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Page Mill Road development nears finish line
Original post made
on Jun 5, 2012
After a decade of legal wrangling and plan revisions, developer Harold Hohbach now stands at the cusp of getting Palo Alto's blessing for his proposed three-story building on Page Mill Road. All he has to do is make the project more attractive to pedestrians. ==B Related stories:==
Hohbach gives Palo Alto an ultimatum]
Page Mill Road development hits another snag]
Read the full story here Web Link
posted Tuesday, June 5, 2012, 12:48 AM
Posted by Pity Poor Park Blvd.
a resident of Ventura
on Jun 5, 2012 at 6:39 pm
I hate to say it, but that vacant property is a perfect example of how a small group or people can hold an entire city and sub-region within that city, hostage.
Mr. Holbach's design isn't the most forward, but the design WAS approved by City Council some years ago. The project was given the green light. What happened?
Bob Moss - a so-called "Council Watchdog" - who you will find at every Council meeting, and most of the Commission advisory meetings didn't agree, so he found a basis to sue.
We have the same thing going on California Ave. Same in the old Alma Plaza location. Rinse. Wash. Repeat.
We have anti-housing fanatics in Palo Alto who will do anything to stop a project, for ANY reason they might come up with.
So what has this delay cost Palo Alto? Attorney's fees; staff diligence; lost rental income and new business on Cal Ave (Google made a lease there but didn't move in because it didn't want to be across the street from a chaotic construction zone - s, we lost a Google opportunity!). Also, the delay in construction will make the building cost more (construction inflation); those costs will be passed on to the new tenants. Taxpayer money, resident money, retail revenues - all lost, for what? To satisfy the whims of a few "Council Watchdogs". It's a bad joke.
As for Karen Holman, she's a nice person, but entirely without vision; she has always been this way, in all the years I've watched her on Commissions and the Council. She got the Council seat because she is an insider, period. Same with Burt.
Sure, they went out and raised money, yadda-yadda, but it's mostly about gaining Council endorsements for your run, isn't it. Note that Burt and Holman both come from Planning and YTansportation, which is supposed to be a plum appointment for anyone who wants to be put on the path to a considered council position.
btw, too bad Pat Burt never showed up for CAADA meetings, as a Council liaison to CAADA. In fact, it was Burt who let the community down by his absence, letting others take the fall for his lack of attention to detail and constant absence from meetings where the city made clear its plans. Oh, well...
So, we have some good persons, but at the same tiem *some* weak persons on the Council; they don't know how to legislate, and they have lacking forward vision. Those same people give undue weight to "Council Watchdogs" who can recite City Code, chapter and verse, and act like they really understand the complex dynamics of Palo Alto, but they don't. Instead, what I see in the Council Watchdog types is an inability to hear "no" to one or more of their ideas. When they hear "no", they use their extraordinary knowledge of City code to gum up the works, and cost everyone money, inconvenience, and sub-optimal social benefits.
Think about it: SEVEN YEARS that Holbach's property has been in limbo, a cesspool of an empty lot; rat infested; inviting of transients; dark; lacking a structure to insulate train noise from adjoining neighborhoods, robbing the Cal Ave district of revenue; etc. etc.
We could have a building there NOW; it could have had, by now, a developed landscape facade, and fit so very nicely into the neighborhood. As for those who complain about the exterior facade of the building: I have heard those voices, before, and they are the very same voices that would have complained about this structure, in Paris Web Link when it was first constructed.
What really makes me chuckle at all this is that almost every so-called "Watchdog" in Palo Alto is already ensconced in his or her own home, living comfortably on a pension, public assistance, or inherited property of some sort or other. I know this for a fact. It's a huge irony.