The Palo Alto Unified School District plans to press on with its plan to buy a 2.6-acre property near the Mountain View border despite a plan by a local developer to build 10 houses at the coveted site.
The homebuilder, SummerHill Homes Inc., last week won the approval from the city's Planning and Transportation Commission to build 10 houses on large lots at 525 San Antonio Road. The property, which is contiguous to Greendell School and Cubberley Community Center, has also been eyed by the school district as a possible site of a new school.
The site had housed the Peninsula Day Care Center, which closed in June after 35 years of operation.
The school board plans to discuss the steps necessary to buy the property Tuesday. According to a statement from the school district, the board also plans to talk about "preliminary findings from inspections being conducted at the site, terms of the purchase and sale agreement and funding sources for this purchase."
School officials have consistently maintained that the district needs more facilities to accommodate a surge in student population, particularly in south Palo Alto. Superintendent Kevin Skelly said in a statement that the property "offers many exciting possibilities."
"Staff believes that an opportunity to acquire property adjacent to an existing site and in a part of the district where enrollment growth is most pronounced is worthy of strong consideration," Skelly said.
SummerHill's earlier plan to build 23 houses at the site drew intense opposition from city officials and neighborhood residents who argued that the area doesn't have sufficient transportation and services to accommodate a surge in growth. The company responded by presenting a much more modest plan that would not require a zone change. The Planning and Transportation Commission approved the 10-home proposal with little discussion and no public opposition.
School district officials have also been in discussions with SummerHill about potentially acquiring the property.