Happening this week! — Public presentation of the May 2022 Updated Layout, at Flood Park on Saturday June 11th from 3PM to 5PM. Please join us at this important milestone in the design process!

In a remarkable and very welcome pivot, the County’s newly updated plan for Flood Park honors the natural character of the park, and no longer calls for removing the heart of the woodland — but there is opportunity to make it even better.

You can view the County’s presentation of the updated plan in a PDF at this URL: https://www.smcgov.org/parks/news/updated-flood-park-landscape-plan-feedback-event

The layout of sports fields and amenities in the new plan goes a long way toward addressing desires and concerns raised by the community since planning started in 2015, including saving the natural character of the cherished woodland. It still provides new features for field sports but it no longer calls for removing the heart of the woodland to make space for them. However, there are a several places where additional mature trees can be saved, and where concerns about noise and neighborhood traffic can be addressed.

Community members have come up with a number of suggestions for adjustments to the county’s plan.


Notes about Suggestion H

  • The main benefit is saving more than 10 additional mature trees, including the “woodpecker tree.” An additional benefit is the reduction of noise for neighbors.
  • The smaller Multi-use Field is reduced in size (now in U-11 range), and shifted to allow saving multiple trees. The saved trees introduce a buffer between the two field areas.
  • The Smaller Multi-use field is now 50′ farther from neighbor back yards (reducing noise). The offset is roughly comparable to Hedge neighbor offset from the large field. For comparison both 150 x 210 and 200 x 210 footprints are shown.
  • The Basketball and Tennis courts are placed in reverse order, rotated, and offset to allow saving of a row of mature maples. They now feel more “tucked in among the trees.”
  • The perimeter path is returned to its current alignment, to be less intrusive to neighbor back yards.
  • Dashed lines show 100′ and 150′ offsets on Del Norte, Hedge, and Haven House edges of the park.
  • Based on the County’s May 2022 Updated Layout

Notes about Suggestion J

  • One main benefit is reduced noise for Del Norte neighbors and reduced traffic (player drop off) at Iris and Bay Road gates
  • Also saves more than 10 additional mature trees, including the “woodpecker tree” and a row of maples.
  • The Smaller Multi-Use Field is reduced in size (now 120 x 210, in the U-11 range), and is placed next to the parking and drop-off areas.
  • Many other features in the County May 2022 Layout are shifted to accommodate the new field placement. The all-abilities playground is shifted south east. The gathering-oriented areas are shifted to the Bay Road side of the Adobe building (as used during the movie-night screening of Encanto).
  • The Basketball and Tennis courts are shifted. The Sand Volleyball courts return to the placement they have today.
  • The pathway along the Del Norte side of the park returns to the position it has today.
  • This placement of the Smaller Multi-Use Field requires removing some minor trrees. No oaks or significant trees are removed.
  • Dashed lines show 100′ and 150′ offsets on Del Norte, Hedge, and Haven House edges of the park.
  • Based on the County’s May 2022 Updated Layout.

Next steps in the design process

The next step in the Design Process is a Workshop Event being held in Flood Park on Saturday, June 11th from 3 PM until 5 PM. The County and the design team will be presenting the May 2022 Updated Layout plan, taking people on tours of the park, and gathering feedback and input on the plan from the public. Please attend this event and make your voice heard!

Over the summer months, the design team will be working from the “30%” stage represented by the May 2022 plan, to create a “60%” plan that will solidify more of the details of the design, aiming for a public presentation in September.

How to participate in the design process

You can participate by coming to the public events offered by the County (the next one is June 11th, in the Park at 3 PM – 5 PM). You can also get in touch with the San Mateo County Parks Department by e-mail at ParksAndRecreation@smcgov.org



This page previously contained a series of community-generated Alternates to the County’s previous “2020 Revised Landscape Plan,” which is now obsolete. The old alternates (A through E) are displayed below as a reference

Alternatives to the (previous) official 2020 Layout Plan

Let’s look a bit deeper at the 2020 Layout Plan’s tree cuts and at possible alternatives.

Trees to be removed
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The areas in red show the canopies of existing trees that will be cut down to make room for the soccer fields and other amenities. The 2020 Tree Removal plan calls for removing 72 park trees, 22 of which are in the heart of the woodland, in the lower part of the map.

Many of the advocates for conserving the woodland recognize the value of compromise, and are willing to accept removing trees along the eastern margin (the upper area on the map). Many of these are aging non-native trees in poor health. However, advocates ask that the promenade, plazas and playgrounds be revised to build around the historic oaks, rather than remove them, and they are very strongly opposed to clear cutting the heart of the woodland.

