Council: McKelvey ball fields will stay | January 21, 2011 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

News - January 21, 2011

Council: McKelvey ball fields will stay

by Daniel DeBolt

The City Council on Tuesday night did not support a proposal for removing a 90-foot baseball field from McKelvey Park, despite a campaign by neighbors for seeking more useable park space.

"It's a community asset, that's why it deserves to stay," said council member Tom Means of the major league-sized field at McKelvey.

Five other council members agreed. Laura Macias had to recuse herself from the discussion because she lives near McKelvey.

The meeting brought Little League players and their families out en masse to defend the baseball tradition at McKelvey. A 90-foot field and a 60-foot Little League field have existed there for more than half a century. Families say evening games keep kids out of trouble on Friday and Saturday nights. And moving the 90-foot field to another location, as some neighbors proposed, would mean splitting up families who have young ones playing on the little field while their older kids play on "big McKelvey."

But the council chambers were also filled with nearby residents who said the kids in the neighborhood end up playing in the street because there is no real neighborhood park, despite the large space at McKelvey.

Community service director Dave Muela said 660 kids a year use McKelvey's baseball fields during the evenings and all day on the weekends for most of the year. But according to one neighbor in the Saint Francis Acres neighborhood, "We also have 300 kids with no place to play."

With the Santa Clara Valley Water District proposing to rebuild McKelvey as a 15-foot-deep flood basin for Permanente Creek, neighbors saw an opportunity to move the larger field to the Shoreline area, where new baseball and soccer fields are being built. A second 60-foot field could replace the 90-footer at McKelvey, leaving more space for a park, neighbors said.

But under the position the council took Tuesday, the 60- and 90-foot baseball fields will remain at McKelvey and neighbors will have to settle for a .7-acre mini-park squeezed onto the edge of the park. Council members noted that while it may sound small, it is actually larger than other mini-parks in the city, including Mercy-Bush Park — a "jewel" in the Old Mountain View neighborhood, said council member Ronit Bryant, who lives nearby.

The city is planning to build new 60- and 90-foot baseball fields and two soccer fields at Shoreline along Garcia Avenue, which would meet only the current demand for fields, according to city staff. Adding a second, larger baseball field to Shoreline would pose several problems, according a city staff report, including the need for a tall fence where perching raptors would endanger the rare burrowing owls. It would also mean spreading a baseball field across both landfill and non-landfill areas, which settle differently.

The City Council has yet to approve a detailed final plan for McKelvey, and construction could be several years away.

E-mail Daniel DeBolt at


There are no comments yet for this post

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields