Atherton library: More comment time added

Residents sought more time to comment on scope of environmental impact report

By Barbara Wood

Special to the Almanac

Because some Atherton residents asked the town to give them two extra weeks to comment on what should be in an environmental impact report on the proposed new library in Holbrook-Palmer Park, due to the holidays, Town Planner Neal Martin has extended the period for comments to Wednesday, Jan. 11.

A public meeting to help determine what will be the focus of the report was held in the Atherton Council Chambers on Thursday, Dec. 8. About 17 people attended, but only five spoke.

The major concern of most speakers was what alternatives to the park site will be looked at in the EIR. Mr. Martin said the report will consider such project alternatives as a reduced size building at the site of the main house in the park; a site in the parking lot northeast of the main house; the existing library site; a Town Center site other than the existing library site; and retaining the existing library.

"If you think outside the box there are a lot of locations where the library could be placed," said resident Phil Lively. That could include sites outside Atherton such as Flood Park, since the library is a county library, he said.

Charles Marsala, a former Atherton council member, asked that the study look at sharing facilities with Menlo College or other schools.

Resident Ann McNertney repeated the request that town officials have been hearing since the council voted 3-2 in October to choose Holbrook-Palmer Park as the preferred site for the library – that the public be asked where they want the library. "I think the town's populace deserves a town-wide referendum," she said.

A draft version of the EIR should be available for public comment in the spring, Mr. Martin said. The public will have a chance to comment on the draft and hearings will be held before the Planning Commission and City Council. Once the final EIR is accepted the town can review and approve the actual library plans.

Until Jan. 11, written comments on the scope of the EIR can be emailed to or mailed to Lisa Costa Sanders, Town of Atherton, 91 Ashfield Road, Atherton 94027.

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Like this comment
Posted by wegottraffic
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 9, 2011 at 5:46 am

As part of the draft EIR I am sure traffic will be studied. Key intersections like Watkins and Middlefield will be impacted by the new library/community center. But wait! it seems Atherton is facing a new invasion and traffic problem.
From a report on the Facebook EIR just published in the Mercury:

"The 748-page environmental impact report was triggered by Facebook's request to eventually employ 9,400 people at its two campuses on both sides of Bayfront Expressway. In addition to traffic, the report examined other potential impacts of the expansion, such as on local schools, public services and utilities,air quality and wildlife.
The report concludes that if car trips aren't limited, a worst-case scenario would see Marsh, Willow and Middlefield roads -- major routes to the campuses -- choke with traffic and even State Highway 84 and Highway 101 would feel the brunt.
Travelers also would find delays at key intersections, including Marsh and Middlefield roads; Willow Road and Bayfront Expressway; University Avenue and Bayfront Expressway; Bayfront Expressway and Chrysler Drive; and Middlefield Road and Lytton Avenue."

Actually this solves the problem of a library in the park...people would not even be able to use it because of the traffic congestion.
Welcome Facebook...there goes the neighborhood.

Like this comment
Posted by Worried
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Dec 9, 2011 at 1:45 pm

As a parent of two pre-teens, this whole thing scares me. Am I expected to pad lock my wine for fear of getting arrested when my kids have friends over?

Am I expected to search the kids coming over? Oh wait, I would get arrested for that too. Sounds like a no win situation if you ask me.

Whatever teen brought the alcohol in, should be the one in trouble.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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