A proposal to open a private elementary school in Redwood City goes to the planning commission Tuesday, along with neighbors' concerns about the traffic and noise it could bring.
Cambridge Academy wants to teach in a building at the Redwood Baptist Church site at 2323 Euclid Ave. and eventually enroll 180 K-5 students, said Nicholas Berg, who submitted an application for the school's conditional use permit.
Preliminary studies indicate the school could negatively affect its surroundings, according to a staff memo, so an environmental impact study will be needed. The commission is expected to determine which types of impacts should be studied.
Other schools have operated at the site over the last decade, said Redwood City Planning Manager Blake Lyons. Concerns about traffic and noise surfaced a few years ago when Woodside Hills Christian Academy was open there.
Lyons said that Berg and his wife Carol are being "very proactive" in addressing such issues.
Nicholas Berg said the school would have staggered play times so there won't be lots of students outside at any one time. It also would allow cars to queue up on its long driveway when dropping and picking up students so neighborhood streets won't be clogged up.
"I think we've worked pretty hard to address both of those concerns," Berg said.
Initial numbers suggest traffic will not be significant, Lyons said, although noise could be a problem unless the city determines that the school "provides enough of a community benefit that we would override the noise implication that comes out it."
A Jan. 23 letter to the city from neighborhood residents says the area is already dealing with impacts from nearby Roosevelt Elementary School and shouldn't have to put up with more from a private school.
A draft of the environmental impact report likely would be completed by May, according to the city memo.