Chen is 43 acres of land. Zeiss is 13 acres. Look at California department of education requirements of land specifications here.
Let us first see DUSD FAQ about why this property is not considered. Following is from the DUSD Released FAQ.
The Chen property was originally investigated by our real property advisor, and eliminated as a potential high school site in June 2016 by the Board because of timeline and budget constraints. Based on recent outreach from a developer interested in purchasing this property, and inquiries from the community, district staff and our real property consultant have again thoroughly examined the Chen property for its viability as a potential high school site. As part of this follow-up assessment, it has been confirmed that the Chen property is still not viable as a high school site at this time for the following reasons:
- Topography considerations, including significant, unresolved grade issues for the extension of Dublin Blvd. and final pad elevation for a school site that may impact the amount of useable area, and could have a significant impact on costs for the District to develop. In addition, the District would likely need to re-engineer significant portions of the site from the filling in of the valleys as proposed by the developer.
- A lack of infrastructure to the property that could significantly inflate costs and extend timelines, including the extension of Dublin Blvd. The District would also be responsible for the construction of the access road from Dublin Blvd. to the site area, up a hill.
- The land is currently designated as Open Space, which would require the Dublin City General Plan to be amended before any construction could take place. The County has also designated the 3 area a “Sensitive Viewshed” and would also be required to amend its General Plan prior to any development.
- There are environmental issues related to wetlands and other potential jurisdictional issues located on and off the proposed site, which will require a lengthy and expensive process to mitigate involving the Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, Fish and Wildlife and the State and Bay Area Regional Water Quality Control Boards, among others.
- These issues will impact the construction costs and timeline of the Dublin Blvd. extension and any development on this property. We have also been informed there are endangered species in the area which will require extensive mitigation and monitoring, involving additional costs to the District.
- The fact that a significant portion of the proposed property is within Flight Safety Zone 6, as determined by the Livermore Airport Land Use Plan. This designation specifically prohibits K-12 school sites located within this zone. There is no guarantee a waiver would be granted for use of this site by Caltrans and the California Department of Education, and a strong likelihood that it would not.
- The remaining land that falls outside of Safety Zone 6 is still subject to the issues raised above regarding time and money to resolve. The District has an immediate need to identify a site and develop a future high school to meet our current growth needs.
- The Chen site presents a significant cost to acquire the land by the District, along with unknown costs coupled with a potentially lengthy timeline related to identifying and resolving the physical, environmental, legal and political issues before the District could start to develop this land.
However, since the new owner of Chen coming on board, they plan to address the school boards concerns as follows:
See attached document of the new owner Letter to School Board
Let us see the facts and see point by point why it is viable.
- Attached letter covers all the items from 1-4.
- Item #5. Road construction is Alameda county project. Measure BB funding is approved for it and this project is allocated money and is set to complete in 5-6 years.
- Item #6 & #7. Not all of the 43 acres of land is in the zoning area. See attached map. Significant area – 19 acres is outside the Airport zone. In fact it is closer to Cottoncreek than to this property. As a side note lot of community members suggested to make the Cotton creek as Middle/High and get this land to expand when that project was started.
- Item #8, This property is not costly. As per the attached letter, the discussions were related to 33m for land. Not a significant cost.
Also, the district mentions that it needs to move on quickly to open the facility which is 2023 as per the released information. where is the immediate need comes in. We all know the HS numbers will be upward of 4000 from 2020. Since no new facility not including this will open not later than 2023 why not consider this ?. Anyways there will be a significant pain in accommodating the kids between 2020 till 2023. This problem is there irrespective of whether this property is chosen or any other property is chosen. For example, if Zeiss is chosen, they are not moving until 2020. And the district is not moving kids in there in 2021, rather in 2023 only.
Advantages of going with this land:
- Larger parcel of the land which can be built to house 2500 hands as the board wanted to do when the resolution was passed in 2016.
- Accessibility from Highways and internal roads
- Low land cost
School board employed consultant (Terra Realty) rejected the offer attached is the copy of the letter.