Town Square

Post a New Topic

Survey shows neighborhood support for Buena Vista residents

Original post made on May 20, 2014

When residents of the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park residents packed into Avenidas last week for a three-day hearing on the park's future, they had plenty of company from the broader Barron Park community. A new survey indicates that these supporters were by no means an outlier.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, May 20, 2014, 1:07 AM

Comments (53)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Neal
a resident of Community Center
on May 20, 2014 at 6:31 am

I would like to see all the questions on that survey. Not a few cherry picked questions and answers. Did the survey ask respondents whether they thought the Jisser family has the legal right to sell the property? Did the survey ask how much money they are personally willing to spend to help the residents of Buena Vista achieve their goals? The list goes on.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jane
a resident of Barron Park
on May 20, 2014 at 7:41 am

And yet another one-sided story from the weekly. Has any reporter actually thought to go down and speak with the owner. It really would be nice to hear what the person who invested millions over the past 30 years wants. Imagine that you can't sell your home because your neighbors don't like to person buying it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by No More Up-Zoning
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 20, 2014 at 9:26 am

I don't think it makes sense to survey the residents on anyone's legal rights - that's for lawyers to opine on.

As a property owner, I certainly want to have the right to sell my property. That said, I think it's a little different when the property in questions is multiple acres and has a big impact on the overall character of neighborhood. What if an entire neighborhood next door to you wanted to sell their properties for twice what they were worth to a buyer who wanted to have it re-zoned commercial? Would you still be so adamant about the rights of the property owners and potential buyer? I bet not.

Ignoring for a moment the plight of the Buena Vista home owners and how they can recover their investments, I would like to see a proposal from Prometheus that does not include up-zoning. If that is not financially feasible with the $30M purchase price then the property is not with $30M.

NO MORE UP-ZONING RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOODS.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jane
a resident of Barron Park
on May 20, 2014 at 9:41 am

Up-zoning is not a requirement to close the place down. So far there has been NO request for an up zone. Property owners have the right to sell, when the time comes for the new owner to build. Then and only then do we hold a no up zoning campaign.

Stop blowing smoke and confusing the situation.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Barron Park Resident
a resident of Barron Park
on May 20, 2014 at 9:55 am

Let's be careful about the results of this survey. It was widely reported on the Barron Park mailing list that this survey was not anonymous. For that reason I chose not to respond to the survey. Several other people in the neighborhood said that they did not plan to respond for this reason.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by No More Up-Zoning
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 20, 2014 at 10:48 am

Prometheus' plan requires up-zoning from R-15 to R-30. There will not be a formal request to up-zone until Prometheus owns the property and goes to the city with building requests.

Talk about blowing smoke and confusing the situation!

Let's see a plan from Prometheus that fits in R-15 zoning.

Let's see a potential up-zoning next door to your house, Jane, and see how you feel about the property owner's rights to get twice as much as the property is worth based on an up-zoning plan.

If the survey was anonymous then the city would have no way to validate who was responding, and then the neighbors would claim that there was ballot-stuffing! There is no reason you cannot respond to the survey with your name.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Shirley
a resident of Barron Park
on May 20, 2014 at 10:59 am

I am a resident of Barron Park and completed the survey. There was an option to provide your name or to remain anonymous. The questions were clearly stated and did not seem to be weighted toward residents as opposed to the property owner. It was a very clear and well written survey in my opinion.

I have not attended any of the meetings or been involved with the group in Barron Park that has been supporting the residents of Buena Vista, nor do I personally know any of the residents as I live near Laguna Avenue which is about a mile away from Buena Vista.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Property rights?
a resident of Midtown
on May 20, 2014 at 11:15 am

Until Prometheus owns the property they really do not have to provide plans for anything. And that should not be an issue at this time. The issue is the fact that while the Barron park residents may support keeping the park,open, it is still private property and I would think the owner had some rights. I am a bit perturbed that lawyer and a leading voice for keeping the park open, has such little respect for the owners rights. But given how many residents wantbto keep it open, it should not be a problem to,raise the money to buy the park.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Disgusted
a resident of Barron Park
on May 20, 2014 at 11:21 am

Load of baloney...that is all the analysis that is deserved by this misleading article.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by No More Up-Zoning
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 20, 2014 at 11:32 am

Right, let's ignore what Prometheus has clearly said they intend to do with the land, wait until he buys it for $30M, and THEN say no up-zoning. And then Prometheus can simply sue the city for the losses he will take when he made it clear what he intended to do before he bought the property.

