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Neighbors crank up the debate over McKelvey Park

Original post made on Nov 16, 2010

What should be done with the city's longest running youth baseball fields at McKelvey Park? That's under scrutiny by a group of neighbors who want one or both baseball fields removed altogether in favor of a neighborhood-focused park.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, November 16, 2010, 12:11 PM

Comments (64)

Posted by Mr. Mountain View
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 16, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Might I suggest that Lloyd Yu move back to whatever city he came from, change it to meet his needs and leave ours alone. That field is an important part of our city heritage. It serves the needs of the city youth in that it provides a place for supervised sports activity, instead of unsupervised park space. I can think of a few negative things kids like to do while in unsupervised park space... can you?
I would like to ask Lloyd Yu if he has children, or even cares about the youth in our city, or does he just want a place to play Frisbee and watch a fountain?

Posted by yup... and yup.
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 16, 2010 at 5:31 pm

I agree on a number of points with Mr. Yu... first, this is a neighborhood park and should be designed to serve the needs of the neighborhood, not the wider city lack of baseball fields. Second, I think the city and water district should consider less expensive alternatives when we are being asked time after time to up our ante to city services. However, I do not think ceding these points to Mr. Yu necessarily leads to the loss of the fields. I like being able to walk to watch baseball games with my sons and enjoy not having to worry about gang activity in a well-lit open space vs rengstorff or cuesta parks. I would make the argument that the current proposal better serves the needs of the neighborhood than his proposal. great neighborhood building activity (lets all go watch a game tonight!), no increase in crime and no loss of neighborhood heritage. I just think they need to scale back the extras a bit.

Posted by MV Resident
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Nov 16, 2010 at 7:56 pm

I'm personally "ok" with keeping baseball at Mc Kelvey as long as the fields are designed to be more open to:

- softball (right now girls can not play on big McKelvey, this is simply not acceptable in the 21st Century)
- other sports (for instance, I see no reason why we couldn't have soccer games around the ball games/practices).
- the neighborhood (put some real grass, limit the amount of fencing (even some prisons look more attractive than the current park) and allow for our kids to go play, our seniors to walk, our families to have picnics... around games/practices)

Mc Kelvey is a residential neighborhood, so please no light and noise at night. If you want to have late games, ShoreLine is a much better location for those.

@Mr Mountain View: I appreciate your fervor for Baseball but there are many other sports that are supervised and beneficial to our youth: soccer, lacrosse, softball, flag football, rugby, field hockey, volleyball, ultimate Frisbee.... All these sports are equally craving for fields. Should we just ignore the non baseball playing youth?

Posted by Greg David
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 16, 2010 at 8:06 pm

200 signatures may sound like a lot, but that's nothing compared to the number of youth baseball players that would be displaced by elimination of the ball fields. I think their push against the ball fields is selfish and unacceptable to Mountain View residents as a whole. I hope that our councilmembers can see past this vocal minority and make the right decision when it comes to the new McKelvey park layout.

Posted by Matt Raschke
a resident of The Crossings
on Nov 16, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Mountain View Little League (MVLL) has been a wonderful experience for my two sons. Have we not just seen how great baseball can be with the Giants winning the World Series? MVLL needs both McKelvey baseball fields to continue bringing all of our neighborhoods together as it has done for over 50 years.

I can't make the meeting on Thursday, but I'll send my written comments to City Council.

Posted by marc
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 16, 2010 at 11:01 pm

Hey Lloyd,

If you didn't like the baseball fields next to your home. Why did you move there? Maybe you can go fly a kite at your new park!!

Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 17, 2010 at 12:32 am

I applaud Mr. Yu for being vocal with his concerns, and backing up his position with something more than just NIMBY. And although I understand his desire to have the immediate community have more say into how McKelvey is redeveloped, it is true that this field has been historically used by sports teams, and that it isn't a stretch to have them continue to serve in this purpose. However, allowing the neighborhood have more input into the design is fair, since they have to live with whatever is developed in this space.

Its a balance, neighbors need to give a little for the sake of City wide needs, and the City needs to include the neighbors in the design, so that a reasonable compromise can be agreed upon.

With regards to the personal comments made about Mr. Yu himself in previous posts, I know they are not representative of Mountain View's spirit of community and tolerance for diversity. Mr. Yu is doing what we all should be doing as citizens, being active and involved, without being boorish and overly emotional. The fact that he came up with an alternate design, that is complete in details and explanation, shows he's put thought into this issue and is open to getting CONSTRUCTIVE feedback.

