Several mid-Peninsula dance groups are now scrambling for space after receiving notices from the City of Palo Alto prohibiting use of its First Baptist Church for dance events due to zoning laws. The church is fighting this order, and Stanford Folk Dancers, Moveable Feet and the Peninsula Folk Dance Council have all filed letters requesting additional time to comply, due to the difficulty of finding alternative halls.
Palo Alto First Baptist Church is located at 305 N. California Ave, a designated R-1 residential zone.
The dance groups using the First Baptist Hall are Tuesday Night Tango, Moveable Feet, Peninsula Folk Dance Council, Stanford Folk Dance, and Tango Argentina. All groups were given 30 days to comply from receiving the city notice.
For more details read Palo Alto tells church tenants they need to move and City cracks down on tenants at First Baptist. Also read Music school faces possible shutdown addressing closure of Mozart Music school at First Baptist.
If you are a Palo Alto resident, please write to the Palo Alto City Council, City of Palo Alto, Office of the City Clerk, 250 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94301, protesting their decision that churches in residential areas (where most churches are) cannot be used to hold community gatherings. We are willing to work with the neighborhood to minimize any noise and parking problems. Palo Alto First Baptist Church uses income from rentals to maintain their buildings, and dance groups rely on their low cost and wooden floors to hold classes, workshops, and parties. You may also email the council at firstname.lastname@example.org but please note, your email address will be published. The City Council is currently on summer recess; the next meeting is Monday, August 14 at 6 PM and includes a period of oral communications. Thanks for your help!
Please check the folkdance.com event listings for updates on future party and class venues. Note that St. Bede’s in Menlo Park will not be available for the Peninsula Folk Dance Council parties until 2018.