Almanac

Viewpoint - March 26, 2014

Letter: Resident input on Atherton bleachers thwarted

Resident input on the concrete bleachers in Holbrook-Palmer Park was on the March 19 Atherton City Council agenda, but Mayor Cary Wiest thwarted any meaningful action.

After an offer by two residents to be a part of an ad hoc subcommittee, Mayor Wiest announced that he and former Mayor Elizabeth Lewis would be the subcommittee and work with the staff to insure that the project was consistent with the "historic character" of Holbrook-Palmer Park. The agenda called for the city to set up an ad hoc subcommittee to insure that the design of the project had such consistency.

This requirement of consistency with the "historic character" had been prudently inserted in the original approval at the specific request of Councilman Rick Degolia. If having this new permanent structure in the park is not what you think is in the community's long-term interest, you as a resident need to speak out very strongly; we are well along the path to having this drastic change in the town's beautiful park forced on us.

It is ironic that those two council members, Mr. Wiest and Ms. Lewis, who have seemed to uniformly take the Little League's position on all matters so far, were the individuals Mayor Wiest delegated to determine the issue of "historic character."

Thus, if solely in Mr. Wiest's and Ms. Lewis' opinion, the drawings and design appear consistent with the park's "historic character," the town will adhere to the earlier 3-2 approval of building the largest Little League stadium in our geographic area. This will attract most of the major and playoff games to Holbrook-Palmer Park with all the attendant parking and traffic issues.

Do we really need to be the next victim to the Little League's grand plans after Menlo Park and Portola Valley?

It is ironic that the council inordinately praised itself for all the outreach it had done with its Civic Center Advisory Committee in a later agenda item, but has done so little outreach with the residents on these large bleachers/stadium, which will drastically change the aspect of the open field in the town's only large natural park.

Walter Sleeth, Catalpa Drive, Atherton

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