everybody, a couple charge $ but most do not. I haven't noticed severe environmental degradation at Windy Hill or Arestradero recently (maybe the EPA's can't find them). Plus if you think the EPA hordes will flood poor Foothill, just cap the number of cars coming in or raise the price.

The idea that things Palo Alto are so unique that they require unique solutions - good grief.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ronald
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 19, 2007 at 6:48 am

This is not about EPA. EPA was just mentioned as an example of a neighboring city that isn't providing parks and athletic fields to its residents who use Palo Alto's facilities instead. I doubt that more EPA residents would visit FHP if it were opened to everybody, this really isn't about any particular community. Any person who wants to get into FHP right now can do it easily in a number of ways.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Except
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 19, 2007 at 8:04 am

Except through the front door on the weekends ;-)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 19, 2007 at 9:44 am

You only need one PA resident in a car (not necessarily the driver) to get in. I know that often a group or family of both PA residents and non get in by splitting the PA people into the different cars. You can even get two cars in if you tell the gate that you are together.

At present, all that is happening is for those who want to get in to find a way round it and most trying usually can.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by P G
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 19, 2007 at 11:01 am

The idea of public/private parks is common in Europe and many other places. Access to city parks is limited to people who are dues paying "members" and they are often given keys to access the park. Walk through London and you will see many. By living in PA you become a member of this park through the payment of taxes. Simple enough.

I can live with being perceived as lacking generosity when balanced against the risk to the park ecosystem and all the other risk enumerated. Independent of the history of how the park became exclusive to PA, I dont see why we should change. The surrounding communities dont lack the resources to entertain their members. Open the park for the amount of money to keep a fire station open? Absurd. In PA we have Arborists, Bee-hive manager, community garden administrators etc. and we have all agreed to the costs and tax assessments this community generates.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 19, 2007 at 11:49 am

The private parks in London are very different. These parks are in residential neighborhoods which have no yards of their own. They are paid for by local neighbors who have a key for an annual charge. They are not open to all unless this charge has been paid for. It is a separate type of arrangement for local residents who have no garden/yard space and want somewhere to enjoy the outside amenities that the park affords. The design of the neighborhood was made at the time the original homes were built. This is a very different situation.

For those unfamiliar with this idea, the movie "Notting Hill" with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts demonstrates it quite well.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gerald
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 19, 2007 at 1:05 pm

It seems like residents of EPA in particular are resentful that FHP isn't open to everybody. EPA, to the best of my knowledge, has no public parks. EPA residents use the public parks in Palo Alto to picnic, celebrate birthdays, hang out and EPA residents also use PA sport fields to play soccer, since soccer fields aren't available to them either in their own town. Since PA parks are so available to them, there seems to be no incentive for EPA civic leaders to create their own parks. I suggest that EPA residents demand of their leaders parks of their own, so they don't have have to travel to other cities to picnic and play soccer, instead of whining about the exclusivity of FHP. Dependency on others is never a good idea, and the more one gets used to it, the more difficult it is to get rid of.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by DAVISON
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 19, 2007 at 1:51 pm

DO NOT OPEN THAT PAKR TO OUTSIDERS IT WILL BE TO CROWED AND THAN WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO USE IT. IT WAS PAID FOR BY MY UNDERSTANDING FOR THE PEOPLE OF PALO ALTO ONLY. AS OTHERS HAVE SAID THERE ARE PLENTY OF OTHER PARKS AROUND


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kenny
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 19, 2007 at 2:14 pm

If FHP is opened to non-residents,the same logic would indicate that our public schools should be opened to everybody wishing to attend, residents from neighboring cities should demand that our police department protect them, and using the same logic, why shouldn't they use my backyard for a BBQ. FHP was acquired using Palo Alto residents tax money, the eco-system of that particular park is quite fragile and very different from other city parks and even other open space areas. Human use of this particular area should be minimized, not expanded. Just like I don't expect others to let me use their property or even their city's resources, they shouldn't have any expectations of automatic use of property paid for by others. I find the whiny demands to use FHP real chutzpah.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by eric
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 19, 2007 at 2:17 pm

Um, so, John, you want free food, concerts and catered events at Shoreline? Well, let me work on that.

PA isnt donating anything to MV, sewer-wise. Adjancent cities have lots of cross-pollenization on utilities, infrastructure, etc. Your lack of knowledge on this makes it unneccessary to take much stock in your other comments. Your overinflated opinion of what PA "gives" to surrounding communities is funny.

(Im not trying to bash PA-- your city should get a lot of credit for some good things its done-- Cubberly Center is a great asset to the region, for one. I do take issue with the high and mighty crowd that values PAs contribution to the universe at $10 on the nickel, though)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 19, 2007 at 4:15 pm

Eric,

No, nothing for free. It's just that your notion of "free" is only for the hiking and bird watching. The rest are profit centers. Byxbee is free, period, for the hiking and birding (and about double the size of all of Shoreline).