Posted by Paul
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Nov 17, 2010 at 7:13 am

I also applaud Mr. Yu for coming up with a constructive idea for the park use. But I don't agree with it, and wouldn't sign his petition. The kids of Moutain View need something constructive to do with their time, and I've see the fields used for more than baseball. I've seen Pop Warner practicing on the fields, so they can be multi-use fields. I'm sure the smaller field would be conducive to both baseball and softball if constructed properly. The .7 acre playground and park area are a great idea! Let the kids play! There is nothing like going down on a warm summer night and watching the kids have a game!!

Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 17, 2010 at 9:32 am

I'd like to see a modification of either Mr. Yu's plan to accomodate more space for organized sports, or the City's design to accomodate more local park space. I agree with Mr. Siegal that another round of meetings with all the stakeholders involved provides the best opportunity for a good compromise.

Space for organized sports has always been a premium in Mountain View. McKelvey park isn't large enough now to accomodate all the teams that would like to use it. Further developing the fields near Shoreline Park would add needed capacity for little league sports, while relieving some of the pressure from McKelvey, and allowing the immediate neighborhood to have more options on what is redeveloped at McKelvey.

And to highlight the straw man here, calling anyone selfish because they are motivated by their own concerns and needs is a bit much. If we are encouraging input from citizens, then it goes to pass that people will advocate based on their interests. The real key here is understanding that along with self interest, the interest in the City's needs also serves everyone, in the long run.

Posted by Margaret Arculus
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Nov 17, 2010 at 10:14 am

Why Replace the “Babe Ruth” Field at McKelvey with a true Neighborhood Park?

The basic answer is that Mountain View has changed in the last 50 years. The baseball fields at McKelvey were put in place when when Mountain View was far more rural, full of open space. The need then was for properly laid out baseball fields where organized games could take place. Those new fields didn’t deprive anyone of space—space to walk, to play, to engage in other sports.

Mountain View is now a different city: we live in totally built up, urban surroundings. The baseball fields at McKelvey do now deprive local residents of an amenity all other neighborhoods in Mountain View enjoy—an open space, open to everyone—because McKelvey is the only open space within safe walking distance.

The local residents who want McKelvey to become exactly that, our neighborhood park, seem to be viewed by the baseball community as wanting to heartlessly deprive that community of its only organized facility. But we could easily turn that view around. The baseball users of McKelvey have had the benefit of their local neighborhood parks and the dedicated fields at McKelvey all these years, while the McKelvey neighborhoods have had no playground or general recreactional area at all, and very limited access to the baseball fields. For eight to nine months of each year, the space at McKelvey is unavailable to local residents after school gets out and at weekends. The Little League field is similarly unavailable, and is completely inaccessible for five to seven months of each year, because it is padlocked shut, closed for “restoration” (it’s not clear why this closure is necessary, when the big, Babe Ruth, field seems to survive quite well without any such closed period). Residents of the “McKelvey” neighborhoods pay the same taxes as other residents of the City of Mountain View, but get much less in return.

The baseball community seems to expect the McKelvey neighborhoods to abandon the desire for a true neighborhood park out of consideration for the needs of the teenage boys who use the Babe Ruth field. However, it doesn’t appear that the baseball community has done much thinking about the neighborhoods whose facilities they are using or about anyone else. Babe Ruth baseball is for teenage boys only; girls of similar age who play softball can’t use the big field at McKelvey because of the pitcher’s mound. The teams who play at McKelvey could have taken steps years ago to replace that permanent mound with a moveable one (leaving a flat pitcher’s area for softball) so as to share the field at least with one other sport, but that has clearly never happened. The baseball community could likewise have thought about the people living around McKelvey, and asked the City to provide a playground of some kind, for the benefit of the younger siblings of the players as well as of local children. But they didn’t. It seems ironic that a group who has paid little or no attention to people other than themselves should now be demanding consideration of their desires.

If the Babe Ruth field were moved to Shoreline, the McKelvey district could have a neighborhood park that includes open turf on which many different sports could be played, as well as, just for example, a traditional playground, a natural, unstructured play area, an area for walking, picnic tables and benches—in other words, amenities for people of all ages, not just for the young children. Shoup Park in Los Altos provides an example of such a multi-use open space. A green, varied space would be a far more appealing focal point for the McKelvey district than the flat grass and chain link fences that currently constitute our “neighborhood park.” McKelvey is overdue for a change.

Posted by Debbie
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 17, 2010 at 10:23 am

The fields at Shoreline are designated multi-sport fields. There will be space for only 1 90foot diamond and 1 little league field (like McKelvey) However unlike McKelvey this will not be a baseball complex - it will be for soccer, softball, football, la cross and other sports in addition to baseball. The purpose of building these fields is to accomadate the overflow of the current sport fields.

One more thing - there is no more room at shoreline for additional sports fields. Google owns the property on the corner of Charleston and are building fields for thier own exclusive use (that are much more acerage than the meager area the City will be allowed to use for thier sports fields.

