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Palo Alto's golf course redesign up for review

Original post made on Mar 26, 2013

Palo Alto's evolving effort to bring a "Wow!" factor to its Baylands golf course and to build three athletic fields next to the course will be reviewed by Parks and Recreation Commission tonight.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, March 26, 2013, 9:54 AM

Comments (24)

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Posted by John Kidd
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 26, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Hard to see how the plan described will provide a WOW factor when 80% of the currently too few trees are going to be removed!

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Posted by keeptrees
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2013 at 12:25 pm

"The project would also require the city to remove 694 of the 844 trees at the existing 170-acre golf course."

This is terrible! Replacement trees would take ages to grow, and doubtless would be the little lolly-pop type of trees that are always shown on architectural drawings.

This city seems to detest mature trees. It's removed them from the center median along San Antonio Road--yet Santa Clara County has kept the same kind (Italian Stone Pines) quite successfully qua the road surface along El Camino. It's removed them all along California Avenue, as we well know. And from Town & Country Village. And alongside Alma Plaza that was. And from Eleanor Pardee Park (not all of those eucalyptus trees were diseased). The list goes on . . .

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Posted by Tiger
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Mar 26, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Sounds like Stockton's hockey rink to me. Yah, sure, go ahead PA...go spend all this money for "Wow", then realize people golf at Pebble for "Wow" and they golf at munis for close, easy, cheap. Ask the folks at Shoreline.

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Posted by Bob
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 26, 2013 at 5:06 pm

The golf staff didn't want it, the golfers don't want it.....only the City Council with delusions of grandeur want super expensive"Measure G". And if the rates are increased, the everyday golfers including seniors will just go elsewhere. All this started when some parents demanded playing fields.
Why? The soccer fields at the corner of Page Mill and El Camino supposedly built for the chilllllldrennnn by an emotional City Council now hosts many non-Palo Alto soccer players. Soccer is usually an autumn and winter sport so who is going to use these golf range playing fields in the spring, summer and fall? And where will the parents park? The flood drainage ditch could have been built with no cost to the city, no loss of trees, no big uproar. But, oh no, Another example of our Council and commissions getting it all wrong and being 'in-over-their-head'.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2013 at 5:09 pm

One word, Mikis.

Just because you build it, doesn't mean the people will come.

Waste of money - spend it on infrastructure.

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Posted by More money than sense
a resident of University South
on Mar 26, 2013 at 5:34 pm

If the city has soooo much money for needless, senseless losers like this, then why do they not prioritize and spend it on things in desperate need of repair? Like roads, the leaky underpass on Oregon Expwy, old buildings, parking, infrastructure in general.

Oh, and plant some MATURE trees that provide shade and air purification! They cost more, but apparently the city has the money.

2 people like this
Posted by Dennis
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 26, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Merge golf course and the playing fields. Make the playing fields hazards. In the event golfers strike people using the playing fields, a two stoke penalty would be reasonable.

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Posted by Marrol
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 26, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Anyone following this proposal understands that the golf course needs to be restructured in order to accommodate the San Francisquito Creek flood control project. How we choose to fund and structure this development is the issue here.

What we absolutely do not need and cannot afford is anything that involves a "wow" factor. Are you kidding me? How can they even suggest the notion of "wow" when we have not been able to balance the city budget for many years running. How can they suggest "wow" when we have no legitimate means of paying for our vital and essential infrastructure and public safety needs without involving another tax increase? All I can say about that is wow!

It is precisely this type of frivolous and irresponsible spending that got us into this financial mess we're in. No "wow" projects until you get our financial house in order. The gold course redesign should be a very limited investment. Nothing fancy. No bells and whistles. Just enough.

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Posted by keeptrees
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2013 at 8:00 pm

The city council loves the fact that we can vent our feelings on this online forum--they ignore the postings here.

What we ALSO need to do is email the members of the city council, because those messages--like snailed-mailed letters to them--get kept as part of the city records.

As a resident alien (with green card) I don't get to vote here, but how about some of you citizens form a group for a Common-Sense Council? More and more I'm struck by how many things are done here against peoples' wishes.

There isn't management in this city--only milking for powerful individuals' own benefit. Some democracy!

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Posted by Rajiv
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 26, 2013 at 8:40 pm

If you are going to build something that is going to last 60 years, then go for "wow" over "blah". It's what makes our city special. The changes to reduce water use and fit the course with the surroundings are along the lines of "wow." We also should be excited about getting more fields. Currently, this is a major problem even with the addition of new turf fields. The teams that use them have to pay much more, but the demand is there. By having these fields far from homes, we can light it like the nearby softball field. Isn't that what we want as well - more people out there playing sports?

