Tonight: Irrigating country club golf course

Although you wouldn't necessarily know it from the title of the agenda item -- "Discuss a Recommendation to the City Council to Allow Further Consideration for a Groundwater Irrigation Well, Pending Environmental Review and Approval through the CEQA Process, as an Alternative Water Supply to Reduce the City's Use of Hetch Hetchy Water" -- the Menlo Park Environmental Quality Commission will review a proposal tonight (Feb. 1) to put a well in a city park to irrigate the Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club.

Menlo Park is considering eight potential well sites, with six in Nealon Park and two in Jack Lyle Park.

According to city staff, the club would pay about $4 million in construction costs for the well and pipeline, and also reimburse the city for annual operation and maintenance costs. They plan to bring the proposal to the City Council this spring.

Menlo Park would be able to use the well water for Nealon Park, Jack Lyle Park, Sharon Park, and La Entrada School, with staff estimating that it would save the city $68,000 per year on park irrigation.

As Nealon Park is zoned as an open space conservation district, and the club is a private entity, neighbors have mounted opposition to the proposal, saying there's no real benefit to the city.

The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Arrillaga Family Recreation Center at 701 Laurel St. Click here to review the agenda and staff reports.


Like this comment
Posted by Park Neighbor
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 20, 2012 at 10:18 am

What about all the money the water district will lose from one of their largest customers?

Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 20, 2012 at 10:51 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The law requires that that agenda description be more specific:

"The purpose of the brief general description is to inform interested members of the
public about the subject matter under consideration so that they can determine whether
to monitor or participate in the meeting of the body. In Carlson v. Paradise Unified
School Dist. (1971) 18 Cal.App.3d 196, the court interpreted the agenda requirements
set forth in section 966 of the Education Code. That section required “. . . [a] list of
items that will constitute the agenda for all regular meetings shall be posted. . . .”
(Carlson v. Paradise Unified School Dist. (1971) 18 Cal.App.3d 196, 199.) In
interpreting this section, the court stated:
“In the instant case, the school board’s agenda contained as one
item the language ‘Continuation school site change.’ This was entirely
inadequate notice to a citizenry which may have been concerned over
a school closure.
“On this point alone, we think the trial court was correct
because the agenda item, though not deceitful, was entirely misleading
and inadequate to show the whole scope of the board’s intended plans.
It would have taken relatively little effort to add to the agenda that this
‘school site change’ also included the discontinuance of elementary
education at Canyon View and the transfer of those students to
Ponderosa School.” (Carlson v. Paradise Unified School Dist. (1971)
18 Cal.App.3d 196, 200, original emphasis; see also 67
Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 84, 87 (1984).)

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