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Council Approves Smaller Basin at Cuesta Park Annex

Despite the public's pleas, majority of council decides that protection of life and property outweighs keeping land as natural open space

Nearly 350 more homes in Mountain View might now have greater flood protection in case of a 100-year flood after Tuesday's City Council session.

In a 4-2 vote, with dissenters Laura Macias and John Inks, the city approved one of two plans proposed by the Santa Clara Valley Water District to help residents in case of a flood. They chose to put instead of the alternative 48 inch diameter storm drain pipe on Cuesta Drive to capture water.

The decision by council brings to an end the debate of whether the Annex should remain as 12 acres of natural open space or whether the space could have blended uses—a park with benches and manicured landscaping and a flood detention basin.

"We need to take the possibility of flooding seriously and we need to protect more folks," said Councilwoman Margaret Abe-Koga. "It's not a lot of change and we've had this debate before. I can't guarantee that in the future another council won't make it housing. For me it seems like a win-win situation."

Abe-Koga also echoed the sentiments of Mayor Mike Kasperzak and Councilwoman Ronit Bryant that since lies within the flood zone, they didn't want to be known as the council who voted against access to the hospital in a flood.

Macias adamently supported the idea of open space and Inks questioned the calculations in the flood report presented by the Water District or the independent analyst. Councilman Jac Siegel recused himself from the vote because he owns property within 500 feet of the site; however, he spoke as a private citizen and shared his opposition to any changes on the site.

With the smaller the basin is shallower by 12 to 13 feet than the originally proposed one. This is the second flood detention basin approved by this council in Mountain View. The first will be placed . Los Altos School District rejected a proposal for a fourth flood basin on the athletic fields of Blach Intermediate School.

For more background and analysis, here's a link to the Mountain View Voice article.

John S March 04, 2012 at 02:02 AM
Has flooding been known to be a problem?
L.A. Chung March 04, 2012 at 08:45 AM
Yes, the creek has experienced major flooding in 1862, 1911, 1940, 1950,1952, 1955, 1958, 1963, 1968, 1995, and 1998. (http://www.valleywater.org/Services/PermanenteHistory.aspx)

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