Super smart idea!

They ALREADY said what they plan to do, so it's only reasonable (and fair to Prometheus) that the residents respond with how they feel about it. I for one, am asking for a plan that fits in the R-15 zoning, and being quite up-front that I will fight against any up-zoning. At least there won't be any surprises after he invests.

The owner has a right to sell the property for what it is worth, not what it's worth if the new owner can up-zone after the purchase. Let's see what the property is worth under current zoning and condition (including the cost of displacing homeowners).


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Property rights
a resident of Midtown
on May 20, 2014 at 11:38 am

Yes, it is a super smart idea. They do not own the property now, so they are under no obligation to,say anything. And if you think t,he property is not worth $30 million regardless of zoning, check out how much Maybell sold for. But the Barron park residents, based on the survey results, should have no problem coming up with the money. Or do they expect the kissers to keep it open ?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jane
a resident of Barron Park
on May 20, 2014 at 11:40 am

No More Up-Zoning - what developer in there right mind would buy this property and plan to up-zone. Especially after the Maybell incident. Who ever buys this property (assuming it is sold) will have to develop it at rm-15 just like Maybell. What Prometheus want and what they will get is different, I will not stand for an up-zone either. This is in by backyard as well!!!

That being said the owner still has the right to sell and/or close the park down.

These are two separate issues---

1. does the park owner have the right to close or sell??? YES.
2. does the new owner have the right to develop it? YES, but do they have the right to develop what they want??? NO!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of Barron Park
on May 20, 2014 at 11:57 am

I didn't answer the survey because it created the impression that it was a Stanford academic project, and I believed it was intended to affect the results of a political controversy.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Barron Park Resident
a resident of Barron Park
on May 20, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Each survey had a number on it. If you put your name on it or not, they knew what house it came from.

The survey was sent with a Stanford return address, but was not officially sanctioned by Stanford. It was sent from a private individual, Dr. Padilla, that seems to have wanted it to appear it was from Stanford.

There are Barron Park folks passionate about saving the trailer park. I wouldn't want my neighbors to find out if I'm in favor of closing the park. Dr. Padilla says he ensures confidentiality but that wasn't good enough for me.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by JoeL
a resident of Barron Park
on May 20, 2014 at 12:19 pm

I was the one who raised the issue about Padilla's survey on our neighborhood mailing list. If you would like to see the survey, I've uploaded a copy of the packet we received from Stanford: Web Link

One page is the single sided cover lever. The survey is on next two pages. The last pages contain an "Executive Summary" of Padilla's research concerning the children of Buena Vista on Stanford letterhead that was also included with the survey. As someone already noted, the surveys were individually numbered. My number was 416, located at the bottom of page 3 of the scan.

During the PAHC's Maybell meetings, residents were asked to leave contact information. Later, PAHC used this information to distribute flyers in the neighborhood about the benefits of PAHC's Maybell project. Our flyer and the others I saw were delivered on bright green pages taped to our front door. This wasn't an experience I or my neighbors would like to repeat again.

After we received the Stanford Buena Vista survey, I and my neighbors noticed that they were individually numbered. We contacted both Stanford University Research Compliance Office and Padilla with our concerns. We found that the City of Palo Alto supplied Padilla with the addresses, but the addresses and numbers on each survey were not randomized. As another has already posted, Padilla said this was done to ensure the integrity of the survey. The Stanford University Research Compliance Office said that if we didn't like the survey or the methodology, we shouldn't respond. Obviously, I and many of our neighbors didn't respond.

In general, I would say that Barron Park is sympathetic to the residents over the closure of Buena Vista. But, as you can see from the survey and the enclosed material on Stanford letterhead, Padilla's survey is, without question, heavily biased. There is certainly a core group of Buena Vista supporters in the neighborhood, and I'm sure they are very happy to respond to Padilla's survey in total support of the mobile home park residents. But, many voices with other opinions in the neighborhood were left out.