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Posted by Marrol
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 26, 2013 at 10:48 pm


With all due respect, our city's special nature will diminish if we fail to keep our financial house in order. It's difficult to get excited about adding more athletic fields when we are seemingly incapable of balancing the city budget. How can you suggest that not having enough playing fields is a "major problem" as you put it. You exhibit the same lack of financial priorities as our city leaders and elected officials have demonstrated for years. A severe annual budget deficit is a major problem. Having no funding plan for our vital infrastructure and public safety needs is a major problem. The number of athletic fields in the city is so far down the priority list it's not even worth mentioning at this point.

I do agree that developing a great golf course and adding athletic fields would be a nice addition to the city, but they represent wants, not needs. There's a big difference. First things first. Priorities first.

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Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2013 at 7:58 am

As others before me, I have to wonder why the city hates mature trees, hates large trees, and hates trees of different sizes, shapes,and ages. I hate the look of small, unisize trees.

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Posted by E'en So
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2013 at 1:23 pm

This is such a ridiculous idea. it is so far off the beaten path that the only people it would be visible to are the ones flying into the PA Airport.

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Posted by keeptrees
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2013 at 6:46 pm

@ Rajiv: "By having these fields far from homes, we can light it like the nearby softball field."

The fields will be at the BAYLANDS--a wildlife preserve! Whatever impact do you think this is going to have on the WILDLIFE there?!

The Baylands aren't Disneyland, for Pete's sake!

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Posted by Show me the money
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 27, 2013 at 8:16 pm

Ha! Where is the funding going to come from for the new athletic fields? Community Services Department doesn't even have the money to put in field lights once El Camino Park is finished with a new turf field. The plan is to install footing and conduit for the lights, but no money left over for the actual lighting thanks to the Parks & Recreation Commission wanting other improvements to the park. What good is a synthetic turf field without lights? (Think Cubberley) Lights will generate more money for the City, as well as extend playtime for the already limited amount of field space in PA.
Field users----get ready to see an increase in field rates, once again!!!

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Posted by Dog Park?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Maybe a dog park should go in out here, instead of one of the athletic fields.

Who would it bother near the airport and golf course?

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Posted by Too far away for playing fields.
a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 28, 2013 at 4:33 pm

I really hate the idea of playing fields in the baylands. We need them where folks can walk and bike to them. Otherwise, we need to build an parking lot, too.

Playing fields should be close to schools and homes so kids don't have to be driven to practise every day. Grown-ups like to bike to games too. We are doing our best to walk and bike--but you are moving the stuff we walk and bike to AWAY from us. What's up with that?

I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY don't think this is a good location for fields. Please rethink this.

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Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 28, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Palo Alto's war on trees continues! Absolutely shameful.

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Posted by Trees not golf
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 28, 2013 at 7:46 pm

How many people would miss the golf course if it disappeared tomorrow?
Enough to prevail in a vote?
I vote for closing it down immediately. To me there is more 'Wow' in letting the trees grow.
What's the carbon footprint of mowing lawns for this tradition of the idle rich, anyway?
Just shut it down.

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Posted by keeptrees
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Why can't/won't Parks & Recreation give priority (not monopoly)to sign-ups from Palo Alto AYSO teams and other children's organizations that have teams? Then we wouldn't need to create any more playing fields. Every time I go to the bank I see teams of middle-aged men playing on the field(s)at the intersection of Page Mill and El Camino. I wonder if they have taken precedence over AYSO teams of Palo Alto children.

"Too far way . . ." makes a very good point--who wants yet more cars descending upon the Baylands? And field-lights and all the pollution and disturbance to a wildlife preserve--?? Because of those factors I myself wouldn't recommend even a dog-park there.

As for the golf course itself, why not reform (i.e., reduce) its watering system, and KEEP IT AS IT IS--a regular, perfectly serviceable municipal golf course. As someone else said, we can't and shouldn't try to compete with Pebble Beach!

I've never known a city whose council and staff invented so many spurious needs while neglecting the need for safe water, good road surfaces, judicious development, effective sewers . . . This golf course and playing fields issue is "simply" the most recent in a line of projects irresponsibly taken on with no regard to the broader financial reality. Residents shouldn't have to go on paying more and more bonds when very basic functions of elected local government aren't being provided.

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Posted by Trees purify air
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 28, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Why does this city seem to have it in for mature trees? it makes no sense, especially after all their talk about how we should not drive anywhere.

The city council, et al, are such a bunch of fools!
, e

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Posted by Scott Godfry
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 19, 2016 at 4:40 pm

The City should have StevenM & Associates come in and give them the real WOW FACTOR!

Check it out- now that's a serious company that can totally transform GOLF for Palo Alto! Simply amazing!

2 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 19, 2016 at 6:04 pm

The three rules of real-estate are location, location, location.

If you can't afford to buy in a good location, buy in a less desirable area and then leech off of federal, state, and local government for funds to gentrifying your location with "amenities" like golf courses, airports, play fields, etc.

The reason this doesn't look like it makes sense to the average resident, is because it is not FOR the average resident. It is all a big taxpayer funded gift to the real-estate developers who are maneuvering to cash in on the property they own east of 101.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Hoover School

on Jun 5, 2017 at 6:21 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

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

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