- Published on Wednesday, 30 November 2011 00:00
- Written by Stephanie Soderborg - Town Crier Editorial Intern
The long-running discussion over the future of Cuesta Annex won't reach a Mountain View City Council agenda until January. Santa Clara Valley Water District plans for an annex flood basin were tentatively scheduled for next Tuesday's council agenda, but the item has since been deferred.
"We're still working with the water district (for more information)," said Mike Fuller, director of public works for Mountain View.
The Santa Clara Valley Water District Board is weighing two alternatives for the 12.5-acre parcel.
One option entails digging a 5-acre, 10-foot-deep flood basin on the site, and the second proposal involves constructing a large grilled gutter that would collect flood water behind Cuesta Park and the Annex, with a large drain pipe running under the Annex. Both plans would require a system of pipes installed under Cuesta Drive, Miramonte Avenue and Marilyn Drive to reach Permanente Creek.
Advocates for preserving the Annex will square off against those who want to develop the site to mitigate the impact of a 100-year flood of the creek, a flood that has a 1 percent chance of occurring in any given year.
The water district proposed the projects under Measure B, the Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection Plan, approved by voters in 2000, which allots $32 million, available through 2015, for creek restoration and flood protection.
According to Afshin Rouhani, project engineer with the water district, the basin would provide extra protection in the area adjacent to El Camino Hospital.
“Cuesta Annex is the only open area available for such a detention basin,” Rouhani said. “While we can meet the flood protection project goal established by Measure B without the basin, the basin would extend protection to areas not already covered.”
While some residents support the basin installation, citing greater protection and lower to no flood-insurance premiums as benefits, others adamantly oppose the project and want to preserve the Annex for its natural beauty.
“It is important to protect beautiful places like this, as there are not many left within the city limits,” said Cyndy Riordan, who advocates preserving the area.
“If a flood basin is dug in the Annex, it will harm the natural beauty, kill many heritage trees, displace wildlife, and the view of the mountains will no longer be visible from the bottom of the basin,” she said. “Depending on the location of a grilled gutter and underground drain pipes, existing annex and Cuesta Drive trees may also have to be removed.”