Given the concerns expressed to directly to Padilla about his survey and his methodology, it's surprising that he presented his results without any reservations.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Justin
a resident of Midtown
on May 20, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Did the survey ask any questions favorable to the property owners?

If there was any hint that the survey was not anonymous, then it is a bogus survey.

This survey seems to be a political ploy by activists. For example, did Winter D. discuss the survey with the Stanford designers of it?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by ChrisC
a resident of College Terrace
on May 20, 2014 at 2:19 pm

ChrisC is a registered user.

How have the owners invested millions in this property over the years, as Jane has said? I don't believe it for a minute. He's had quite a steady income coming in over the years, and quite a lot of profit. We are living in sad times when 15 million is not enough for such a property. But, alas, nothing new about greed.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Wondering
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 20, 2014 at 2:24 pm

I'm rather surprised that the survey went to only the Barron Park residents since it asks whether the Palo Alto community should assist the residing BV Park families and children. Unless the assistance would be coming from ONLY Barron Park residents, shouldn't they be surveying ALL Palo Alto residents/taxpayers on whether they support financially assisting the displaced BV residents? If Barron Park residents had to foot the bill themselves for helping those folks would they be so supportive?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 20, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

This sounds like the completely biased survey sent to just some PA residents re the Newell St. bridge. How is this survey neutral? It's not. Why wasn't the survey done some time back, in a neutral manner so that it wasn't a waste of time and money, and truly reflected what residents wanted?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 20, 2014 at 2:38 pm

This is not a morals/ethics observation. I'm just trying to introduce some reality in the conversation...

The problem with the survey is that it doesn't represent the opinions of the entire city. Good to know neighborhood opinions - but questions about how the "Palo Alto community" should help, fund or otherwise assist the BV residents do not represent the overall opinion of the city.

If - a big if - the city were to get involved financially, then all of PA should have a stake/opinion on the matter. My personal projection is the further you get away from the local neighborhood, the further away you get from residents supporting city funds spent on any assistance program. In other words, I find it unlikely that a significant percentage of all CPA residents would approve of such a program.

Same goes for any PAUSD financial support program that allows "free" transfers into the local schools (stated in other threads, the new school district has to approve first). Free isn't free. The money has to come from somewhere...and it would come from all of CPA taxpayers, not just BP. My guess is that most CPA residents will not want their sales tax dollars employed as gifts for non-residents.

Don't shoot the messenger.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Barron Park
on May 20, 2014 at 2:49 pm

Biased survey that was mailed with propaganda supporting the researchers views..
This article is based on manipulated misleading info.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Barron Park
on May 20, 2014 at 3:06 pm

[Portion removed.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by stanford can solve this
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on May 20, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Stanford does have a lot of land available. They could solve this easily. Why not move the park to the development next to College Terrace?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Thanks JoeL
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 20, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Thanks JoeL for the link to the survey and associated letter and info you received. Although the survey itself appears relatively objective, including the material on children in BV and the benefits to them of living in PA is likely to elicit responses more favorable towards BV residents. It should definitely not have been included in the mailing if the authors were seeking objective responses to their survey.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on May 20, 2014 at 4:10 pm

You thing Padilla is risking his academic reputation over this survey? Huh? What nonsense. And you have no actual information, just a lot of supposition, about the actual nature of his research design.

Furthermore....Why is this Stanford's responsibility? It isn't, by any stretch of the imagination. Nevertheless it is so odd that anyone would even suggest that they should bail the landowner or PA out -- especially given Palo Alto's consistently contentious relationship with Stanford over the years.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Justin
a resident of Midtown
on May 20, 2014 at 4:30 pm

"You thing Padilla is risking his academic reputation over this survey? Huh?"

Did Winter D. have any contact with Padilla?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rupert of henzau
a resident of Midtown
on May 20, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Jane-- you didn't really expect unbiased reporting from the weakly? Did " reporter" gennady talk to the jissers? Did " reporter" gennady actually look at the survey? Looks like the weakly has decided how to,report this issue for their benefit.
Joel-- thanks for,posting the survey. Looks very biased. Why is their an option that is not on the table ( jissers keeping the park open)? I think Justin asks a good question-- does winter and her group have no respect for property rights?

