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Edgewood Plaza and Duveneck Elementary – A Recipe for Disaster?

Original post made by the_resident on Jun 15, 2006

There has been a lot of discussion lately about the future of the Edgewood Plaza. Will the developer find a way retain the original Eichler style? What will happen to the building that Albertson's will be vacating soon? All good questions, but what about the inclusion of the proposed residential units that the developer has described in previous "Weekly" articles as "below-market-rate units" and the impact on Duveneck Elementary School?

Duveneck Elementary has been struggling with the issue of overflowing students to schools all over town for some time now. Back in March, the school board was discussing the need to increase the enrollment cap for Duveneck and two other elementary schools from 450 to 520 students. The reason given is that the school populations of the Duveneck neighborhood and the other two areas has grown the most because they're closest to the most residences in Palo Alto.

Add to this mix the situation with the kindergarten class for the next school year. Duveneck has informed neighborhood families with incoming kindergartners that the school doesn't have enough room for all the incoming students. They are planning to overflow 25 kindergarten-aged children to either Briones or Barron Park schools located across town. No word has been given on when or if there will ever be room for that number of overflowed students to attend their neighborhood school.

Given this situation, is anyone looking at how the school district will handle more students from the proposed residential units in an area of town where there simply isn't any more room for more students? You can be sure that if residential units of any type are available for sale in the Duveneck school boundaries, families with children will want to buy them. Until some definitive long-range plans are put into place to accommodate the existing residents, how can new residential units be added in good conscious? Hopefully this issue will be examined closely before any plans are finalized.

Comments (5)

Posted by Jenna, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 15, 2006 at 4:05 pm

This is the issue in south Palo Alto as well. There are literally hundreds of new homes/condos planned and under construction. With homes come new families, and with families, children. Does the city council have a plan on how to accommodate these new residents at our schools, libraries, parks? Are the city departments "thinking together"? Have they commissioned any studies of the impact?


Posted by Concerned Parent, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 17, 2006 at 8:52 pm

EDGEWOOD PLAZA PROTEST
======================

STOP THIS RESIDENTIAL OVERGROWTH. DEVELOP EDGEWOOD PLAZA AS COMMERICAL ONLY.

ABSOLUTLY NO RESIDENTIAL ALLOCAION. IT SHOULD BE COMMERCIAL ONLY.



Posted by enoch choi, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 17, 2006 at 9:41 pm

One option is to support efforts to reconsider growth in other parts of the city, and establish a moratorium on further growth until studies can be completed:

Many share your concerns. 43 so far, precisely as of today. Sign this petition if you also are concerned:

Web Link
Petition requesting that City Council take action against the application by Classic Communities to build 96 residential units and enact a two-year, citywide moratorium on commercial properties being converted to housing. This will allow City to discuss where new developments should be built, how many units should be built, and to conduct required environmental analysis to ensure that new developments are well designed, structurally safe, environmentally sound, and a good place to live.

We the undersigned, request that the Palo Alto City Council take action against the application submitted by Classic Communities to build 96 residential units at W. Bayshore and Loma Verde. Per the City Manager, "Staff believes the concerns presented in the appeals… reflect project and broader policy concerns which warrant discussion by the City Council." A public hearing of these issues is scheduled for June 19th. The four Appeals include the following reasons why the project should not be approved by Council and can be found at:

Web Link
1) Comprehensive Plan did not foresee the building of any residential units in this area.

2) No EIR was done on this project, nor any additional analysis triggered at 75% of EIR growth caps.

3) Residential units (approved and projected) exceed the growth caps in Comprehensive Plan's EIR.

4) Cumulative impacts of the 931 approved and projected units in South Palo Alto need review.

5) Seismic, geologic, soil, and flood hazards on-site should require an EIR before approval.

6) Design Enhancement Exceptions are not supported by uniqueness of the site and should be denied.

7) Negative impacts of this project as stated in the Comprehensive Plan's EIR are not acceptable (i.e. school overcrowding, increase demands on public services, land use incompatibility, greater demands for parking along roadways, increased development exposed to seismic and geologic risks, greater impacts to vegetation and wildlife, greater visual impact resulting from new developments).

8) The ARB process has yielded an exterior design which leaves pause for many and requires discussion.

We the undersigned, request that the Palo Alto City Council enact a two-year, citywide moratorium on commercial properties being converted to housing until the City:

1. Updates the Comprehensive Plan and the Environmental Impact Report (EIR).

2. Conducts environmental analysis on all current projects as required by the Comprehensive Plan and CEQA, including cumulative impacts.

3. Prepares "Area Plan" for neighborhoods where multiple projects create significant cumulative impacts.

4. Implements a program in the Planning Department to track the number of ALL new residential units.

5. Revises public notice requirements for multi-family projects to include an area relative to the size of the project.


Posted by lifetime palo alto resident, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 19, 2006 at 1:07 am

I wholeheartedly agree with this concern.

I am a resident of the Addison School neighborhood.

We are facing the same issue....and for us, the development began happening a few years ago with the relocation of the Palo Alto Medical Facility and the creation of Summerhill Homes, ... then the 800 High Street project, and now the Opportunity Center.

My guess is that Duveneck will be impacted by these three things as well as the Albertsons redevelopment.

I don't think we need additional housing units in Palo Alto... we need a return to the town values, services and resources that seem to be fast vanishing.


Posted by lifetime palo alto resident, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 19, 2006 at 1:08 am

I wholeheartedly agree with this concern.

I am a resident of the Addison School neighborhood.

We are facing the same issue....and for us, the development began happening a few years ago with the relocation of the Palo Alto Medical Facility and the creation of Summerhill Homes, ... then the 800 High Street project, and now the Opportunity Center.

My guess is that Duveneck will be impacted by these three things as well as the Albertsons redevelopment.

I don't think we need additional housing units in Palo Alto... we need a return to the town values, services and resources that seem to be fast vanishing.


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