New-Revised Layout Plan for Flood Park!

Public Input On New Flood Park Plan- Nov 5 @ 2pm This important opportunity to learn more about the new 2022 layout for Flood Park is in the Fir Group Picnic area and starts at 2pm. Please make time to attend this meeting to learn more, ask questions, hear concerns and issues that others are voicing.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, please leave your feedback and/or questions in the comment form below. All comments are shared with the County Parks department and our community.

County Parks Creates new Flood Park Reimagine Layout Plan

On May 23rd, County announced a new layout plan for the Flood Park Reimagine plan. This plan was in response to the community input and strong desire to preserve the nature and woodland at Flood Park. The new layout moves all field sports to the sports side of the park and that means the sports field that was to be placed in the middle of the Heritage Grove area has been moved out of the woodland and thus the heart of the woodland will be preserved.

Revised May 2022 – Fields Sports now on Sports side of Park

What County Reports Hearing from the Community:

Over the past four months, the San Mateo County Parks Department and the design team have hosted a series of workshops, community events, and working group meetings as well as opened an online public survey to gather input on the 2020 Flood Park Landscape Plan and inform its refinement. Almost 800 people responded to the online survey, and several hundred provided feedback during the first Realize Flood Park workshop (2/2/22) and subsequent community events at Casa Circulo Cultural in North Fair Oaks (3/12/22) and a Movie Night at the park (3/26/22). The design team compiled and analyzed the feedback received during community events and through the survey responses and synthesized the following key findings and themes.

The following information points are based on County Parks information and is slightly revised from County’s reports, so that a common denominator of “all respondents” in the percentages used.

  • Flood Park is a place to be in nature, exercise, and gather with friends and family
    Most respondents are excited about increased opportunity for physical activity, connecting with nature and being with family and friends.
  • The trees of Flood Park are part of our heritage and our future
    Most respondents indicated that preservation of heritage trees and trees in the heart of the oak woodland is a priority. The trees that make Flood Park so special are a treasure to preserve and a resource to cultivate.
  • Flexible space for field sports is in high demand
    46% of respondents indicated that they or their family would use the multi-use sport fields, of those 86% live in households with children. This represents significant demand for multi-use fields, especially among families with children.
  • Let’s play – Soccer and Baseball
    Of the total survey respondents, 26% are interested in soccer and 18% are interested in baseball. In addition, there is a clear desire for space to play frisbee (12%), football (8%) and lacrosse (8%). This suggests that flexibility for diverse athletic opportunities is important to the community.
  • I want to drop-in and play with my friends
    27% of the total respondents indicated that they are interested in using the multi-use sport fields for drop-in play or informal play, which requires open and flexible field space.
  • The size and flexibility of fields is important
    Respondents indicated that various field sizes are desired suggesting that flexibility in field configuration and use is critical to meeting community needs.
  • Court sports and the pump track invite diversity
    27% of survey respondents expressed an interest in using the tennis/pickleball courts. Approximately many of respondents are excited about using the basketball courts (17%), sand volleyball courts (16%), and the pump track (20%). These facilities will ensure that the park meets the diverse and multi-generational interests of the community.
  • Flood Park should include spaces for people of all abilities to play 34% of survey respondents are excited about an all-abilities play space and 32% are excited about an adventure play area. Looking toward the future suggests the need for multi-generational play spaces that invite people of all-abilities and ages to play together.
  • Let’s Picnic Over 80% of respondents indicated that they would use the picnic areas. Most respondents are interested in small to medium gatherings with 2 – 50 people. The revised landscape plan will preserve existing reservation and drop-in picnic site quantity and capacity.
  • Gardens can bring us together 28% of respondents expressed an interest in demonstration gardens. This suggests a strong link between stewardship and community that can become places of sharing and learning.

The County Parks website also has information here.

As a result of this new layout for the Flood Park Reimagine plan, this Flood Park website is in the process of updating the various information pages as we gather details. Please view the main pages (in the top menu) for discussions on Woodland, Play & Sports, Picnicking, Access & Parking., and use of Flood School to extend the park.

County’s Summary of Changes to the Reimagine Plan

  • Park Program and Features
    Outreach and survey responses indicated strong support for each of the park programs and features established as part of the Reimagine Flood Park process from 2015 – 2020. With exception of the formal promenade, the updated plan retains the recreational, play spaces, picnic and other features included in the 2020 Landscape Plan.
  • Tree Preservation
    The revised landscape plan honors the community’s interest in preserving native trees and the oak woodland by reconfiguring the layout of facilities and pathways to reduce the removal of existing trees. No heritage trees (greater than 48-inches in diameter) will need to be removed. Five significant oak trees (greater than 12-inches in diameter) and (16) significant non-native trees (greater than 12-inches in diameter) will need to be removed as part of the revised plan. Approximately 85% of all trees to be removed (54 of the 64 trees to be removed), are non-native trees that have limited ecological value.

