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Palo Alto considers a 'net-zero' growth vision

Original post made on Jul 9, 2014

As Palo Alto moves toward adopting a new vision for growth, officials are considering one ambitious alternative that would significantly transform the city's commercial hubs: a transition into a "net-zero" community.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 9:51 AM

Comments (62)

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Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 9, 2014 at 10:47 am

Total scam - this quote sums it up, "In downtown, the existing cap on non-residential development would be replaced with a "zero net" restriction on vehicle trips, which means that new development could not result in additional traffic. "

What that means is developers could start building again as long as the claim people take the train to work. This whole thing is a giant loophole for developers. Net -zero growth should only mean one thing - no more growth.

Please don't let the city sucker you guys with this nonsense just by wrapping it in some eco nonsensical terms. We are at the breaking point for this city, and sanity has some momentum. Proposals like this will destroy it.


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Posted by senor blogger
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 9, 2014 at 11:05 am

Why play with words.

Whats wrong with just plain NO GROWTH, PERIOD......


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Posted by Ultimate
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 9, 2014 at 11:18 am

Why stop with No Growth? I'd like to see Negative Growth, until the only person left in Palo Alto is me. It would prevent pollution, traffic, energy use, parking problems, diversity, and would reduce controversy to nothing.


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Posted by Silly
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 9, 2014 at 11:23 am

Do our city "planners" own stock in Amazon etc. since they're doing everything they can to gridlock us and keep us out of all the business districts?

Sure, not a single one of the new residents will drive cars. Want to buy a nice bridge?


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Posted by Palo Alto Native
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 9, 2014 at 11:24 am

Do they think we r not capable of seeing this double talk? Seems the one proposal (vision) is the slow growth. To me that means no height waivers and annual caps on the number of upgrades takin place. No dense housing too. Excellent.


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Posted by Palo Alto Native
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 9, 2014 at 11:24 am

Do they think we r not capable of seeing this double talk? Seems the one proposal (vision) is the slow growth. To me that means no height waivers and annual caps on the number of upgrades takin place. No dense housing too. Excellent.


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Posted by boscoli
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 9, 2014 at 11:34 am

Palo alto has been on a growth craze for many years now. The growth has been obsessive and has long ago exceeded the infrastructure and geographic capacity of what is in essence a small town with natural boundaries of the bay in the east and the foothills on the west, hills with a highly fragile environmental balance. The mindset of the growth enablers didn't differentiate Palo Alto from huge cities with dense urban lifestyle and lots of land. I have always believed that "smart growth" is a code name for incessant growth. The only solution is net zero growth. our roads are chocked full of traffic, our population density is far to great, the air quality is bad, we have lost our character and soul because of uncontrolled growth that makes the developers richer and everybody else poorer.


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Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2014 at 11:56 am

>that makes the developers richer and everybody else poorer

You might want to tone down the hyperbole, I'm quite sure the homeowners of Palo Alto aren't getting "poorer"... plus developers aren't the only one that benefit, I'm pretty sure *somebody* had to have built the house you're living in.


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Posted by Marie
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 9, 2014 at 12:57 pm

Marie is a registered user.

Keep the 50 foot height limit. Eliminate PC zoning. Eliminate spot zoning. Keep retail zoned property limited to true retail, and that should include the Varsity theatre. Require adequate parking for every project, to prevent a greater parking deficit. Parking requirements should be rewritten to reflect current occupancy rates. When traffic has been reduced and mass transit increased, the city can then consider transit oriented developed. Infrastructure first, development second.

No commercial development that does not conform to current zoning should be allowed until Palo Alto has satisfied ABAG's housing imbalance. I doubt this will ever happen. Changing existing commercial zoning to residential housing consistent with the surrounding neighbourhoods, with adequate parking and streets at least 30 feet wide, should be encouraged, including low and medium income rental units - in perpetuity, not just 30 years.

I hope we can elect new council members who will represent residents, not developers.


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Posted by curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 9, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Cut through the bs and this proposal boils down to a license for ad hoc "planning" based on high-sounding but unmeasurable metrics.

Like, how can the additional traffic caused by a specific proposed development be counted? How would you monitor its net greenhouse gas generation? Or even certify that a new project really achieves zero net energy consumption?

You don't. You guesstimate, or wishtimate, and approve the application.

Mr. Recycle nailed it: "...developers could start building again as long as the[y] claim people take the train to work."

And if we could measure these metrics, and did, and the result was not zero, what happens? What could possibly happen? Um?

Nothing.

This proposal would basically codify the present whimsical "planning" practices which have given us the quiet, small town-ish, low-traffic community we inhabit.


