News

LASD eyes former mayor's property

District would like to use site for new school

As Target proposes to rebuild its Showers Drive store, Los Altos School District officials are apparently eyeing the land owned by former mayor Matt Pear opened up by the proposed building's smaller footprint.

The City Council voted 6-0 Tuesday to allow city planners to begin processing a plan for a new Target at 555 Showers Drive. Mike Kasperzak abstained because he owns Target stock.

Target development manager John Dewes proposed to demolish Target's old, 118,518 square foot store and build a larger 163,000 square foot store above a ground level parking garage, similar to Sunnyvale's Target. Rather than be tucked behind a parking lot, it would be moved up to the Showers Drive street front, with an entrance and plaza extending toward the sidewalk.

The project would be moved ahead of other development proposals because it will generate additional sales tax revenue for the city, said zoning administrator Peter Gilli.

The use of the parking garage opens up for other development much of the 11.6 acre site owned for more than half a century by former mayor Matt Pear's family. A city report notes portions along Latham are reserved for future mixed-use development.

In a continued plea for help from the Los Altos School District as it grapples with predicted enrollment growth in Mountain View -- over 1,000 homes are in the works within its Mountain View boundary -- district board member Tamara Logan asked the City Council to "work together" with her district to find a way to use the property, possibly for "an exciting urban-style school."

"Maybe you could get park space" and "leave a long term legacy for our community," she said.

Council member Margaret Abe-Koga had an intense back and forth with Logan as Logan said there is "not anything the school district can do on our own."

"We can't mandate anybody to do anything," Abe-Koga said of Pear's apparent lack of interest in making a deal with the school district.

"You do need interest by a landowner to make something happen," Abe-Koga said.

"You do have CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) laws that say you have to consider impacts," Logan said. "Mr. Pear has not expressed interest in this, people have talked to him."

Pear was present Tuesday and was noted as the landowner by Dewes, but did not speak. He was known for opposing eminent domain and other impositions on property owners that he frequently referred to as "takings."

In response to a grilling from Mayor John Inks, Logan said the district had discussed acquiring Pear's property with a "real estate professional" but she could not reveal details.

To say, "'We're going to take eminent domain and buy that property whether you like it or not,' I don't think that would solve the problem," Logan said. "That would take years and be outside our budget."

Comments

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Posted by Zap
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 18, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Thank you Tamara Logan for clarifying that you are basically attempting to bully and intimidate former mayor Matt Pear into parting with his property so that YOU can have "an exciting urban-style school." ... hahaha ... funny how the plans will change and become another retail space in order to get more tax $ for your district!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Janet L
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 18, 2013 at 1:29 pm

The families that live near San Antonio Center desperately need a school within easy walking distance. As it is now, kids from the neighborhood are sent to three different schools from 1-3 miles away and on the other side of busy El Camino.

The Target site is definitely underutilized. Target's garden center is closed down, the large parking lot is rarely more than 50% full and its size makes walking from WalMart or Kohls a long haul. I would love to see a larger, but more compact, Target and see the rest of the land used for more than empty parking spaces.


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Posted by LASD Taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Ah yes, Tammy Logan, one of the most unprofessional elected officials in our community. Ms. Logan appears to be a big advocated of gaining more land for LASD, she really wants to take over Hillview community center as well. The truth is well it would be nice to provide a school for the NEC, LASD could actually do that right now by moving the charter school to a permanent site at Covington by sharing it with the current school that is there. Then they could build a campus for the NEC at the current site of BCS. Not a single school would need to close.


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Posted by Another LASD Taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Ah Zap and LASD Taxpayer #1 you are so transparent. If I'm not mistaken, that property is owned by Mountain View, so they are the recipients of the tax revenue. As for as BCS, I mean LASD Taxpayer, you're suggestion is ridiculous. That area of the LASD is in desperate need of a campus that is convenient to their locale. Those students should not need to be bused to other schools on the Los Altos side of the district. Stop thinking of yourself and think about the great population.


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Posted by MV resident
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 18, 2013 at 2:23 pm

To LASD Taxpayer: The last I checked, BCS is currently located south of ECR. How would that provide a local school to the NEC folks? The idea is to locate a school in the neighborhood so they wouldn't have to traverse ECR (which is a scary road for adults to cross, let alone kids) to get to/from school.

LASD is trying to locate new school sites due to the hundreds of new homes being built in the district. How is that unprofessional? In fact, I think it's unprofessional of the MVCC to approve hundreds of new apartments when there's no where for the new residents to go to school.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Old Guy
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 18, 2013 at 2:38 pm

I think we need more and more use of obscure acronyms without any explanation of WTH they are in reference to. Pile on the CAPS!


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Posted by kman
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 18, 2013 at 2:59 pm

"Pear was present Tuesday and was noted as the landowner by Dewes, but did not speak. He was known for opposing eminent domain and other impositions on property owners that he frequently referred to as "takings.""

@Janet L. and other land stealing thieves, please read carefully the above. The land is not the cities, nor yours to decide what to do with.


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Posted by Anna S.
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 18, 2013 at 3:02 pm

I agree with MV Resident. Our city is bent on building more and more homes in order to comply with the ridiculous demands of the unelected, unrepresentative busybodies over at ABAG (who complain that we have too many jobs in MV! imagine the horror! too many jobs?). Meanwhile, all this construction of new houses is overloading our schools, streets, and other services. What's the goal? Keep building until we have too few jobs? Idiocy.


