By the Daily Post staff
The city of Palo Alto is close to acquiring property on Birch Street to expand Boulware Park in the North Ventura Neighborhood, though the site had once been talked about as a good location for housing.
A report to City Council from City Manager Ed Shikada says the city on May 17 entered into a contract with AT&T for the six-tenths of an acre of land at 3350 Birch St.
The city intends to add the land to Boulware Park, which is 1.5 acres, Shikada’s report said.
Shikada’s doesn’t give a price for the land, but he said he expects to bring a final purchase agreement to council in September.
In 2017, after the site became available, a member of the pro-housing group Palo Alto Forward, Sandra Slater, said the city should look at all options for the site, and that she could see how it could be both a park and have some housing.
Vice Mayor Adrian Fine, who got elected in 2016 promising more housing, said in 2017 that while housing would be a good fit, the neighborhood was asking for a park.
Shikada’s report said there was an environmental concern about the site. It’s about 400 feet from a groundwater contamination plume associated with operations decades ago by Hewlett-Packard and Varian.
The city is going to have a consultant assess the site, conduct tests and recommend potential mitigation measures.
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