Posted by Margaret Arculus
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Nov 17, 2010 at 10:25 am

In the interests of full disclosure--I'm Lloyd Yu's wife. At the risk of marital discord--I disagree partly with his design for McKelvey: I would like to see the Little League field stay (as long as it not padlocked shut for half of each year). To answer "Mr. Mountain View": we do have children, now away at college; they grew up within walking distance of McKelvey, but didn't benefit from our "neighborhood park." (Our son plays soccer; our daughter plays no organized sports.) We followed our neighbor Elizabeth Thompson's initiative in trying to achieve something that will benefit everyone in our community, both local and city-wide. It's too late for our own kids, but I would like the young families in our neighborhood to have the experience of a true neighborhood park, within SAFE walking distance.

Posted by James
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 17, 2010 at 11:35 am

move baseball to shoreline - I am not sitting in concert traffic just so my son can play baseball. Keep it convient for everyone in mountain view or get rid of it alltogether

Posted by jim
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 17, 2010 at 2:14 pm

It's mv council for goodness's build townhomes and build em high...more homes's what MV needs...this city is great at it..more density please.

Posted by Helen
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 17, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Seriously LEAVE IT ALONE ! There are so many parks in the entire City of Mountain View that are very nicely maintained by the City that will suit any need, frisbe, kite flying, picnic, etc., I think that kids should keep playing ball and forget this nonsense.

Posted by Paul
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Nov 17, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Ms. Arcules brings up the point that she would follow Ms. Thompson's initiative and achieve something that will benefit the entire community. A baseball park does bring in people from the entire community. A regional playground does not. Do residents who live near Rengstorff Park go and use Cuesta Park? Probably not. But do people with kids from 6 years old to 18 years old go to McKelvey for baseball? Absolutely. And they go there for other sports too, and to utilize it to teach their kids various sports. So I also agree with Ms. Thompson if she truly wants something for the entire community. Let's have two baseball fields at McKelvey, in the heart of the community.

Posted by MVNative
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 17, 2010 at 3:37 pm

My two cents: Don't touch McKelvey! As a fourth generation MV resident, I grew up watching friends play on that field. Since, I am a female and not into softball, I had no other affiliation other than being a spectator. However, little league, certainly brings a sense of community and tradition to this ever changing town. Now, I'm proud to watch my son play his little league games there. Also, during pop warner season, my son's football practices were at McKelvey. A total of four football teams were able to utilize the fields during that time. I do think it would be great if more sports could be incorporated through McKelvey, without taking away the baseball aspect.

Posted by MV Mom
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 17, 2010 at 11:29 pm

Every other city has a baseball complex, why should that be taken away from the kids of Mountain View? Baseball field space is at a premium in this city, the youngest Little Leaguers don't even get to play on a ball field, just the grass fields at local parks. The kids of Mountain View deserve better.

Posted by JP
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 18, 2010 at 12:30 am

With all do respect Mr. Yu, even though I disagree, I value your opinion.

However, I believe that you do not seem to realize that MV is in a position to have somewhat state of the art baseball field/s built, that other cities can only dream of having. An opportunity is presenting itself, I believe we should support this opportunity.

There are plenty of parks around the city to support Mountain Views residents, matter of fact there is one which is less than 300 yards (792') from McKelvey (Eagle park), why build another park next to a park, when in true reality we are short on baseball fields everywhere.

Posted by CE
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Nov 18, 2010 at 10:39 am

Note that all the people who wrote in against moving the baseball field(s) do not live in St. Francis Acres. They don't care bc it is not their neighborhood. Talk about self serving. It's easy to talk about other's people's neighborhoods when they don't live in it. And yes we need a neighborhood park that our kids can go to, like ALL the other neighborhoods in Mtn View have, including those self serving people who wrote in. Our kids have to cross El Camino Real and go to the park downtown by the libary to get to a park. This is ridiculous.

Posted by CE
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Nov 18, 2010 at 10:42 am

P.S. I have a kid whom I think it would be great to get involved in baseball as he grows up, so I feel like I have more balanced interests.

Posted by Kathleen
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Nov 18, 2010 at 11:29 am

I'm from St. Francis Acres since 1965, I grew up there. Now I live in the Cuesta neighborhood, but will inherit my mother's home on Dennis Ln someday. I remember my brother and I used to get jobs at McKelvey during baseball season, he would be the bat boy and I was the bat girl for the opposite team and we each got a quarter. 40 years ago that would buy a couple of candy bars. I may be sentimental, but I think it should stay as a baseball park. That's a great place. It's so fun to a baseball game and cheer for somebody you know. Although I know there aren't any parks to walk to in the St Francis Acres, but it would be a shame to get rid of the baseball park. Maybe a compromise, turn the second field into a small park.