You should at least try to do your homework, Eric:

"In October 1968, the Cities of Mountain View and Los Altos agreed to retire their treatment plants. They became partners with the City of Palo Alto to construct a cost-effective regional secondary treatment plant. The 1968 pact extended until July 1, 2035, set Palo Alto as the operator of the plant, and required Palo Alto, Los Altos and Mountain View and their sub-partnering sewer agencies, East Palo Alto Sanitary District, Stanford University, and Los Altos Hills to share in the proportionate costs of upkeep. The Regional Water Quality Control Plant was designed in 1969. Construction started in 1970 and was completed in 1972 for a cost of $11 million. " BTW, this agreement is only good until 2035.

Web Link

As I said, Eric, MV got rid of their problem plant and put it in PA. Next question?

Palo Alto absorbs too many of the burdens in this area. Beside sewage, and the airport, if MV soccer players actually had to play on their own fields, instead of using PA's fields, they would be forced to develop more soccer fields (something they recently rejected). If Portola Valley had any regulation baseball fields, it would not be mooching off PA. If EPA had any decent parks, it wouldn't be using PA's parks...etc.

Palo Alto needs to fight back. It's that simple.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Threads
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 19, 2007 at 5:02 pm

Somewhat off topic, but the MVLA soccer club uses Los Altos fields, not Palo Alto. The field behind their City Hall is quite nice.

And I enjoy the free access to our neighbor's open space - Windy Hill, Shoreline, Stanford Dish. It seems reasonable to me that we share Foothill.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joanna
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 19, 2007 at 5:03 pm

Just to throw in a few random observations of my own:

1. As Jenny pointed out, getting into Foothills Park is currently very easy. There aren't enough rangers to keep the main gate staffed, and of course, there are other points of access into the park, as most local hikers know.
2. That said, whenever I'm up there, there are surprisingly few people using and enjoying the park.
3. As several people have pointed out, it is of course important to protect the fragile ecosystem up there. But perhaps limits and rules could be put in place and enforced with some of the funding and entry fees. In particular, there could be a limit on the number of cars that enter the park, which would both reduce foot traffic and pollution, and perhaps it would encourage carpooling and cycling into the park. (There is a park and ride just down the hill at 280.)
4. Allowing people to enjoy and experience our local habitat is probably the best way to make them sensitive to it. Children in particular need a chance to walk in the woods, see a coyote or a deer, or find a hawk's feather in the grass. LAH children are hopefully already having that experience, but since we've broadened this particular discussion to include other communities such as EPA, Stanford, and Mountain View, let's think about the fact that we have a unique resource and opportunity with Foothills Park to help children (and maybe even a few adults) come to love and understand the natural world.

I agree, let's be protective of the park, but if resources allowed, it would make much better sense in the long run to do it strategically rather than exclusively.

Joanna


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gerald
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 19, 2007 at 5:07 pm

Why is Palo Alto expected to solve the problem of lack of sufficient parks and athletic fields in neighboring communities? Other cities around us use land for commercial purposes, we use it for parks. every weekend, hundreds of non-residents play soccer and baseball in our fields, picnic in our parks, leave tons of trash behind, not always in garbage containers, and we are supposed to just accept it as a normal fact of life. The sense of entitlement non-residents have, where using PA parks and field is automatic and an obvious solution to their communities lack of parks is puzzling. Some Palo Altans who live near parks and soccer fields don't even enjoy-surprise, having their streets flooded with cars every weekend, and their driveways often partially blocked by non-resident cars, but it would be so not PC to say something about it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by eric
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 19, 2007 at 5:34 pm

Gerald, what are you TALKING about? As many people from, say MV that use PA athletic fields and parks, there are a similar number of PA folks using ours!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by eric
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 19, 2007 at 5:43 pm

John, it looks to me like MV, PA and others JOINTLY DEVELOPED and PAID FOR a sewage plant (I was aware of the details before your post) for their mutual benefit. It is run by PA, and, I assume, the other agencies pay them fees per a mutually agreed to contract. Problem?

Soccer fields-- MV just opened up several new ones (a proposal for more at an open-space site was rejected. Excellent bird-watching there, from what Im told. Come by!) We have decent capacity, and I personally know Palo Altans that use fields in town. All of our fields get use from teams in SV, PA, LA, others. PA Softball teams often play in MV. Problem?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 19, 2007 at 5:55 pm

Eric,

I don't think the point is MV's parks, but East Palo Alto's. Does EPA have a single park?