They’re proposing a range of alternates that would still serve the soccer, lacrosse, and baseball communities without requiring so many trees to be destroyed.


Alternates

To tackle the problem of “too many features, too little space,” it makes sense to try combining features, reducing features, eliminating some features, or making the space bigger.

Here are several alternate layouts that explore these approaches, while keeping a high priority on protecting the woodland.

For comparison, here’s the layout in the 2020 Revised Conceptual Landscape Plan.


Alternate A

Alternate A, closer view

Features of Alternate A:

  • The heart of the woodland remains intact!
  • Playing field availability the same as the 2020 Landscape Plan
  • Dedicated full-size soccer field — does not require time-share with baseball.
  • Second full-sized soccer area available as part of a very large multi-use overlay with baseball. Additional outh/practice/pickup area is available as well. Scheduling of multi-use allocation would be at the discretion of park officials.
  • There is an additional non-shared playing area available for pick-up. practice, or youth competition.
  • Possible to schedule baseball and soccer games at the same time.
  • Reaches further into margin of woodland area than other multi-use alternates — about 8 additional trees would be removed.
  • Loss of trees at the woodland margin is preferable to loss of trees in the middle of the woodland.
  • Some features and amenities of the 2020 Landscape Plan need to shifted to accommodate the soccer field. The promenade has been shifted toward Bay Road. The gathering plaza has be moved to the other side of the adobe building.

Alternate B

Alternate B Closer View

Features of Alternate B:

  • Central woodland remains intact!
  • Three flex fields for competition, practice, and pick-up use
  • Biggest field is full size for adult competition, smaller fields are great for practice, pick-up play
  • More efficient use of multi-use space than the 2020 Landscape Plan
  • Large budget savings from not cutting woodland trees and not having to grade and prep additional ground for turf
  • Small field is always available, does not rotate with baseball
  • Makes it easy to provide both programmed sessions and room for pick-up users
  • One possible baseball and soccer/lacrosse 50% rotation alternate days during the week, weekends could alternate Saturday/Sunday use

Alternate C

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Alternate C closer view

Features of Alternate C:

  • Central woodland remains intact! However, this alternative does involve the trade-off of requiring removal of four mature oaks near the entrance. This tree loss could be eliminated by changing to a smaller field.
  • All the benefits of Alternate B, plus an additional medium-sized Flex Field near the entrance.
  • The entrance field’s schedule would be independent of the baseball rotation. Great for full-time access for practice, pick-up users, and competition up to the U-11 middle school level. Can be programmed or free-access at discretion of schedulers.
  • The multi-use field(s) would participate in rotation with baseball users. A possible rotation would be alternate days.
  • This placement displaces both the demonstration garden and an event area. There are many locations they could be moved to, not indicated on this map.

Alternate D

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Alternate D closer view

Features of Alternate D:

  • Central woodland remains intact!
  • No permanent markings means maximum flexibility for configuration of field sports, for practice, competition, or pick-up play
  • Most efficient use of multi-use space
  • Large budget savings from not cutting woodland trees and not having to grade and prep additional ground for turf
  • Right side of area does not require rotation with baseball, is available full-time
  • Makes it easy to provide both programmed sessions and room for pick-up users
  • One possible baseball and soccer/lacrosse 50% rotation alternate days during the week, weekends could alternate Saturday/Sunday use

Alternate E

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Features of Alternate E:

  • Central woodland remains intact!
  • The park is extended to include the site of the former James Flood School, now a vacant lot that belongs to the Ravenswood City School District. The site is right next to the park, separated only by a fence. Entry and Exit via the park prevents against neighborhood traffic issues. Would use existing parking.
  • This alternate is a “long shot” because it would require the Ravenswood City School District to be willing to make the land available for Flood Park use. At this time, they’re hoping to lease the land to housing developers, to generate income.
  • A full size Flex field would be placed on the newly acquired lot
  • The Flood School fields are independent of the rotation with baseball users, available full time. Can be programmed or used for pick-up play at the discretion of schedulers.
  • Extra green space can be used for additional sports fields, additional amenities. Or, relocate maintenance yard and use that space for other amenities.
  • All the benefits of the maximum flexibility multi-use field of Alternate B
  • Multi-use area would still share space with baseball, but the baseball schedule could now be given much greater priority
  • Least disruption of both woodlands and other amenities
  • Requires substantial financing

These alternatives have been brought to the attention of both the Parks Department and the planners hired to prepare the detailed designs, but it’s not clear what it would take to persuade them to adopt any of them.

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