New law allows Ravenswood district to build housing on old Flood School site

Teachers cried when the Ravenswood City School District board voted to close James Flood school in 2009.

Daily Post Staff Writer

The governor has signed a bill that could open the doors for the Ravenswood School District to build teacher housing on the former Flood School site even if a Menlo Park ballot measure aimed at stopping is passed by voters.

The bill, AB2295, allows school districts and community colleges to build housing on school property so long as the developments meet local zoning standards for things like height.

Proponents of Measure V, who have been accused of trying to stop the construction of apartments on the former Flood School site at 321 Sheridan Drive, say that the passing of the bill “dramatically changes the landscape” of the election.

The proponents of Measure V say the signing of AB2295 allows Ravenswood to build 78 units at Flood School without a zoning change. In an email, Nicole Chessari, one of the main proponents of the measure, said AB2295 codifies what her group wants to see at Flood School — priority housing for teachers.

Chessari also said that AB2295 would allow the housing to be offered to Menlo Park City School District employees and to local public employees before being offered to the general public.

Dispute over whether teachers will live there

Proponents of Measure V have said one of their problems with the Ravenswood City School District’s plan for Flood School doesn’t require that school district employees will actually live at the project.

Ravenswood Chief Business Officer Will Eger previously told the Post that teachers and district employees would get first priority for the units in perpetuity.

Eger said yesterday that the district supported AB2295. He said that while they are thrilled the governor signed the bill, the school district is “working to understand the full implications of the bill.”

The bill doesn’t go into effect until 2024, so the district has time to figure out its implications.
While this bill changes the landscape of the Measure V campaign, as opponents have said the measure will kill teacher housing, this bill could benefit other school districts looking to build housing.

Statewide implications

This bill comes as school districts across the state, and the nation, are seeing a steady decline in enrollment, which while it began before the pandemic, was exacerbated by parents pulling their children out of public schools for a litany of reasons.

A CalMatters report says the state saw 110,000 students pulled from public schools in the state between the 2020-2021 school year and the 2021-2022 school year, following a steady decline that’s occurred at public schools since 2014.

This enrollment decline is leading to districts closing schools, such as when Oakland’s School Board voted to close schools earlier this year. The bill opens up the ability for school districts to use the shuttered schools for housing.


  1. The loophole in AB2295 is that School Districts now get near monopoly development powers to flip both zoning and general plan and potential to create gold rush revenues for schools as the new mega developers, not unlike the advantage REITs offered hotels consolidation in the 2000s. Local school board member positions which couldn’t be filled last year will be 2023’s $500K political campaigns, and last years’s board president will be next year’s “preferred developer”. May you live in interesting times.

    In AB2295(A) A local school district first offers housing to teachers and other employees, then other adjacent schools, then local government employees, then general members of the public.

  2. As an opponent of the RCSD plan to build on the old Flood School site I am thrilled at this development. The RCSD has consistently said that they need 90 units to be economically viable to them and that some would be rented to teachers at below market rate. AB2295, as noted in the article, will only allow 78 units and would force the RCSD to offer the units to their own faculty and teachers, then to Menlo Park and surrounding district employees, and finally to government employees working where the district serves. There’s no way they’re going to have ANY market rate units left, if we believe the RCSD’s message about the extremely high interest their own teachers have in the project.

    AB2295 just changed this revenue generator into a money-sink. According to Will Eger, “the school district is “working to understand the full implications of the bill.” I’ll bet he is. I’ll bet he’s loking for a way to wiggle out of this whole mess.

  3. Jim D is right about the win-win potential of Measure D paired with AB2995. Teachers and government employees are taken care of by AB2295 and Measure D protects the neighborhood character of Menlo Park. AB2295 is a win for schools and Measure D is a win for Menlo Park voters.

  4. What is Measure D? I’m familiar with Measure V, the anti-teacher, anti-housing anti-Latino initiative disguised as a way to protect single-family zoning. I’m voting against V, like everybody I else I know. But I’ve never heard of Measure D. It’s not even in my voter guide.

    • He meant “V”, not “D”. And my fellow Latinos here in District 2 who support Measure V find your constant race baiting hilarious. “Manuel.”

  5. One sock puppet says to the other sock puppet: “Yes, you’re right about the win-win potential of this measure.”

  6. AB2995 makes Measure V a win for everyone. Teachers get what they want and voters get what they want. There’s no reason not to vote to pass Measure V now.

    • It’s not a win for the taxpayers who will have to pay the legal bills when Measure V is challenged in court. That’s money I’d rather see go to education, public safety, parks and other things that will benefit our economy

  7. Council that fails to defend the majority vote of the people in court should be removed. Councilmembers that can’t make up their minds about a Measure V position are too weak for the job and should resign immediately. Menlo Park has had enough of lies on brochures that don’t represent candidate’s positions accurately.

  8. “Menlo Park has had enough of lies on brochures” … yeah, I got one that claimed the Measure V people support teacher housing. Ha, ha, ha.

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