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Council has no appetite for doing away with PC zones

Original post made on Dec 3, 2013

Facing a plate full of development projects, Palo Alto City Council members Monday night didn't show any appetite for doing away with the city's controversial planned-community zoning during a meeting about the city's development issues.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, December 3, 2013, 9:55 AM

Comments (89)

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Posted by Seriously?
a resident of Green Acres
on Dec 3, 2013 at 10:35 am

The problem isn't PCs. The problem is this City Council, except for Holman and Schmid.

The majority of Council wasn't interested in listening to the public.

Klein, Kniss and Burman spent much of their time lecturing the public about why the Vote Against Measure D was meaningless.

Klein stated that Kniss was elected with more votes than cast ballots in the Nov. 5th election so you can't draw any conclusions about what it means. At least he is honest enough to announce that he has no respect for the voters.

Kniss misrepresented the nature of the public's comments. She claimed that of the 50 speakers, the sentiments represented were evenly split, because she was keeping a tally. How on earth could she tally anything? There was no single issue. Comments ranged from complaints about traffic to suggestions for using technology for remote participation at Council Meetings. Are those for or against comments?

Berman defended his decision on Measure D because he knows he was right.

The new Planning Director presented traffic data that shows that traffic volume has been steadily declining since 2000. She then explained that though it feels counter intuitive to what we experience everyday, it's because the public forgets what the traffic was like before the dot.com bust in 2000. Schmid, Burt, Scharff and Holman called her and the City Manager out for that. They called for analysis that is unbiased and believable.

Seriously?


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 3, 2013 at 10:35 am

What a difference listening to Burt, Holman and Schmid, compared to Klein, Berman, Shepherd and Price. The first three are smart, informed and specific. The others moan about Measure D or else have nothing besides how wonderful Palo Alto is. Klein especially is just embarrassing. He must be only in it to pay back his developer pals after all these years.

City staff looked terrible too. Schmid annihilated their traffic data.


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Posted by TireOfTheseClaims
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Dec 3, 2013 at 10:40 am

Oh, my! Think of it - Doing away with PC zone will ruin, simply ruin the economic VITALITY of Palo Alto! Clearly our entire community is at risk! No business will want to come here! No one will want to move here! The value of our homes will evaporate! We might very well find ourselves alone in wasteland - a shell of a town - that is, if we don't EMBRACE CHANGE!

Change is good! And it is very, very good for the bottom-lines of our esteemed real estate developers.

So, just keep in mind our fears are misguided! Try to understand that this issue is so much, much more complicated than it appears from our simplistic perspectives!

Stay calm and trust in the experts who brought us the many developments we now admire - and they did it all for us despite our ignorance!

And bless them one and all for their thoughtful leadership...


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Posted by PC must be done away with
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 3, 2013 at 11:07 am

PC needs to be abolished if only because PC allows for Council and staff overreach. Appointed commissioners on the ARB and Planning have no legitimate reason to be declaring their personal beefs on public property. They are out of control.

PC is a governance nightmare.

You cannot re-establish trust just to get your hands back into the cookie jar.


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Posted by Joe Baldwin
a resident of University South
on Dec 3, 2013 at 11:09 am

PC is defended as "a tool that has helped put Palo Alto on the map internationally."

During 40 years here, I don't recall voters ever making that a municipal goal, but it seems to have been one shared by far too many politicians
and commercial developers - and at the expense of our stated and approved
Comprehensive Plan objective to preserve the character of our neighborhoods.


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Posted by KP
a resident of South of Midtown
on Dec 3, 2013 at 11:18 am

@TireOfTheseClaims -What!!?! You obviously did NOT grow up here! Palo Alto does not HAVE to become a huge city. It didn't take over sized buildings to get where we are now...over crowded schools, horrible parking issues downtown, etc., we were a nice family oriented suburb with strong community facilities (who remembers swim lessons at Chuck Thompsons?!)
Don't get it twisted...we don't need those huge buildings to be a strong little city. PC is ridiculous for Palo Alto.
BTW, what developments do any of us admire?!


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 3, 2013 at 11:19 am

Ultimately, Palo Alto needs to reduce the cost of running for City Council and therefore reducing the influence of developer donations on the city council. Until developer money doesn't control the politicians, nothing will change.


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Posted by PC must be done away with
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 3, 2013 at 11:32 am

KP

"It didn't take over sized buildings to get where we are now."

Very true.

I think @tire of these claims was just repeating the rhetoric we have to endure from those trying to justify the hilly nilly overbuilding.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 3, 2013 at 11:32 am

Here's notes of comments from last night. Sorry for long post.

Public:
@Seriously above is right about Kniss "50%" remark. Most public comments, though not all, thought overdevelopment is a huge problem. Former mayor Dick Rosenbaum especially eloquent.

Councilmembers in order:

Liz Kniss:
- PC's are good, used for many things. Mentioned auto dealerships as example
- Palo Alto is famous in the world, for good reason
- 50% of public comments tonight for PCs, 50% against

Greg Schmid:
- Schmid destroyed the City's traffic report - a highlight of the evening
- Had clearly done research and had his own data.
- City's traffic model is wrong and we need a better one

Larry Klein:
- No moratoriums
- I've been here for decades, this growth debate is nothing new
- J Paul and 27 University should proceed
- Liz Kniss got more votes than Maybell
- I'm tired of hearing from all you people here (he really said that)
- Measure D told us something but nobody knows what.

Marc Berman:
- I'd vote for Measure D again. It went down because of a great No campaign.
- I got 13,000 votes when I was elected
- Everybody here tonight is old and doesn't speak for young people
- Traffic is bad, yes we know

Pat Burt:
- More office space / more housing is a neverending cycle, unsustainable
- J Paul and 27 University are dead, and undermined staff/council credibility
- PC's only account for 2 of 21 developments in pipeline -- not the problem
- Too many oversize projects still meet code, need to rein in Existing zoning
- Agreed w Schmid on City traffic data: wrong or misleading, not credible
- City needs Business Registry -- currently no way to tell how many employees
- Probably need a business license tax too someday

Karen Holman:
- Public trust is a huge issue
- Agreed w Schmid on City faulty traffic analysis, must be too narrow
- Staff report talks a lot about growth, no mention of Quality of Life
- Yes on a PC moratorium
- Need more clarity and transparency on existing zoning laws, FAR definition.
- Too many wrinkles and vagaries. Until clarity, stop building.
- Agree w Burt on need for Business Registry.