    Community Note: It is not clear if some of these native trees to be removed are large, historic, or what steps could be taken to save them. More details are needed to be better informed.
  • Central Gathering and Play Spaces
    The layout of the central gathering and play spaces has been updated based on the idea of a more open and flowing experience that responds to existing trees and buildings. The all-abilities play space has been expanded and combined with the adventure play area to create a unique and inclusive experience. A focal element and several community gathering spaces have been incorporated to create a dynamic new ‘heart of the park’. The adobe administration building will be seismically retrofitted and repurposed as a community event space that could include interpretive features.

    Community Note: It is important to many in the community that the play spaces have shading provided by the large trees at the park. A play area that is only in the sunshine can be almost unusable during hot spring and summer days.
  • Picnic Areas
    The updated plan also includes the preservation and restoration of the large Oak Picnic Area and structures. The other existing reservable and drop-in picnic areas will be relocated throughout the park and will be redesigned to allow for better access and improved facilities. The revised landscape plan will preserve existing reservation and drop-in picnic site quantity and capacity.

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Comments (2) on “New-Revised Layout Plan for Flood Park!”

  1. I was so very sad when I saw this revised plan. We have been communicating with you since the beginning, begging not to have sports field on the Del Norte side of the park. I was devastated to see that they have returned. They NEED to be on the parking lot side of flood park. Otherwise you will turn our neighborhood into a thoroughfare for drop off and pick up creating an unsafe place for children, pets and cars. Del Norte is not capable of handling multiple cars per hour on the hour with parents racing down to drop off their children. If there is a field on the Del Norte side, this will happen. I really thought you had heard this concern and the previous plan was fine. I have no idea how you came up with this new plan, but please, please go back to the previous plan. Also, there are now things inside the 100′ buffer, so these should all be moved. In addition, you have placed a picnic area right outside our backyard, which means that we will be unable to use our backyard on the weekend. The noise level will probably be unreasonable inside our home as well. Why did you abandoned the old plan. It was fine. The fields were all near the parking lot and I believe it would have encouraged all field traffic to go through drop off from the parking lot side of the park. This new plan is worse in every way! Please get rid of this new plan!

  2. To the Menlo Park Board of Supervisors:
    Active in Reimagining Flood Park initially, I had little to say once I learned that the adobe structure will be preserved, a fact that made me very grateful. I realize much has happened since then to further the plan, with the design changing several times in response to public opinion such as that carried by this message. Thank you also for the preservation of the many trees which were to have been excluded by the initial plan. These trees remain truly the heart of the park.
    Why I write now is to express my concern with the 6/2022 plan, which reveals such a concentration of child and adult activities, that the park will not only lose its natural casual loveliness, but will become a nuisance due to an increase in use for such amenities and the resultant environmental impacts more people, more cars and more noise create. The increase in cars is of particular concern in this neighborhood, once friendly to children on their bikes and skates, and with this plan, Del Norte Avenue will become a busy thoroughfare for park visitors entering through Iris Lane to access a medium multi-use field on the Del Norte side of the park, only 100 feet from some neighbors, who, again, will be forced to experience more people, more cars, and more noise every day after school and all day on weekends.
    (2019 estimates of numbers of participants and cars were too low then, and continue as underestimates as new activities are added to this already-crowded plan, which has many more activities than can be handled by the parking lots.)
    I know that I am not the only resident who is worried about the addition of a pickleball court and the attendant noise in back of my house; others have written you that this very popular sport is causing problems for municipalities in many parts of the United States as this game gains in popularity. What is clear is that such pickleball courts are not neighbor-friendly. The noise caused by the impact of the wiffle-type ball and the graphite paddle creates a popping sound that has been described as gunshot-like. Can the pickleball courts be placed in an area more central, away from neighbors’ homes?
    Other municipalities, not anticipating the popularity of the game, have built pickleball courts only to have nearby residents complain. Some municipalities anticipate having to tear out pickleball courts in order to appease neighbors, others have noise abatement plans; in other communities, residents are choosing to move rather than live with the continuous racket. I implore you to consider moving the courts away from the property lines of the homes on Del Norte Ave before our peaceful neighborhood is torn apart and angry residents are at your desks demanding resolution.
    (see link: https://www.berkeleyside.org/2020/11/13/north-berkeley-neighbors-complain-noisy-pickleball-games)
    I am aware that the newest version of the Flood Park Plan (6/22/2022) will reach your agenda in the very near future. Especially because of the new pickleball concern, I am hopeful that you pass the latest version only on the condition that the designers address this and other concerns (to be) written as the design is refined.
    Very truly yours,
    Brendan Webster
    1027 Del Norte Ave.
    Menlo Park, CA 94024