News


Application withdrawn: Atherton schools, neighbors face off over use of playing field

Cartan Field Sunday use is on Atherton City Council Agenda

UPDATE: Atherton planner Lisa Costa Sanders says that Menlo School and Menlo College have withdrawn their application for Sunday use of the Cartan Field athletic field that was scheduled to be considered tonight, Wednesday June 17.

Menlo School and Menlo College, which share use of the athletic field known as Cartan Field, want Atherton to allow them to continue to use the field on Sundays, as they say they've been doing for decades.

But neighbors say a use permit granted to the school and college in 1965 prohibits use of the field on Sundays and they want it stopped.

The matter will come before the Atherton City Council when it meets Wednesday, June 17, starting at 7 p.m. in the town's council chamber at 94 Ashfield Road. Also on the agenda is approval of the town's budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year; setting the amount of the parcel tax for that year; and changes to the town's special events regulations.

For the school and college to continue to have athletic events on Cartan Field on Sundays, the use permit governing the two campuses must be modified. The school and college applied for such a modification, but their application was unanimously denied by the Planning Commission, with Mary Widmer not participating, on May 27.

Late in 2013, the town asked Menlo School and Menlo College to stop using Cartan Field on Sundays for games or summer camps, but representatives of the school and college admit the use continued through 2014. After the town again asked for the Sunday use to stop in 2015, the school and college responded by asking to have the use permit amended.

They originally asked that the permit allow games and sports camps on Sundays, but opposition from neighbors reduced the request to simply permitting up to five baseball games a year on Sundays if games were rained out or stopped due to darkness on an earlier day of the week.

Neighbors say they want Sundays to be "a day of rest" with no organized athletic events at all on the field.

The town has also asked that the use of public address systems, also prohibited in the use permit, be discontinued.

Comments

2 people like this
Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 16, 2015 at 9:39 am

That PA system could be heard word for word nearly a quarter mile away depending on atmospheric conditions. On Sundays you thought God was calling out the football plays.


12 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 16, 2015 at 9:47 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

I live across ECR from the field. It's clear, but not really that loud. At least to me. Maybe my tolerance for noise is higher. Of course, I'm not trying to pretend I live out in the country somewhere either.


18 people like this
Posted by Robert D.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 16, 2015 at 10:27 am

Robert D. is a registered user.

Menlo Voter - I think you have a realistic view point on life. Many times people move near / next to something then wonder why they can hear it. I am sure you can hear ECR, as well as other things.... But the piddly complaints of I moved close knowing a college (or airport. etc) was nearby and now I do not like it does not work for me. If you want total peace, move west of Alemeda, but of course, not next to 280


10 people like this
Posted by tgoode
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 16, 2015 at 12:40 pm

They have never played football on Sundays. HS games are Thurs, Fri or Sat. College is always Sat. So whatever is mistaken. Whatever


Like this comment
Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 16, 2015 at 1:41 pm

tgoode
So why should Sat be any noisier than Sun. Point is the sound system was exceptionally loud, whether it's football, soccer, or a rally.


2 people like this
Posted by Jeff
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jun 16, 2015 at 1:51 pm

I believe that it is only Menlo College and not the School (grades 6-12) who wants to use the fields on Sundays and has been doing so in recent years. They are separate legal entities


30 people like this
Posted by the REAL noise near schools
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Jun 16, 2015 at 2:46 pm

Good Lord!

Every high school has the same old coots living around them, waving a stick and yelling "GET OFF MY LAWN YOU DAMN KIDS!!"

Get a grip -- you made the choice to move next to a school, you gratefully took the "nexttoschool" discount on your new home. Now you want to sell, and you think the quickest way to increase the value of your home is to not have to offer the very "nexttoschool" discount that you took advantage of!!

Quit taking it out on kids, schools and non-profits that support our community!