Nancy Shepherd:
- The world is attracted to Palo Alto
- My neighborhood is the best in Palo Alto
- We had to do Maybell because of regional pressure
- I don't understand what Palo Altans want
- Palo Alto is still a great place to live and work
- People will still want houses here even if they can't park in front of them
- (Yes she really did say that)
- Bob Moss' survey (showed huge anti-PC sentiment) is not useful

Gail Price:
- Thanked Staff for their report done on short notice
- Maybell was a good project despite vote. Seniors will suffer.
- My responsibility is to the future
- Workers who commute to jobs here spend money here
- No moratoriums. PC moratorium will impede economic vitality
- Must figure out how to make competing issue work together: traffic ...
- PC zoning can be reformed to be better
- Too many studies, not clear what larger goal is

Greg Scharff:
- We've closed many loopholes on parking. Not finished, but progress.
- We need to build a parking garage
- Have $4-4.5M in the parking fund (asked A Aknin, who gave the number)
- Garage plus RPP plan will help parking problem
- Traffic is huge problem, must implement TDM
- Planning Dept is overworked, must be given ability to increase staff
- Staff traffic data doesn't pass "smell test," other errors in report
- 27 University towers clearly too big, why we sent it back to drawing board
- No public confidence in PCs. Need moratorium, reform until public buy-in.



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Posted by Beware
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 3, 2013 at 11:42 am

Not surprised by Larry kleins attitude. He has constantly shown contempt for the public-- he claims that term limits are bad, despite the fact the voters said they wanted them. What is surprising is that he gets elected over and over again to be on the council ( withe the Weekly's enthusiastic support). We actually have him for an extra year, thanks to kniss' manipulations of our election cycle( she is another lifelong council member who for some reason gets elected over and over again- with the councils support.
My advice to the voters who are unhappy with the council is to be wary of the endorsements thatbthe weekly makes during the election campaign. Is the anyone on the council that the weekly has not endorsed? Also check out the mailings during the election campaigns-- if you see that the candidate is endorsed by the " good old boy network" of former council members, Yu may want to be careful as well.
Surprised by some of the responses by council members-- are they just being stubborn?


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Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Dec 3, 2013 at 11:48 am

WOW - I thought we were on the map because of Stanford University and the great sport teams. Stanford football and other teams dominate the weekend national TV coverage. We have Nobel winners from Stanford. The nation and world knows us for fantastic sports and achievement in educational fields. The CC has no involvement with that. Please CC do not build political capital on Stanford's back.

We do have a city staff that feeds the NY Times with local issues - self promotion by some CC members very evident. CC wants to make a name for themselves by grasping any new trend even though it does not make sense for a city of this size and current level of development. We are not a big city - trying to implode big city political issues is simply CC members pushing their own personal political agendas.

Note the topic of parking - I saw a Monday CC meeting on TV in which a staff member ran the show on that topic and did not know the resident speakers who had current projects in process that would be disrupted by a parking policy currently under discussion. Is the dog wagging the tail or is the tail wagging the dog. See who the speakers are on that topic.

So if the city is hell bent on development then we needs more transportation systems - we need BART coming down the west side of the peninsula - figure a stop at Stanford Station that is in back of the hospital section - think of the traffic that would alleviate. BART has nothing to do with HSR and its mutations - different funding and set of goals. That would enrich the entire peninsula and help with transportation problems overall. It would contribute to the overall peninsula growth.

If you want more development than forget the bicycle business - it is not a serious method of transportation for the majority of working people. Set up parkways that get people to the developments and provide adequate parking. Do not dictate to people how to get to work - young people have to drop off children in school and pick them up. This is a family city - not a young single's city - that is San Francisco. Remember who we are - we are not copy cats to SF. They have their own problems - we do not need to take on their problems - like young families escaping to the suburbs - we are a suburb so let act like one.


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Posted by TiredOfTheseClaimsd
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Dec 3, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Tired is tired of claims like many of those made like last night - and the know-all arrogance that come with them.

Tired says eliminate PCs completely - and simply enforce the zone as its now stands - if it needs revision, then do so via the ballot box (I know that sounds ridiculous, but look at what has happened and continues to happen) - no exemptions.

Developments - and "expert reports" on their associated impacts are presented and appear largely to be considered one by one - in isolation - with no consideration - or delination of their cumulative effect… and there seems to be more than enough projects already approved and in the pipeline - time for a breather.

The idea that things are less crowded, less congested now than in the past is, in a word, laughable - except people are finally getting angry in a big way.

BTW - I grew up here and have lived the great majority of my life in Palo Alto.


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Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Dec 3, 2013 at 12:05 pm


Liz Kniss said (above):

> "You hear a lot about PC zones being the villain, and in some cases it may be,"
> she said. But the council shouldn't "throw the baby out with the bathwater,"
> sacrificing a tool that has helped put Palo Alto the map internationally.

One really has to wonder how anyone who has insinuated herself into the government process for as long as this person has would see Palo Alto, and its residents, only being noticed by "the world" because of PC projects built in the past. We are told that it's the PAUSD that has made us "world famous"—at least that's what we're told every time there is a parcel tax up for renewal, or a Bond authorization for school construction.

Pat Burt is quoted in the Daily News (DN):

> "I think we need to quit just finding a bogeyman and instead look at the real problems."

Pat Burt has been a Planning Commissioner and a Council member for a very long time. It's a shame that with all of this public service, he is still speaking in sound-bytes. So, Mr. Burt—what are the real problems? Any chance you can add a little clarity to the issue?

If we are going to see an end to PC, or even a more moderate use of this zoning, it's clear it will have to be a mandate from the voters.


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Posted by senor blogger
a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 3, 2013 at 12:18 pm

IS IT TIME FOR A RECALL OF THE ENTIRE COUNCIL?????


