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Eden Housing drops retail, senior homes

Original post made on Aug 7, 2009

Senior housing, offices and room for a hardware store have been scrapped from a controversial downtown Palo Alto proposal after neighborhood opposition.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, August 7, 2009, 9:18 AM

Comments (22)

Posted by Lena, a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 7, 2009 at 10:03 am

And how does one get affordable housing?
Senior housing woudl have been so much better - seniors do not have small kids that take up space in PA schools. Why was it scrapped in favor of low income families housing? To meet ABAG?

Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 7, 2009 at 10:33 am

Ironic that the ultradense 800 High Street housing project considers its proposed neighbor too dense. I think the opposition has much more to do with socioeconomics.

Posted by Carl, a resident of University South
on Aug 7, 2009 at 10:42 am

The location is ideal for a higher density project, along traffic/commute lines and walking distance to shopping. Too bad for the city.

Posted by margaret, a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 7, 2009 at 11:06 am

Wasn't there an agreement that lots of affordable housing has to be built by the developer(s) of 800 High Street in exchange for the very dense development allowed for 800 High Street?

Wasn't that to be the public benefit? If not, what was the public benefit? More restaurant space for downtown Palo Alto? A tiny plaza? Some parking spaces for non-residents, which is probably moot since the City encourages underparking. (How can intelligent adults believe parking need not be provided because jobs are, of course, so easy to reach by public transport, plus adults also won't need a car for evening and weekend use.)

Posted by solon, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 7, 2009 at 11:07 am

ALMA is a real bad place for families with small children.

Isn't this project using government subsidies on PROPERTY TAX, CONSTRUCTION COSTS, ELECTRIC SUB STATION RELOCATION (was it $17,000,000)
MILLIONS for land purchased,, huge salaries for thos living off the poor, and still not pay income taxes,and compete with fair market, free market landlord on prices?

Who will the owner be? Can someone FOLLOW THE MONEY and do the project spread sheet? Wallis? Martin? may two who are competent to do so.

Posted by Etaoin Shrdlu, a resident of another community
on Aug 7, 2009 at 11:48 am

I can't quite decide about whether the attitude of those opposed to the project is "beggar your neighbor," or "dog in the manger." Whichever, it is fundamentally mean-spirited. For shame.

Posted by resident, a resident of Southgate
on Aug 7, 2009 at 12:53 pm

Once again Seniors are left out in the cold.... and they typically don't drive as much and could really benefit from the location! Why the decision to go, once again, for low income and just what is 'low income' for the area?

Posted by Hey, Wait a Minute, a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 7, 2009 at 1:19 pm

There is already a low income housing complex, Oak Court Apartments, at 854 Ramona just three short blocks east of the Alma project. I don't think it's a good planning strategy to concentrate such housing in one area...

Posted by D. Leo, a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 7, 2009 at 1:24 pm

I think this site would be a better use of space as a solar generating plant. With the current available technology and planning
to continuously upgrading as the solar technology improves.
I do like the no telephone poles in the East Southeast corner of
W Charleston and El Camino Real sub divison. I am disappointed there
are no solar panels on the face and roofs of the buildings on the El
Camino Real side. I hope the architectural can begin designing appealing homes and buildings with this technology in mind.

Posted by rem, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 7, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Why don't we have a honest City Council and all the other "Councils" and "Work Shops" that will honestly say "Developer (Contractors) Lobbyists , Developer (Contractors), donate to us and we will approve!!!!"

It would be great if the City Council and all the other "Councils" and "Work Shops" learned a new word – NO or new phase – DISAPPROVED….

There is no sane reason for this PROBLEM except MONEY, MONEY, MONEY and not caring about the people of Palo Alto or ANY of the other communities …..

Sound to me like DEVELOPMENT, DEVELOPMENT, DEVELOPMENT !!!! Gee, the CITY has messed up "University Avenue.", West Charleston Road & El Camino Real, butchered San Antonio Road and let's not forget San Antonio and East Charleston Road.

Like I said ABOVE - There is no sane reason for these PROBLEMS except MONEY, MONEY, MONEY and not caring about the people of Palo Alto or ANY of the other communities …..

