Schools

LASD and Bullis Charter: Covington Sharing May Be Backup Plan for 2013-2014

Los Altos Covington School
Written by lalahpolitico

Los Altos Covington School

Covington colocation may be a backup plan for accommodating BCS starting in 2013-2014. At the April 23 LASD board meeting, it was agreed to shop around for a new CEQA  (California Environmental Quality Assessment) consultant in case  1) the Covington Colocation arrangement becomes necessary  or 2) a project for a 10th site materializes.

 

Doug Smith said, “I’d like to see us flesh out in more detail how do we get to a colocation arrangement on this campus.  We know that it’s a path we don’t necessarily want to go down, but if we need to go down that path. We learned this year, we can’t decide that in the spring. Right? So we need to have everything lined up if we need to go that route.”  One thing that would need to be line up is a CEQA,  a study which can take a full year and is necessary when more than 10 classrooms are added to a campus.

 “I’d like to see us flesh out in more detail how do we get to a colocation arrangement on this campus…”

Here is a very good account from Connie Chung at Patch.com with diagrams of the Covington Colocation proposal made this past March.  Some BCS parents I have talked to thought it was a very interesting idea and were disappointed when it seemed to go nowhere. Some immediate neighbors were glad when it seemed to go nowhere. But perhaps it did go somewhere.

 

Los Altos Covington School

EDITORIAL COMMENT:

At the April 23 meeting, the LASD board was talking as though they think that at least one of the following will occur

1) they won’t find a 10th site in Mountain View in the next six months,

2) the school bond won’t pass the poll test or the election,

3) they won’t beat BCS in the next round of litigation.

Therefore, they are thinking it could be prudent to be preparing a CEQA (California Environmental Quality Assessment) for the Shared Covington Plan that was discussed in March.  That could be the offer they make to BCS in the spring of 2013, since it was not an offer they could make this past March even if they wanted to – because of CEQA.  The direction to staff was to talk to an attorney  about when a CEQA study expires and to shop around for a CEQA consultant.

 they are thinking it would be prudent to be preparing a CEQA (California Environmental Quality Assessment) for the Shared Covington Plan that was discussed in March

Los Altos Mayor Val Carpenter and the rest of council are wise to be nudging (or is it shoving?) LASD trustees to obtain a 10th site in Mountain View.  This has the potential to change the current messaging (aka, BCS is the bogey man) to “Mountain View needs to do more to help LASD accommodate housing growth in Mountain View.”  Also it puts to bed the silly idea of the Hillview Center being involuntarily transferred/”sold” to LASD via inter-jurisdiction litigation.   That’s all this LASD board needs – a second lawsuit!

 “Mountain View needs to do more to help LASD accommodate housing growth in Mountain View.”

Los Altos Politico thinks it may too late for LASD to develop a good, specific bond plan, sell it to the voters, and get it passed in 2012. Maybe for 2014.  (The probably insufficient poll results could be out May 14.)

So Mayor Val Carpenter’s busing plan will be important in 2012 and 2013 and perhaps beyond.  Also brace for more BCS litigation even as BCS has accepted the one year 2012-2013 offer of sharing Egan much as before plus room at Blach for the Bullis 7th and 8th graders.  And  BCS litigation can continue this year even if the County School Board puts its choice on the BCS Board. But maybe the Covington Sharing Plan is a chance for light and harmony at the end of the tunnel starting in 2013-2014.

 

LOS ALTOS POLITICO NOTES FROM LASD MEETING APRIL 23–

 

There was an item of discussion at the LASD meeting where Randy Kenyon, Asst. Superintendent, gave a short presentation about the CEQA process. Depending on the size of a project and the project’s impacts on the physical environment, a CEQA could take 3 months to a full year and cost $35K or more than double that. Here is the Q&A that followed Kenyon’s presentation. Speakers seemed to use the terms CEQA and EIR interchangeably.

 

TRANSCRIPT (Words are correct, speakers may be misidentified):

 

Tamara Logan: If we went ahead with an EIR. If you put together an EIR can you table it for a year or do you have to take action right away?

Randy Kenyon: The project has to be delineated to do an EIR.

Logan: Can you even do a preliminary report? Based on a draft project…

If we want to go ahead and do the preliminary report for Covington in case we decide that’s how we are going to have to go in the future. Can we go ahead and do that even thought we wouldn’t know what we wanted to do specifically in terms of layout, what might be available, you know.

Kenyon: So I think we have to be careful, if we are going to do a mock project and then change the details of that project it would have impacts. We Would have to do it all over again. But if we want to be proactive and do a what if and do and ..some kind of CEQA process, do on an initial study. We would do that at any time. There is nothing stopping us. Just and investment of time and money

Logan: Would it speed us up if we decided we needed to go forward with that?

Kenyon: If we had that much done, Yes.  But again, but careful about the definition of the project and knowing that ahead time is smarter, than generalities and then hoping whatever we decide do fits within those generalities.  The project definitions are pretty specific.

Logan: Do you have to layout exactly where building would be? Car traffic I can see would need to have out that would move through and people traffic how that would move through. But do you need to have actual building footprints?

Kenyon: Based on what we did for the modernization program. It’s less about buildings and where they are located on the campus than it is about impacts like traffic and noise during construction, than it is the placement of building. You could have a library on one side of the campus or the other side of the campus, it might not have much influence on the physical environment.

Bill Taglio: If you did a “what if “ that included the largest possible size campus population, would that be a valid EIR to be applied to a scenario that may not take place for another year.? You do the EIR, nothing has come into being, does that data, does that blessing, can it be applied a year later? As long as you fall within the terms you were measuring?

Kenyon: Perhaps.  I don’t know if there is a statue of limitation on an EIR. Ask an attorney.  I think that If you cover all the physical impacts that might only occur only the next year ahead. That might likely apply…. I’m not a CEQA expert. Based on my past experience,  what I know from when I’ve worked with attorneys, this is my best shot.

Goines: It seems that the question Bill and Tammy were getting at would be a good one for an attorney to look at.

Doug Smith: I’d like to see us flesh out in more detail how do we get to…a colocation arrangement on this campus.  We know that’s it a path we don’t necessarily want to go down, but if we need to go down that path. We learned this year, we can’t decide that in the spring. Right? So we need to have everything lined up if we need to go that route.

Logan: I’d like to see the initial study done, to find a there are some reasonable terms and a reasonable way, that we are not just throwing money out.

Doug Smith: So it seems that in order for you to proceed with that you need a definition of a project. That’s the first step. The board needs to define a project, and the board requests a study based upon that. And maybe we need to have a future agenda item. Because clearly this is a gating time frame. Factor in whatever. And in that project whatever would need to do.

Mark Goines:  Do you think the scope of what we are thinking of… Assume we just upgrade the existing campuses, without adding an additional campus.  Do you think the scope of those projects required us to do a CEQA?

Kenyon:  No I’don’t’ thing so.  That  [ original CEQA  for  Phase I and Phase II ] has a 12 year life.

Mark Goines : Please make sure of that.  But clearly if we add a facility someplace, clearly that is going to be a project and we need to go through a facility process. That seems pretty straightforward. OK. Thank You. Any other comments?

 

 

About the author

lalahpolitico

Norma Schroder is an economics & market researcher by trade and ardent independent journalist, photographer and videographer by avocation. Enthralled by the growth of the tech industry over the decades, she became fascinated with the business of local politics only in the past several years.