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 3, 2013 at 12:19 pm

@Wayne

I thought Pat Burt's comment was fine. His argument was that reforming PC didn't go far enough, because there were too many other ways to get undesirable projects done. That the City would have to (and should) go look at reforming existing non-PC zoning as well, and voters shouldn't let themselves get distracted by just fixating on PCs. The Daily News kind picked out that one line but not the rest of his remarks.


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Posted by boscoli
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 3, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Palo Alto was doing just fine before some people decided it must, absolutely must, become a megalopolis lest it becomes irrelevant. It has been a trailblazing place in fields like technical innovation, science, medicine and the arts because of the great university in our midst and because of unique, bright and innovative people, not because of more roads, bigger and taller buildings and more traffic

More massive commercial developments, dense housing, heavy traffic and pollution do not benefit Palo Alto financially or in any other way. They may enrich some developers and merchants, but that's about it. Since when does a reduction in quality of life good for residents?

Yes, PC zoning should absolutely be eliminated. Palo Alto is not Manhattan, Los Angeles or Hong Kong and we should prevent the politicians from turning it into one.


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Posted by Beware
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 3, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Señor blogger- Klein will be termed out next year, but i agree that kniss and Holman need to be recalled. If Yu want the whole council recalled, start a petition drive, but remember what the cost will be.
Also what will the weekly do if all their buddies are recalled.


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Posted by Recall
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 3, 2013 at 12:36 pm

The cost of the recall will be nothing compare with the damaging these people willl do in next 2 years.


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Posted by It Is About PaloAlto
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 3, 2013 at 12:38 pm

I hope that Greg Schmid continues to run for council. Through this whole Measure D process I have found him to be the most willing to listen (really listen) to what Palo Altans want to tell him. He does have the facts and sees a bigger picture than the other council members that I have spoken with about what should be taken into account on a large project. Karen Holman seems to be more reasonable as well, although I have not personally spoken with her. The impression I get is that pressure comes from a few of the council members with a need to have everyone vote the same.

Marc Berman was the only attendee at the Measure D debate that actually got called out for his outbursts in the debate even after the League of Women voters warned everyone against outbursts. He had outbursts after the debate as well that seemed rather immature. I would hate to see that behavior if he were ever appointed mayor.

Liz Kniss was dismissive of Maybell neighbors and actually said that she was not sure of the problem since the neighborhood had all types of houses (in particular "those red tile roofs").

Let's find some candidates for council that understand that this is not about them but it is about Palo Alto as a community that they represent.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 3, 2013 at 12:38 pm

No, Holman is good. Her Maybell stance is some kind of weird aberration, but everything else she's on target. She and Greg Schmid are the two keepers there. Pat Burt comes and goes. The rest ...


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Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Dec 3, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Mark Berman is claimed to have said:

> I got 13,000 votes when I was elected

With about 37,000 registered voters in the City of Palo Alto—that's only about 35% of the registered voters—keeping in mind that 65% of the registered voters did not vote for Berman!

Voter participation during presidential elections is high, so council candidates tend to receive a higher number of votes than in off years.


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Posted by Recall
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 3, 2013 at 12:52 pm

'young people move in for old palo alto. Not the one just like the new next city. We like our old grocery stores. We like little shops. Most of all, we like to walk around. We sure do not like traffic. Palo alto will not be the name of good living after they finish what they started.


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Posted by Recall
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 3, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Thank you resident for your notes. So I know who to vote for next time.


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Posted by Midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 3, 2013 at 1:01 pm

LOL

Liss Kniss quotes the Opportunity Center and the JCC - THE JCC!!!! - as shining examples of development well done in Palo Alto.

The JCC. Has she even looked at it? It is an utter monstrosity both in size and in looks.

Taking it as an example is so ludicrous that, if it was not so sad to hear her say that, it would actually be funny.

Liss Kniss has no good sense at all, sorry. (BTW I did not vote for her remembering how she was on her first stint on the city council).


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Dec 3, 2013 at 1:11 pm

I am looking at an article in the SJ Mercury today - "Housing Advocates Sound Funding Alarm". This is a good article that points out all of the funding schemes and tax credit schemes available and where the shortfalls are. That is what Measure D was all about - a funding / tax credit scheme. The end result would have been a disaster for the people living there and the city would have to pick up the pieces.

If a funding scheme is driving the train we need to know up front before time and money are spent. City staff cannot go ahead and green-light a project so that developers are wasting time and money.

If there are projects lined up then define them so everyone can help get it right up front. City Staff is not the arbiter of city development - they are employees of the city. Hopefully the Weekly can provide a list of projects in the pipeline so we all understand where this is all going.


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Posted by Keep term limits
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Dec 3, 2013 at 1:18 pm

@ It is About Palo Alto -Many of us agree that Greg Schmid is a shining light, amongst a very dim bunch. However, he is serving his second term so he will be termed out in 2016.

Schmid can not run again unless No Limit Larry is successful in repealing term limits. The threat of four more years of Klein's arrogant disrespect of the public is more than enough reason to support term limits.


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Posted by Beware
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 3, 2013 at 1:26 pm

"With about 37,000 registered voters in the City of Palo Alto—that's only about 35% of the registered voters—keeping in mind that 65% of the registered voters did not vote for Berman!"
Be careful how you use those numbers, Wayne. Then based on your argument, only 23% of registered voters voted against Measure D!!!!!


"The JCC. Has she even looked at it? It is an utter monstrosity both in size and in looks"
I was wondering when someone would take the opportunity to bash the JCC. And Midtowner did not disappoint again!!!!!!


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Posted by It Is About PaloAlto
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 3, 2013 at 1:30 pm

I would vote for repealing terms just to keep Greg Schmid. Out of all of the council members, I believe that he is the one that has shown the most care about Palo Alto. He has shown no ego just hard work and analysis.

I agree with you regarding Klein, watching Klein and the council members that sit next to him during the Maybell meetings was a pretty sad sight. Surely folks have seen enough to know not to vote for him again.


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Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 3, 2013 at 1:32 pm

> Wayne. Then based on your argument, only 23% of registered voters
> voted against Measure D!!!!!

Yes, that's true. Same for the Library (Measure N) vote.