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Posted by Anna S.
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 18, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Just because the owner opposes eminent domain doesn't necessarily mean that he has right -- or the law -- on his side. In fact, the law permits the government to take private property for "public use," provided always that displaced property owners receive fair market value in compensation. That's the law, even if the owner does not like it.


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Posted by Takings and Tax Dollars
a resident of Gemello
on Apr 18, 2013 at 3:55 pm

Ms. Logan wants to seize property because she is incapable actual leadership. LASD does not need extra property. Putting a school, "Urban style" or not directly adjacent to the busiest area in Mountain View doesn't seem like a good idea to me. Putting the school at Egan seems like the best solution for tax payers and students.

The reality is that the growth is happening along El Camino on both sides of the Real. Crossings kids at BCS walk or ride bikes to school, is actually not that far away. Putting a school at Egan would take stress of both Almond and Santa Rita. You also wouldn't isolate NEC kids in one school.

LASD has lots of open space at both Junior highs, Gardner and Covington. Instead of spending money on acquiring expensive property why not use the property that you already have? Spend the money on a function campus at Egan. Spend additional dollars fixing up Almond and Santa Rita, both schools have too many portables. Then if you still have crowding problems, find a place to put a school in the NEC, but don't take property - that will only create more problems that it solves.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Greg David
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 18, 2013 at 3:59 pm

25 Years ago there was a perfectly good school across the street from Pear's property. It was called Klein. And they tore it down to build condos....


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Posted by @Janet L from MV resident
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 18, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Mountain View has many students that have to get driven, get bussed, or need to walk to school. The students in North Whisman have to go to school 1-2 miles from their homes, and cross big busy streets.

You may want to think about it - there are other neighborhoods that may also desperately need a school within walking distance.

Within walking distance is not always easy to get anymore!

(Please do not start a firestorm about why North Whisman does not have a walkable school. THAT is not what this story is about)


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Posted by Takings and Tax Dollars
a resident of Gemello
on Apr 18, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Yep, I remember that school. It was one of those weird circular open classroom designs. I think it was part of the Mountain View School District - or I guess that was Whisman? Not sure. It wasn't in Los Altos School District - the line goes down Ortega.


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Posted by Bob
a resident of Slater
on Apr 18, 2013 at 4:55 pm




My wife and I purchased our home on Tyrella Avenue over 32 years ago and at that time there were two elementary schools because there were two districts. When the Navy left and the districts consolidated, we lost Whisman, leaving Slater, which our neighborhood has since lost as well. From a neighborhood perspective this was devastating, and we sincerely hope that one day we will once again have a neighborhood elementary school. Time passes, and now the district has bond money to allocate. Our concern is that the two campuses currently off line as rentals will not share in the fruit of this bond because they are not in the system.

We suspect that the bond money allocated for elementary schools will be apportioned somewhat equally among the currently open schools, and we think Slater and Whisman should be included in that equation. We realize that this means currently open schools will receive less bond money; but now, with this proposal, all schools will receive an equal share (remember, those other neighborhoods currently enjoy working neighborhood schools, so they have no good reason to complain). Someday, Slater or Whisman will reopen, and their share of the bond money will be there for their needed improvements, having been in the bank earning interest. We fear that if this path is not followed, our neighborhood will one day inherit schools that will be in dire need of improvement and there will be no bond money left for them. What we hope to eventually achieve is educational parity with other neighborhoods in Mountain View.


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Posted by Exciting Urban-Style?
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 18, 2013 at 6:02 pm

While all of us who have elementary school students who live at The Crossings and Old Mill would love to have a school within walking distance, I question whether an "exciting urban-style" school is going to be what we want. One of the positive features, I believe, to schools like Covington is exactly what another poster has complained about - the extensive green space around it. I think it's great that my kids can go to a school surrounded by a park, residential areas, and a large field. I don't mind driving them 4 miles to school to get there, because it's a great environment.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2013 at 7:18 pm

This is how I remember the school sites in the area, I will reach back into my memory.

Bubb, Huff, Cooper, Klein, Landels, Castro, and Slater. Huff at one time was closed, Cooper and Huff were closed when I was in school. Klein was sold off. Slater is now closed. Graham doesn't count.

In the Whisman I remember San Ramon school, Whisman of course is now closed.

Schools that I remember seeing on maps, classmates attend or heard about.

Highway School, Dana St School and San Antonio School, these ones have long since been town down.

Klein, San Ramon and Powell are schools in Mountain View that don't exist. Powell become a business area by Costco, San Ramon was over on San Ramon and Klein was on California St at Ortega Ave.

In Los Alto the schools that I know are closed, lost or MIA. Jordan, Carmel, Eastbrook, and Hillview. These last 2 are strange with 2 different schools that were merged or were of the same name. Bullis-Purissma, there is a old school building in LAH, you can see it from the freeway. Private home. I remember there was a old school building on Moody Rd by Foothill College that was torn down in the early 80's.

Jordan School was on Jordan Lane between San Antonio Road and ECR, this was torn down for housing.

Know School sites. Moore, Sylvan, Turner, Cuesta and Miramonte, I remember seeing a school site plan at Bubb.

