Posted by oak knoll neighbor, a resident of the Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park neighborhood, on Aug 25, 2007 at 8:53 am
They should put the new MPR on the back side where the basketball courts are, otherwise they destroy the cherised playground and the magnificent spreading oak tree where they want to put in a huge parking lot. They could excavate 6-10 feet down (like a lot of gyms/ theatres), and with the 3 foot grade difference below Vine, the MPR would top out at only about 20 feet, less obtrusive. Put more parking on the Vine easement strip, the Vine residents use it for their own private cars anyway, so share it. The proposed MPR location will block the immediate neighbors winter sun. Less impact if the MPR goes on the back side. Traffic is horrendous on Oak, it's idiotic to have an access from Oak, so not only safety is a concern, but the early morning food delivery and garbage trucks, plus evening events will make it so noisy for the neighbors. The board needs to step back and really think this through. There is a better way to meet the district's and the community's needs for this campus. The taxpayers deserve a better planning process.
Posted by Oak Knoll Parent with a career, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Aug 28, 2007 at 10:50 pm
This would have been the appropriate time to design in a way to house an onsite after school program. All the other neighboring communities have this, but not Menlo Park. It's an insult to the many parents that voiced the need with plenty of advance notice. The district just doesn't respect the need for this important aspect of life in Menlo Park.
Posted by quercas gigantea curtain call, a resident of the Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park neighborhood, on Aug 29, 2007 at 7:32 am
Apparently Marjorie Mader missed the fact that the largest Oak is destined for the chain saw so they can put up a parking lot.
Maybe she should go over to Oak Knoll at lunch/recess today and observe how many kids will suffer when this beautiful oak shaded playground that has thrilled generations of Menlo Park kids will be lost forever. AS if she cares?
Posted by concerned oak knoll neighbor, a resident of the Menlo Park: University Heights neighborhood, on Aug 29, 2007 at 8:00 am
Didn't you know the school board adopted complete exemption from local ordinances, i.e., heritage tree preservation-city of Menlo Park, sometime back in the spring, so that they could get away with just about anything. Here come the bulldozers, led by that hardhat Ranella. Interesting reading in MP city heritage ordinance, and the Stockton city tree guide book (page 6 talks about heritage valley oaks). Should be assigned reading to Oak Knoll students, maybe they can write a petition to the board to stop this insanity?
Posted by curious and disappointed, a resident of the Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks neighborhood, on Aug 29, 2007 at 7:54 pm
we were playing soccer this weekend at oak knoll and were struck by what a lovely campus it was and how great it was to have these beautiful oaks (w/my kids scrabmling all over them) im really confused at what seems to be chronic short sightedness w/respect to all the school "improvements." it seems common sense has been tossed aside and now parents are scrambling to do the job Ken is paid to do and his Board volunteered to do. they (the district) are taking a lot of hits from a lot of different angles. i'm wondering if they are too busy defending their positions to ask themselves whether or not there is/was/might be a better way?
Posted by concerned oak knoll neighbor, a resident of the Menlo Park: University Heights neighborhood, on Aug 30, 2007 at 10:12 pm
They don't care about the negative impacts. They are run by the Terry T. managed board and the Mark Box managed MPAEF, and they will stop at nothing to build their Oak Knoll edifice at taxpayers expense, current playgrounds, neighbors and heritage oaks be damned. It's sadly like a congregation with sycophantic justifications for the ruling party line. Hopefully, higher authorities at the state schools architect office level continue to maintain vigilance and will ultimately provide the essential scrutiny of their extravagant schemes. There is also a body of state CEQA law (Marina v. CSUC 2006) that compels school districts to pay for their offsite impacts. So don't expect that they will be able to break ground before next summer. There are tons of legal hurdles for the district to overcome, and they have left themselves exposed to lengthy and costly legal delays because of their arrogance. Too bad they won't work with the neighbors and make more sensible improvements that would benefit the kids and the community in a shorter time frame. None of the design team staff or consultants live in Menlo Park, so they have little concern for what's best for the community. So neighbors don't feel that they can have a substantive dialogue with anyone representing the district who shares their concerns for preserving what little open space we have remaining.