One of the flaws (in my opinion) is that we don't require some sort of a quorum for important votes--particularly where money, and important elected offices are concerned.


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Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 3, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

FYI: A related discussion is happening on Town Square Forums under the news article about Monday night's Council meeting: "Council has no appetite for doing away with PC Zones" (Web Link)


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Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 3, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

Ignore my previous comment ("FYI:...") -- it was meant to be on my blog (Web Link) referring those readers to this discussion.


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Posted by Corruption?
a resident of Community Center
on Dec 3, 2013 at 4:16 pm

The corruption goes high and wide. Last night one speaker described himself as "living in Palo Alto". That's how he identified himself.
Who he really is:
Dan Garber, Chief Architect of the Arrilaga project, 27 University;
Principal in architectural firm that bears his name that puts big projects before the city, recently by Heather Young of that company for the WeFixMacs corner of El Camino;
Board member of TheaterWorks which wants a huge theater built for them at 27 University as a "public benefit." Garber resigned from TW board recently when the conflict of interest became public;
AND Garber was on the Planning Commission until he resigned to take the Arrilaga job.
Just "lives in Palo Alto." Right.


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Posted by curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 3, 2013 at 4:17 pm

Simple, effective fix: All PC developments should automatically be put to a full public referendum.


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Posted by Eejits
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 3, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Okay, so they didn't get the message of Measure D. But they openly asked for our opinions on growth. The fools got what they asked for, and didn't like what they heard. Probably because some of them have financial investments in these developments. And from all appearances previously, some bribery may have been involved in the past.

Once again, for those of them who did not hear it the first, second, or third times: READ our lips: NO new development!


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Posted by PC must be done away with
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 3, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Corruption?

Unbelievable that the planned built-out-to-the-nose dev plan for the We Fix Macs site is Garber's.

Wasn't Heather Young on the Palo Alto ARB?

If not actual corruption, it could be seen as corruption.



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Posted by KP
a resident of South of Midtown
on Dec 3, 2013 at 4:37 pm

@ Beware
Yes, this is an opportunity to bash any of the random monstrosities that have been allowed to go over the size "restrictions" of Palo Alto (and look like cr@%)
Soooo… JCC would you please stand up!!!


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Posted by palo alto resident
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 3, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Unlike Ms. Price, I'm not too worried about Palo Alto's "economic vitality" being ruined because of less building and no Planned Communities. The argument that without PC we wouldn't have "The Opportunity Center for the homeless, Oshman Family Jewish Community Center and Sunrise Senior Living facility" without PC zoning is not a reason to support PC exemptions for most people.

Sunrise is a business that charges a TON of money for most of its residents, although they provide some "below market" housing for people with less than $500,000 in assets who can pay 3,850 a month.
The JCC could have been just as successful with decent setbacks and more substantial landscaping which would prevent its massive look.
The Opportunity Center is a wonderful community asset, but I would personally rather see it provide transitional housing instead of permanent housing so more people could get back on their feet.


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Posted by John
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 3, 2013 at 4:44 pm

What Jewish Community Center? Do you mean that big signboard at the corner of Charleston and San Antonio?


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Posted by JCC bashes unite
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 3, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Kp- actually, no. Read the title of this thread. The fact that some people in PA live only to bash the JCC is evident.

JOhn- if you are unhappy with the sinkage of the JCC, file a complaint.

Where were all these JCC- basher when this went through review? Whining about other " problems" in the city?

Do you object to the entire JCC or just the big structure on San Antonio and charleston, that replaced the lovely KFC and is across the street from two historical gas stations and a metal hut type structure that joe eichler once may have sat in?

Shall we stick to the topic of conversation?


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Dec 3, 2013 at 5:32 pm

I would like to point out that the Oshman Center is used by the Commonwealth Club of Silicon Valley for major presentations because it has two auditoriums, big and small. They have maximized the space - the auditoriums are on the San Antonio / Charleston corner. If you attend any events there you will se that it is very well done.

I had a relative at Sunrise - they do a good job. Said relative was bounced out of Webster House because it cannot handle dementia. Where you start in the process of senior housing and where you end up are two different places. Most senior living homes cannot handle dementia patients.

These are both very good additions to the city. I am glad they are there.


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Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 3, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

RE: "JCC bashes (sic) unite" on "Where were all these JCC- basher when this went through review? Whining about other " problems" in the city?"

Answer: Members of the public repeatedly and forcefully raised the issue of the massive nature of the JCC/CJL throughout the review. Yet after it was built, multiple Council members declared that they didn't realize how massive it would be. Same story for Alma Plaza/Village.

One thing you learn in dealing with Council is how very little influence that factual information and logical argument from the public has on their decisions. It's mostly a game of turn-out.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Green Acres
on Dec 3, 2013 at 5:41 pm

Someone said on an earlier thread that Measure D was City Council buying themselves a $660,000 hearing aid.

Larry and the rest (except Greg Schmid): A hearing aid only works if you USE it properly!

Here's an interesting idea from another state:
A Citizens Enforcement Committee "Some of the objections to zoning may be eliminated
by using a citizens enforcement committee that serves as a watch dog over the administration of the rules and regulations. This committee could also get participation from concerned individuals in public hearings."
Web Link
The above is also a primer on zoning.


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Posted by JCC bashers unite
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 3, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Thank you, resident 1 . I am sure MOST people in the city either like the JCC or do not really care how it looks.

But just so you will appreciate how the fires are fanned n the city, below is a response to an email I got from the editor of one of our daily papers ( not the weekly)

"I'm surprised you haven't heard the comments people have made about the JCC building. They're not complaining about the JCC itself, which is a well regarded and beloved organization. But the architecture and massiveness of the building have been a subject of conversation in this town for a number of years. I don't think it's a minority viewpoint, but we can agree to disagree about that. "

Notice how without any data to,support his claim, this editor claims that the majority of residents dislike the JCC building!!!!!! And really, he believes that people in town spend their time discussing the JCC-- to him there are clearly no,pressing issues in the city

Doug- if your claim is correct, then not only the council, but the ARB and Planning Commission are clueless as well


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Posted by Corruption?
a resident of Community Center
on Dec 3, 2013 at 6:21 pm

PC must be done away with, asks
>Unbelievable that the planned built-out-to-the-nose dev plan for the We Fix Macs site is Garber's.
>Wasn't Heather Young on the Palo Alto ARB?