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Posted by Seelam Reddy
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 9, 2014 at 1:25 pm

I would like to ask

Do the citizens of Palo Alto have a final say on which recommendation to pick?

Respectfully


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Posted by citizen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2014 at 2:44 pm

i.e., zero skyline and views of the hills

I'd actually like for us to temporarily stop growth, take the vision statement and all the many projects that have violated zoning and that vision statement, and spend time compensating for it to bring quality of life back up to par, for example going to the state commission on unfunded mandates and asking them to pay for it.

@curmudgeon,
You really hit the nail on the head. We are promised a certain amount of open space when there is development, and even given a calculation, but without any further specifics, it basically doesn't happen. Council has broad powers in regards to safety and can even reject state bonus density applications where safety is an issue, but for lack of any further direction, even if there is a City safety policy that applies in that situation, there is no recourse.

No, we should just stick with the zoning we have and add a rider for how many lashes with a wet noodle City Councilors will get each for each zoning violation they allow.

My question is how much of whatever happens now will we be able to undo by the next election?


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Posted by curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 9, 2014 at 3:13 pm

"Do the citizens of Palo Alto have a final say on which recommendation to pick?"

Ostensibly and ostentatiously: yes

Really: no


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Posted by Top Priority
a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2014 at 3:26 pm

Ensure transparent City government as the top priority. No "net" more backroom secret meetings between top City officials and big developers. No "net" more revolving doors for top City officials to use when they leave the City to work for developers. Honest, open, ethical government!


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Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 9, 2014 at 4:07 pm

@Seelam: the answer to your question is no, other than to vote for people you think are likely to support the views you support. I assume you will vote for yourself! Residents can always try to influence Council decisions in various ways, but I am not aware of any plan to put the final planning decision to a vote. I am hopeful that the Our Palo Alto approach will not turn out like the vote for the fountain on California Avenue did. If you were not here, I will recap: the City offered residents the chance to vote on a few designs for the fountain near the Cal Ave train station. There was a clear winner but that was dismissed and "they" chose one that didn't win. Hopefully this time Staff will not be dismissive of what residents want.


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Posted by boscoli
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 9, 2014 at 4:11 pm

When my house was built in the 1950s growth was possible, now it is not, just like a passenger plane cannot be filled with thousands of people. "Poorer" means that our quality of life keeps getting diminished by additional growth, not everything is about money. Palo Alto cannot sustain any more growth, period.


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Posted by Rupert of henzau
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 9, 2014 at 4:15 pm

Everyone is missing the point of why Palo Alto is pushing the " net zero" craze.
It is summed up in this sentence form the story:
"The concept, which is one of four that the Planning and Transportation Commission is set to discuss tonight, calls for Palo Alto to "lead the state and the country in testing various 'net zero' concepts," according to a report from Senior Planner Elena Lee"

The key reason is that Palo Alto will lead the state and the country. That is all that is important-- the ego of the " movers and shakers" in Palo Alto. Time after time, we hear how,palo alto has to lead the country in this and that.
How about net zero approach to crazy ideas from our city????


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Posted by Palo Alto Native
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 9, 2014 at 4:24 pm

Great comments all. I agree: no growth is best plan. Existing commercial owners can rebuild their structure, if they want to. However, they can not expand on the existing space they have (no more 3 and 4 story commercial buildings replacing what is already there. The development years, for Palo Alto, is over. Glad to see so many fellow Palo Altains taking this stand. To relative new comer to Palo Alto, take note if you want votes. A shift in the political winds has arrived at our beloved town. Freeze all development except for upgrades that may include new buildings (that are more environmentally efficient and pleasing to the eye) but no exemptions for increasing square footage. Moreover, absolutely no additional dense housing (condos and apartments). We are here to take back our town from the greed of developers and the collaboration of this and past city councils (a few members not withstanding).


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Posted by from south pa
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 9, 2014 at 4:48 pm

I will vote for any council candidates who will simply say 'no' to more building, either residential or commercial. A number of folks above have voiced my sentiments - why do we need to keep growing? Who says growth is always a good thing?


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Posted by resident
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 9, 2014 at 6:06 pm

Creative usage of language by Palo Alto officials continues to amaze me. "Net-zero"?
One can take it to mean "replacement".


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Posted by Terry
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 9, 2014 at 9:23 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 9, 2014 at 9:32 pm

East Meadow Circle is already transformed - it has a lot of new condos.
Stanford Research Park has a lot of new building going on and just completed.
El Camino Real is rebuilt with new condo housing.
Most of what is being spoken to has already happened.
The train station could use an upgrade to add a breakfast and luncheon area, maybe a second floor.
What ever happened to the history museum? We had a lot of discussion on that and nothing happened.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2014 at 10:52 pm

How about adding to "net-zero" any new office square footage has to displace existing office square footage? "net-zero" should also include every new housing unit has to displace an exiting unit.