Posted by Paul
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Nov 18, 2010 at 12:27 pm

I'm not sure if CE read all the postings, but I am against moving the baseball parks and reside in the area.

Posted by Joseph
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 18, 2010 at 4:08 pm

"Mr. Mountain View, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Nov 16, 2010 at 5:00 pm" told Mr. Yu to move back from whatever city he came from...

Mr. Mountain View, how do you know Mr. Yu is not from Mt. View originally????

Posted by MVNative
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 18, 2010 at 4:27 pm

@ CE

If it's "ridiculous" for you to cross El Camino to get to the library and the park, as you say, perhaps you should have purchased a home in the Shoreline West or Old Mountain View neighborhoods. There are a majority of people supporting McKelvey from all over MV, including St. Frances Acres. It fosters organized sports, and yes, I would love for it to be utilized throughout the year with more sports. But come on, self serving? Get over yourself!

Posted by Bruno
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 18, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Growing up out of town, I'd always come to M.V. as a kid to see my cousin and his friends play ball at McKelvey. Now, many years later, I'm still amazed at how close that large group of players has stayed. It's like everyone in Mtn. View during that time learned a certain respect for each other that they've carried for years. I always admired that, because it was not the same in my hometown. Some of these same players wound up going to Foothill and getting their education there while playing ball for the Owls (before they got rid of the team).

I guess I'm saying I just don't understand how anyone could be against baseball. There's so much to learn when you play it, on so many different levels (team work, respect, dedication, fitness, etc...). It's the type of thing we should support as a community, not condemn.

P.S. There are plenty of very nice parks in M.V. that are within "safe distance". Whatever that means.

Posted by enough already
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Nov 18, 2010 at 6:11 pm

I cannot make the meeting tonight because of a previous commitment. I do live in the neighborhood with my preteen children.

I have looked at the compromise drawings of 2 baseball diamonds and the neighborhood park that will also be where the parking lot is now. I believe it is a viable solution to the problem.

If the children are too small to cross el camino the playground should be good (as mercy-bush park is to thier neighborhood) Older children and adults should have no problem crossing el camino - just a few hundred feet from mckelvey to play soccer, frisbie etc on the large field there.

Also - Baseball is very much a family event. As many people have said already and a play structure for the siblings should add to the appeal of McKelvey as a community center where the rest of the family can either watch the ball player/games or play with the siblings.

please stop the NIMBY - Mountain View needs central baseball fields that all children in the town have access to. If you want a larger park just walk the little extra ways - not all the neighborhoods have huge parks like the kind our neighborhood is clammoring for.

thanks for your time in reading my comments

Posted by NW Resident
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 19, 2010 at 9:15 am

I was involved with MVLL as a manager/coach from 2005-09, so I can add that each season MVLL serves approximately 300 boys and girls, ages 5-14. The Little League field at McKelvey is mostly used by the 9-12 age range and the full size field is used by the 13-14 yr olds.

MVLL also uses Monta Loma field for 9-12 yr olds and that field could probably get more use than it does for weekday games, although it is also used as a practice field. The 8-9 yr olds also use Landels which has dirt base paths and grass infield. MV Mom makes a good point that the youngest kids play most of their games on grass fields with a backstop.

I know that Marauders Pop Warner football teams still use the full size McKelvey field for practices, as do Babe Ruth leagues for practices and games.

It seems that there oughta be some solution that can work for the best interests of all MV residents who want to use McKelvey.

Posted by Raymond F
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 19, 2010 at 10:41 am

Another elitists agenda to be PC and make life better for all the masses. Is this a matter of identity or serving the common good? The discussion for removing the fields is escapist and selfish in nature. The city council must address the core values of the neighborhood or the city as a whole.

Posted by KK
a resident of another community
on Nov 19, 2010 at 11:55 am

I admit my post is biased. I'm a Mountain View native and I played on both fields from age 12 - 18 and have many fond memories of McKelvey. I met over a dozen friends during my teenage years there that I'm still close to in my 30's. I would hate to see such a valuable place to the city of Mountain View (residents and non-residents) be taken away.

I know first hand that there are quite a few locations near McKelvey that already contain what Mr. Yu desires, just not within the exact *reasonable distance*. Locations within a mile of McKelvey:

- Eagle Park *Amenities include: Children's playground, picnic area, swimming pool and restrooms.*

- Bubb Park *Amenities include: Basketball court, children's playground, soccer/football field, horseshoe area, passive areas, restrooms, picnic area, softball field, and outdoor volleyball court.*

- Springer School/Park *Amenities include: Children’s playground, soccer field (Not open to the public during school hours 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.)*

- Facilities at Graham Middle School

- Castro Park *Amenities include: Basketball court, children's playground, passive areas, picnic area and outdoor volleyball court.*

- Cuesta Park *Amenities include: BBQ facilities, bocce ball court, children's playground, horseshoe area, passive areas, picnic areas, tennis courts, volleyball court, and rest rooms. Host to Summer Sounds concert series.*

Web Link

The value McKelvey has served in the past and can serve in the future for the city of Mountain View is unmeasureable. I'd hate to see the park go only to placate an extremely small pool of residents who wish to have a park less than 1/2 mile away when there are numerous facilities already in their proximity.