I also agree that if the level of support is so high, there should be no,problem raising the money to buy the park for $30 million.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sue Dremann
a resident of Evergreen Park
on May 20, 2014 at 9:50 pm

I have also reported on the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park for the Weekly. The Weekly has repeatedly asked the Jissers for comment. As reported in the past, they don't want to comment beyond saying they are bound by a contractual arrangement with Prometheus.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lynn Huidekoper
a resident of Menlo Park
on May 21, 2014 at 2:19 am

A friend talked with Mr. Jisser at one of the meetings and she claims he said he wasn't aware of the controversy surrounding his desire to sell the Park. I can't believe that's true!! That sounds like nonsense. It's been in the news for a long time. Surely he reads the paper. This friend also said that his lawyer was rather arrogant at the meeting.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by times, they are...
a resident of Barron Park
on May 21, 2014 at 6:25 am

Why would they read this paper? It no longer comes in print form and you have to go to this web site. Not many people bother.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by cg
a resident of Barron Park
on May 21, 2014 at 6:29 am

I live in Barron park and did not receive a survey.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jane
a resident of Barron Park
on May 21, 2014 at 8:58 am

Lynn, your friend is correct. This is a controversy. By definition this is a disagreement between people who believe the park should be closed and those who believe it should remain open. Why would anybody assume the keep it open believers should win?

I highly doubt the owner doesn't read the articles about his property. He may not read this one, but I know it was covered in the mercury as well. Therefore it is easy to assume he believes it should close.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Roger
a resident of Evergreen Park
on May 21, 2014 at 9:26 am

Controversy is right, but what is that controversy about.
Whether facts or conjecture are espoused the bottom line is and always will be the same.
Whoever owns the land has the right to sell it.
Why are we crucifying the land owner.
Here is an idea, everyone one here who wants the park kept open, donate $5000 and buy the park. If $30 million can't be collected at least there would be a tidy sum to split among the residents that have to relocate.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by jerry99
a resident of Barron Park
on May 21, 2014 at 9:38 am

I got this and responded to it. It is private property owned by the Jisser family. Close the park, its a eyesore, fire trap and has no place in Palo Alto. Within 2 miles there are already 4 other low income housing units. The City Council continues to use Barron Park as a dumping place for low income housing and the crime adn drug use that come with it.

This Standford Instructor sent this survey out with carefully worded questions and sent it out on Stanford University with the implication that Stanford supported keeping the trailer park open.

Many of the people promoting the trailer park of course responded, while most others just threw the "survey" in the trash as junk mail. Its easy to say yes with someone else's money. Pathetic. And this also shows that although Stanford is a great university, even they can have some bad actors that use Stanford's name to promote their agenda.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by john
a resident of Barron Park
on May 21, 2014 at 9:47 am

I am a Barron Park resident and nobody I know wants the trailer park to remain open. Even if the "residents" could buy it [portion removed] who would come up with the money to replace the electrical service, sewers, water, etc. The place is beyond its useful life. Bringing a new park to Palo Alto code would require having only half the units.
People, get a grip on reality. [Portion removed.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Edward22
a resident of Barron Park
on May 21, 2014 at 9:59 am

With the one sided survey, with a nonsense tear jerking back of the page information (one sided)which claimed to have knowledge of the children, the trailer park and the residents. The Stanford instructor [portion removed] got a group of Spanish speaking students [portion removed] to go to the residents and ask them what they wanted and they told him, and he reported it as factual.
[Portion removed.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Josef Stalin
a resident of another community
on May 21, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Stanford professors Padilla and Don Barr have a political position regarding the Buena Vista property. Padilla is using the survey to support his political position. Stanford University has rules about its employees using Stanford's name for political purposes. How did Padilla know in advance that Stanford would not enforce those rules to prohibit him from using the Stanford name on his survey?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Can't We All Just Get Along?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 21, 2014 at 11:59 pm

@Edward22,
You don't sound like you actually live here.

I live here, and sentiments are very high in support of helping the BV residents to purchase and save the park.

