Palo Alto parks under siege
Dear Editor: It’s the 1950s and ’60s again. Palo Alto is under siege by developers. After Measure E, we now know that no park is safe from developers.
Measure E locks up 10 acres of our Baylands Park for 10 years and it will cost millions to figure out if this project is remotely feasible.
John Arrillaga, a developer, wants to add our 7.7 acres adjacent to Foothills Park to his own 44-acre estate. This land was given to us by the Lee family for conservation. We should honor that gift and add it to Foothills Park.
Arrillaga also wants to develop the El Camino Real/University Avenue entrance to Palo Alto with four huge high-rise, traffic-generating buildings and usurp part of El Camino Park. Two committees studied this area and recommended an enhanced transportation center above all else. This development does nothing for Palo Alto, only enhances the developer and eliminates future alternatives for our city.
The bicycle/pedestrian bridge across Highway 101 near Adobe Creek could be good if the east end does not destroy Baylands Park marshes and eliminate a great stand of trees used by Baylands birds. If it does use parkland, it must go to a vote.
The answer to developer Arrillaga is easy. No. Our parks are not for sale or expendable for private development.
Former Palo Alto City Council member
compare to what I said, above, (in letter to Gennady Sheyner of The Weekly last week):
I would rather community via an inclusive and Democratic process decide our needs (be it office space, arts venue, intermodal transit improvement or whatever) and then find the way to enact our will and NOT as in this case merely be responding, as if under siege, to the will of a billionaire.
Also, I was wandering campus — yes, past some of Arrillaga’s previous buildings, that I have no problem with — and stopped at Rodin’s “Burghers of Calais”. Am trying to sort thru the comparison between the burghers and our current situation.