Atherton council roundup: Tennis keys, high-speed rail, false alarm fees


Atherton residents who don't want to use the town's new clay tennis court won't have to help pay for it, the City Council decided on April 18.

Town staff members had suggested the $50 annual cost of a key to the tennis courts be doubled to help pay for the additional costs of maintaining the new clay court, estimated to be about an additional $1,000 a year.

Although the council had not approved the increased key fee, the town had been charging it since February. But council members said they thought it would be fair to keep the cost of a key to the conventional courts at $50 and charge an additional $50 for a key to the clay court. Any residents who paid the $100 fee but don't want to use the clay court can return that key for a $50 refund.

The council also voted to charge half the cost of a key for a replacement key. Some court users had complained that some key holders had falsely claimed to have lost a key, bought a spare for only $5 and then loaned it out to others so they could use the courts at no charge.

Residents with tennis keys can use the clay court - at no additional charge - from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. to sunset. Nonresidents with keys can pay $30 an hour to Player Capital to use the court at other times, when it is not being used by Player Capital.

High-speed rail

At the April 18 meeting, the Atherton council approved a seven-page letter from Mayor Cary Wiest commenting on the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s draft 2018 business plan. The letter says the town believes "the ridership, revenue, and schedule assumptions in the business plan are overly optimistic, the costs and challenges underestimated, and that the Authority will not be able to meet the requirements of Proposition 1A" authorizing bonds to pay for high- speed rail.

The letter says the maximum travel times specified in state law are two hours and 40 minutes from San Francisco to Los Angeles and thirty minutes for San Francisco to San Jose. But the latest operating plan from the rail authority says the travel times would be three hours and 31 minutes from San Francisco to Los Angeles and 63 minutes from San Francisco to San Jose.

See the letter here.

False alarm fees

Atherton residents who have more than two false alarms reported to the town's police department in a calendar year will soon be fined.

The council asked Police Chief Steve McCulley to return with an ordinance that would raise the cost of registering an alarm with the town - which monitors alarms for residents at no cost - from $61 to $100. Council members also favored charging a $100 fine for the third and fourth false alarm calls, eventually escalating to $500.

The proposed ordinance states residents with more than 12 false alarms in a year would no longer be monitored by the police department, although it would continue to respond to calls passed on by an alarm firm.


Sign up for Almanac Express to get news updates. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Or show your support for local journalism by subscribing.


There are no comments yet. Please share yours below.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Fine-dining Korean restaurant to open in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 10 comments | 5,282 views

Couples: “True love is a decision between the head and the heart . . .
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 825 views

A community in the sand
By Cheryl Bac | 2 comments | 354 views


2018 guide to summer camps

Looking for something for the kids to do this summer, learn something new and have fun? The 2018 Summer Camp Guide features local camps for all ages and interests.

Find Camps Here