Yes she was. She is now a principal at
Fergus Garber Young Architects
Encina Avenue, Palo Alto, California

Also a member of that company is Clare Malone Prichard who remains on the ARB.


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Posted by Path Forward
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 3, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Want to thank Eric Filseth and Susan Fineberg for what I thought were excellent, spot-on comments last night. We need to agree to a vision for Palo Alto and elect people who support that vision. Susan had concrete steps to get us to a clear, consistent process.

On PC Zoning, I'd like to see concrete changes to the law rather than an outright ban:

1. Limit amount of zoning exemption possible, say 25%above current zoning rather than totaly open ended

2. Define what a public benefit IS

3. Have a "hands-off" cash based transaction to fund the public benefit. No funny money. Developer pays city cash to build/acquire public benefit. City buys it. I've heard stories of developer's wife creating the "public art" that the benefit, paying her in the process.

4. Enforcement - put a lien on the property title to ensure that the public benefit is not removed so building owner will be responsible. $1000 a day fine if it is removed.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Liz Kniss is ill
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 3, 2013 at 7:10 pm

This city council needs to be recalled.
Is Liz Kniss ill? She has a horrible cough, and it has gone on for a long time.
She needs to step down from the city council because of health issues.


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Posted by blockhousing
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 3, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Does anyone know what is happening at the old Palo Alto Bowl site? That is a massive five (I think) story building right up to the sidewalk. Was this done with a PC benefit and if so what was it? Or, was it within the current zoning rules? Will the parking be inside the structure?

With all the numerous huge projects going in right in that area, I can't imagine what traffic will be like on El Camino/Charleston to San Antonio. Granted, many of the projects are not in Palo Alto, they certainly will impact those of us in south Palo Alto.


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Posted by anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Dec 3, 2013 at 8:22 pm

did Klein really speak so dismissively about residents ??? iI so someone needs a big OLE serving of humble pie !!!

Berman was also dismissive of the residents who attended last night. HE said they did not represent people of his age……does democracy make different rules for different ages????

Klein, Scharf , Berman, Shepard and Price were all rude and dismissive to the very people they were elected to represent!

well if younger voters/ residents ( last time i checked any resident over 18 can register vote, and even younger people can address council! ) really were interested why don't they show up at council, send emails or vote for what they believe in????

there is an awful lot of assumptions being made by defensive council members who have no authority or data to make such comments.

You are rising to the bait of your detractors when you insult the people who take the time and interest to be involved.
why not stop saying that you want community involvement , when that scrutiny is what you fear the most.


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Posted by PC must be done away with
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 3, 2013 at 8:49 pm



Path forward,

Can't you see the problem of having to accept an "incentive" of some sort to give up something you value?

That's the stupidity of the PC process. It makes you believe you got something "fair" in return for something much much bigger for the developer.

PC will never add up for Palo Alto.


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Posted by anon
a resident of Monroe Park
on Dec 3, 2013 at 8:57 pm

@blockhousing,

The four story building at the old PA Bowl site will be a hotel, with a limited amount of surface parking plus an underground garage.

The city wanted more hotels, so it will be getting one there plus another four story hotel on El Camino across from Arbor Real (the old Rickey Hyatt site) near the often-fun Charleston/El Camino intersection.

I believe both projects conform to zoning, with perhaps a variance here or there for height. The up-to-the-sidewalk look is part of the much vaunted new urbanism.

and I've read that both hotels will be Hilton brand - the PA Bowl site hotel focusing on business travelers and the other on vacation/family/tourists. They'll be joining the two existing Marriott brand hotels in the same area, one of them just across El Camino, the other a block down - but Los Altos gets the hotel tax dollars from those two operations. Oh, almost forget the proposed hotel (and eight screen movie theater) in the next phase of the San Antonio Center revamp.

There are also 26 new stack-and-pack houses on the back portion of the PA Bowl site - 17 of them are already marked sold and three of them have been allocated to the BMR program.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Green Acres
on Dec 3, 2013 at 9:02 pm

I would respectfully ask Timothy Gray, Susan Fineberg, Fred Balin, Nielson Buchanon and Eric Filseth to please run for City Council!! I'd add Bob Moss and Art Lieberman, but we they are doing such important watchdog work, we can't spare them!


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Posted by Red
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Dec 3, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Kniss, Klein, Berman, Shepherd: You all are an absolute embarrassment. I was not at the meeting, but if Resident's comments are accurate, these four clown must have put on a really remarkable display of arrogance and ignorance.


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Posted by kludged
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 4, 2013 at 7:21 am

kludged is a registered user.

PC zones seem to have become the equivalent of Earmarks in the Political Process: they are candy to hungry politicians. I guess if they can't stop approving them, then citizens need to put politicians on a no PC diet. The only way forward seems to be eliminate PC zones.


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Posted by sunshine
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 4, 2013 at 7:28 am

