Board leaves new development’s attendance area unassigned

By Shayna Kapadia and Srija Srinivasan | Editor-in-Chief and Humor Editor

David Lanferman, the legal representation of the developers KB Homes, DR Horton, and Brookfield Homes, attended the FUSD board meeting on Sept. 9 to speak on behalf of these developers, requesting a school attendance area be assigned to the 500 residential units planned for construction near Patterson Ranch. However, the Board, with much support from the community, unanimously voted to leave the attendance area unassigned.

In a correspondence between the FUSD and Mr. Lanferman, the developers argued that the FUSD violated Board Policy by refusing to assign the Patterson Ranch development to an attendance area.

Lanferman wrote, “The District Staff wrote that ‘students generated from the planned development, as those who currently live in the area, would be assigned and enrolled at other attendance areas in which there is space.”

The letter states that though Lanferman’s clients understand the challenges of overcrowding in schools near the Patterson Ranch area, these conditions exist District-wide and “do not excuse the on-going failure to assign appropriate attendance areas for the homes in this project.”

During the board meeting on this issue, Lanferman explained the developers’ perspective on the issue, arguing that the developers were being treated unfairly.

Several parents, students, and Fremont residents also attended to offer the board support against the developers’ demands. The 27 speakers who volunteered agreed that the development should remain unassigned.

As FUSD is overcrowded and about 1800 students are being overloaded this year, many speakers also suggested the developers help fund a new school for their development, much like the Warm Springs Developers have, to avoid overloading and waitlisting the prospective students at schools further away.

Ivy Wu, former board member, wrote and performed a song titled, “Ode To the Big Developer in Fremont”, urging the developers to help the community fund a new school.

Students from American High spoke out against the developers as well, sharing personal stories on the overcrowding in their schools.

“Our resources are choking under pressure,” said Aditi Singh, an American High School senior.  “No new houses without new schools!”

After the 27 people had spoke, Lanferman was given time for his rebuttal but chose not to rebut any of the issues brought up.

The board members were then given time to choose their position on the assignment issue and unanimously agreed that “unassigned is an assignment.”

(Updates on the developers’ decision to fund a new school to come soon)