Posted by Niel Esary
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 19, 2010 at 1:46 pm

The two designs presented by the Water Board at the review meeting last night both provide a new park for the St. Francis neighborhood while retaining the existing large and small baseball fields.

Having a neighborhood park is very important. My son and I have been walking to Mercy-Bush Park since he was a toddler. It's a wonderful place, enjoyed by all ages, that has greatly enhanced our neighborhood since we bought our house. It is smaller than the proposed new park, but large enough for kids to play on the jungle-gym, others to play soccer on the lawn, families to picnic, and folks to relax on the benches in the shade - all at the same time. If we want more space, we have to cross either Calderon, Castro, or El Camino to get to a larger park. Not a great hardship, given that we have such a nice park - so similar to the proposed new one - close by for most needs.

Having a place for organized sports in the heart of the city is also very important. Others have enumerated the benefits to the kids involved. I would add the opportunity to make friends with families from other neighborhoods, which fosters a sense of city-wide community. My son is looking forward to playing baseball on the big McKelvey field with his friends from Old Mountain View, Monta Loma, Moffet Park, and beyond as they grow up together in Mountain View. Others have posted here and spoke out at last night's meeting about their own such positive experiences at McKelvey.

By all means find ways to make the baseball fields more accessible to everyone and useful for as many sports as possible. But don't remove them or propose to move them to Shoreline when there's a funded project ready-to-go that will improve them and provide the needed neighborhood park for St. Francis - all while providing flood protection to the homes in the vicinity.

Posted by Kate
a resident of Waverly Park
on Nov 19, 2010 at 3:19 pm

The baseball fields have been there I'm sure much longer than Mr. Yu has been there. Instead of moving the baseball fields why doesn't Mr. Yu move?

My kids played ball for years at this park. I'm sure there are a few hundred baseball players willing to come down to city hall to share their positive experiences there.

Posted by MVNative
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 19, 2010 at 4:36 pm

@ Kate,

Who knows where Mr. Yu and his family came from prior, but last night at the meeting, they made it very clear they moved into their home in 2001.

Posted by Elena Torres
a resident of Castro City
on Nov 19, 2010 at 11:57 pm

I think Mr. Yu is not a MV native, if we was, he would understand what that park means to the residents. MV is changing so much, it looks nothing like the town I grew up in, we need to preserve what we have left. Growing up across from Rengstorff park, we had no cross lights to get over to the park, but we managed to get there and come home safe. I believe there are cross lights to get to Eagle Park, so what is the problem?? Mr. Yu has grown kids, what is his hidden agenda? I grew up watching my friends and family play there, its MV history. I think Mr. Yu and the city counsel has no idea of what generation they are messing with. We will fight hard to preserve that park for future ball players. It has been there for 50 years, if he doesn't like it, he can pick up and move!! It has been there long before him and it shall stay long after him!!! Save the McKelvy Park!!!

Posted by Lloyd Yu
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 20, 2010 at 8:29 am

Tear it down and build unaffordable high density housing.

Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 20, 2010 at 11:43 pm

How on earth is the length of residence of Mr. Yu relevant to this discussion, other than exposing a xenophobic, provincial mentality akin to what you find in a backwater town in the boonies.

I agree with Niel Esary that there is much value in having both a neighborhood park and the ball fields. There is no reason why both cannot be accommodated with some compromise and good old fashioned give and take.

Just because American politics has become so stupidly partisan and polarized doesn't mean we should allow that mentality to infect our community.

Posted by Seth Goldberg
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 21, 2010 at 11:18 am

How long one has resided in a community and how long has not is NOT the issue here.

There are those who state that people "from the outside" (i.e. those who have not grown up in Mountain View) are ignorant and possibly racists.

Spend your time on being more productive like getting that crazy man with his "protest" signs on El Camino and Castro off the streets. He is an eyesore and embarrassment to our city!

Posted by Greg David
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 21, 2010 at 3:24 pm

"How on earth is the length of residence of Mr. Yu relevant to this discussion, other than exposing a xenophobic, provincial mentality akin to what you find in a backwater town in the boonies."

His length of residence is relevant in relation to the length of time McKelvey Park has been there. Yu=9 years. McKelvey = 50 years

I have no sympathy for anyone that moves into a neighborhood or purchases a home next to a pre-existing facility and then complains about that facility.