School enrollment dropped big time even in Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Cupertino and Santa Clara.


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Posted by Davan
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 18, 2013 at 7:30 pm

I am confused, when I was a child I walked to school every day unless it was raining, the total walk there and back to elementary school was 3 miles. Jr High was 5 miles and High School was over 8 miles. And we wonder why children are so chubby now. Let them walk, put volunteer crossing guards on Camino and any other street that has high traffic.

What are we coming to when our children cannot walk to school, feel that they are entitled to everything? I work at a company that makes educational software and our boards light up every time we release a new version that does not do everything possible. The software is free and it makes students better learners and the first thing they do when the download the software is hit the boards and complain that we don't have a Linux version, we don't have this, we don't have that.

Sorry for the rant. But I am so tired of whinny students and their parents who also complain about FREE software.

</soapbox-mode>


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Posted by Ann
a resident of Castro City
on Apr 18, 2013 at 7:56 pm

I hope that the City is at least considering the traffic impact to all of us who live near San Antonio. Mtn. View continues to put huge develops in this area without adding anything that the greater community living nearby can use, like more park space, traffic calming operations, more trees to absorb all the pollution from all the cars driving to all the shopping at San Antonio and the old and new Target. We at used to at least have a local DMV till it was turned into a commercial DMV only.

So here we go again, another development, one only hopes it can estetically add to our greater neighborhood.

As to a school, yes with all the new density a local elementary school that doesn't require crossing Rengstorff, Central or El Camino would be nice. And while I don't support eminently domaining former Councilmember Matt Pear's property it would be nice if he might consider what he could do to improve the corner of California and Ortega. As that corner, and his land is delapidated and drags down the entire neighborhood. Yes of course it his is right to do with his land as he chooses but being a good neighbor would be nice and do something to land that has sat doing nothing since 1988, when at least he let a Christmas Tree lot use that corner.

Mr. Pear, consider it a legacy to your family (and not your cousins, if I recall the battle you had a few years ago) and consider a development on that corner that can benefit all of Mtn. View and especially all the new and existing families that live in our very dense part of Mtn. View.


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Posted by Ann
a resident of Castro City
on Apr 18, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Mr Davan:

How many people have been killed on California in the last year? Walking is not the same as your day. Yes our kids should walk. But people can't safely walk on sidewalks on major streets like California and Central. We have more people, more inconsiderate and self-important drivers making it just not like it was when we were kids.

How often do you walk down California?


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Posted by Monta Loma
a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2013 at 10:42 pm

I walked to Monta Loma everyday, ti was just down the street from my house. That was back in the 60's and 70's. Nobody crossed a busy street to get there. Kids on the other side of Central, Middlefield and Ringsdorff went to other schools. Many of those schools are closed now so kids cross really busy streets to get to school. The same thing happened all over town and in Los Altos as well. I think more kids are driven to school than walk in both communities.


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Posted by The Back Story
a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2013 at 11:49 pm

This is really what is going on. LASD BoT's are trying to accomplish a two for one strategy.
1. Get BCS
2. Get rid of the NEC problem.

If you follow the comments of some of the LASD faithful, you often hear them complaining about ELL, and kids without computers at home. You will also read a bunch of stuff like why is Mountain View part of Los Altos School district? Or aren't we lovely the way we welcome all the NEC folks to our schools?

So what they would really like to do is move BCS to the NEC - make that preference area for BCS - that might be Okay, except that really doesn't provide a school to the NEC.


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Posted by Dave
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 19, 2013 at 7:46 am

I work in the building on Latham across the street from Target. Before you put a school there, consider that violent crime is rampant. Bike riders on Latham are knocked down, attacked and robbed. Adults walking on the sidewalk are assaulted. Gangs really do roam the streets of Latham, Ortega and the immediate area. It's a scary place -- I see it every day and night.

Mountain View's first priority should be to figure out how to change the community in this area to make it more law abiding and safe. I don't know what that means for this property development, but Mountain View better figure it out. I don't thin ka school is the answer.

And as for crossing El Camino, we just put in a tunnel under El Camino for the Stevens Creek Trail -- we could do the same for school children near Ortega or San Antonio.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Why not lease the Pear family site until a more suitable site can be found. The reason for my list was not to blame on any person or school board member. Something that happened in past was done for reason at the time made sense but wasn't done with the future in mind.


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Posted by Urban Planner
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 19, 2013 at 2:55 pm

You can't randomly place a school in any location you think might work. There are all sorts of regulations that need to be followed. Old agriculture sites, like the one in question can have all sorts of problems. There is often quite a bit of mitigation that needs to be done, some times it takes years to clean up a site. Hetch Hetchy is also running right through there. The best place to site a school is a location where one existed in the past, like the park across the street. Except that there isn't much left of that school site anymore.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2013 at 5:38 pm

At one time most everything around here is agriculture, would rather see a school build here then old some old industrial site, you know chemicals or something that you can't pronounce.

A K-2 site might work at the old Klein site, 3-5 on the Target site.

Cooper school when open was for lower grades, Huff when opened was for upper grades, this was when lots of schools were needed. A child in Kindergarten doesn't need such a large playing field. 5th graders I expect to need more, B-ball courts, ball field and grass area. A gym would be nice, so would a inside lunchroom/assembly hall.