Palo Alto is on the map because of our schools--elementary through Stanford U. I have spoken with many new immigrants to the area. They came here to work in the tech industry and bought houses in Palo Alto because they wanted to be able to access our public schools so that they would not have to incur the cost of private K-12 schooling for their children.
Many of those who claim they cannot afford to live closer to work in Palo Alto area don't look very carefully in the PA area. They want huge houses on large plots of land and think a 2 hour commute will be OK. Some later find that the 2 hour commute is bad for their family life and choose to accept something smaller, but closer to work. I know some of them personally.
I'm not certain where Nancy Shepherd lives in PA. Perhaps the next PC zoned project (oversize and not enough parking) should be placed next to her current home. I do not notice many council members who live in the Barron Park-Evergreen-Ventura neighborhoods. Yu (former council member) lived across Arastradero from BP-E neighborhood that would have been affected by the project squelched by Measure D. His actual neighborhood would not have been affected by it.
Did the Council learn nothing from Measure D? Palo Alto residents are sick of having oversize, ugly developments foisted upon their neighborhood. Sunrise is not a good building--there is no space outside it for the residents to get out into the sun. Oshman is ugly. At first I thought it might be a prison. Yes it serves a purpose and has shown itself to be good by bringing in excellent speakers and cultural events, but it certainly is not an area where I would want to walk outside of the building, especially at night. I don't even want to park my car in the area around the building. The huge blank wall along San Antonio is terrible.
If you want to improve the flow of traffic on El Camino northbound at the intersection with Page Mill/Oregon, the way to do it is to station an officer there during rush (3:30-6:30 pm) to hand out tickets to everyone heading south on El Camino who turns onto Oregon eastbound and runs the red. Often northbound El Camino traffic must wait for 12 or more cars to turn left after their light turns green. Also, make the rightmost northbound lane on El Camino "right turn ONLY" to clear the traffic there.
I have lived in PA since 1963, since 1971 in BP area, and I can assert that traffic and the quality of life has declined. We no longer have two vibrant downtown areas, Maybell (California Ave) and University Ave. We lost significant retail outlets that more truly served the public and were good places to shop. They have been replaced by high end stores, many of them chains.


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Posted by blockhousing
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 4, 2013 at 9:04 am

Thanks Anon for the info. I did not know that was going to be a hotel too, and it's very close to the other new hotel to go up near theArastradero and El Camino intersection. What kind of traffic will these new hotels generate?

A year from now when all these huge new projects (including next to Lozano's, the former Garden Store/Marie Callendar's site, and San Antonio's shopping center are full in use, traffic along El Camino/Arastradero/Charleston to San Antonio will be heavily impacted. People I know in Mt. View and Los Altos are worried about it too. Did these three cities coordinate any traffic studies? My guess is no.


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Posted by curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 4, 2013 at 9:15 am

"Did the Council learn nothing from Measure D?"

Anyone interested in the city council educational process should study the campaign finance reports at the city clerk's office. In addition to the obvious developers, look for the names of their family members and their employees. Compare their "contributions' totals with those of ordinary citizens.

You want to squelch oversize developments, you got to outbid their builders.


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Dec 4, 2013 at 10:34 am

I am wondering if the council members / staff actually read the comments here. What people are talking about and complaining about - where is the CC absorbing the flow of activity? I have viewed the Meetings on TV and people get to talk - they allow x number of minutes then dismiss the person with no comments or questions. The mayor just looked irritated during the measure D discussions - like he had to endure "the process".
Is this forum or is there some other forum that we are suppose to engage?
I get the feeling we are talking to each other but that is not being addressed by any CC member. What is worse if people do not see that they are being listened to they get combative. Is there a better way to do this?


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 4, 2013 at 10:40 am

Thank you Susan Fineberg! We love you. If you run for City Council maybe Klein,Kniss, Berman will understand what the vote means because they missed it this time around with Measure D.



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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 4, 2013 at 11:04 am

@resident 1
There is another way to do this. Residents buy billboard space on 101 for
a "Thank you Palo Alto City Council for ruining our City" with
applicable names listed. They will see that.


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Posted by Ventura resident
a resident of Ventura
on Dec 4, 2013 at 11:07 am

Ventura resident is a registered user.

Here is one more vote against more high density housing, with the possible exceptions being close to Caltrain stations. Also I have heard many people complain that the JCC building is extremely ugly, but I have not heard one person express the opposite sentiment. Lastly, if the comments here are anything to go by, the prevailing sentiment seems to be against more high density development. Perhaps the council or the weekly should conduct a survey. No, better still, how about a neutral survey without leading questions?


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Posted by Beware
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 4, 2013 at 11:20 am

Ventura resident-- okay here you go. I think the JCC is a very nice looking building. How many people have complained about the JCC? I bet you most people in the city do not care one way or another. Interesting that no one complains about the CHeesecake factory, which thousands of people walk by every day. Also, I wonder if there is something else underlying the complaints about the JCC and before you all jump down my throat, remember the comments that came out during the initial eruv debate.


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Posted by Residentialist
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 4, 2013 at 11:40 am

What we need is a Residentialist Party in Palo Alto, with an official platform that candidates are asked to sign on to (or not) at election time, so when residents vote we know where they stand. Otherwise they all seem to go sideways on us because they get co-opted by developer money or their nascent political aspirations. Staff is worthless because they are just out for their careers and pensions.


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Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Mountain View
on Dec 4, 2013 at 11:51 am

the_punnisher is a registered user.

Your City Council needs to be changed for the same reason a baby's diaper needs to be changed.

If we were having the same situation elsewhere, recall movements would have already been started.

I think if it wasn't for the payola that these councilcritters have accepted, they would be resigning because of the NO VOTE of Measure D that said NO CONFIDENCE to the bribed councilcritters.

At the very minimum, all projects should have a moratorium placed on them until the council and the REAL BOSS ( the TAXPAYING RESIDENTS ) can come to an agreement. PERIOD!


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Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park
on Dec 4, 2013 at 12:22 pm

@Beware -

Architectural styles reflect an aesthetic taste that varies widely. For everyone who likes Eichler houses, there's another who hates them. JCC may be very functional but I dislike the aesthetic & do consider it ugly. I also think the JCC in Foster City is ugly but it hasn't prevented me from being a member there.

The hoopla over the eruv was about the perceived hypocrisy to circumvent a religion-based proscription which needed the assistance & cooperation of local, city government. Conspiring to devise a way for the (probably otherwise) observant members to "break" one of its own religious rules was offensive to some. Most opponents thought that if you didn't like the rule, you should either change or ignore it, not legislate a work-around.

Please stop trying to make this thread about prejudice. It isn't. It's about controlling of the size, nature & placement of developments for the well-being of Palo Alto, & yes, that includes aesthetic considerations too.


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Posted by Ventura resident
a resident of Ventura
on Dec 4, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Ventura resident is a registered user.

Beware: What I find ugly about the JCC is the part that faces onto the San Antonio and Charleston, just as I hated the part of Mickeys that faced Alma and other recent developments that have virtually blank exteriors built right up to the sidewalk, like the one on Alma down by University Avenue. I realize it is subjective, and the other opinions I have heard do not constitute a scientific study, which is why I suggested a survey. The REST of the JCC building is very attractive and looks to be well designed and functional.