MV does have parks, but I believe PA has more. Given that PA has more than 30 parks open to anyone and that there is open space along the Peninsula open to anyone (including Palo Alto's Arastradero), I'm not sure why there's a compelling need to open Foothills. The arguments seemed to be based on some sort of idea that there's a moral obligation to share, but given how many parks Palo Alto does share, I don't quite get why FHP needs to be opened. It seems to be more about resentment of the Palo Alto 'tude more than anything.

Personally, I don't have strong feelings about it. But then, I don't think Stanford has to share its athletic facilities--as wonderfully nice as they are.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 19, 2007 at 6:32 pm

"As many people from, say MV that use PA athletic fields and parks, there are a similar number of PA folks using ours! "

Wrong, Eric!

I have a few friends that are close to the local sports/fields issues. They tell me that if Palo Alto actually enforced it 50% residency per team rule, surrounding communities, including MV, would be up the creek without a paddle. Palo Alto teams, on the other hand, would have almost solved its internal playing field problem. If Palo Alto went to a higher percentage (say 80%), and enforced it, MV would be blown out of the water.

The new soccer fields at Mayfield are hugely successful, and there is a waiting list for playing time. The problem is that many of these players are from outside PA. It is time for MV to build its own playing fields, to meet its actual demand. I think I remember that there was a big move to do this in MV (at Cuesta Park), but it was defeated. Did you support this move to take care of your own, Eric?

Eric, I will guarantee you that if PA begins to enforce its current rules on playing fields, MV will be desparately trying to figure out an answer. Maybe that corner where Sears is...? Or Cuesta?

Palo Alto needs to fight! We should no longer act under noblesse oblige.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 19, 2007 at 7:17 pm

"John, it looks to me like MV, PA and others JOINTLY DEVELOPED and PAID FOR a sewage plant (I was aware of the details before your post) for their mutual benefit. It is run by PA, and, I assume, the other agencies pay them fees per a mutually agreed to contract. Problem?"

Yes, Eric, there is a little problem. MV (and ohter nearby cities) send their sewage to a fcility on PA land. When the agreement ends in 2035, where will MV dump its sewage? Logically, it should be at Shoreline, where it used to be. I'm quite certain that MV, with its new wealth, will be able to construct a state-of-the-art facility. Of course, they might need to take about 50 acres away from the current Shoreline Park. At that point, PA will be able to downsize the current facility and develop additional park land (perhaps more palying fields). Of course, it will still be a state-of-the-art sewage treatment facility, but only for PA sewage. Those new playing fields will be mostly for PA players.

Palo Alto does way MORE than its fair share. Time to get a tad selfish, Palo Altans! Cities like MV, EPA, PV, Stanford need to take care of their own needs.

To be fair, Eric, I think I remember that PA got some kind of quid-pro-quo out of the deal (land fill?), but I have not been able to identify it. Do you know (honest question)?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gerald
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 19, 2007 at 8:04 pm

Eric, I don't know of any Palo Alto resident who uses MV fields and parks, and I suggest that you don't either. I just find the attitude that PA owes to the residents of the surrounding cities complete and perpetual use of its recreation facilities, its athletic fields in particular, bizarre. EPA doesn't feel any need to build ANY parks or athletic fields, since their residents use our parks and fields as a matter of fact. Soccer players from all surrounding cities and as far as east bay communities like Fremont and Newark come to PA every weekend to play as if this is how it should be. Why should our neighbors bother to build parks and sport fields when they can use the ones in Palo Alto and use their own land for tax generating commercial use?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by AJ
a resident of Woodside
on Jul 19, 2007 at 8:14 pm

It sounds to me like this issue is less about the "ecosystem" than the egos on this board. Listen up, no matter WHO gets into WHAT park, you will ALWAYS have people throwing trash around and mistreating the environment. California in general seems to be famous for that. I am originally from New England where there are no sofas, pillows and loads of other trash on the side of the highways. The only way to "try" to keep the ecosystem as healthy as possible is to STOP BUILDING. With the exception of a few, you sound like a bunch of whiney babies. Shut up and work together to keep the ecosystems healthy in the bay area instead of just in 'YOUR' neighborhood. I have never seen such self-centered, egomaniacal talk on one board. Come out of your "little" petty worlds and get a CLUE!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 19, 2007 at 8:24 pm

"I am originally from New England where there are no sofas, pillows and loads of other trash on the side of the highways. The only way to "try" to keep the ecosystem as healthy as possible is to STOP BUILDING"

AJ, New England is much more overbuilt, compared to California. Care to explain?