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Posted by Step up, MV!
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Bottom line is that Mountain View now has nearly 600 students from the North of El Camino area alone commuting to and from Los Altos every day to attend school. This number is expected to increase to 750 students when currently planned construction is finished. This is a huge burden to place on Los Altos streets, let alone on Los Altos school campuses. Over the years, Mountain View has added hundreds of new residential units without providing any schools or park space or community space for the thousands of residents who now live in the neighborhood. It is time to plan for the residents of this densely packed neighborhood and to stop expecting Los Altos to provide educational/park/community space for MV residents. If MV fails to provide a site for a school, then MV should at least provide a system of buses to bus the 750 NEC students back and forth to school each day. The traffic impact of NEC students driving back and forth through Los Altos is already insane and it is getting worse. Time to step up and take responsibility, Mountain View.


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Posted by Matt Raschke
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 19, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Why isn't anyone asking why LASD is trying to buy a site in Sunnyvale instead of using that money to acquire some property in NEC? Whatever money they are offering for the Raynor site could be better used to buy a site within the LASD boundary. Furthermore, they are spending over $1M per year on legal bills instead of sharing their existing facilities fairly with BCS as required by Prop 39. No wonder Mountain View city council is just staring at then blankly.


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Posted by Tanya Raschke
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 19, 2013 at 6:33 pm

I agree with Garrett. A market-rate lease that allowed customization of buildings to suit a school would completely fit the bill, here. Happy property owners, no huge, long-term investment required, no eminent domain. Why isn't LASD looking to lease the Mayfield Mall site?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 19, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Dear Step up MV:

It's funny though how LASD has no problem collecting our property taxes and bonds. I guess some group has to make up for all the trust babies and parent-child transfers and senior exemptions that make Los Altos barren and bone dry by comparison of tax and bond revenue. Think before you write.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2013 at 7:49 pm

Mountain View should work on providing more park space, more playing fields. We also can open more school in Mountain View. Whisman, Slater, Cooper, Schools that can be built in parks. Sullivan Park (Moore Site), Cuesta site, small school at Klein Park. This is in the Mountain View district. We could also make room for a small school at a Middle School.

Los Altos can lease the Pear family site, with Klein, reopen Hillview or talk with the city of Mountain View over the Cuesta site.


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Posted by Santa Rita Mom
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 19, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Mr. Raschke
Do you really think the LASD wouldn't spend money getting a site within the boundaries if one could be had? There are very few site that big and I assure you that not all are in any way available.

The Raynor site, while not ideal, would give BCS what it claims to want, which is a campus where all their students could be together. If it is not what they want, why don't they put some effort into something constructive, like finding one? Is the best they can do to stand around and complain about every solution proposed rather than make constructive suggestions? All I have heard from them is about which LASD school campus they want to have for themselves without regard for the school community they would displace.

The truth is that MV land is expensive, just like all property around here. I find it appalling that the various city councils are so blase about the problem they are exacerbating by the constant building of residential units. When are these public servants going to step up with some solutions?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by JW
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 19, 2013 at 8:57 pm

To Observer:
Thank you. My thoughts exactly.


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Posted by Flabbergasted
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 19, 2013 at 9:08 pm

" It is time to plan for the residents of this densely packed neighborhood and to stop expecting Los Altos to provide educational/park/community space for MV residents. If MV fails to provide a site for a school, then MV should at least provide a system of buses to bus the 750 NEC students back and forth to school each day. The traffic impact of NEC students driving back and forth through Los Altos is already insane and it is getting worse. Time to step up and take responsibility, Mountain View."


Let me see if I get this right. The NEC is part of Los Altos School District. Last time I checked that doesn't just include Los Altos....in fact part of Los Altos goes to Cupertino schools....but I digress. Why should the city of Mountain View provide schools for a School District? The last time I checked that was the school districts job. LASD you have lots of land and lots of school space. Start using it. You need to make sure that you provide schools to everyone regardless of where they live. Some how along the way you instead decided to provide a school - Gardner Bullis - to families in Los Altos Hills that don't even live in the Los Altos School District. Now you want Mountain View and maybe Los Altos to turn over land to you. No way Ms. Logan/MV! Plus you are trying to spend money on a school in Sunnyvale/Santa Clara - mostly as a way to try and get rid of the Charter School. NEC needs a school, it is up to LASD to provide it.


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Posted by Flabbergasted
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 19, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Santa Rita Mom -
Here is a great idea
Santa Rita can go to Raynor or they can switch campuses with BCS - either of those will work.


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Posted by MATT RASCHKE
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 19, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Santa Rita Mom:

The Raynor site is not big enough for BCS. It is not reasonably equivalent from a geographic standpoint. It needs millions in repairs and code requirements. It is a waste of money that is better spent on reconfiguring Covington to create a shared campus for BCS. That would then free up the Egan camp site for NEC relief. Or take my Wife's idea and lease the old Mayfield Mall site for BCS. That is reasonably equivalent from a geographic standpoint even though it is just outside the district boundary.

My kids and many others from the Crossings bike and scooter to that campus. It is close enough to NEC to be a neighborhood school.

How do you get to go to Santa Rita? The Crossings is assigned to Covington.


