Midnight Looming, Council Postpones CSUS Vote Till Oct. 9

Approximately 35 members of the community spoke out during the public hearing--most favorably to the project.

As expected, Tuesday's meeting of the Belmont City Council went late--very late, and the vote on evening's main agenda item, the (CSUS), was postponed until the Oct. 9 meeting.

Following a presentation about the project by city staff, comments from CSUS officials, and a public hearing during which approximately 35 members of the community voiced their opinions on the project, Mayor Dave Warden polled the council to see if they wanted to continue the discussion or continue it to a later meeting.

After a brief discussion, the council decided that given the late hour, it would be in the best interest of all concerned to continue the agenda item at its Oct. 9 meeting.

Patch will update this story on Wednesday with some of the public comments and discussion by city counci that took place Tuesday night.

Rob September 13, 2012 at 05:41 AM
I have "Member ". Thanks. You are just pointing at the same old argument that goes nowhere.
Rob September 13, 2012 at 05:42 AM
Sorry...you can't win this argument over traffic if 800+ employees move into that space.
Tom September 13, 2012 at 05:52 AM
Hear! Hear! Wozniak and Feierbach need to go. Our city deserves Council members who are willing to at least keep an open mind rather than embarrassing themselves by grasping at straws to try and shoot down the CSUS proposal.
Justin September 13, 2012 at 06:39 AM
It's funny how people are taking one issue and organizing to overthrow council members. I'm guessing that a council member must decided on scores of items per year, not just one. Keep in mind that even Feirbach and Wozniak are representing the entire city, of which there are many who oppose the project. I don't think any governing body would be effective if all they did was vote 5-0 and thought the same way all the time. Why are people stupid, embarrassing, closed-minded, illogical and NIMBY if they are against CSUS? I've seen the "for" people act more arrogant and insulting than the "against" group.
Justin September 13, 2012 at 01:22 PM
I don't argue that. Some of them have been on council way too long!
Steve Hayes September 13, 2012 at 02:31 PM
It might be a good idea to have term limits on both the Council and Planning Commission. What bothers me is that Coralin made up her mind several weeks ago, before the public hearing and she announced it in the SM Daily Journal. Then she came on the Patch almost like she was interested in public discussion, but obviously (based on her behavior at the Council meeting) she was just trying to justify the decision she had already made. Furthermore, based on the comments she made in th Patch she was having a real challenge understanding the financial implications of the proposal and therefore made her decision based on faulty information. The is the Koret field fiasco all over again. If we want to move forward in this town we need change - either by election or recall.
SF Belmont September 13, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Agreed Justin - I am amused by all of them encouraging each other to run for city council. There is talk about council members and their rudeness (not that I think anyone is wrong there); but yet one of them was out-and-out rude to the same Council member when he spoke at the meeting; they have also been very free with calling people NIMBY, telling people they don't know what they are talking about. Any one opposed and the very same people who feel that they have to respond and tell the person they are wrong, what they are saying is 'simply untrue', etc. They also repeat the same things over and over again; it is astounding. This is a mob mentality and if you differ with one; they all jump on you. For the ones considering running; I would love for them to refer voters back to this blog and then the citizens of Belmont can see how they and their cohorts act when someone dares to differ with them. If you want City Council members who act this way, great vote for them. I personally will not.
Marit Hsich September 13, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Well put, Mr. Hayes.
Justin September 13, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Council elections are rarely hotly contested in this town. Last time was a good one, but many times it's 3 spots, 3 candidates. We should have new blood, but I would be concerned that people would run on only the CSUS issue. Remember, there are more boring things than hot topics to deal with: sewers, garbage, ordinances, economic development, streets. Not too glamorous from where I sit.
Steve Hayes September 13, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Agreed and I like your list of "boring things". I would prefer less time on ordinances and more time on the other things. The goals should be a productive self sustaining community, a cost effective government with useful services and generally making life easier. Too many ordinances just get in the way and raise our costs.
Timothy E. Strinden September 13, 2012 at 05:29 PM
"Too many ordinances just get in the way..." True, but they can get in the way of people doing the right thing or people doing the wrong thing. I don't believe the number of ordinances is as important as whether each one is expected to do significantly more good for the community than harm, without impinging excessively on personal freedoms. However, where to draw the line involves philosophical and political questions that will be decided differently by each person.
blog reader September 13, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Totally disagree that "council elections are rarely hotly contested in this town". What's rare is if it's NOT contested. If you don't believe me, check the record. City hall should have the information.
George Burgess September 13, 2012 at 05:48 PM
I would like to change the subject to a positive letter written by Phiilp Raiser to our Mayor and Members of the Council. The letter was on their chairs when they arrived Tuesday and it was read near the very end of the public hearing. In it he states, "I am writing to express my supportt for the Crystal Springs Uplands School (CSUS) application to redevelop 6-8 and 10 Davis Dr. As a property owner and property representative of 1, 11, 19, a nd 20 Davis Drive..........I believe the conversion of the antiquated buildings at 6-8, and 10 Davis Drive to a state-off-the-art private school facility is a benefit to Belmont. In recognition of CSUS's care in the redesign of the site and operations plan, as well as the broader mission of importance, supporting education on the Peninsula, I therefore endorse the CSUS development application."
Rob September 13, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Do we have term limits currently for the City Council and the Planning Commision?
Kerry - ND September 13, 2012 at 07:50 PM
