"Palo Alto is well known as a desirable residential community and a City with a healthy, competitive business community. Meeting the demands of each community is a major theme of the Plan. The Plan establishes the physical boundaries of residential and commercial areas and sets limits where necessary to ensure that business and housing remain compatible. It encourages commercial enterprise, but not at the expense of the City's residential neighborhoods."
- City of Palo Alto Comprehensive Plan (Revised 7/17/2007), Chapter 1, Page 3, under "Meeting Residential and Commercial Needs."
It's time for the City Council, the City Manager, the Planning Commission and Planning Department to start paying attention to the people they were elected, selected or hired to represent the residents of Palo Alto.
When are the City Staff and City Council going to stop practicing pay-to-play politics with the developers and start enforcing the city's Comprehensive Plan and planning codes that are intended to protect the residential neighborhoods adjacent to the downtown business areas?
The Arrillaga proposal is only the most recent and blatant example of how the City Council, City Manager and City Staff have committed literally untold staff hours and hundreds of thousand of dollars in so-called "in lieu fees" to fund seemingly endless surveys and studies that lead nowhere. This is routinely done in exchange for exceptions to the building height limits and off-street parking requirements contained in the Comprehensive Plan and the planning codes.
Do we really want thousands of additional vehicles added to our already over-crowded streets and more intrusive parking in the already heavily impacted adjacent residential neighborhoods?
Yes, it would be nice to have a modern, dedicated theater for TheatreWorks, but is the further degradation of our neighborhood quality of life really worth the price?