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Posted by Matt Raschke
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 19, 2013 at 11:11 pm

I think every Mountain View resident of LASD should encourage the City of Mountain View to file a friend of the court brief on the most recent lawsuit filed by BCS. This lawsuit asks the court to appoint a special master of facilities to properly allocate space in LASD (something that the Trustees have been unable to do). LASD has elementary school capacity at the Egan camp site that they should use for the growing population on the north side of the district. BCS should be placed at Covington so that can work. Grandfather the existing student population at Covington and allow the new elementary school at Egan to grow with Crossings and Old Mill kids. Many of the adjacent Los Altos streets could also be given the choice of attending that new school.

Mountain View residents (especially the Crossings and Old Mill) have been treated very unfairly by LASD with respect to school assignment. Monroe Park and Del Medio will be the next ones to be deported from Santa Rita if you follow the history. The H2G neighborhood knows. They also got deported from Almond in 2007. I urge you to write to City Council.

It is not the job of any City Council to provide a school site. I'm sorry, but it just doesn't work that way. The availability of school capacity cannot be factored into the decision on allowing housing to be built. Ask a professional planner if you don't believe me.


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Posted by Embarassed LASD Resident
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2013 at 1:30 am

The people talking about making an NEC school at Egan are right. It could help. But the density is likely to increase. What then? The people talking about how nice it is to go to school in a park are right too. The Los Altos School District pays to operate neighborhood parks in Los Altos, but the taxes come from Mountain View as well. Another feature LASD provides to Los Altos but not Mountain View is space for preschools. At Loyola, Oak, and Gardner Bullis, private preschool programs consume large areas of the school site, and restrict enrollment to neighborhood residents. This is not fair. So, if there could be two sites serving NEC, say both Target and Egan, then there could be a K-2 school at Target, a small park, a preschool, after school programs. There could be a 3-6 school at Egan with similar programs. Both could operate together to serve the 600-900 total students likely to be in the area over the next 3 years.

For crying out loud, LASD should use eminent domain to get 4 acres out of Target for a school. Tammy Logan has a good idea, she's just too hesitant to close the deal. Some of that land belongs to SF PUC (Hetch Hetchy). It's not just an easement, it actually belongs to them. So that land would be a ground lease from SF.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2013 at 8:30 am

A correction to Embarrassed: The preschools located on LASD school sites are NOT restricted to local neighbors. My children both attended Children's House on the Loyola campus and we lived in Mountain View (in Mtn View school district). My children had classmates who lived in Fremont, Portola Valley, and Redwood City and chose Children's House for various reasons. There are no restrictions on attending the preschools. All you have to do is fill out a timely application.


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Posted by Matt Raschke
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 20, 2013 at 9:12 am

Parents at BCS were informed this year that CCLC at Santa Rita would no longer offer them space because they need the room for Santa Rita kids. That is for the aftercare program (not preschool).


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Posted by Embarrassed
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2013 at 1:57 pm

I'm still embarrassed. LASD locates these preschools in the most affluent areas of its district. In the one case, it's at a Jr High School, picking the one with the most well off neighbors. I have heard of denials of attendance to Mtn View residents to the Stepping Stones Preschool at the Blach campus. In any event, if there were a preschool at Egan, it might be able to serve some of the few low income residents of LASD. Most of this population is in the NEC area, as a minority of even that area. They have no affordable preschool options located nearby to their homes. Studies have shown that a key way to improve performance of low income kids is to have a quality preschool program before they entire public schools. Both LASD and Mtn View lack this, but Mtn View at least does not subsidize the location costs for high end preschools.


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Posted by Step Up, MV!
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2013 at 3:47 pm

It absolutely is the responsibility of the city of Mountain View to provide infrastructure for MV residents. Infrastructure includes parks and land for schools. Although LASD (which includes parts of LA, MV, PA and LAH) may have to pay for construction of the school, zoning for a school site is up to the cities. MV must work with LASD to find a site in MV for a school, specifically in the North of El Camino area of MV. Why in Mountain View? Because that is where the kids are. Hundreds of them. Rest assured that I have thought long and hard about the school district for over 50 years. I've been involved with the planning and watched LASD students in the NEC area increase from a negligible number to a number that requires at least one school in the neighborhood (750 students anticipated after construction). LASD cannot accomplish this alone. It needs the involvement and assistance of the city of Mountain View.


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Posted by Step Up, MV!
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2013 at 4:06 pm

I would also like to point out that the city of Los Altos has already done its part for LASD. Almond, Santa Rita, Egan, BCS, Gardner Bullis, Covington, Loyola, Oak, and Blach reside on land in Los Altos. Only Springer is in Mountain View. Yet 25% of LASD students are Mountain View residents. In other words, Mountain View currently provides 25% of LASD students, but only 10% of LASD school sites. Please stop looking to Los Altos to make additional room for LASD students and look to Mountain View for another school site. Based on demographics and growth trends, the NEC area of Mountain View is where another school is needed.


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Posted by Still Flabbergasted
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 20, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Wow, Step UP MVI must be Tammy Logan. Doesn't know when to quit. Hard to believe that she is an elected official. I am sure Ms Logan knows that the school district boundary predates the city boundaries. It is not up to a particular city to build schools. That is the school districts job. LASD actually has lots of extra capacity at Egan, Blach, and Covington. The easiest way to get more space AND improve instruction is to move six grade to the junior highs. Then the rest is easy. Share Covington with BCS or combine GB and Covington and move BCS to GB. Then build a school for the NEC at the Egan Camp site. Use the money that you would have spent buying very expensive land on improving EVERY school. Quit trying to buy property Tammy, that is not your job as a trustee of education in our community. Spend the money on the kids, not real estate. Mountain View Whisman Tax Payers shouldn't have to pay for your incompetence.


