Mountain View Voice

News - February 26, 2010

City Briefs

Opponents fight off Montessori preschool

The City Council voted 5-1 Tuesday to prevent a Montessori preschool from opening on El Monte Avenue after neighbors campaigned against it, saying the location was unsafe.

Opponents, mostly from another Montessori preschool based at a church across the street, gathered $1,000 to appeal a conditional permit for the site that had been approved by zoning administrator Peter Gilli. The preschool would have been in an 11,000-square-foot house at 1050 El Monte Ave. with up to 39 children between the ages of 2 and 5.

The house is set close to the busy four-lane street with only six parking spaces, and opponents called it an unsafe location for the school. They argued that parking is inadequate and that the city already has more preschools than it needs.

To prevent parking overflow, the city was going to require that pick-up times be staggered in the afternoons so that three groups of 13 children would be picked up in two-hour intervals.

"The requirements of safety, as have been discussed at length, have not been met," said council member Laura Macias. "Here we have the right child care center at the wrong spot."

Only council member Tom Means supported the preschool proposal. Member Mike Kasperzak was absent.

— Daniel DeBolt

Repairs slated for San Antonio overpass

Mountain View and Palo Alto will begin fixing up the San Antonio Road overpass this week, weather permitting, in a project that officials say will cause lane closures and traffic delays.

The project, funded largely through a federal grant, includes repairs to railings, curbs and sidewalks at the San Antonio Road crossing at Alma Street and Central Expressway. About two thirds of the overpass is located in Mountain View, one third in Palo Alto.

Mountain View project manager Jack Muench said construction was expected to begin sometime this week, if the weather cooperates, and conclude in April. He said some of the lanes on San Antonio would be temporarily closed, as would the two ramps leading from San Antonio to Alma. The lane and ramp closures would only occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., he said.

The overpass was built in 1961 and seismically retrofitted in 1994. The current project will mostly involve maintenance work.

Mountain View is overseeing the $861,000 project and contributing $174,000 for the repairs. Palo Alto is chipping in $90,000. The cities also received $597,000 for the repairs from the Federal Highway Bridge Program grant.

Mountain View will provide information about lane closures through message signs near the construction area and on the city's Web site, www.ci.mtnview.ca.us.

— Palo Alto Weekly

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