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Posted by Beware
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 4, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Downtowner- I mentioned one of the reasons ,IMHO, that people disliked the JCC. One would have to be naive to think that palo alto is different from any other city in the world. And I am certain that some ofthe distaste for the JCC has to do with that. As for the eruv-- there are eruvs in cities all ver the world, without any problems and issues. Only in " progressive" palo alto did it become a soap opera . BTW, you know there is an eruv in palo alto now?

How cme no one complains that all the buildings in downtown and California avenue are built right up to the sidewalk.?

As for alma plaza, I laugh every time I hear complaints about it. We could have had a nice dedicated shopping center, with a large supermarket. Instead we let " neighborhood leaders" take over the issue and hold t hostage for 10+ years and we ended up with alma village. Palo alto got what it deserved out of that.


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Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 4, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

RE: "Resident 1" on whether Council members read Town Square Forums

Being a frequent poster here and a person with occasional access to Council members, I have asked if they read the comments here. My memory is that all those asked say "no".

The reasons they state are:
- vitriol and trolls (eg "Beware" of Midtown)
- uninformed speculation, opinions based upon false "facts",...
Before one reacts, recognize that this is comment about the predominant tone/content of TSF discussions on civic issues and that many ordinary residents have made the same assessment.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park
on Dec 4, 2013 at 1:18 pm

@ Beware - ? Duh. Of course I know there's an eruv. Everyone who lived here during the fuss knows it. What's your point?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Beware
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 4, 2013 at 1:23 pm

"@ Beware - ? Duh. Of course I know there's an eruv. Everyone who lived here during the fuss knows it. What's your point?"
Downtowner-- actually if you only lived here during the fuss you would know thatbthe eruv plan was rejected. It was only many years later that it was approved. That's my point. That I became a soap opera and then yeras later it was a non-issue.

Doug has decided to grace us with his presence. Note how he liks to call those that disagree with him a "troll". Name calling is pay when Doug pronounces judgement on those whose comments he disagrees with. Show some restraint, Doug and let's maintain some order.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Dec 4, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Wayne Martin - off topic, but can you point us to where we can see the actual voter information on the June 3 2008 Measure A (massive) school bond measure. Where we can see the actual language of the law now? I can't find it anywhere, the Santa Clara county registrar's website is useless.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park
on Dec 4, 2013 at 1:49 pm

@ Beware - I have lived here for many years & that's how I know that it was later installed. I read.

I am Reformed, not Orthodox. I don't feel any anti-semitic prejudice in Palo Alto or Menlo Park or Atherton. I'm sorry that you do:((


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Posted by Beware
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 4, 2013 at 2:07 pm

" am Reformed, not Orthodox. I don't feel any anti-semitic prejudice in Palo Alto or Menlo Park or Atherton. I'm sorry that you do:(("
The only anti-Semitic incidents in this local area are mainly some of the comments made during the original eruv debate. There was a woodside resident who stationed himself outside of Whole Foods and was making outrageous comments. There is no overt anti-semitism in the area, but there is quite a bit of prejudice that bubbles to,the surface regarding minorities and other non-Caucasians-- you can read it on this forum occasionally. It exists.. As I stated paloalto,is no different than any other city in the world.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steven - against Measure D
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 4, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Beware,


Did you actually read Doug's post? He called no one a troll. You owe him an apology.

Steven


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Beware
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 4, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Steve-- from Doug's posting above:
"The reasons they state are:
- vitriol and trolls (eg "Beware" of Midtown)
- uninformed speculation, opinions based upon false "facts",...
Before one reacts, recognize that this is comment about the predominant tone/content of TSF discussions on civic issues and that many ordinary residents have made the same assessment."

Note that "eg" means for example and note whose name comes after that. Any more questions???


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steven - against Measure D
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 4, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Beware,

I did not catch that when I read it. Thanks for pointing it out to me. I'm not sure that Doug did not mean it as an example of how he thought the city council was viewing posts by people who happened to express strong opinions or disagree with them, as opposed to calling you a troll, but I will leave it to Doug to respond to clarify his own post, if he chooses. It can certainly be interpreted as you did.

Steven


 +   Like this comment
Posted by rainer@pitthan.com
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Dec 5, 2013 at 1:51 am

Dear "Beware":
If somebody (Doug) quotes somebody else (Council members) as giving as reason to not read on-line comments:
"The reasons they [the Council members] state are:
- vitriol and trolls (eg "Beware" of Midtown)
- uninformed speculation, opinions based upon false "facts",...

then Doug does not call anybody a troll. Paranoiac vitriol yes, troll no.
Comprendo? (Do you understand in Spanish slang). In High Castellano naturally it means "I understand". Do you?

In Bavarian (which is one of the 7 languages I speak) there are about 20 different ways to call somebody an "idiot", without running afoul of the courts.

Since American English, in contrast to Cockney, does not allow such literary flexibility, I do not know what to call "Beware". Eejit (often used affectionately) maybe?



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ken again
a resident of Menlo Park
on Dec 5, 2013 at 5:16 am

I wonder what PC project Lucy Stern built when she provided her public benefits?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Beware
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 5, 2013 at 5:34 am

Very intelligent posting, Rainer. One can tell that you speak many languages.
Now to the flaw in your nasty diatribe. If the council members do not read this forum, they would not be familiar with my posting. Therefore they could not call me a troll. It is Doug who is using me as an example of what he considers to be a troll?
Understand? Or would you like me to translate this into one of the 7 languages you speak?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PC must be done away with
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 5, 2013 at 7:36 am

OK just to be clear, the Council calling postings on PA online threads is the definition of trolls.

a troll here is anyone deviating the discussion away from the original article.

Doug Moran,

"Ignore my previous comment ("FYI:...") -- it was meant to be on my blog (Web Link) referring those readers to this discussion."

You have a lot of good things to contribute but why not do so on the relevant thread, instead of flagging us to go to your blog?

Back to thread now.....

Can anyone please explain what the options are to kill PC?

or a building moratorium?

Waiting around for Council "appetite" for doing the right thing is what we have been doing too long.



