Posted by Parent, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Feb 9, 2007 at 9:50 am
First, when you buy a house next to a school, you have to accept that there will be students there and that the ground may be used by kids (even if you'd like to keep them as your private park on weekends and after school). Some of the proposals by neighbors--such as putting the school underground--are incredibly selfish and inconsiderate. These are young kids, and you think they should sit in windowless classrooms all day so that YOU can have enough sunlight? Spare me.
Next, these neighbors are the kinds of people who eschew politics. Hundreds of homes being added to neighborhoods east of El Camino? Not our problem. Zoning changes that permit oversized houses to be built in place of 2-bedroom cottages? Not our problem. But when families move in to these homes and their grubby east-of-El-Camino children clutter your neighborhood, then you scream.
Those of us who live east of El Camino would love to have a school on our side of the tracks. But guess what--there's no room! And the reason? Greed. Instead of setting aside enough land, the city has been totally built out, all in the name of ensuring that developers make enough profit. And it's still happening: commercial properties east of El Camino are being razed and replaced with dense housing. More families are on the way, folks, and there is no space for their kids.
If you want to make a change, you'll have to look outside your neighborhood. Meanwhile, the school was there before you were, and it's in your best interests (vis a vis property values) to ensure that the quality of education provided remains high. An adequate physical plant is an essential component.
The school board is bending over backwards to accommodate everyone, but their first responsibility is to the students. Accept that, and stop whining.