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Posted by Marlen
a resident of Meadow Park
on Jul 9, 2014 at 10:59 pm

Anonymous, that's a brilliant idea, but why not take it further. Nobody should be able to move into Palo Alto or have a child until someone else dies or moves out.


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Posted by Chris
a resident of another community
on Jul 10, 2014 at 9:35 am

The unyielding opposition to new residential development in a city located in the heart of Silicon Valley is a classic example of why the Bay Area is so staggeringly expensive. You've got yours, so why care about anyone else? Let them drive in from Tracy. Now isn't that a wonderful thing for the environment?


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Posted by contrarian
a resident of University South
on Jul 10, 2014 at 10:12 am

"The unyielding opposition to new residential development ... "

May one presume your "another community" is doing its share? Or are you worried that what doesn't happen in Palo Alto might happen in your community instead?


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Posted by Reality Check
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jul 10, 2014 at 10:34 am

When Stanford says that is has reduced trips to campus, what that really means is that more people are parking in my neighborhood and then walking or riding their bikes to campus. It does not mean that people are not driving to campus. It's like whack-a-mole. If you crack down in one area, another will feel it. It is a reality we should acknowledge and plan for. When you 'redevelop' California Ave (which I personally could do without we already have a downtown that is a mess to go to), and bring more people in with no increase in parking lots or spaces, people will park in neighboring areas -- just like a lot of California Avenue and all the construction workers do now. Not everyone is 'taking the train' -- you must be joking. I agree -- infrstructure must precede, or at least occur simultaneously with any development.


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Posted by Neilson Buchanan
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 10, 2014 at 10:56 am

What will trigger a full review of loss of "retail" spaces? The review of the comp plan? Individual projects such as Varsity Theater? the Downtown Cap Evaluation? Or the Council itself exercising stewarship? Somebody in the Planning Department can fully disclose the conversions and outline the impact.

Or will the ball be kicked down the road until the next public outcry? Here is a partial list to kickstart an professional analysis.
-Waterworks
-Borders
-Zibbibo
-Darshana Yoga
-Diddams
-Jungle Copy (two locations)
-University Art
-Mango Cafe and adjacent florist
-Shell Gas Station
-California Yoga Center
-Plan Toys & adjacent modern furniture store & rug store
-House of Bagels (!)
-Fraiche Yogurt's original Emerson St location
-Vacuum repair shop at Florence & Lytton
-Vintage clothing store on Waverley
-Rudy's
-couple of stores on Waverley adjacent to Zibibbo
-and finally and most appropriately SOS Market


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Posted by John Murphy
a resident of another community
on Jul 10, 2014 at 11:05 am

Those voting for no-growth please submit proof that you have no children.


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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 10, 2014 at 11:18 am

We have 2 children...they will take our spot...no-growth practiced here, smart guy.


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Posted by Chuck Jagoda
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 10, 2014 at 11:55 am

Chuck Jagoda is a registered user.


A lot about net-zero is attractive. Or at least SOUNDS attractive.

But if there is really net zero HOUSING-- by which I mean no additional housing capacity-- we would be exacerbating the current housing crisis-- by which I mean insufficient ​​housing for the City's present unsheltered; fixed income; elder; retired; moderately paid workers; students; longer-term visitors; and married children populations ​all of ​which are now hurting. That is: There just are not enough affordable housing units available​ in the City of Palo Alto and those that ARE available are NOT affordable except by billionaires or folks who already own them​. ​Affordable homes​ have not been built in the past and they are not magically appearing now.

I find the above eminently ​obvious​ but never heard/read it expressed. Am I missing something? Or is there an elephant in the room everyone ISN'T mentioning?


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Posted by curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 10, 2014 at 12:35 pm

"Those voting for no-growth please submit proof that you have no children."

If you find physical evidence to contradict my no-kids claim, please tell them to phone their mother.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jul 10, 2014 at 2:03 pm

This won't do anything to solve the traffic problem.


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Posted by Midtown
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 10, 2014 at 2:05 pm

I suggest we adopt Atherton's growth plan. Works for them, should work for us. Tell the ABAG folks where to get off just like they did.


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Posted by netzero
a resident of another community
on Jul 10, 2014 at 2:38 pm

The Atherton plan works because Atherton has minimal employment. Palo Alto has over twice as many jobs as residents. Palo Alto could achieve a signficant reduction in employment by instituting a steep business license fee or payroll tax on commercial businesses, and encourage employers to locate elsewhere. It's not clear whether causing employers to leave would enable Palo Alto to have the services and amenities it does today, but it might be worth trying.


