Behind frenemy lines | June 25, 2010 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Cover Story - June 25, 2010

Behind frenemy lines

With city review in progress, obstacles still remain to approval of $3 billion development

by Gennady Sheyner

Architect Edward Durell Stone was a worldwide celebrity when he accepted a commission in 1956 to design the new and ambitious Palo Alto-Stanford Hospital and Medical Center.

This story contains 1717 words.

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Comments

Posted by svatoid, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 25, 2010 at 12:33 pm

"Former Vice Mayor Jack Morton accused Stanford of "playing dirty" in its stance that, because improved local health care would benefit the community, the city could exempt the project from various development requirements. He compared the university to a "medieval Duchy" in a pamphlet he wrote in his final months on the council. "

I am not sure why Morton and his vile and insulting "pamphlet" are even mentioned in this story. Morton's hysterical screed was not based on any facts whatsoever--just his own personal hatred of Stanford. It did nothing to help resolve the issues between Stanford and Palo Alto. Let's remember this is the person that his fellow council members would not even trust with the ceremonial position of mayor of the city. He was even opposed by some members for the position of vice mayor!!!


"Councilwoman Yoriko Kishimoto called for a policy that would guarantee no additional traffic as a result of the hospitals' expansions."
Kishimoto's myopic view of the issue, as with all issues that Kishimoto addressed was filtered through her "too much traffic" mindset, led to Stanford ditching the shopping center expansion. Hypcoritically, Kishimoto never demanded that other businesses in town guarantee no additional traffic in the city.

"Then-Mayor Peter Drekmeier said the university should build at least some housing for the hospitals' 2,242 new employees."
Drekmeier never seemed to grasp that Stanford was not a cash cow that would endlessly dispense money to Palo Alto whenever it was needed. He also filtered everything through his "green glasses". Fortunately he left the council after one term due to the fact that it was too much work for him.

Any wonder that this project has stagnated for too long?



Posted by Not so, a resident of Stanford
on Jun 25, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Every time you repeat the fantasy about Palo Alto being responsible for the decision not to enlarge the shopping center you reinforce a falsehood and bring your other assertions into question.
There is a national economic downturn and many stores and shopping centers are vacant and bankrupt. Just look around you.


Posted by svatoid, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 25, 2010 at 1:06 pm

From the story:

"Planning commissioners argued that the added traffic from the Stanford project would overwhelm Palo Alto's already crowded roads, and Councilwoman Yoriko Kishimoto called for a policy that would guarantee no additional traffic as a result of the hospitals' expansions. Then-Mayor Peter Drekmeier said the university should build at least some housing for the hospitals' 2,242 new employees.

Stanford responded by scrapping its concurrent plan to expand the Stanford Shopping Center and build a hotel, a project component that Palo Alto officials had hoped would bolster the city's dwindling revenues. In a letter explaining the withdrawal of the mall expansion, Stanford stated that the shopping-center project distracted the community and the council from the critical priority of rebuilding the hospitals, which under state law have to be seismically retrofitted by 2013."

and

"Former Palo Alto Mayor Bern Beecham, who is now a leading advocate of the Stanford expansion, attributed the change to the new council. He said he believes the previous council's "arrogance" and "irrational demands" prompted Stanford to abandon the shopping-center component of the project, a component that he, as a councilman, helped convince Stanford to add to the application."

Not a fantasy, but a reality due to our incompetent. self-serving city council


Posted by Page Mill trail?, a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 25, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Is Stanford ever going to build that trail they promised along Page Mill Road to Arastradero Preserve? Or is this all a big joke to them?


Posted by Anon, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2010 at 10:02 pm

I for one would like to see the seismic retrofit move forward, but, I also don't trust Stanford's promises. Anyway, my biggest issue is traffic-- how can they expand even 1000 sq. ft. with traffic the way it is already? I think Palo Alto should drop all other demands (e.g. housing) and direct Stanford to find ways to enhance public transportation into and out of the hospital area. There must be some creative transportation engineers out there somewhere.


Posted by Anon, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2010 at 10:02 pm

I for one would like to see the seismic retrofit move forward, but, I also don't trust Stanford's promises. Anyway, my biggest issue is traffic-- how can they expand even 1000 sq. ft. with traffic the way it is already? I think Palo Alto should drop all other demands (e.g. housing) and direct Stanford to find ways to enhance public transportation into and out of the hospital area. There must be some creative transportation engineers out there somewhere.


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 26, 2010 at 6:35 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Stanford should buy Sunset Magazine and move it, then build the Willow Expressway with no off-ramps until Stanford.


Posted by Kung Fu Hillbilly, a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Jun 29, 2010 at 12:16 pm

I can not believe how provincal Palo Alto is at times. Most cities would ablsolutely love to have a world-class medical center and hospital in their community.


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