In August 2013, Butcher’s Corner, the 5.3-acre site at the corner of El Camino Real and S. Wolfe Road, was sold to a well-known local developer.

The developer has published plans for a six (6) story mixed use development, creating 160 residential units. According to the Mountain View Patch, each housing unit adds between 1 and 3 additional students to local schools.

Where will these approximately 200 to 230 new students go to school? Are we going to increase class sizes again? Is the developer going to pay the school district to offset this increase?

 

School History

By the late 1970s, the student population in Sunnyvale and around the country dropped. School Districts in the area, due to declining student populations, and rising costs, started to sell off school properties.

Cupertino Union School District sold off three elementary schools (Panama, Inverness, and Ortega), all of which used to service the Butcher’s Corner neighborhood.

In 2004, the number of students enrolled in U.S. elementary and high schools surpassed 1970’s peak enrollment for the baby boomer generation. Every year since, due to development and population growth, pressure builds on our school systems to handle to growing number of children.

Current Impact

overcrowding

The grade school currently handing children that would live at Butcher’s corner is the already impacted Stocklmeir Elementary School, in the Cupertino Union School District. Children in the Birdland Neighborhood are serviced by an impacted Laurelwood Elementary, in the Santa Clara Unified School District. With both Laurelwood and Stocklmeir schools filled to the brim and over capacity, something needs to give. These elementary schools need to grow, not shrink nor compete with private elementary schools. The only option is to increase class sizes to keep up with the growth, if no space is found to build new schools.

Parents at local Elementary schools like Laurelwood and Stocklmeir, already have to camp out in the early morning just to make sure their children can be registered at their neighborhood school, otherwise they may have to register with another elementary school miles away. If you’re not happy about this reality, and if you’d like your city and school districts to have the future flexibility to open another school to accommodate all of the development going on around us, then please join Save Sunnyvale Parks & Schools to help preserve public land at Raynor and other locations for education and other public uses.

Additionally, stay informed on the proposed developments at Butcher’s corner. There are many more impacts that development will have, beyond stressing our already full schools. For example, the intersection at Wolfe/El Camino/Fremont is slated to become a “F” rated intersection, possible the worse in the South Bay. Remember, once something is built it’s too late.

What can you do?

Butcher’s Corner is still not under the jurisdiction of the City of Sunnyvale, in fact, it is only an unincorporated site in the County of Santa Clara. It is in the plans to annex the site into the City of Sunnyvale. While that may end up all well and good, there is a lot that needs to be worked out first, such as traffic realignment and rezoning. We believe this should happen prior to annexation. Tell the city council to delay the annexation of Butcher’s Corner, and to put priority on the traffic analysis and fixes of the Wolfe/Fremont/El Camino intersection along with rezoning Butcher’s Corner to disallow a massive high-rise, high-density, development.

Further, we would like to see ordinances that require new residential developments to set aside money dedicated for the purposes of improving the school, that residential development would impact. The City of Irvine has an Irvine Educational Partnership fund that was setup by the city council and continued with Measure BB.