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 7, 2009 at 4:06 pm

Low income housing here is not really a good idea. Most low income residents need cars for transportation - often pickups for their gardening business, etc., shopping, getting kids to school, and from getting to their 2 or 3 jobs at odd hours of the day or night. We do not have very good transportation other than Caltrain in downtown or good shopping for low incomes.

The ideal type of place for low income housing would be near Walmart at San Antonio as they have good bus service, cheap shopping at Walmart, Target and Safeway, and a hangout place for day working opportunities.

Posted by Pat, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Aug 8, 2009 at 3:33 am

"50 units of housing for low-income families"

That is why the people at 800 High Street don't want the project. They don't want "low income" housing next to those million dollar condos.

Posted by Toady, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 8, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Thank god. We already have enough senior housing in Palo Alto thanks to Prop 13.

Posted by Kate, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 8, 2009 at 7:53 pm


Posted by KATE, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 8, 2009 at 8:05 pm

TOADY, Every single home in California is a "Prop 13" home. Read the rules and do the math. Those who bought in 1979 and over the years until now after Prop 13 went in under the new 'rules" paid 1% of the sales price. Everybody's taxes pre-1978 and post-1978 can only go up 2% a year - not the 15-25% it was doing. People who bought in 1980 are paying less taxes than those who bought the 'house next door' in 2005. In 1978 when Prop 13 was passed, all home assessed valuation reverted to what it was in 1975. After the bill was passed, all newly purchased home property taxes went at 1% of the sale price. The rules were clear. And stop picking on the seniors. Who do you think paid for the schools, the city hall, the libraries, parks, the fire stations and the current infrastructure in the first place? It didn't come free and it wasn't cheap.

Posted by Toady, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 12, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Thanks for the lesson on Prop 13. Not. Teacher, can I go to the bathroom?

My point still stands. Prop 13 has ossified neighborhoods all over California, including Palo Alto.

"Who do you think paid for the schools, the city hall, the libraries, parks, the fire stations and the current infrastructure in the first place?"

Who do you think is paying disproportionally more for those services today?

Posted by Public benefits, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 12, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Margaret wondered what were the public benefits for 800 High Street.
No, not public housing. They built the minimum number of below market rate units that the law required. Exactly the required number, no public benefit.
The benefits they offered were some 60 underground parking spaces that were to be free and available to the public 24/7. Sounded good to some people at the time.
But the location of the garage, the lack of publicity about it, and its dark entryway and dark inside, led to not many people using it. So the city converted it to permit parking. So much for free public parking.
They also promised a potential entryway through their garage to a future garage under low income housing on Alma St. The city must pay for the construction of the entryway. and the city loses the spots that will be lost.
They also promised a community gathering place on the corner of High and Channing. You can look at the corner yourself and judge its value to the community.

Posted by It's fine, a resident of Meadow Park
on Aug 13, 2009 at 7:19 pm

This is a great location for low income housing, it's near the City's Caltrain's station, and all the bus lines that come in on the MacArthur Park side of the tracks. It's within walking distance of Downtown which is great.

As for lack of senior housing. Hundreds of senior housing units are being built in South PA at the Campus for Jewish Life, Altiera and the Tree House.

Posted by bryanflake, a resident of Community Center
on Mar 7, 2014 at 7:53 am

Isn't it a good thing to build low income housing in the community? I really wonder how this will affect the community since the project isn't going forward. What are the other options that have been put forth instead?

bryanflake1984| Grace Assisted Living

Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 7, 2014 at 10:26 am

@ Today - You obviously aren't doing your math homework on Prop 13. 20 years from now, you'll be paying far below what the new homebuyers are paying on their property tax. The whole point is to shield our older (retired) residents from property taxes that would force them to sell their homes because they can't pay the taxes.

Paddle hard at the start and catch the wave and then ridee the wave all the way in. Enjoy the ride.

Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 7, 2014 at 10:58 am

It's already been 5 years from now, since that post was from 2009.

Posted by resident 1, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Mar 9, 2014 at 11:42 pm

Yes - there is proposition 13 - there is also a bond issues that helps pay for the PA schools, and any other bond issues that people vote on. Read your tax bill - it is all listed. There are numerous listed items that are outside of the Prop 13 value.

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