I just want to add my $0.02 that we do sincerely need to change the leadership. It's very hard not to get emotionally involved in these discussions, but I've only been in Belmont for 2.5 years and feel already like it's Groundhog Day with the current bunch in charge. They never met a proposal that didn't please them to say no to. I absolutely want to know what we can do to get progress-minded folks in charge. The bay area is moving forward and having a bunch of folks who never want to see anything change is simply going to ensure we get left behind.
Kerry - ND September 13, 2012 at 07:51 PM
having a bunch of folks *in charge* who never want to see anything change...
George Burgess September 13, 2012 at 08:17 PM
Elected for four years without term limits.
Timothy E. Strinden September 14, 2012 at 01:16 AM
Coralin was right to challenge the photo on the flyer as misleading. It is probably the most unflattering photo of the entire property, showing a dirty parking lot leading to a concrete slab wall with no windows or character. The main building at 10 Davis Drive is actually quite attractive, with beautiful and mature landscaping and trees all around and excellent views. Personally, I would be very happy to work there. The flyer was dishonest in presenting the choices, and Coralin was the only one on the council with the guts to point that out. CSUS refused to explain why they used that photo, which reflects poorly on them. There was little they could say because it was an obvious attempt to manipulate the public. We should thank Coralin for asking the question.
Rob September 14, 2012 at 01:48 AM
No term limits for our City Council?! Oh geez...Coralin will have served already 8 years when her seat is up next year and an additional 4 years in the 1990's. That's when she negotiated that. "great" Oracle deal for Belmont. Traffic and no tax $$! She also will receive health benefits for the rest of her life paid by the City. Time for term limits for our City Council!!
Tim Hoffman September 14, 2012 at 02:56 AM
@ end of this article: "Patch will update this story on Wednesday with some of the public comments and discussion by city counci that took place Tuesday night." Uh, did I miss this update?
Member September 14, 2012 at 08:39 PM
The CSUS traffic report is being re-run with corrected data. I will keep you posted. Thank you City Council for listening!
Rob September 15, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Member...you can keep up this traffic issue but it gets you running in circles. 800+ employees will generate much more traffic thoughout the entire day and evening than carpools, shuttles and parents dropping in a 15 minute time period. I'd rather have 15 minutes of increased traffic from 240 students then 800 new employees to that space. I'll adjust when I leave for work IF I need to. Your stuck on this issue. It's such a short period of time compared to 800 cars coming and going, lunches, off site meetings, deliveries, etc...I can't see how you can continue to argue this point and continue to send Belmont Height residents your emails about it. The school option is much better overall for Ralston traffic.
Charles Stone September 15, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Well said, Rob. Additionally, according to what I heard from the consultants at the meeting earlier this week, the traffic from CSUS will not coincide with Ralston Middle School traffic. However, if the property becomes used for office space again, that use will likely generate traffic that coincides with Ralston Middle School Traffic.
Charles Stone September 15, 2012 at 01:03 AM
Good point, George. If I heard correctly, Mr. Raiser also stated in his letter that he was originally concerned about the project but after learning about it was a supporter.
Member September 15, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Rob and others. The 800 employees number that keeps popping up is a fictitious number. The number is a calculation based on current absolute square footage of the buildings on 6-8 and 10 Davis Dr without the “use” of the buildings in mind (84,000 sq. feet). The city has requirements for office space, warehouse and parking. The buildings on 6-8 and 10 Davis Drive are currently mixed office/warehouse. If a company wants to change the warehouse to office space, it needs to go through the Planning Commission and a vote. The applicant needs to provide all the plans and meet all requirements. One of the requirements is that the combined 84,000 sq. feet would need to have 1 parking space per 250 sq. feet (336 parking spaces). This means twice as much parking spaces as currently available. Impossible for this location!
Annie September 15, 2012 at 02:07 AM
Member, you have made the point that even if every child enrolled in CSUS was dropped off at school, before the Ralston start time you will still have 96 more cars. Those cars will be coming during commute time and the same time as Ralston. Going home you will be adding that 336 more cars at commute time that the school won't generate.
Member September 15, 2012 at 02:18 AM
Annie, I said that 336 parking spaces is not possible. So, you won't add that to traffic. Currently, there are 165 parking spaces at 6-8 and 10 Davis Drive.
Member September 15, 2012 at 02:37 AM
And Annie, realize that if every child enrolled in CSUS was dropped off at school, that would result in 480 trips (240 cars times 2) going through the Davis Dr/Ralston Intersection in the morning and again to pick-up.
Rob September 15, 2012 at 02:47 AM
Member, but remember they are carpooled, shuttled and dropped off. You aren't being fair. Still like their numbers better than a full office park no matter how you spin it. I live close to the site and will be impacted by ANY Rakston traffic. It's a Belmont issue. Not CSUS's issue. Did you read the Daily Journal today...the Editor says we can cone toghether and fix the Ralston issue. And CSUS wants to be a part of that collaboration. I have no vested interest in the school coming to Belmont. My kids are fine in the schools they attend. At first I said, "heck no" when this topic came up and then I did my research and feel this is the BEST possible traffic situation for Davus Drive. A great school who wants to will with us on all issues versus big bussiness who won't. It's a winner Member.
Annie September 15, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Rob, that was the point I was trying to make. Rob is correct any business or school will have more traffic on Ralston. CSUS is trying to alleviate some of these problems by starting school earlier than Ralston Middle School, carpooling, shuttles and public transportation. The point is there will be less traffic with the school than a business. Commute times are different than a business. Traffic will be impacted twice a day with a business, once a day (with less traffic) if CSUS is allowed to build the school.


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