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Posted by Matt Raschke
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 20, 2013 at 4:42 pm

How do you figure that? My understanding is that LASD actually predates the incorporation of the City of Los Altos. Los Altos didn't PROVIDE those sites. Mountain View didn't PROVIDE the Springer site either. Here is a pretty good primer on school site acquisition.

Web Link

It is not a City's responsibility. LASD is the agency responsible. The LASD Trustees need to show some leadership and make a decision. No one is going to give them millions of dollars worth of land. I'm also pretty sure school districts can trump any City zoning designations as long as the site meets minimum guidelines for a school.


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Posted by Matt Raschke
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 20, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Yes, here it is from the link in my post above:

"The public school district can exempt itself from local general plan designations and zoning ordinances for sites proposed to contain classroom facilities when it follows specific government code provisions."

So it doesn't matter what Mountain View 2030 plan says or even the in progress San Antonio Area Precise Plan.

....the more you know.


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Posted by Step Up, MV!
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Nice try, but I am not a public official of any kind - never have been. Just a former LASD student and parent who has taken time to get educated, attend meetings, and write letters for many, many years. My concern at this point and time is traffic, plain and simple. And I firmly believe that having approved so much high density housing, MV has a responsibility to plan for infrastructure such as schools, in the NEC area of Mountain View. "Planning" can mean anything from figuring out where a school could be situated in the NEC neighborood, to actually using some of the sales tax revenue it is earning from the new development to help pay for land, or anything in between. But what is Mountain View's plan currently to alleviate the school-related traffic coming from the North of El Camino area??? That is the question.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2013 at 6:04 pm

LASD must at least attend meeting, talk with city about a joint site and also the developers and most important land owners. The city can help but it will have to deal with other issues. Police, Fire, Park and Rec, Trash, Water and other city services.

Springer was part of the Blossom Valley housing development, LASD purchased the land from whom ever built the housing tract. Back in the 50's of course it was easy to find a large site, today we have to get creative.

Early post mentioned something about preschools, well how about getting the developers pitching in to build a preschool/kindergarten school. Existing schools will become 1-5 grades


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2013 at 6:42 pm

@Matt Raschke.

Good link you posted, worth reading.

The LASD has lots of work to get a school up and running. Cost of buying land, lawyers, site prep and building of a school.


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Posted by Step Up, MV!
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2013 at 6:56 pm

I appreciate the thoughtful post, Garrett. But what about traffic? Specifically, what is Mountain View's plan to miinimuze the school-related traffic impact of the high density housing that MV has approved in the NEC neighborhood of MV? Looking to school campuses located in the city of Los Altos is not the answer. Using any combination of existing LASD school sites in north Los Altos to educate (and provide recreational facilities for) 750 students driven to and from Mountain View's North of El Camino neighborhood still overwhelms the roads in Los Altos, especially the roads in the Egan/BCS/Santa Rita neighborhood of Los Altos.


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Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 20, 2013 at 9:50 pm

It obvious that the City of Mountain View has no plan.

City Council rubber stamps staff recommendations for high density "mixed" use development as proposed by whatever national/regional developer that comes to town and sees an opportunity for profit.

Staff is interested in increased taxes (revenue) to fund the salaries/pensions of said staff.

The rest is ignored.


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Posted by LASD Taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2013 at 9:57 pm

It's an issue of redevelopment. Over the last 20 years, Mountain View has repeatedly sanctioned housing developments in the area of San Antonio Road between Central Expressway and El Camino Real. It does not matter what school district this is. It's a contained area and there are already 600 school kids and the number is growing. Even if the city claims to build "adults only" housing complexes this is not the case and its questionable in any event. You can't stick your head in the sand and say the children don't live in the area. Even if the existing schools weren't nearing LASD's miniscule size limits, the kids in this area have a right to a school in their neighborhood. Separately, it's true that Victorine Klein Elementary school was closed years ago and those students on the east side of Ortega now attend Castro which is getting overcrowded too. Over the years Mountain View has reaped the sales tax and property tax revenues from converting other school properties to non school uses. This is a case where it should be planning to see less sales and property tax revenue from enough land to include a school in the planning for the San Antonio/El Camino area.

Also: How old do you think Tammy Logan is? The poster must be about 75 years old who said she had been watching LASD for 50 years. Well, unless she started watching when she was only 12.


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Posted by LASD Taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Mountain View is development crazed. The 2nd phase of San Antonio is going to bring more traffic crowding and excessive enterprise growth to the same area. They have many other development projects. Now they want to tear down the old stores at Castro and El Camino and make a crazy-dense 400 apartment over ground floor store Plastic Strip Mall development to displace all the many nice small businesses that operate in the area currently (Only Peets will be saved, but it will be much smaller).


