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Opinion: Deny Hillbrook School's Request to Expand

Private school on Marchmont Drive is seeking a conditional-use permit to grow its enrollment. which would increase traffic in neighborhood.

Opinion: Deny Hillbrook School's Request to Expand

I am very concerned that our Town of Los Gatos is rapidly morphing into Anytown, USA. I’m opposed to several applications before town management including that of

The explosive development along Los Gatos Boulevard, the high density housing along its route and

All of this has impacted pedestrian safety for many in Los Gatos. Town Council and Planning Commission should favor the citizens that live here and protect the quality of our life.    

I am opposed to businesses that greedily grow at others' expense. A good decision is one that is a winner for everyone. But here in town, many parents no longer let their kids bike or walk to neighborhood schools, ballfields or parks.  Now more than ever, children should feel safe to ride downtown to the enjoy the new library, attend classes at the rec center or hit balls at the tennis courts, but safety has gone out the window with the baby and the bath water.  

For those that may not know, Hillbrook arrogantly disregarded its conditional-se permit by allowing a third-party vendor to hold summer camp on its campus.

A total of 900 campers commuted into school each day like Hillbrook’s campus was on some major thoroughfare. It was simply crazy and worse yet, Hillbrook was not cited. Why would town stewards allow this to happen? Citizens alerted the town, but little action was taken sending a message to Hillbrook that dabbling in the gray has its advantages. This private academy ran amuck: no consequences from town management and a nice pile of money for acting badly. Can you say cha-ching!?

Why is this important? If our town government can’t rein in private business to play by the rules, then what power does it have over others? Be careful LG citizens, this may come to a neighborhood near you!  

Hillbrook sits deep at the end of a residential street. Parents, teachers, employees, garbage trucks, delivery trucks, semi trucks (seriously) have no route options to access school and this puts an unbearable strain on the folks living on Marchmont and surrounding streets.

This issue isn’t just about residents waiting patiently to exit their driveways in the mornings, it’s about kids seldom seen playing outside or walking to school because of unsafe conditions caused by the unyielding Hillbrook traffic. This is about principle, quality of life and safety that has been compromised by school traffic and the chaos created by it.

The extremes were obvious in the last three school years; grid-lock giving way to continuous steams of cars and trucks. No sidewalks on sections of Shannon, Short, Kennedy, Edgewood, Marchmont, Hilow and surrounding streets forcing pedestrians, cars and bikers to navigate narrow streets simultaneously. All the while, LG kids were ferried about town by their parents instead of getting about on foot.

Town Council and Planning Commission, please increase neighborhood safety.  Say no to Hillbrook’s request to expand and please add further restrictions to Hillbrook’s conditional-use permit to preserve our community.

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