 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jen
a resident of Stanford
on Jul 20, 2007 at 1:59 am

Palo Alto citizens can use open Stanford facilities like certain tennis courts and fields as long as they are not previously booked by students or special events. It is absurd that Stanford citizens cannot use Foothill Park; my street is constantly plagued by Palo Alto citizens parking illegally in residential parking where permits are technically required. The Stanford Dish used to be much more open, welcoming dogs and bicyclists alike, without cement or fencing, but because of the overpopulation and strange political wars with the demanding Palo Alto city government, it is now much more restricted and far less enjoyable.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 20, 2007 at 8:48 am

There is no parking lot at the Dish. Stanford has decided that one way to limit the number of people using the Dish is by not providing parking. Therefore, people using the Dish, park on the street. If Stanford provided a parking lot, there would be little or no parking on the street.

QED


 +   Like this comment
Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 20, 2007 at 9:46 am

The dish used to actually have parking--5 to 10 spots.

But dish v. FHP.

Dish is more convenient.
FHP bigger and more diverse.

Okay, fact is, I never liked walking the dish, so I'll pop back out of this.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by eric
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 20, 2007 at 2:10 pm

John, then PA should enforce that rule. No qualms about it-- since you are clearly more concerned about adult leagues, I have no issue with that group paying fair market for field use. Most cities-including PA- charge a premium for out-of-towners to join rec programs (something your friend likely didnt factor into his claims)-- if capacity is a problem, bump the non-resident fee! Your contact is only looking at the issue from one direction. My city has addressed its needs (again, new fields just opened), and our kids use Los Altos fields much more (and they ours) then PA.

(I think if PA enforced the rules as you suggest, some leagues would have trouble filling all their teams- if thats not the case, then they WOULD limit non-residents- simple as that. Same would apply in MV leagues.)

Off the high horse, friend. We are both fortunate to live in cities that provide above-par services to their citizens. Your need to discredit your neighbors is odd. Your issue with sewage is bizarre, and I would suggest that you remember that you live in a city with stagnant at best revenues and a tax base that keeps getting nibbled away. PA can and should be working deals where they provide services for pay to other municipalities. (I believe that you are right about some other services that PA receieved in exchange for the sewage plant, further bolstering my arguement)


Gerald, congratulations on knowing every resident of PA. For the record, the MV people that I know who play in adult leagues mostly play on Stanford campus, with a few exceptions that play softball in both PA and SV (with PA people in SV, of course)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 20, 2007 at 2:45 pm

"if capacity is a problem, bump the non-resident fee! Your contact is only looking at the issue from one direction. My city has addressed its needs (again, new fields just opened), and our kids use Los Altos fields much more (and they ours) then PA. "

Eric, I am not just talking about the adult leagues, although adults have as much right to recreation as kids. Palo Alto is loaded up with out-of-town kids playing on our fields. PA has, to this point, refused to enforce its own rules (noblesse oblige, aka guilt). This period is coming to close, I can assure you.

Eric, I feel that you are pretty smart, thus you must know that the 'game' (within a game) is to use PA playing fields by blending just enough PA players on a given team, with MV (for example) players, such that they meet the 50% rule. The reality is that actual residency is not checked by utility bills. It is as leaky as a sieve. Palo Alto WILL be checking utility bills at some point in the future. At that point, Eric, you will find out how deficient you (MV) are in actual field space for your kids. In terms of adults, PA takes a huge burden. I say let the adult leagues proportion their fields according to resisdency. For example, if only 20% of adults playing soccer in PA are from PA, then only 20% of the games should be played in PA. They can pay their fees to the other cities for proportional use. I understand that there are MANY adult soccer players from MV, that willingly pay to play on PA fields, becasue there is no room for them at home. This must end! There is plenty of room at Shoreline to add new playing fields. Not to mention Cuesta.

I will join Gerald in saying that I don't know a single PA team that seeks to use MV playing fields, outside of tournaments involving various cities. Can you name one, Eric? If you do come up with an example, I will tell my sports friends that there is a problem, one which can probably be remedied by enforcing the current rules (50% residency); if not, then go to 80% residency.

Eric, all this bickering about parks is the result of the envy over ONE park: FHP. If you (and others) keep pushing on FHP you will:

1. Not succeed.

2. Lose much more than you currently comprehend.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ying
a resident of another community
on Jun 29, 2009 at 11:41 pm

If it is truly for environment, how about close the park entirely, not open to anyone include Palo Alto people either? This would be great for the ecosystem -- and a true test about how many people are really caring about the environment, how many are just selfish and snobbish.


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

Email:


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

Flirtation
By Chandrama Anderson | 4 comments | 1,570 views

King of the Slides
By Cheryl Bac | 4 comments | 1,212 views

Standardized Test Prep: When to Start and Whom to Hire?
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 0 comments | 1,006 views

The Future of our Parks: Public Workshops this Week
By Cathy Kirkman | 0 comments | 606 views

Subverting open, fair and honest debate (Measure D)
By Douglas Moran | 6 comments | 595 views