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Opinion: Preserve Measure E site options

Original post made on Mar 31, 2023

On Monday, the City Council will consider a recommendation to convert the Measure E site to "parkland," as allowed for 10 years after the passage of Measure E. This would be a huge mistake.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, March 31, 2023, 6:58 AM

Comments (7)

Posted by Dave Warner
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 31, 2023 at 9:49 am

Dave Warner is a registered user.

Despite it being more than 10 years, it is a mistake for the city council to overturn a measure that garnered a yes vote of 65%. That's a big percentage. I am strong environmentalist, nature and bird lover. 10 acres is a small part of our parkland that's already been set aside. I don't feel good about our sewage sludge creating methane and going back into our food supply with PFA's. City council, please hold off such a decision to at least some years in the future. There's not urgency to make a decision now.

Posted by Tricia Dolkas
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 31, 2023 at 11:08 am

Tricia Dolkas is a registered user.

Dear City Council, I am amazed that you would consider negating the wishes of 65% of Palo Alto residents. Our"Palo Alto Process" is yet again showing how other cities on the peninsula are light years ahead of us. It happened on CalTrain grade separation, and now it threatens to derail (sorry for the pun) a great project that makes our waste production more environmentally sound. Please enact Measure E ASAP!

Posted by Emily Renzel
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 31, 2023 at 11:39 am

Emily Renzel is a registered user.

The Parks & Recreation Commission studied rededication of the Measure E site for over a year. They had a subcommittee that gathered information from the City Utilities staff, the Sewage Plant, and the public. There are no current plans for the Measure E site. The Commission recommends rededication as park.

The 10 acres that were undedicated include about 6.7 acres that are now part of a certified closed landfill. To use them would require re-opening the permit & major excavation. They would be very costly to redevelop for anything.

The remaining 3.3 acres include required landscaping for a 1987 Sewage Plant expansion, a pipeline to the Renzel Wetlands to provide saltwater for a Beneficial Use project that preserves Saltmarsh Harvest Mouse habitat, and a vital link in the loop trail around Byxbee Park. It is a vital habitat connection between the Bay and the Renzel Wetland. It also includes a service road to the Park/Landfill Maintenance facility.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent studying the anaerobic digester proposal. It's time to complete Byxbee Park. We should not hold this 3.3 acres hostage for some as yet unknown project. If the Sewage Plant needs more acreage, it can purchase acreage along Embarcadero Way.

Parkland is expensive to buy and the City should not be commandeering it for non-park uses.
That's the whole point of the Park Dedication Charter Amendment. With recent new housing requirements, MORE, not LESS, parkland will be needed. The City Council should support the Parks & Recreation Commission recommendation.

Posted by Rose
a resident of Mayfield
on Mar 31, 2023 at 2:04 pm

Rose is a registered user.

I was part of the 65% who voted for Measure E. Here we are 10 years later and it is clearer than ever that we have a climate crisis. We can’t meet our S/CAP goals without vision and investment. Palo Alto — you must take the time necessary to explore options for managing our waste going forward, and this site is a perfect place for a modern facility.

Posted by Midtowners
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 1, 2023 at 11:26 am

Midtowners is a registered user.

Every additional year of inaction to rededicate this parkland ensures continued degradation of that critical Baylands wildlife corridor in an ecosystem under existential threat from climate change - as the author himself points out and purports to care about.

Act now to advance KNOWN solutions (habitat support and restoration) to that threat. If and when the City identifies an actual/specific waste processing solution that is better than our current practice, and actually doable there given the significant physical constraints of the site, go back to the voters - we've already proven we'll rise to the challenge.

In the meantime, we can achieve meaningful benefits on the site (real, not imagined) by restoring habitat and enhancing recreation opportunities. We've held this vital natural environmental asset hostage with very real opportunity costs for over ten years trying to actualize Mr. Drekmeier's aspirational vision. It's time to put this land back to work.

Posted by stephen levy
a resident of University South
on Apr 1, 2023 at 2:00 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

Preserve the Measure E goal. Take more time to explore emerging options for managing waste at this site.
We use and love the Baylands trails and do not need now to add 10 acres already wonderful options.

Posted by Donald
a resident of South of Midtown
on Apr 7, 2023 at 6:57 pm

Donald is a registered user.

So Redwood City has a sludge pyrolysis plant. Why does Palo Alto need their own? Can we not truck our sludge to Redwood City and have it treated there?

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