Mountain View Voice

News - May 13, 2011

Office project replaces baseball field

Council OKs use of $2 million in park funds

by Daniel DeBolt

On Tuesday, the City Council allowed an office building project to replace a tennis court and baseball field used by North Bayshore employees, but may have redeemed themselves by dedicating $2 million in developer fees to parks and recreation projects across the city.

The Council unanimously approved plans for a two-story, 70,000-square-foot building on Stierlin Court, despite objections from council member Ronit Bryant that doing away with a well-used recreation facility on the site would make the office neighborhood less attractive.

"It must be a draw for people to want to work here," Bryant said after seeing the fields are "significantly used."

The project removes a tennis court, baseball field and gazebo, but retains a volleyball and basketball court on the site, which is adjacent to Google office buildings.

Owner HCP Inc. is developing the building for life science research and development.

Earlier in the evening, the council unanimously voted to direct $2 million in park funds to nine projects, including $500,000 for improvements to the Rock Church, which will allow city staff to begin to modify the building for recreation purposes as the city begins to occupy it in December. In February the City Council said they wanted it used largely as a new teen center.

The Rengstorff and San Antonio neighborhoods received mini park funds of $336,000 and $203,000 respectively, furthering the goal of placing mini parks within walking distance of every resident, while the city's skateboarders won the approval of $23,000 to improve the skateboard area at Rengstorff Park. A set of benches, a new box feature and a new quarter pipe will be added. Mountain View High School students Roland Tice and Danny Ianni can take some credit for the improvements after alerting city officials, commissioners and council members to skaters' dissatisfaction with the skate park, which they say is far from being a regional favorite.

Other large allocations include $483,000 and $187,000 for Steven Creek and Permanente Creek trail extensions, respectively, and $297,000 for a public restroom at Edith Landels Elementary School, which doubles as a city park.

E-mail Daniel DeBolt at ddebolt@mv-voice.com

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