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Palo Alto VA plans big expansion

Original post made on Jul 23, 2008

A $750 million reconstruction project is underway at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System in Palo Alto.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, July 23, 2008, 3:31 PM

Comments (13)

Posted by too much traffic blah blah blah, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jul 23, 2008 at 3:42 pm

What a terrible idea! Forget about medical research and health care for our veterans. Such an expansion would generate too much traffic.

It should be the needs of drivers over the medical needs of veterans. There's too much traffic in Palo Alto, we don't need a state of the art medical campus.

*sarcasm intended

Posted by GMC, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 23, 2008 at 3:53 pm

Go for it - lets take care of these men and women who help take care of us.

Posted by Jim, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 23, 2008 at 3:54 pm

The traffic increase may be offset by the closure of Roche (Palo Alto).

Posted by Good Luck!, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2008 at 4:36 pm

The "Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007" that was signed into law on December 19, 2007 contains provisions for water quality in Title IV ("Energy Savings in Building and Industry"), Subtitle C "(High Performance Federal Buildings"). Here is the entire provision:


The sponsor of any development or redevelopment project involving a Federal facility with a footprint that exceeds 5,000 square feet shall use site planning, design, construction, and maintenance strategiesfor the property to maintain or restore, to the maximum extent technically feasible, the predevelopment hydrology of the property with regard to the temperature, rate, volume, and duration of flow.

Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of Community Center
on Jul 23, 2008 at 6:32 pm

My wife is an MD with the PA VA system, and my recently deceased father had outstanding medical care from these facilities while he was under my care. So I have a personal bias in favor of this VA complex, I won't go there with my opinions about the current administration in Washington, DC and how it is dealing with matters pertaining to veterans.

This expansion will take place with our local government having a lesser role in the particulars compared with negotiations that are conducted with Stanford around its ideas for future facilities and its role in the community.

To that I say bravo. A good thing is going to happen that will not be encumbered by an altogether broken "Palo Alto Process" that may have had some utility in a different time, but is at this point a major part of holding this community back from maintaining its image developed years ago of a progressive city that it willing to push things at the envelope to set an example.

Bring on the traffic haters. Instead of trying to stop progress due to traffic, lets make progress happen and lead in ways that create better traffic patterns. There is much to learn from other parts of the world around traffic, we should not stifle good projects like this one because our paradigm develop in the second half of the 20th century around traffic in California gets in progress' way.

And let's learn from what the VA does to make the way we work with Stanford a healthier and more productive process as well.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2008 at 6:37 pm

Most out of town traffic coming to the VA comes from Foothill Expressway or 280. Don't bring traffic into this one.

Posted by Sam, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 23, 2008 at 6:42 pm

"A good thing is going to happen that will not be encumbered by an altogether broken "Palo Alto Process" "

Paul Losch:

Do you think that the PA Process is contibutory to Roche leaving Palo Alto?

Posted by I appreciate Vets, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 23, 2008 at 7:37 pm

"It should be the needs of drivers over the medical needs of veterans." says: Too much traffic blah blah blah from Greenmeadow. My Husband is a WW II Vet, he needs all the help he can get from the Veterans Hospital. How ungrateful you are to your resident Veteran Community.

Veterans need this expanded facility. Just be thankful it's in our town and is here to help all our City's veterans.

Posted by DMP, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 23, 2008 at 8:49 pm

I am all in favor of the rebuilding/retrofitting/expansion of the VA as long as they take into consideration the neighbors living very close by and make sure that the noise and light generated by the facility (I am not referring to construction here) are muted. I hope they remember that their neighbors are residential and make sure that air conditioners, fans, laundry facilities, refridgeration units and other noise making fixtures are situated away from residences and are set to not go off in the middle of the night as they do currently. Let's take care of vets and community alike.

Posted by Marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 24, 2008 at 10:23 am

Why does our local government have a lesser role in approving this? I am sure many people are disappointed that this will not enter the "palo alto process" pipeline aka the black hole of indecision.
I agree, Paul, the process is broken and needs to be fixed.

Posted by Good Luck!, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2008 at 11:45 am


There are 2 reasons: it is a Federal facility and hospitals are reviewed by the office of the state architect.

However, I don't see how they will restore the site hydrology to predevelopment conditions. This project may have already been killed by the new law that Bush signed last December.

Posted by it's always too much traffic, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jul 24, 2008 at 2:18 pm

To "I appreciate Vets":

My post had the line "*sarcasm intended" at the very bottom. Maybe I'll use all CAPS next time. I was just poking fun at how some folks in this town oppose everything due to too much traffic whether its Stanford building a new hospital... or a new shopping center/hotel... or a new library... or a new office building... or new _______________ (insert any project here).

Posted by Bob Moss, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 25, 2008 at 10:26 pm

What is most disappointing about the project is taht this time the VA made no effort to involve the community or city in advance and let us, particularly the neighbors, know what is planned. That is very different from the last major developments at the VA site.

After the Loma Prieta quake much of the old hospital was unusable and had to be replaced. Before construction on the new facility began a VA representative met with the Barron Park Association and residents and described the proposed project and asked for feedback. Some of the requests that neighbors made about reducing visual impacts and facing streetlights away from nearby homes were at least partly adressed. People were impressed with the willingness of the VA to talk to the community and let neighbors know what to expect before everything was finalized. Not so this time. Too bad.

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