Don't want HSR? Why did buy by the tracks? Did you think the trains would go away?

House in the flight path? Did you think the planes would go away?

Noisy freeway?

You get my point...

Now, if PG&E wanted to lay a gas transmission line through Yu's backyard, I might give a little creedence to his nimby ways.

Posted by O
a resident of Castro City
on Nov 22, 2010 at 12:12 am

HEY -- Good point Greg David. You forgot to also mention buying the new house next to the Valero Oil Refinery in Martinez.

I grew up in Mountain View. At age 10, I delivered the Mountain View Sun on Wednesdays with my friend Jerry and then rode my bike over to McKelvey to play baseball. I wasn't so good at baseball but I remember having quite a bit of fun.

I'm all in favor of keeping McKelvey just like it always was.

Posted by Paul
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Nov 22, 2010 at 7:02 am

There have been some posts in this string talking of compromise. I believe there has been some compromise already in the design. As I recall when this first began, the larger field was going to remain in it's current configuration. Then there was discussion, and most importantly compromise, to add additional park space for the community and neighborhood use.

I think this compromise is excellent, and the open psrk space is the first thing our neighborhood residents will come to. The ballparks will be further into the park. This compromise design seems much more community spirited than the original.

I don't believe a plan will ever exist that pleases everybody. There have been two done so far, and compromise was reached. How many more need to be done? And at what cost?

At some point we all need to be fiscally responsible. These changes don't come free, as much work goes into each design.

I, for one, hope our neighborhood will accept this plan for what it is, an upgrade and improvement to our neighborhood. It adds an open park space that is larger than most in the community and still preserves the ballparks for the community.

Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 22, 2010 at 8:14 am

"His length of residence is relevant in relation to the length of time McKelvey Park has been there. Yu=9 years. McKelvey = 50 years"


This is not effective public planning in my view.

In the last 50 years, Mountain View has changed dramatically. Its population, commercial and industrial base has changed dramatically. The residential demographics in the St. Francis neighborhood has changed dramatically; there are many more single family homes that have been built in the last couple of years in the vicinity.

This is not the union hall, where seniority trumps all else. What's more important in this discussion is not who came first, but what is most appropriate for the neighborhood's and City's needs in the present and future. Based on some of the posts in this discussion, the case has been made that there is a need for the ball fields, AND a need for a neighborhood park, NOT either/or. The City has also acknowledged this with their inclusion of a .7 acre park in the latest design.

Where the balance is struck is up to the City and the neighborhood to work out. However, those who continue to focus on Mr. Yu have missed the larger point: This isn't about Mr. Yu. Mr. Yu represents an alternate viewpoint, one held by at least 200 residents who live near McKelvey Park. The issue here is balancing the interests of residents with those of the City's. And there isn't an individual among us who isn't "guilty" of supporting their own interests, even when they conflict with the common good.

Posted by Flood Protection
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 22, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Getting back to the original point of the Water District Plan. I'm not sure it's widely known the the Flood protection offered by basins at Blach, Cuesta, and McKelvey will still leave 700 homes unprotected.

2,400 homes will be protected, however, in the fine print, there are 700 homes that will continue to not be protected. Many of these homeowners might be surprised to find they won't be covered, since those homes lie in very close proximity to Permanente Creek (which is assumed to be the creek that's being covered by all of this work).

Perhaps the Voice could do some awareness-spreading that many homes will not be covered, and investigate what it would take to do the job properly (ie 100%).

Posted by James
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Nov 22, 2010 at 3:02 pm

"Posted by Greg David, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, 23 hours ago"

So, Mr. David, you are telling Mr. Yu that he has no voice and isn't supposed to voice his opinion??

Very rude and ignorant of many of you. I am a life-long resident of MV and agree with Mr. Yu's plans.

More power to you Mr. Yu!

Posted by Concerned Citizen
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 22, 2010 at 3:39 pm

I attended the council meeting. Mr. Yu's viewpoints weren't even accepted by the other families from St. Francis Acres. He is an extreme outlier and it's a shame so much attention is being paid to him.

The water district did a wonderful job with the current design. Combined with some compromise from the Little League people in terms of field access and light and noise issues, everyone should be as happy as everyone is going to be.

Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 22, 2010 at 8:36 pm

You are correct. I heard from some that Mr. Yu complained about the WD wasting money on cement but didnt seem concerned about the city spending their own money to build a new field at shoreline. The WD came back with a great project and the neighborhood should be happy. Unfortunately the anti-baseball neighbors seem to want more and offer no compromise. Too bad the neighbors ignored the field users and didnt meet and work with them. As reported by the MV Voice council gave clear direction about maintaining neighborhood preservation and the SF neighbors ignored the reality of moving BB fields.

