The Menlo-Atherton Little League has permission to host an all-star tournament in Atherton's Holbrook-Palmer Park over two weeks in July 2017, but was warned by City Council members Wednesday that the league needs to be careful not to rile up the park's neighbors if it wants to hold the event in the future.
The council voted unanimously at its Nov. 16 meeting to approve the event, which will involve 16 all-star teams from San Mateo County and Palo Alto competing from July 1 to 15, just after the regular Little League season ends.
The league also received permission to do some things during the tournament that it usually isn't allowed to do at the park's ballfield, which is known as Homer Field at Willie Mays Ballpark. These include holding games on at least one Sunday, cooking food and selling refreshments, and using a public address system to introduce players and play the national anthem.
Mike Haven, president of the Menlo-Atherton Little League, said there will be six games each day on the first weekend of the tournament. Games will be held between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., he said.
"We want you to be able to do this again, so good behavior is really important," Mayor Elizabeth Lewis said. "It may not be as impactful as we think it could be."
"We couldn't agree more," Mr. Haven said.
Councilman Bill Widmer said his only worry was about trash that might be generated and left out after the park's crew had left for the day. "You don't want to leave it there for rodents and things like that," he said.
Mayor Lewis added: "I am in such support of the Little League. I think you guys will do a good job."
The Little League will pay $30 an hour to use the field during the tournament, which Community Services Director Mike Kashiwagi estimates will add up to between $1,500 and $2,000.
Menlo Park's Burgess Park will also host games during the tournament, including on the second Sunday.
Car charging station
In other business at the Nov. 16 meeting, the council agreed to put an electric car charging station in Holbrook-Palmer Park.
The town had received a grant of $6,000 for each of two charging stations, but council members recommended starting with just one to try it out.
There will be a fee for using the station, which will accommodate two vehicles at a time and be located near the Main House in the park.
Total cost of the charging station will be about $15,000.
The council decided to give up plans to move the aging 36-inch steel water pipeline that runs close to the footprint of the planned new civic center buildings.
The town had thought the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which owns the water pipeline, did not have an easement allowing it to use Atherton's property. After several years of research, however, the commission found an easement for at least half of the length of the pipe running through the site.
It would cost the town as much as $500,000 to move the length of pipe in the commission's easement, and with the town scrambling to find funding to pay for the civic center, council members said they did not want to take on such an expensive project if they did not have to.
Instead, the town will negotiate with the public utilities commission to make sure the pipe is safe and look for ways to safeguard the town's new buildings if it does spring a leak.
Green building code
The council adopted changes in town's regulations that are needed to comply with the state's new green building code, which goes into effect Jan. 1.
While the council unanimously adopted changes that mirror the revisions in the state code, council members asked the town's Environmental Programs Committee to look at changes being considered by Portola Valley that go further than the state's new rules, and to return to the council with a report.