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Posted by PC must be done away with
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 5, 2013 at 7:43 am


in my previous post, meant to say

the Council calling posters on PA online threads trolls, is the definition of trolls

By the way, if Council is aware of misinformation being posted here, why not set the record straight? don't they have a new communications officer?

The City should have someone reading these threads, and they should be correcting as we all try to do.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 5, 2013 at 8:25 am

qui tacet consentire videtur

(he who is silent is taken to agree)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 5, 2013 at 8:26 am

To try and find factual errors in these posts, which are probably very
rare to start with, is missing the point. These posts day after day, and the emotion attached to them, concern the direction of the City.
It is painful as a long-term resident to see what is happening to this City. This Council and staff are rock-bottom in terms of both policy and execution creating a true debacle. That is the message of this forum.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Dec 5, 2013 at 10:25 am

Ventura resident - I will just point out AGAIN the Oshman Center is a PERFORMING ARTS CENTER. There are two auditoriums located at the corner of Charleston and San Antonio - there is a massive garage below.

If you go look at the Cubberly Center you will see a functional entrance - the rest is closed off - a truly ugly building. If you go to Lucie Stern you will see a festive entrance but a closed off backside. That is the way performing arts centers look. Try walking over there - walk up the stairs, and look into the main entrance for the auditorium. It is very well done. Better yet go to the Commonwealth Club site and attend an informative event with notable people currently in the news.
And someone made a comment as to not being in that neighborhood at night - there is a security force there. Try the Cubberly site at night - now that is very weird.
As to Miki's - the front is well done. If you go to Safeway it is closed off except for the entrance and back loading dock.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Dec 5, 2013 at 10:43 am

An off-topic question was asked:

> off topic, but can you point us to where we can see the actual voter
> information on the June 3 2008 Measure A (massive) school bond measure.
> Where we can see the actual language of the law now?

The two main sources of information for Measure A documentation are the PAUSD and the Registrar of Voters. I did a quick look on the PAUSD.org web-site for the Measure A Ballot language, but didn't see a link that might provide that information. So, I've uploaded a file that I downloaded from the PAUSD web-site during the campaign:

Web Link

This file/document probably will answer most of your questions.

The voter pamphlet section for Measure A might be available from the Registrar, but you might also contact the Santa Clara County Archives. It seems that the Registrar has been moving some of their records to the Archivesa:

Web Link

They might be able to provide what you want with an email request, but you might have to actually visit the Archive to access the material you are looking for.

You might also check with the PA Historical Association:

Web Link

If you are just looking for the project list, I think the information in the file I uploaded to my Scribd account will work for you. (Please keep in mind that Prop.39 authorizes the PAUSD to ignore this list, and do what it wants after the Bonds are sold.)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Here is a video of the Council meeting
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm

I watched the Council meeting, and most of what I see written in this thread grossly mischaracterizes what was said. Citizens who want to hear what REALLY happened at the meeting and draw their own conclusions about it can find a video here Web Link

The staff presentation was first, then citizen comments were heard, and Council members spoke last. You can scroll around to pick out the parts that interest you.

It's okay to state opinions, but it is not okay to be loose with the facts. Hyperbole and personal attacks do not support a good democratic discussion of any important issue, and I think this is a VERY important discussion for our community.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 5, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

On labeling "Beware" a troll: Yes, I intentional did such.

1. In his response to "Ventura resident", he was clearly ascribing antisemitism to people who found the JCC/CJL ugly/monstrous/... (he backed off this in a comment subsequent to mine). [Portion removed.]
Note: Visitors to Palo Alto routinely comment on what a monstrosity the JCC building is without knowing anything about the occupant. My experience is both with unprompted comments from people I have picked up at SJC airport and visitors arriving at my house (so this was not a fleeting impression). Other residents have mentioned the same experience with their visitors.

2. In that same response, he made false claims (by clear implication) about there being few negative reactions to both The Cheesecake Factory and the JCC. Both are routinely cited in many public forums. One of the hallmarks of a troll is to make outrageously false statements (to provoke a response).


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Posted by Beware
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 5, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Perhaps Doug should go back and carefully read my posts, before he throws around his claims of me being a "troll". [Portion removed.]
As I stated, I wondered if there is something else ( in this case anti-semitism) underlying some of the complaints about the JCC. I gave as an example some of the comments made during the initial eruv discussion many years ago. I also stated that it would be naive to thnk that maybe some of the comments was not due to the issue I mentioned.
Doug gives an example about visitors commenting about the JCC- however Doug is relying on anecdotal evidence. Hence, by Doug's definition a " false fact". How many visitors do not comment on the JCC?
As for Doug's twisting of my cheesecake factory comment, I asked how many people actually complained about the JCC ( and if Doug has the numbers he should provide them) . I asked why there are not so many complaints about the cheesecake factory vs the JCC, since the cheesecake factory is a much more centrally located structure ( and I should have clarified that I meant on this forum).
All of what have stated is my opinion. [Portion removed.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 5, 2013 at 3:57 pm

@ Beware

I said I don't like the looks of the JCC. Similarly, I find the new Mitchell Park library atrocious, with its massive, ominous, in your face, industrial look. Does it mean that I don't like libraries, librarians or people who like to read and check out library books? No, not in the least.

The same applies to the JCC. The same building could have any other purpose whatsoever, for any kind of community whatsoever, and I would still find it ugly, with its huge, windowless, setback-less, already cracking walls on the corner of the intersection.

You should probably refrain from drawing wrong conclusions and just take people's comments at face value: the JCC is one ugly, massive building that is very uncomfortable to look at. Nothing more, nothing less.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by JCC bashers unite
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 5, 2013 at 4:21 pm

Midtowner-- when you refer to the JCC are you referring to the entire campus or just the theatre portion at the corner?
One poster who complained about the JCC actually meant that part. Just out of curiousity, why is it " uncomfortable to look at"?
Do you work nearby and see it everyday? Do you walk by it often? What is wrong with the new library?
Regardless, you are entitled to your opinion, beware is entitled to his and I am entitled to mine. I am not sure why you object to people voicing an opinion that differs from yours.


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