Cartan Field Improvement Project

General Description

On September 12, 2016 the applicants formally withdrew the application from consideration by the Town.

Menlo College and Menlo School jointly are proposing to completely reconstruct Cartan Field. All of the existing uses and fields will be completely demolished and rebuilt with state-of the-art designs. The proposed site plan is shown on the attached drawing.

This Project represents upgrading of the sports facilities only and is not connected with any increase in enrollment at the schools. There are few changes to the overall Menlo School and Menlo College sporting activities, however, some activities will move from the main campuses to Cartan Field, as detailed in the Proposed Uses below.

Site Design

Vehicle Access and Parking

The existing 65 parking stalls will be moved from Alejandra Avenue to the El Camino Real frontage and expanded to a total of 168 stalls. Access will be provided by the existing driveway on Alejandra Avenue. A second access point will be added on El Camino Real for use only during large events that require the use of all of the parking. This new driveway will be a right-in and right-out access point. While the existing parking is considered adequate for the majority of activity at the site, some spectators arriving for large events currently park in other lots on the Menlo College or School campuses.

The existing service road running along the west property line will be shortened and will be used once or twice a week for trash pick-up from Cartan Field. The current trash being brought to Cartan Field from Menlo College will be eliminated by a new trash area located on the main campus.

Pedestrian Access

Pedestrian access from Menlo School and Menlo College will continue from the existing location on Alejandra Avenue, which connects with walkways linking pedestrians from the College and School as well as to overflow parking. A new “grand concourse” running north/south will connect pedestrians to all of the fields at Cartan. This walkway will be approximately 25 feet wide with landscaping, low pedestrian type lighting and high quality paving materials. An additional pedestrian connection will be located in the east/west direction connecting the new parking area to the fields and the grand concourse.

Pedestrian and roadway improvements are being considered along with this Project at a Menlo School driveway off Alejandro Avenue at Wunderlich Fields, just west of the Project site. These improvements are intended to better facilitate pedestrian movements from some areas of Menlo School to Cartan Field and would include repaving and removal of a sidewalk encumbrance (a wire bracing a utility pole) without changing the existing access.


The existing perimeter trees will remain with the exception of two evergreens on Alejandra Avenue where the existing driveway entry will be widened to meet code and one evergreen along El Camino Real to make room for the new access point. In addition to retention of the majority of existing trees, over 120 new trees will be added to the site. Many of these new trees will be added to the perimeters along El Camino Real, the west property line shared by the Brittany Meadows residents and along the creek area at the north side of the property. The creek area will have new landscaping to restore the creek edge to its native environment. The planting in this area includes new large specimen trees to screen views to the fields from the adjacent residents. New native shrubs and ground covers will be added to promote an enhanced natural environment.

Proposed Uses

There will be no change in the school-year activities that will occur on the updated fields compared to the existing fields. While the seating will be increased, this is being done to meet college and high school standards. The existing capacity is adequate to meet seating demand and with no increase in activities, no substantial increase in spectators is anticipated. The only additional activity on the upgraded fields will be a Menlo School summer baseball program, which will run for 6 weeks during the summer, three days a week including Saturday games.

The following describes the physical changes to the baseball fields.

The Menlo College and Menlo School baseball fields (two fields in total) will be rebuilt in the same locations that exist today. The college field will have new natural turf while the school will have a new artificial turf field installed. The new fields will meet college and high school design requirements, respectively. A new scoreboard will be located in right field for the college and will replace the existing one in centerfield.

New safety netting is proposed along the north property line to prevent foul balls from entering the rear yards of homes to the north. This fencing will be 30’ in height and will run 2-4 feet behind the outfield fences. This netting could be extended along the west property line as well, but the applicant has noted that the neighbors prefer it without as the evergreen trees block most of the balls.

New fixed seats and bleachers will be constructed on both fields. New brick walls along the grand concourse separate these seats from the pedestrian walkway. A total of +/- 430 seats will be located on the college field and +/- 320 seats will be located on the Menlo School field.

New partially lowered dugouts will also be constructed on both fields. Speakers will be located in the brick wall at the rear of the seating areas, which requires lower noise levels than from speakers located farther from the spectators.

Both fields will have new fully enclosed locker rooms, public restrooms and storage facilities in new brick clad buildings. A common field maintenance building will be located between both fields to be shared by both users.

A fully enclosed soundproof batting cage will also be located between both fields. This building will house separate batting cages for the college and the school. The fully enclosed brick building replaces open caged facilities and is intended to mitigate noise from daily batting practice. Today both the college and the school each have open caged facilities that emit sound from hitting practice. The new design is intended to mitigate the sound impact.


