Baylands Update — Palo Alto City Council’s Unanimous Approval

On Monday, May 9th, Palo Alto City Council voted unanimously to a “Approve and Authorize City Manager to Execute Non-Binding Letter of Intent with First Tee Silicon Valley Towards Establishing a Public Private Partnership for Practice Facility Infrastructure Improvements at the Baylands Golf Links and Long-Term Facility Use Access for the First Tee Silicon Valley’s Youth Development Teaching Program.”

This is fantastic news for FTSV, which has been working to make Baylands its long-term home and serve more than 1,000 youth there every year. FTSV has been conducting classes at Baylands since 2009 with a 2-year hiatus while Palo Alto Muni was being rebuilt. Facility constraints, including practice spaces and high demand from public golfers, has capped FTSV’s classes at 250 youth annually despite high demand and waiting lists. This project would quadruple our capacity and open the pipeline for FTSV to greatly increase outreach to Palo Alto and youth throughout the region, especially kids in lower income areas including East Palo Alto, North Fairs Oaks, and Redwood City.

What Does the Partnership Entail?

In short, the partnership is for FTSV to make infrastructure improvements in exchange for long-term use access. The predominant use access would be of a new “youth area” along Embarcadero Road in which FTSV would conduct more than 65% of its programming. Higher range nets would be installed to protect the youth area AND to open the unused short game hole on the course side of the range to the public. The youth area, which was part of the course re-design vision, would be completed for use by FTSV as well as by other youth golf programs and for private instruction. The partnership is a big win-win for everyone.

What’s Next?

Council’s unanimous vote and support of City staff shows a level of commitment for FTSV to begin fundraising to obtain at least $4.2M for the improvements. FTSV will reach out to local donors — both individuals and organizations — and collaborate with First Tee HQ to raise the requisite resources. In addition, FTSV and City staff will negotiate terms of a partnership agreement in which FTSV expects long-term access of 15 to 50 years.

“I am thrilled to have Palo Alto City Council’s unanimous support of FTSV and for proceeding with this creative and model partnership agreement.” said George Maxe, FTSV President & CEO. “We’re in this to build the character of all youth (regardless of background or ability to pay) through the game of golf. We hope for many donors to join us by seizing this refreshing opportunity for the public and private sectors to partner and to achieve significant results for literally thousands of kids for decades.”

Contact George Maxe at [email protected] or 408-288-2937 if you have any questions.