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SHPNA (the Shasta Hanchett Neighborhood Park Association) is very disappointed in SJUSD’s (San Jose Unified School District’s) plans to pave over a significant portion of the greenspace parkland at the Hester/DCP campus.  We shared our position and offered suggestions with the School District and the Board of Education, clearly stating we do not support the proposal, however our suggestions were ignored and the pave over plan was approved.

The Hester campus is located in a prominent location on The Alameda between Lenzen Ave and Pershing Ave.  The location was formerly the Hester Elementary campus and is now the DCP (Downtown College Prep) High School campus. The Hester greenspace is open to the public after school hours and is popular with neighborhood residents. The purpose of the planned additional parking is for SJUSD staff and visitors to the nearby SJUSD’s headquarters building.

It is documented public knowledge that our neighborhood is very undeserved by parkland, and school district greenspace is counted in our overall parkland accounting (refer to Envision 2040 plan and the Greenprint). As a result, the pave over plan simply makes a bad situation worse, and there is no guarantee that in the future *all* of the parkland at Hester/DCP campus won’t be paved for additional parking. This is unacceptable for the neighborhood.

We stand ready to work with SJUSD to find an alternative and reverse this proposal. SHPNA thanks our SJUSD Board representative Susan Ellenberg for reaching out to the neighborhood to find a better solution that meets SJUSD needs but preserves one of the few remaining pieces of desperately needed parkland in our neighborhood. Obvious alternatives to explore include:

* Finding other parking spaces in the area
* Decreasing the parking needs of San Jose Unified headquarters
* Designing increased parking at the Hester campus to not diminish parkspace.

Anyone who has ideas or is interested in working with SHPNA and SJUSD on solving this issue should feel free to contact me, Chris Russell, SHPNA Schools Committee Chair, chris.lee.russell@gmail.com.

For reference, attached is a schematic for the additional parking excerpted from a SJUSD published document. Note: The source document states “…not intended to indicate the exact location and configuration…”. Comparing schematic to satellite images shows scale is not precise and likely underestimates impact to field.