Frequently Asked Questions

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Woodland

We are hoping to get a list of stakeholders, people and organizations, that have requested changes; and/or, those that have a vested interest in some of the changes. Thus far, County has not identified these entities, but we hope to get the list soon.

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Waiting for county response.

Many want the large soccer – multipurpose that is located in the sports side of the park to be built first and thus delay the cutting of the majority of trees in the historic Heritage Grove area in the woodland.

As it stands now (2021) County plans to cut down the heart of the woodland to build a 2nd sports field in the middle of the nature area of the park. At the same time, County could be leasing from the Ravenswood school district the 2.5 acre Flood School property that is currently vacant with no buildings. The money ear marked for the woodland destruction and the 2nd soccer field could instead be used to build a full size soccer/lacrosse field on this 2.5 acres. It is just next to the freeway end of the large baseball field at Flood Park.

Local community youth sports and after school programs have identified that more fields are needed; however, county could be facilitating the use of many existing fields in the immediate areas through establishing use agreements with city parks, school districts, private schools, and commercial fields. Many of these appear to be unused and available during the most recent soccer and lacrosse season.

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General

County hasn’t answered yet. The planning has been ongoing for 5 years.

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We are hoping to get a list of stakeholders, people and organizations, that have requested changes; and/or, those that have a vested interest in some of the changes. Thus far, County has not identified these entities, but we hope to get the list soon.

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We have asked County Parks for a list of other locations, parks, schools, and semi-private locations that are within a 3 mile radius of the park to find out what sports, picnic, playgrounds, and similar outdoor accommodations are available. In the meantime, we are starting a spreadsheet of nearby locations to understand what sports they can accommodate.

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The old Flood Elementary school was between the ball field and highway 101. The status of this land is unknown, but may be part of Menlo Park city. We have asked County to actively pursue use of this land for the park. How that would occur (lease, purchase, special grant, joint agreement, etc.) has yet to be determined.

There is a push to convert this parcel to affordable housing. However, this land was originally for the public good. Consideration should be made to keep this parcel for the public good. There are several areas that are much more suited for affordable housing: Areas close to public transit, areas that are nearer the El Camino and Alameda de las Pulgas corridors where the air is cleaner, no freeway noise, and in walking distance to business,and market areas.

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Waiting for County response.

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Sports

If the Lacrosse field were moved to the other end of the park, where the multi-purpose field and baseball field are, a major portion of the woodland set for destruction could be preserved for generations to come.

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In a radius of 2 or 3 miles around Flood Park, there are many multipurpose, soccer, and similar fields that could support lacrosse. When considering public and private fields, including schools, parks, and sport complexes, how many fields would support lacrosse? We have asked County this question and are looking for their help in identifying these for local coaches.

In the meantime, we are also in the process of creating a Local Sports Field spreadsheet to identify what local area fields support playgrounds, hiking, picnicking, and various sports. The goal is to identify both public and private fields and then have County seek permissions for public use of sport fields (especially use by NFO and East Palo Alto neighborhoods).

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We are waiting for a reply from county parks.

Several years ago, the baseball field was disrupted by the public water supply lines project. Why many of the other sports areas were not maintained is one question. Why the baseball field was let go years before the work and was not restored after the work are also part of the answer sought here.

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Volleyball is a very popular sport at the park. Removing a court doesn’t seem in the interest of the park. Same with Tennis Courts – once maintained, it seems keeping the 4 courts should be considered. Maybe looking at the historical records to see how popular tennis was back when the courts were in good shape.

We have asked County this question and are looking for their help in identifying these for local coaches.

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This question applies to the baseball field and the shared multipurpose that is next to the baseball field. This question also applies to the 2nd soccer/lacrosse field in the woodland.

The latest EIR discusses artificial turf surfaces; however, there is no discussion or associated research on the impact of an artificial surface on the remaining trees in the area around the sport field. Temperatures, moisture content of soil, and impact on the microorganisms and insects that make up a health woodland.


Waiting for County Response.

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Waiting for county response.

Many want the large soccer – multipurpose that is located in the sports side of the park to be built first and thus delay the cutting of the majority of trees in the historic Heritage Grove area in the woodland.

As it stands now (2021) County plans to cut down the heart of the woodland to build a 2nd sports field in the middle of the nature area of the park. At the same time, County could be leasing from the Ravenswood school district the 2.5 acre Flood School property that is currently vacant with no buildings. The money ear marked for the woodland destruction and the 2nd soccer field could instead be used to build a full size soccer/lacrosse field on this 2.5 acres. It is just next to the freeway end of the large baseball field at Flood Park.