The existing standard size running track will be reduced in size. Three high school track meets are currently held at the track each spring, but these events would no longer occur on the proposed smaller track. This track would be used solely for practice and informal exercise -- uses which currently exist today.

Football / Soccer / Lacrosse

There will be no change in the activities that will occur on the updated football/soccer/lacrosse field compared to the existing field and no substantial change in seating or anticipated spectators.

A new artificial turf multi-use field will be constructed in the middle of the running track that can be used for football, soccer and lacrosse. Spectators will be located in a raised grandstand over the grand concourse facing El Camino Real. This location will focus noise toward El Camino Real and away from residents to the west. Seating will be similar to the current capacity at +/- 1050 seats.


A security fence will surround both baseball fields allowing both the college and the school the ability to secure both fields.

A 20 foot high perimeter fence will surround the field and track, allowing both the college and the school the ability to secure the proposed new field. New landscaping will also be incorporated around the north, east and south sides of the proposed new field. A new scoreboard and speaker system will be installed similar to the baseball fields.


10 new tennis courts will be designed and constructed in the current location of the existing 6 tennis courts. These new courts will have the most modern surface currently being offered in the industry. The 10 courts will have 20 foot high perimeter fencing with new landscaping around the north, east and south side of the proposed new facility.

Aquatic Center

This is a new use proposed for Cartan Field. The current competition pool is located on the Menlo College campus and serves both the school and the college. The new facility will be used strictly by Menlo School and the existing pool will shift to use solely by the college. The proposed users will be competitive swimming and water polo. The aquatics center will be depressed 12 feet below grade with a 12 foot high sound wall built at grade surrounding the entire center. Spectator seating of approximately 200 seats will be located at the -12 foot pool deck level with an acoustical fabric structure over both seating areas. These locations were selected to focus sound toward El Camino Real and Alejandra Avenue in an effort to mitigate noise to the residents on the north and west side of Cartan Field. A new 2-story brick building with a full basement located at pool level will be constructed on the north side of the center to house adult locker rooms and field locker rooms for boys’ and girls’ soccer and lacrosse. Additionally, it will house a trainers’ room, offices, storage, physical conditioning space, pool equipment and public restrooms.


The new parking area will be lit by 16 foot high poles and fixture lights providing 1-2 foot candles of security lighting. This lighting will be “zero cut off” fixtures so that no light will leave Cartan Field and spill over to the surrounding properties. Pedestrian lighting will be 12 foot high pole and fixture lights located on all pedestrian walkways designed with the same criteria as noted above. Aquatic center lighting will be a combination of underwater pool and deck top lights. Deck lighting will be designed as 12-16 foot high with zero cut off fixtures located on the pool deck. This design will contain all lighting within the aquatic center and not be visible from the surrounding streets. Building lighting will be recessed downlights and surface mounted zero cut off fixtures. All spectators seating areas will receive security and walkway lighting per the Town of Atherton Code. All new lights will be designed to be contained on site with no light spill over to adjacent streets and properties.


Restrooms are proposed adjacent to both baseball fields as well as in the aquatics building. These restrooms will replace the current portable toilets and will require extension of water and sewer lines across the site.

Environmental Impact Report

The Town of Atherton has determined that an environmental impact report (EIR) needs to be prepared before the Planning Commission can take any action on a Conditional Use Permit for this project. The environmental firm of Lamphier-Gregory has been retained to prepare the EIR. A draft EIR should be available for public review late spring 2013. Once the draft EIR is available it will be posted on the Town website and otherwise made available to the public.

There is a statutory 45 day public review period during which comments may be made on the draft. The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the draft during the 45 day public review period. At the conclusion of the 45 days Lamphier-Gregory will prepare written responses to any comments received. The draft EIR, any changes and additions, comments and written responses will be included in the final EIR. After the final EIR has been certified as adequate and in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act, the Planning Commission may then consider the Conditional Use Permit.

Conditional Use Permit

Menlo School and Menlo College have jointly applied to the Planning Commission for a Conditional Use Permit to allow the proposed project to proceed. The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the matter and at the conclusion of the hearing will decide whether to approve, conditionally approve or deny the project. The Commission will use the certified EIR as a basis for making its decision. The decision of the Planning Commission may be appealed to the City Council. If there is no appeal, the Planning Commission decision becomes final.

Project Documents
Notice of EIR Scoping Meeting (PDF)
Notice of Preparation (PDF)
Initial Study (PDF)
Alternative Site Plan July 8, 2013 (PDF)
Application to Amend Noise Ordinance (PDF)
Cartan Field EIR (PDF)
Appendix A (PDF)
Appendix B (PDF)
Appendix C (PDF)
Appendix D (PDF)
Appendix E (PDF)
Appendix F (PDF)