However, I am very concerned that the results of this survey will be misused by those who seem to actually prioritize the professional ambitions of PAHC over even what is best for low-income residents. There is a difference between what the residents have now, which is actual low-income housing in property they own, with an asset they have accumulated, and putting them in a rental project.

I think if the survey asked if people supported a rental project there at a much higher zoning density, height, etc (which is what would be pushed there just like at Maybell), the results might have been very different. Some posters have been commented that that's what some supporters have been after, and I dismissed it, but this survey is making me wonder.

I hope those who purport to care about the BV residents are thinking about the BV residents and not about using them for their own ideological ends. Because there is broad support to help the BV residents purchase the park as it is. They have their own nonprofit now that can enter into its own regulatory agreement to keep the property affordable, even while continuing to allow the residents to continually accumulate an asset under BMR rules.

But the overdevelopment problems over here remain and there is widespread opposition to anymore upzoning, especially for a parcel that large, regardless of the purpose.

Everyone with reservations about the park needing improvement - that's just logistics. If the residents are able to purchase the park, and they have a regulatory agreement to keep the property relatively affordable, they can apply for funds to upgrade the park, and you know they will have help to do so. So please don't make that your reason for being against it. Most of us would much rather see the residents remain in the mobile home park than see a high-density high-rise go up there, regardless of the income of the inhabitants.

Let's hope the people trying to help the residents are not just trying to use them to upzone that property for their own purposes, because they'll force a lot of residents to choose between caring for and helping the residents and fighting another upzoning. Like at Maybell, I suspect people will choose the latter. And it would be, tragically, Maybell 2.0. Let's hope that's not the case.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by GoneOnTooLong
a resident of Barron Park
on May 22, 2014 at 6:51 am

This ....

"JOHN : ..... Even if the "residents" could buy it [portion removed] who would come up with the money to replace the electrical service, sewers, water, etc. The place is beyond its useful life. Bringing a new park to Palo Alto code would require having only half the units...... "


 +   Like this comment
Posted by GoneOnTooLong
a resident of Barron Park
on May 22, 2014 at 7:11 am

"Can't We All Just Get Along?: ..... Everyone with reservations about the park needing improvement - that's just logistics...."

Have you even seen the infrastructure and its condition ? Smelled the frequent raw sewage overflows ? walked through the park and seen the overcrowded un-permitted structures with rampant exposed electrical hazards? assessed the fire risk of the structures including the impact of their over dense placement?

Proponents of keeping the park open should get oontractor estimates of the cost (in dollars and in number of residents displaced) to bring the facility up to a safe condition, and eventually up to code.

Time to close the park.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Can't we all just get along?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 22, 2014 at 8:59 am

@Gone on too long,
If the Park is unsafe, how is it Jisser has been able to collect rent this long? How is it he has been able to collect $1,000 for each small patch of dirt monthly? And then ask to close the park? Something doesnt quite add up.

Again, you are makng the leap from, some things have been neglected by the owner, to, the park can't be fixed and must be closed. Hmmm. New construction is expensive and the ultra-hgh density City the Council is foisting on us while treating our streets and infrastructure like they can take anything goes unexamined, but you would condemn the park without giving the resdents (who obviously care a great del about their and their childrens wellbeing) a chance to own and fix it!.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jane
a resident of Barron Park
on May 22, 2014 at 11:03 am

Can't we all just get along - First the rent in all the articles is around $700. dont know where you saw the $1000. Secondly, the owner rents the dirt not the illegal structure on it. The State is responsible for them and is so broke that they dont have the $$$ to do inspections.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Please Explain
a resident of College Terrace
on May 22, 2014 at 11:16 am

Response to Edward22: Dear Edward, or anyone who shares his view, please explain the following comments.

"nonsense tear jerking back of the page information (one sided)which claimed to have knowledge of the children, the trailer park and the residents."
I imagine that the residents should be able to explain what is at stake in being forced to move from their home. As we might be able to acknowledge these type of life events go beyond monetary considerations, such as relocation costs. Capturing the psycho-social aspects of forced relocation requires sharing the impact this may have on personal lives. That you perceive emotional impact as objectionable when our legal system clearly considers this in judgements seems surprising to me. After all if Mitt Romney can argue that "Corporations are people", then the residents at Buena Vista are people too and deserve to present their view in a public forum or in a survey. Not including their views in the survey would render the survey incomplete.