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Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 21, 2013 at 5:44 am

Its amazing how the inept LASD elected officials get the NEC crowd riled up to push the blame to other parties. They (LASD) are totally incompetent. If they want land for a school, go out and buy the property at market price. To try and get land without paying full market price is immoral. The MV council has added park land in this area by buying residential land at market price and converting it to a public park. You didn't hear MV council complain.

The whiners in the Crossings bought their homes knowing full well the school locations. Now they complain about a problem they helped create. Maybe they should be forced to sell their homes and reduce school enrollment. (LOL)

New apartments at San Antonio are 1-2 bdrm (3-4k/mth) and will not add a lot of school children as predicted by the whiners. In fact the new development will provide significant amounts of development fees and unlimited property tax revenues to the LASD. Phase II will provide even more school revenue than needed for this small increase in K-8 students. The question to ask LASD, is what will they do with this infusion of new revenue streams? The answer is they will waste it on increased adm. salaries and capital projects at schools outside the NEC area. The bureaucrats in LASD should be held accountable. Unfortunately the whiners will keep electing inept politicians. They need to elect a Steve Nelson.


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Posted by Tax Payer In the SEC
a resident of Gemello
on Apr 21, 2013 at 10:15 am

The impact is really going to be at Almond from the LA Garden Center project. Lasd had a school there and they sold it off. Tammy Logan is a one women wrecking crew. Her main objective seems to be angering city council members. She should be working on solving problems, not creating new ones.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2013 at 11:19 am

I think the school was called Jordan or Portola, I remember walking around the site before it was pulled down. I also walked around Klein, San Ramon and old Mountain View saying to myself this. We are going to need these schools, to save money they could have removed most of buildings. Kept the land.

Looked at Google Maps.
Old Safeway could be purchased, whole or half.
Part of Target site could be leased.
Mora Dr business area but site could be toxic.
Older low density apartment buildings, read about this in earlier link.
Orchard on Los Altos Ave.
Church on Jordan Ave.

How about using Rengstorff Park.

Just some ideas for the LASD and the 2 cities.

Traffic, that would also need to be discussed but find a site first.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2013 at 11:19 am

I think the school was called Jordan or Portola, I remember walking around the site before it was pulled down. I also walked around Klein, San Ramon and old Mountain View saying to myself this. We are going to need these schools, to save money they could have removed most of buildings. Kept the land.

Looked at Google Maps.
Old Safeway could be purchased, whole or half.
Part of Target site could be leased.
Mora Dr business area but site could be toxic.
Older low density apartment buildings, read about this in earlier link.
Orchard on Los Altos Ave.
Church on Jordan Ave.

How about using Rengstorff Park.

Just some ideas for the LASD and the 2 cities.

Traffic, that would also need to be discussed but find a site first.


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Posted by Taxpayer 2
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Market rate compensation has to be given when land is condemned. Selecting the location is focused on keeping the cost down. Condeming the Pear Property (4 acres of the total 13 acres on the two parcels) has these advantages:

(1) Part of it belongs to the SF PUC and what you condemn is the surface rights for a parking lot. This is cheaper property condemn, just being surface rights with limited uses.

(2) The main farmhouse is undeveloped and it is in an area where the development potential is the most limited of any available land. It is right across from and next to existing 2 story condos and there needs to be something low height there, just 2 stories.

(3) Ortega is still a residential street, more appropriate for a school.

(4) It is right across from Klein Park which is a good neighbor for a school and common in Mtn View (school by park) The fact that Ortega is a border between two school districts doesn't hurt this fact.

(5) The target property is not going to be developed as densely as many parcels in the San Antonio area. The permission to redevelop Target is still up in the air, and the ceding of land for a school can be used by the developer to get higher development rights. This is clearly a public benefit.

(6) The 600-800 school kids are on the north side of El Camino Real, and never before in history has the school population in this area been so high. Locating the school on the other side of El Camino would make no sense. There are already schools and school students there.

(7) The school takes away from the property tax rolls of the city, and the students are all Mountain View residents, so it makes sense to take away from property and sales tax revenues for Mountain View, not Los Altos.

(8) There is an under used state property adjacent to target, the DMV lot, that doesn't need to be in such an expensive location. Many better spots for this office existing in Mtn View. Perhaps Target could get develepment rights for this Parcel to compensate for some of the land lost to a school.


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Posted by FED UP
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 21, 2013 at 2:02 pm

LASD Does not need another parcel of land right now. It needs to get over that entire idea.

Put BCS at Covington - Or Gardner - put a NEC campus at the current BCS site - for part of the NEC - and the area right around there that is going to have the largest influx of families.
This campus will draw from the two most crowded schools - Almond and Santa Rita.

Move six grade to the Junior HIghs - you have now made room for more kids at every school, AND give them access to better facilities more inline with state standards. Including advanced math.

MV should build a park in the NEC area on a portion of the target site - Maybe a soccer field.

LASD should spend what ever money it has on improving it's current school sites not on real estate.

You can do this entire plan with out anyone moving from their current school site - except for BCS which doesn't want to be at Egan or Blach anyway. Use buses if you are worried about traffic it's way cheaper than real estate.


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Posted by Good Plan But.......
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Good Plan FED UP but it will never happen. Like the idea of putting BCS at Gardner in a sharing arrangement. If LASD thinks that BCS can fit on less than 3 acres in Sunnyvale it can also fit on three unused acres at the back of Gardner Bullis.

