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Pagemill Pastures accused of stealing water from fire hydrant

Original post made on Jul 8, 2022

A Palo Alto equestrian center has received a demand from the city of Palo Alto to stop siphoning water from a city fire hydrant, according to city documents.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 8, 2022, 7:04 AM

Comments (10)

Posted by felix
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2022 at 7:34 am

felix is a registered user.

If the evidence proves water theft from the City, Stanford should evict its tenant Page Mill in addition to whatever the City does.


Posted by vmshadle
a resident of Meadow Park
on Jul 8, 2022 at 11:04 am

vmshadle is a registered user.

If Pagemill Pastures/Ramos Ranch is indeed guilty of stealing hydrant water over the past twenty years, that might explain why horse owners lamented the dramatic loss of boarding capacity in late 2016, citing the loss of access to such reasonably-priced services. Stealing that much water indeed keeps the prices down.

As a lifelong horse lover, I feel for these owners. Still, theft of scarce community resources is unconscionable. I agree with felix above. Pagemill Pastures should be evicted by Stanford as well as penalized to the full extent of the law by the city.


Posted by Mike Bechler
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 8, 2022 at 11:55 am

Mike Bechler is a registered user.

This article, or the situation has more holes than a Swiss cheese.

Start here:

"Now the city wants to know how long Pagemill has been using the hydrant water, which the facility allegedly has no meter for nor record of payment."

Someone has been filling that hydrant. Didn't they notice something was off when they had to add a thousand gallons of water and there had been no fire?

"Palo Alto allows hydrant water to be used for certain temporary purposes"

20 years is hardly temporary.

"On May 31, Diamond sent a pointed email to Turchet that seemed to question the legitimacy of the meter in the photo. "

A photo of a meter that the city has no record of giving them? Really? 'nuff said.

So they say they've been paying for water that they've been taking without permission, and neither the city nor the horse property has any record of the payments, not to mention a record of the water they've been adding to the hydrant.

Refer it to the DA, sue in civil court, and demand much more than the value of the water. If you get caught with your hand in the cookie jar, putting the cookie back is not enough.


Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 8, 2022 at 4:27 pm

William Hitchens is a registered user.

I worked in Stanford Park until 2000, and we ran or walked past there every day at lunch. I always wondered where they got the water to board horses on Stanford open land. Now I guess we know. Stanford has lots of rich, horse alums who are BIG BUCKS DONORS, so I'm sure they'd look the other way to please their donors to have a convenient place to house their horses. Isn't money what Stanford really is about? Their undergrad school isn't all that great, and it is biased in favor of highly social rich kids --- and highly gifted athletes who also fill Stanford's money coffers.


Posted by JR
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 8, 2022 at 8:25 pm

JR is a registered user.

Stanford is ultimately accountable for the actions of their tenants and in this case they owe an explanation and reimbursement to the city. It is unconscionable that Stanford would sublease their land to scofflaw water thieves even while maintaining a 37.8 billion dollar endowment. Maybe Stanford should spend .00001% of that endowment to rightfully purchase the water their tenants have stolen from Palo Alto Utilities?


Posted by Mondoman
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 9, 2022 at 7:15 am

Mondoman is a registered user.

@Mike
Presumably the fire hydrants are directly connected to the City water mains without any meter, so they bypass any measuring system and no-one would notice a difference or have to refill any reservoirs.


Posted by Bill Bucy
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 9, 2022 at 9:58 am

Bill Bucy is a registered user.

Kinda sounds like the owners of the stables attended the Castilleja School of Management.


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2022 at 11:37 am

Bystander is a registered user.

The only real question here is why has it taken so long?


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 9, 2022 at 2:39 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

"Kinda sounds like the owners of the stables attended the Castilleja School of Management."

Hah! So true.


Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 11, 2022 at 2:56 pm

Hulkamania is a registered user.

"Kinda sounds like the owners of the stables attended the Castilleja School of Management."

Very good!


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