[Portion removed.]

"got a group of Spanish speaking students"
Again, why is it objectionable to conduct a survey in the language of the person being surveyed. How else would you collect accurate data and if you ignore this population, isn't your methodology flawed?

[Portion removed.]

Again, please explain your views further. I am struggling to understand.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Justin
a resident of Midtown
on May 22, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Short bio: I was actually raised in a poor trailer park, until I was seven years old. When it got closed, our "mobile home", if someone wants to call it that, was destroyed, because it wasn't worth the price to move it. We moved two times after that, always into another poor school district. However, I saw it as another adventure, new friends. Got drafted into the Army after high school. Then went to college, with a much more serious attitude than the other college students. Got a degree in math, then another degree in computer science. Made a good living in the computer world. Supported my parents in their old age. American Dream, I think.

If the BV kids get kicked out of their trailer park, they will be fine, if they focus and work hard. There are so many opportunities out there.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by No More Up-Zoning
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 22, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Yes, the American Dream is very achievable for white males. For the rest of us, it's much more difficult.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Justin
a resident of Midtown
on May 22, 2014 at 1:17 pm

"Yes, the American Dream is very achievable for white males. For the rest of us, it's much more difficult. "

Yes, I am a white male. Make that an Okie male...read the Grapes of Wrath, if you care to get a feel. Nevertheless, I was able to achieve the Dream. Plenty of gangs and negative thinking back then, too. I never chose to be a victim. Even in the draftee Army, I chose to do my best, including making my bed perfectly in the barracks, polishing my boots, cleaning my rifle, etc. I chose not to drink or smoke. Others (mostly white) did not follow this model. Still others, including many non-whites, did follow the model, and they also did very well in their lives. Got to make a choice.

Try to get over it, as an individual...then work your butt off!

Don't throw the BV kids over the cliff, with negative expectations. They can achieve the American Dream, too. In fact, I think poor kids of color can do better than soft white kids from the rich families.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Can't we all just get along?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 22, 2014 at 1:19 pm

@Jane,
" First the rent in all the articles is around $700. dont know where you saw the $1000. Secondly, the owner rents the dirt not the illegal structure on it. The State is responsible for them and is so broke that they dont have the $$$ to do inspections."

Average rents for the dirt around around $900 and that's average. Closer to $1000 that $700. I could round up either way in this area.

Secondly, the owner rents the dirt and the hookups and the utilities and the functioning space, i.e., if it is a fire trap, it is his fault and should not be held against the residents whose safety and asset is being negatively affected by his neglect.

Thirdly, exactly WHAT do you mean that the "State is responsible" for the homes? This is NOT welfare housing, the people in the trailer park are property owners, paying for the stability of owning some property of their own.

"The State" is responsible for enforcing our zoning laws, too. Let's see them tell Jisser and Prometheus publicly that they heard the will of the people and that property will not hereafter be upzoned. Or better, equal treatment of everyone: if you want to violate the zoning laws anywhere in this town, hereafter, you should have to submit both a plan under zoning, and a plan that violates the zoning, along with a big giant check for an analysis of how the infrastructure, natural environment, safety, schools, clean air, utilities, and other City services will be affected by this and other zoning violations in context, as well as for an election to see if after the analysis, you can convince the people it's still worth it.

Instead of paying to deal with all the ills a new development will foist on us, I'd rather see us put probably far less into just allowing the residents the ability to save the assets they've built.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by palo alto resident
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 22, 2014 at 1:26 pm

@ Can't we all just get along? I think what Jane is referring to is that State laws govern mobile homes while local, Palo Alto City laws govern the rest of our property. That is also why Palo Alto has no control over the Park closing, if the State laws have been followed, the Park can close.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Can't we all just get along?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 22, 2014 at 3:01 pm

@palo alto resident,
I appreciate your trying to be kind, but Jane has been complaining about the City ordinance having to do with mobile home park closures. And just as with the rest of our property, the State ordinance rules unless the City has made their own ordinance that governs whatever situation applies (in this case, it has, and Jane has been complaining about it).