This plan will never be adopted by the Los Altos School District because it violates their First Principal - Every policy should do the most harm to Bullis Charter School - even if it effects our own students as well. If they reside in Mountain View it's okay - they don't have big bucks like the Out of District Los Altos Hills Families that we gave Gardner to.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2013 at 3:03 pm

MV and the LASD should at least for site, both school and park. JOA, school 5 days a week, park after hours, weekends. LASD can be site ready.


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Posted by Tammy's Report
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2013 at 6:10 pm

Tammy Logan's report at the next LASD Board Meeting.

"I went to Mountain View City Council Meeting and had a pointed exchange of ideas with one their council members. I made sure to let them know that we expected them to solve our problems that we created. Really just continuing with the excellent work you started there, Doug."

" I also went to the County School Board Meeting so that I could call the BCS Principle a liar. I made sure to lie myself while I was at it. They asked me if I was there as a private citizen, representing myself or as a LASD board member. I told them that I was there as a private citizen, but don't worry I made sure to add that everyone of my fellow board members would support what I was saying"


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Posted by Tammy's Report
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2013 at 9:37 pm

And here it is ...... as reported by the LA Patch.......


Tamara Logan: Ive had some fairly controversial appearances recently. At the MV City Council meeting. In case you have not heard, the city was not supportive to our request to talk with them. Mr. Pear is not interested in selling his property, which I knew, but he had a surprising suggestion to move all those kids to MV-Whisman district.


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Posted by Tammy's Report
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2013 at 9:39 pm

and so there it is.... trying to move NEC to Mountain View Whisman.


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Posted by buzzy
a resident of Whisman Station
on Apr 23, 2013 at 5:10 pm

Instead of moving just the NEC kids they should move ALL the LASD kids to the MV Whisman district or at least let them run it. It seems like a crazy bunch of yokels running the show in Los Altos.


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Posted by LASD Taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2013 at 6:39 pm

One issue is that the student population has risen throughout the city, as more and more families squeeze into apartments that previously (through history) had no children. All along Latham street used to be filled with singles with no kids. No longer true. Mtn View Whisman is exploding in population too. Where they have room is the closed schools up by Moffet Field, because there used to be a lot of kids in base housing that are now gone. So they are renting these two schools out to Google and a private school, to get income. Luckily they didn't close these schools permanently like they did Klein.

The most dense area of the city though student wise (per acre) is the territory assigned to LASD. If you believe in nearby schools, then here should be one in this area. LASD makes a big commitment to this belief, but Mtn View Whisman not so much. Just because all of Mtn View Whisman is in the city of Mtn View doesn't mean LASD's policies can vary for Mtn View residents. The LASD residents pay a lot of extra taxes to support the neighborhood schools, their onsite preschools, their onsite neighborhood parks, etc.


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Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 24, 2013 at 10:50 pm

Lots of pointless ideas. How about voters hold the bureaucrats in LASD accountable and vote them out of office.


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Posted by Mark
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 25, 2013 at 12:14 am

How about keeping the public schools for poor families and leaving you not-poor folks to enroll your children in private schools for which you pay? Most residents have no school children. Pay for schooling yourselves. Ont-line instruction will be cheap for those of you who are cheap or frugal when it comes to your own money.


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Posted by LASD Observer
a resident of another community
on Apr 25, 2013 at 6:10 pm

If you didn't have people in the top 25% of household income percentiles attending LASD schools, the number of kids in school would drop by more than 50%. Mark, I think that would have unintended side consequences.


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Posted by Demi
a resident of another community
on Apr 25, 2013 at 7:38 pm

If you left the Los Altos School District to only the poor people then you would have about 75 students. If you throw in the middle class and you might have enough for one or two schools - the remaining 80 percent is wealthy, very wealthy even by silicon valley standards. Average home price in LASD is close to 1.5 million. Most live in single family homes. It's really amusing to see the LASD efforts to try and make BCS the rich school and LASD schools the poor and down trodden. LASD has the big bucks and the easy kids to educate. Mountain View is doing a much better job of educating ALL of its students, whether they are rich, poor or middle class.


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Posted by LASD Observer
a resident of another community
on Apr 25, 2013 at 9:22 pm

To be accurate, about 20% of Mtn View residents do attend LASD schools. It has nothing to do with the city, what school district you are in. LASD even has one area of Sunnyvale, and one area of Palo Alto.


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Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Apr 25, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Please, please, please, no more building up beside the street. Let's have some breathing space between the street and the buildings. Let's see some sun as we walk along the sidewalks. Leave a little parking space so that we don't feel claustrophobic.

The new building all over Palo Alto and Mountain View, with huge walls towering over the streets is terrible. The JCC, Mikis, The Elks Lodge, The San Antonio Centre, the homes beside Toyota on Middlefield, I could go on and on. They are ugly and uninviting. I have tried the new Safeway and love it, but as for driving by on El Camino, I feel as if I'm in a prison compound.


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Posted by tommygee54
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 26, 2013 at 8:56 pm

This Target store is in the same building that once housed the store called 'Bazaar'. I assume this building is at least 50 years old, just like the building that once housed the Safeway store on California St a nearly 50 year old building. Good that Target wants to rebuild this store from scratch. Maybe I will go in it then. I have not been inside this Target store since Walmart openned up across the street.


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