Posted by Mr. DePortum
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 24, 2010 at 8:19 am

Wait and see, if closed to base ball, all the foreigners will use the park for a soccer field like they do everytime. Wise up Americans don't let them ruin our base ball heritage.

Posted by tyler
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 27, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Tear it down and build a tri level parking garage

Posted by Mr. Chow
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 29, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Mr. Yu. why are you creating such a disturbance? I have known and seen young boys grow up as Little League baseball players and such and cannot imagine that their field is up to closure due to one man's opinion. Disgraceful is what this is.

Posted by OriginalOwner
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Nov 30, 2010 at 3:22 pm

This is a strong armed attempt at a land grab, pure and simple. For FIFTY(!) YEARS there's been baseball fields there. If you bought or moved into a house in SF Acres from 1960-Present you knew exactly what the neighborhood had to offer. In that time your immediate neighborhood also saw the building of a HUGE park and swim facility(No other neighborhoods in MV have a public pool facility so that's a plus for us)
The fact of the matter is now some very self serving individuals want a park that will exclude the traditional users for the last 50 years so they can have ANOTHER park they can walk to. Shame on such selfish behavior.

Posted by Mountain View Native
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 30, 2010 at 3:34 pm

So let me get this who for 50 years could ride their bikes or walk to McKelvy (like I did in the 60's and thousands have ever since) for their practices and games, will now have to find a way to get to Shoreline a few times a week? Obviously, they won't be riding bikes or walking. No, we'll increase vehicle traffic through really busy thorofares at really busy times of the week. This concept is not only unsafe, but strategically and environmentally ridiculous. Yep, let's work on destroying the character and sanity of Mtn. View. The character and sanity that probably had something to do with attracting Mr. Yu and other like-minded individuals. Let me see, I'm going to move to this wonderful community and see what I can do to dismantle it...

Posted by Jeff Frigerio
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 30, 2010 at 6:24 pm

I am deeply appalled that a group of callous & insensitive folks would take it upon themselves to destroy a huge part of Mtn. View’s staunch history and replacing it with what? A community park? Give me a break. Baseball is our National Pastime and to take away McKelvey would be ripping the heart & soul out of our fervid youth and old timers who have embellished these sacred grounds for over 60 years. Baseball creates that inner combative spirit which manifests itself throughout our youngsters pivotal years of development and to take away McKelvey would be a travesty-no question here…..I wonder what Levee, the old snack bar host during the 60’s would say and the late John Welch too. These great men and many others made McKelvey what it is today-GREAT…….Look at all the phenomenal all star teams Mtn. View has produced on these fields. The list is incessant my friends……………

It’s time you people woke up and realize what a fixture McKelvey is to this city……. Build your community park in more of a spacious region-Shoreline……….It’s a no brainer……

Posted by vfree
a resident of Waverly Park
on Nov 30, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Keep both Baseball Fields at McKelvey Park, End of story.

Posted by Wider Access
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Dec 1, 2010 at 9:35 am

I can live with the proposed design as long as the fields can be accessed more frequently (fields are padlocked for many months a year) and by more folks (other sports, softball -this is 2010, girls get to play too!- and yes regular citizens including the neighbors).

Wider access (along with legitimate concerns over lights, noise and traffic) is really what has driven the many proposals/suggestions from our neighborhood.

I would certainly hope that wider access and being a good neighbor are also things the WHOLE community could agree on.

So please let's stop the name calling, neighborhood bashing... and let's make proposals that benefit all.

I'll start with one: make the big field suitable for softball by having a movable mound. It would certainly be the fair thing to do for our Mountain View girls. It could also reduce future legal exposure for the City (see recent ACLU lawsuit in Montebello Web Link for instance).

Posted by Kathleen
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Dec 1, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Can Mtn. View really afford this flood basin? Look what is happening to the Mtn. View schools with the budget cuts. Where are their spending priorities? A flood basin would be "nice-to-have" not a "necessity" in my opinion.

I have lived in this area for 50 years. There has never been a flood. Sure it might happen once every 100 years, but I doubt it. Buy flood insurance.

Leave McKelvey park as is. That money could be put to better use. What are they thinking?

Also, if girls softball is not included, it should be. That's just wrong.

Posted by Good Karma
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Dec 1, 2010 at 4:06 pm

@Kathleen, even with insurance, a flood would put many families out of their homes for many weeks or months. I don't wish this for anybody in the community.

Also, aside from maybe a few homes, St Francis Acres is NOT in the flooding area; the basin would be to protect other neighborhoods (Springer school area, Shoreline Boulevard to City Hall area...). Yet, as good citizens, we are at large in favor of the flood control project... even though we will be the ones enduring a year-long construction site (noise, dust, traffic congestion...). So, it's quite rich to read some posters label our neighborhood as selfish....

Posted by Softball
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 1, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Just to respond to some concerns regarding softball for girls...

