- Published on Tuesday, 22 July 2003 20:54
- Written by Dave Snow
LA council should help stop reservoir plans
Following up on John Rossi's recent letter to the editor, we want to express our frustration over the Los Altos City Council's total lack of opposition regarding Mountain View's proposed water reservoir project to be built in our Los Altos neighborhood.
In addition to expanding the existing 1-million-gallon underground reservoir to 2 million gallons, they want to build a new 3-million-gallon, above-ground reservoir 50 feet away from our property line.
Our main concerns are:
1. The safety issue of having a total of 5 million gallons of water next to our homes in earthquake country.
2. The significant loss of our property values. Who will buy a home next to such a hazardous project?
3.The pollution, noise, traffic problems and other disturbances during the expected two-year construction period.
Since the city of Mountain View owns the 5-acre reservoir site located in Los Altos, officials feel they can do as they please with their property without regard for the Los Altos neighbors.
To our disappointment, our own city council has not given us any support in our opposition of the project. We wonder if they would feel differently if they were our next-door neighbors.
Susan and Les Besser
Rosita pool facts skewed
As the truth about the Rosita Pool situation is becoming distorted, there are several things the residents of Los Altos should know. The Rosita Neighborhood Coalition is an organization consisting of about 100 separate properties near Rosita Park. Many of the members have lived in the neighborhood for 30 years or more.
The Coalition met with every councilmember to convince them to conduct an appropriate environmental study prior to their decision to proceed with the aquatic complex. When the city council elected to adopt a mitigated negative declaration, the coalition was reluctantly left with no other option than to seek legal action to force the city to conduct an appropriate environmental study. The Coalition used the Citizen's Guide to the California Environmental Quality Act as the basis for their action and made this information available to the council prior to their decision.
The coalition is well aware of the impact of a self-supporting swimming facility upon a neighborhood. When the city operated the old Covington pool as a true community pool, the impact upon the neighborhood was negligible. When Los Altos Masters took over self-sustaining operation of the pool, the associated increase in noise, traffic, lighting and in some cases, parking generated a significant impact upon the neighborhood.
Knowing full well the potential impact of a single pool at Rosita Park, the coalition twice offered to accept a single pool. Prior to the court hearing, the coalition offered a single pool option to the city council. The council summarily rejected the single pool offer and opted to proceed with the lawsuit rather than discuss operating parameters of a single pool, which would be much closer to several residences than the old Covington pool. After the court decision, the city council and the coalition once again tried to reach a settlement.
The coalition offered the single pool option, but the council rejected that offer without discussing operating parameters and proceeded with their appeal of the court decision.
The coalition has been accused of wasting taxpayers' dollars to prepare a full environmental impact report. On June 13, 2000, the same city council as we now have voted to accept a proposal wherein SPLASH would pay for the design and construction of a swimming pool facility. Recently, the council voted to fund the cost of an environmental impact report using taxpayer funds. Since, as Councilman Becker noted, according to prior agreements, SPLASH should pay for the preparation of the report, the council is responsible for wasting taxpayer dollars and not the coalition.
The coalition strongly supports swimming in Los Altos and recognizes the importance of teaching children to swim, providing adult swimming activities, and availing the residents with the option of drop-in, open swimming during the summer months.
The coalition stands ready to accept a single pool at Rosita Park that is operated such that it will have an acceptable impact upon the neighborhood.
Rosita tax income
lost with pool use
It takes a lot of chutzpah for the present city council to complain that litigation by the Rosita Neighborhood Coalition is costing the taxpayers money.
This is the city council that overturned that action of the previous council which would have permitted the building of 24 homes on the property now known as Rosita Park. These homes would have provided tax income for the city for years to come.
Instead this present council has spent over half a million dollars to acquire the acreage and an unknown sum of several thousand more to turn it into a sports complex. If the commercial plans for an aquatic development do not over time prove to be self supporting, Los Altos taxpayers will be saddled with the pool complex's upkeep and maintenance for years to come.
This is a big switch from income to the taxpayers to an ongoing cost of thousands for the acquisition, development and upkeep of Rosita "Park."
As I say, it takes a lot of chutzpah.