Posted by Stan, a resident of the Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde neighborhood, on Feb 4, 2013 at 3:36 pm
It is quite troubling that there are so many complainers about that choose to criticize Stanford for just about anything and everything that the University does.
Perhaps these people should stop and think what the local environment would be like if the University had never been created and the Stanford lands had been sold off in a manner similar to the balance of the lands abutting the foothills up and down the peninsula.
Let's hypothesize the non Stanford environment:
*Solid housing development from El Camino in Palo Alto all the way up to Skyline punctuated by cheesy strip malls and dime a dozen retail establishments just as along much of the balance of the peninsula would displace a large area of open space- certainly exacerbating downstream flooding issues too.
*The Silicon Valley miracle of innovation and creativity would not exist here - if at all.
*A world class medical facility might not exist anywhere nearby.
*Sales tax revenue from perhaps one of the country's most pleasant shopping centers would not exist to benefit Palo ALto.
*A vibrant community of technology, creativity, and the arts would be lacking.
AND - Most of all YOU wouldn't have a common target to complain about.
Certainly there is a cost associated with the benefits we enjoy from Stanford's presence. There is traffic associated with the Med Center, the shopping center, and the university albeit probably significantly less than if the land had been developed in a manner similar to other parts of the peninsula.
Stanford does source water for irrigation from both Corte Madera Creek and Lost Trancos Creek but certainly far less than if the entire area were developed and drawing water resources from the Hetch Hetchy system.
The Searsville dam problem and possible solutions is not nearly as simple as simply chopping a hole in the dam and letting nature take its course. There are a host of issues ranging from how to handle the years of sediment accumulation to the risks associated with an increased possibility of downstream flooding in Palo Alto and Menlo Park.
Perhaps those who chose to resort to the courts to complain but without a well considered solution should be given an opportunity.
Let the judge award them the RESPONSIBILITY to devise a solution that embraces the needs and aspirations of all of the parties involved including Stanford's - along with the responsibility to finance the execution of such a plan AND the liability associated with other aggrieved parties if the solution should fail to satisfy all parties or not result in the expected outcomes.
Are any of the plaintiffs ready to step up to the plate??