You seem to have a pretty vague take on how the division of government applies here, and it's mostly wrong.

Federal, State, and local laws govern our property, I'm not sure what you mean. In most cities, if someone tried to spot zone the way they did at Maybell, for example, the neighbors could go to court and have it stopped as illegal. But in Charter Cities like Palo Alto, the City's charter is king, and in our town, unlike most charter cities, the Comp Plan seems to be optional. The City could seize the property, there is something called eminent domain. I'm not suggesting anyone do that, but it's legal. There could be circumstances under which the owner could challenge such a seizer, which would be waged under federal laws as Unconstitutional.

Maybe the City couldn't make an ordinance, but the City could do plenty to stop the park from closing, up to and including investing in the property same as they invest in that nice house in North Palo Alto that the former City manager (who doesn't even work for us anymore) lives in and co-owns with the City in order that he can stay here for his kid to finish school. Hmmm.

No, Jane seemed to be saying the State owned the mobile homes, that the BV residents are in welfare housing, which they are not. And anyway, I don't see what this has to do with anything. The state also has pretty strict landlord-tenant rules, they don't seem to have been followed very well here.




 +   Like this comment
Posted by jane
a resident of Barron Park
on May 22, 2014 at 3:48 pm

Can't we all just get along - you are dead wrong. please read the articles carefully. The rents are $685 on average. High rent is 695 and low is $675.

Further - The owner is liable for the hookup sand dirt and pad. The are basic plumbing parts. not to much in the can go wrong. the structures are the real danger and those are owned by the tenants. This is why the owner is not liable. I was at the meetings, even the expert Mr Baar acknowledged that these homes have a zero value once removed from the park.

Third. the state law trumps the city law in every aspect. To become an established city, you must build all your ordinances around the state law. In this situation, the state has park closure rules and allows the city to build on top of these rules. The state clearly dictates this and why the city cannot stop the closure. all they can do is make sure that the owner complies with their relocation ordinance.

The last article clearly stated that the owner increased the offer to the tenants to the maximum, I believe that was 100%. Thus it will be near impossible to stop the closure now. Further, the city cannot fix anything without the owners consent. being that the land is work above $30M and the tenants are offer $14M, the city will be hard pressed to step in and pay the difference.

Sorry, to be the bearer of bad news, but sometimes the truth hurts.




 +   Like this comment
Posted by Can't we all get along
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 22, 2014 at 5:01 pm

"Can't we all just get along - you are dead wrong. please read the articles carefully. The rents are $685 on average. High rent is 695 and low is $675."

Margaret Nanda, Joe Jisser's attorney, is quoted as saying that's the average. is saw other numbers in other stories on the park. Even if you are right, it doesn't change my original point. At all.

The City cannot make an ordinance to stop the closure because they have no cause for eminent domain. It has nothing to do with your convoluted and mostly wrong understanding of jurisdiction.

Just because the City cannot make an ordinance does not mean they cannot do anything.

Have you seen our budget? We're flush. I'd be happy to go for private partnerships at the golf course and spend the money instead on saving BV. If the residents have $30 M, would Jisser sell the park to them?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by palo alto resident
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 22, 2014 at 6:57 pm

@ Can't we all get along - a better question than "If the residents have $30 M, would Jisser sell the park to them?" is whether or not he could sell the Park to anyone else. If he is in a contract with Prometheus, I don't think he can sell it to someone else. And given that the land is worth closer to $40 million (based on the Maybell sale), there isn't any incentive for Prometheus to back out of the contract.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jane
a resident of Barron Park
on May 22, 2014 at 7:56 pm

No way will they walk away from a contract like that. It went up 25%


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Marriage Underachievers
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,593 views

Politics: Empty appeals to "innovation"
By Douglas Moran | 13 comments | 1,585 views

A Surprise!
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 1,513 views

Best High Dives to Watch the Game
By Laura Stec | 4 comments | 1,079 views

It's Dog-O-Ween this Saturday!
By Cathy Kirkman | 2 comments | 792 views