4 people like this
Posted by Ear Raid
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 16, 2015 at 3:11 pm

I agree -- when you live near a school you have to accept the routine that goes along with it. What is not acceptable is the arena amplification that is literally deafening and rattles windows of surrounding homes. Since when do school games need to sound like a major league stadium? They can play any time they want if they would turn down the volume and rely on the scoreboard. How would they like trying to hold their classes while the folks next door rent 150 decibel equipment to blast out rodents? The schools are in a residential neighborhood -- let the cheerleaders and fans supply the audio enthusiasm and shut off the d@!% PA system!


13 people like this
Posted by the REAL noise near schools
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Jun 16, 2015 at 3:48 pm

"literally deafening"

No hyperbole here, eh what?

"150 decibel"

Well, then, facts are facts! Let's see what 150 compares to:

"Jet take-off (at 25 meters) --- 150db --- result: Eardrum rupture"

Darn - you were correct: it is "literally deafening"!!


10 people like this
Posted by Athletics are good
a resident of Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Jun 16, 2015 at 4:19 pm

If the schools knew they could use the field seven days a week for the benefit of their students, and quite often the community, they might invest in some better quality equipment. Until that happens nothing state of the art should protect the ears of grumpy neighbors. BTW, how's that CalTrain and ECR? The requested use permit is not out of line and will positively support much of the community.

Perhaps Atherton should be restricting building around the ECR as well as schools...much of the neighborhood was built AFTER Menlo already existed...so as not to allow neighbors to be restricting the benefit achieved by these institutions, including athletics!


17 people like this
Posted by Not a Nimby
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 16, 2015 at 8:45 pm

Honestly, if you purchase a home anywhere near a school, then you should expect to hear lots of noise. Menlo School pre-dates most if not all the neighbors, so it should be no surprise that you live in earshot of a school.


10 people like this
Posted by Atherton
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 17, 2015 at 1:36 pm

Here we go again. A small number of vocal neighbors should not be allowed to bully the council over something that has overwhelming benefit to our kids and community. The new playing field at Hollbrook Palmer Park is such a great addition to Atherton and it was wonderful to see this come to fruition. We need to keep moving in this positive direction and offer more opportunities and resources for our kids and families to come together.


Like this comment
Posted by Amped to Smithereens
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Jun 17, 2015 at 2:58 pm

Cheers from the stands and community cohesiveness: all for it. Amplification that makes conversation with family in my home difficult to impossible despite windows and doors being tightly closed: Pure Torture. When the school was founded they may have used those cone shaped megaphones, not gazillion watt amps that deliver every syllable to me everywhere I go in my home.


Like this comment
Posted by Barbara Wood
Almanac staff writer
on Jun 17, 2015 at 3:02 pm

Barbara Wood is a registered user.

UPDATE: Atherton planner Lisa Costa Sanders said this afternoon that this application has been withdrawn and will not be on tonight's agenda.


10 people like this
Posted by the REAL noise near schools
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Jun 17, 2015 at 5:14 pm

"makes conversation with family in my home difficult to impossible despite windows and doors being tightly closed"

Some folks don't get it - if you lie or grossly exaggerate in some of your post, it pretty much deletes you from the "reliable witness" list for most rational readers. You have ZERO credibility with those absurd statements.

But, against my better judgement, I'll bite: what did APD say the sound readings came in at?

You did call APD, right? Did it measure out to 150db?

/snark

My favorite time (at another field) was when the local PD came to do a reading, and the officer stood there with the device in his hand and waited, and waited. The irrational neighbor demanded to know why he refused to take a measurement.

Officer: "I'm waiting for the traffic to die down, and that plane to go overhead".

End of story. Neighbor shaming, courtesy of the wonderful folks at your local PD.

A great thing.


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 21, 2015 at 7:22 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Editor:

someone is at it again.

the menlo voter above is not me. I am a register user and always post under the same moniker.

whoever you are post under your own name. you can make your point just as well. Not that it has any value.

Editor's note: The post referred to has been removed.


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 21, 2015 at 7:24 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

by the way, I'm not the least bit "envious" of those with more resources than I. I have no patience for stupidity and histrionics and that's what all of this is about.


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

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