Three of the most recently renovated/updated fields in MV have been for softball - 2 at Stevenson Park, the other at Graham. Stevenson also has a softball batting cage and a snack shack.

Part of the issue creating a field crunch in MV is that the Mountain View - Los Altos girls softball league, which is comprised of at least 50% Los Altos residents is receiving no (zero) game fields from the City of Los Altos. Not that the organization hasn't tried, but MV is providing all of the "home" game fields for that organization (or at least all of the upper age groups).

Posted by Wider Access
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Dec 1, 2010 at 7:15 pm

@softball - Putting a movable mound would cost nothing and it would even provide a little extra warm-up for the players to move the mound before/after games.

Frankly, I'm surprised it's not the City policy to require this on any newly renovated field on City parks. It would also be a good insurance against possible lawsuits where facilities might be compared; McKelvey is a dedicated baseball park, the other parks are not. McKelvey might get spiffy bleachers, lights, snack areas even Wifi and a nearby park for toddlers.... the other parks don't have that level of amenities.

Also, Graham is a school field, not a City field.

Finally, our neighborhood is part of the Los Altos School District and I'm definitively sympathetic to the lack of field access for girls: it's completely unfair. There is actually some irony in reading so many posters mention history in this thread ... because history is the very argument LASD has been using for years to justify its unfair field access :)

Posted by saejin
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 2, 2010 at 1:09 pm

1. Why did the city planners allow dense development in an area under served by parks?
2. Why did the builder build in an an area under served by parks?
3. Why did someone move to an area under served by parks?
4. When a person moved to the McKelvey field area, did they believe that moving to that location entitled them to redevelop the baseball field property to fit their needs?
5. Could we build a park in the area in such a way as to displace the dense housing built in appropriately in an area without enough park space?
6. What solution would be just for the greatest number of people, and especially for the youth that our future depends upon?

Posted by tyler
a resident of Monta Loma
on Dec 2, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Oh come on, 50 years is long enough for the use of these baseball fields. Tear it down and build something we all can use like housing.

Posted by Mountain View Native
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 2, 2010 at 3:01 pm

I was raised in Mountain View since 1955. We have seen some horrendous rain years. Permanente Creek running bank full, but still no floods and we didn't have the flood control infrastructure then that is in place now. So, maybe a 100 year flood is yet to come, but from a cost benefit standpoint, I'm thinking hundreds of kids playing ball every year trumps a 100 year flood. I think all of the air raid sirens have been taken down from our telephone poles too....maybe we better put them back just never know....

Posted by Jim
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Dec 2, 2010 at 9:24 pm

The issue is not about the residents unilaterally determining that the city should reconfigure McKelvey Park. Rather, it is about the opportunity presented by the Water District's plan to build a flood basin and the resultant need to redevelop the space.

It makes sense that the water district would assume a need to include baseball fields in the design. It also makes sense that the residents of the neighborhood, myself included, would seize the opportunity have some input.

I have lived in the neighborhood for 12 years. The lot sizes in our neighborhood are quite small and inadequate for throwing a ball around. My son played Pony League baseball. In order for us to have a game of catch before dinner we had to play in the street or use the small patch of grass at the El Monte/Springer intersection (in Los Altos, and very small). Yes, we would make the drive to Cuesta Park for him to play there when he was younger, but I was always aware of the lack of play space that had easy access and that might serve as a neighborhood focal point. When I lived on Sierra Vista we could walk to a tot lot and to other nearby parks. I appreciated that our great city provided such amenities.

So, what to do with the opportunity now presented our neighborhood and the entire city? My heart is with creating a space that would accommodate a multi-use field. My head tells me that the history of baseball is of great value and needs to be given careful consideration. I would hope that the final design can truly incorporate as many uses of the park as possible. Would it be possible to ring baseball fields with a walking/running track? Can the baseball fields be designed in such a way they could be used for soccer or ultimate frisbee or lacrosse as well as football? Can the baseball interests be satisfied with two Little League fields to free up space for other uses?

I do not think the ultimate answer has to be all baseball or no baseball. Nor does it have to be limited to .7 acres of neighborhood use when the whole town might benefit from a more comprehensive eye to using the space.

Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 3, 2010 at 11:18 am

+1. Instead of seeing this as a good vs. evil, or us vs. them, its more productive to see how this can benefit multiple parties.

Posted by Time marches on
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 3, 2010 at 8:26 pm

As we add more dense housing to the city, you can be sure you old timers are going to be out voted. Mountain View will be transformed to meet the needs of new people. You had your time, and now we will have ours.

Posted by Mountain View Native
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 7, 2010 at 8:02 am

Time Marches On: You are probably right. Enjoy your "town with no soul." Too bad you'll never know what you missed.

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