Local community youth sports and after school programs have identified that more fields are needed; however, county could be facilitating the use of many existing fields in the immediate areas through establishing use agreements with city parks, school districts, private schools, and commercial fields. Many of these appear to be unused and available during the most recent soccer and lacrosse season.

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Summit and Everest high schools don’t have their own fields, yet other local high schools and middle schools do.   Soccer coaches and players from NFO say there aren’t enough fields to meet desires.  Yet, an inventory of public and private fields within a 2-3 mile radius of Flood Park shows that at least 4 other fields in local parks and at least 9 other fields on semi-private and private locations.

A quicker and probably much less expensive alternative is to have Flood Park support 1 multipurpose field (not 2) and for County to assist local schools and youth sport groups in getting permission to use these 13+ local fields. With permission obtained, the fields would be immediately available. No construction time, no construction costs, no delays for use. A potential win-win-win for county residents and entities with fields and all this with County saving millions of dollars.

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Coaches and ballplayers say there aren’t enough local fields for all the ball groups and players. Families may have players of different ages and on different teams both using fields at Flood Park.

As previously mentioned, there seem to be over a dozen soccer fields within 3 miles radius of Flood Park that could support soccer or lacrosse. County should pursue use agreements with these city, school, private, and commercial entities to provide access. Such agreements would yield use immediately, without having to wait for planning, construction, and other related delays.

This would also mean Flood Park could build the one multipurpose field in conjunction with the baseball field restoration and not build the destructive second field that destroys the heart of the heritage woodland. This would mean a savings of several millions of dollars AND the park would not need to be closed, it could essentially stay open while the play fields are restored (that area is closed now anyway).

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County Parks has indicated they will be in charge of scheduling. We are waiting for more details from County as to how this process will work and who will have priority over others.

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Traffic

The County’s final EIR (2020) states that parking fees will not be charged so as to allow quicker entry into the park and reduce the queue length of cars entering. That EIR also states that more cars are expected on weekends.

The County does not address the traffic noise issues, stating in the EIR that “traffic noise would remain a significant and unavoidable impact.”

Neighbors in the area have asked how cycling safety can be improved. County did not address cycling safety in regards to heavy park traffic.

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Currently, SAMTrans does not have a bus route for the park. Waiting to hear from County if a route, especially that services the NFO and East Palo Alto neighborhoods will include the park, especially with more frequent trips for the 4-6pm weekday times used by school sport teams.

Waiting on response from County.

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Parking capacity and traffic are acknowledged in the EIRs as a potential problem, yet it does not appear that the parking area being made to accommodate busses and similar transport vehicles in the parking area.

Currently there is not an affective public transportation service NFO and East Palo Alto residents to/from the park. With the new all access playgrounds, it seems there is a need to support transit systems like Redi-Wheels and other similar transport for those with disabilities that should have a stop in the drop off area for such transportation.

Associated with this question would be: Where would buses and similar large transport park?

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Picnic

Looking through the EIR planning documents, it is clear that picnic capacity of the park will NOT be the same as it is now. The most used feature of the park are the Picnic areas. So this is an important element in understanding the impact of moving current picnic sites and the removal of most of the drop-in picnic tables that are currently scattered along the permitter path.

Drop-in sites currently offer 322 person capacity based on County data and community counts. The EIR up through 2019 had virtually eliminated this capacity and the final revised plan Errata now shows 24 capacity. 322 versus 24 is a huge cut to a park feature that is the most utilized.

Over all, based on the latest County plan, the current total capacity is 907 people, this is being reduced by 27%, a loss of 243 picnickers.

One question is that the EIR plans up to 2020 showed a reduction of picnic capacity to 344 total. A errata update in 2020 penciled in 356 spaces on the Capacity Table #6, yet the design map did not appear to change to reflect the larger picnic areas. This issue still needs clarification – waiting for an explanation from County.

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It seems that prioritizing park use during the 3 phases is something that should be top priority. It appears that picnicking in the park will be eliminated from the start and not really be available until Phase 3, 4 to 6 years. It is important that park remain open to the community as much as possible during the project. This makes sense since major work in the currently closed baseball field could be done while the rest of the park is open.

Adjusting the work done in each of the 3 phases can accomplish as much use of the park by the community as possible. The way the phasing is planned now, it appears that park use would be basically closed.

Waiting for County Response.

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