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Posted by Rupert of henzau
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 10, 2014 at 3:18 pm

Netzero-- your plan may decease the number of people in town, there would be adverse effects-- you mention the possible loss of services and amenities. Think about the loss in hotel,occupancy, with the hefty tax collected there. Or what effect would it have on local restauarnts? As usual in Palo Alto, residents want the tax revenue, visitors, people spending money in town etc, but do not want what comes with that. Anyway, this whole net zero,idea is a feel good measure so that our leaders can brag about how much are city is a " leader"


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jul 10, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Fact is people take the jobs that are the end result of growth. People are tired of growth but they do like the services they bring like big stores, movies, restaurants, and spas. We like to have so many choices in where we shop, drink and eat.

We want our small shops but in reality we want our big boxes with 48 rolls of toilet paper. We want our jobs, we want our kids to have job, our grandkids to have jobs.


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Posted by citizen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 10, 2014 at 3:41 pm

Dear Neilson Buchanon,
Please, please, please run for City Council with Eric Filseth and Tom DuBois. And please try to talk Emily Renzel or Enid Pearson into serving again. Or both. Then we have 5 smart new Councilmembers who will look at the problem as a whole, analyze things intelligently for the parameters, give and take, and we might have a reasonable roadmap into the future rather than endless bickering on the road to ruin.

It's too late to save the previous quality of life and stop the outright uglification of where I spend most of my day around town (El Camino South Palo Alto/Mountain View/Los Altos), but if we don't do something soon, the next downturn will not be so kind to Palo Alto property values, among other problems we must face.


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Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 10, 2014 at 3:58 pm

@ Garrett - You are conflating economic growth with construction and urbanization. Of course people want jobs, but it doesn't mean we need a 20 story building downtown. There is life outside the real estate industrial complex.


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Posted by wayne
a resident of Ventura
on Jul 10, 2014 at 6:31 pm

>And please try to talk Emily Renzel or Enid Pearson into serving again. Or both.

No. No. No. Enough of what I call "zombie candidates," those we thought we had seen the last of, but here they are to plague us again because nobody drove a stake through their hearts. Did we learn nothing from Larry Klein and Liz Kniss?


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Posted by netzero
a resident of another community
on Jul 10, 2014 at 6:40 pm

@chuck, the netzero concept was not net zero housing, it was net zero impacts in one or more aspects: net zero greenhouse gas emissions, net zero new vehicle miles traveled (VMT), or net zero potable water use. The idea is that there could be changes in areas outside of current single family neighborhoods, as long as Palo Alto can greatly reduce environmental impacts in these ways. So the city could add more housing if it can make overall reductions in existing greenhouse gas emissions and VMT.


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Posted by They are Deaf, but not Mute
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 10, 2014 at 6:46 pm

We get people frm Stanford parking in our neighborhood, which shows what BS net zero can be. It is mostly illusive.

What part of NO MORE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT don't the planning commission and the city council understand? Obviously deaf to residents, perhaps they can read sign language?

Residential development is fine, so long as it isn't high density--any insurer will tell you that those developments just invite crime and property damage, which is why they are more expensive to insure!


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 10, 2014 at 10:08 pm

I was on California Street today at lunch time. The place was jumping. The restaurants had people seated outside and there was a lot of people traffic. Yes the street is being dug up but I can see life going on here. It used to be dead. Something must be working here.


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Posted by netzero
a resident of another community
on Jul 11, 2014 at 10:45 am

@deaf Palo Alto has plenty of apartment buildings today. Are you saying that Palo Alto's current apartment buildings are high crime areas?


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Posted by Sunshinee
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 11, 2014 at 10:39 pm

Let's stop playing games with words. The current city management structure is very good at turning yes into no.
Simply, no growth is what we, th residents, want. Anything that is built or remodeled must conform to current zoning regulations. And any building must provide sufficient parking for every individual who will work in or use the building to park off street. No cheating.
If you want downtowns to be walkable, put interesting retail on the ground floor. Make the sidewalks wide enough and free of clutter so that they are walkable.
Accept that most people will not use public transit, ride a bike r walk when they go downtown either to work or shop. One, many are a bit old for that. Two public transit is difficult and expensive. Busses do not follow useful routes for many residents and intervals between busses are too long.


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Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 14, 2014 at 12:13 am

Cheryl Lillienstein had a great idea about shuttles going up and down El Camino. Bring them into the 21st century by making it so they each hopscotch and don't stop at each stop but instead only where residents are waiting or their smartphones have made a "reservation". If you could hop a shuttle over by Tesla and be at PAMF for a medical appointment in 10 minutes, would you take transit? Or to go to dinner at Cal Ave or Univ without the car? Especially if it was free? I would.

Now that our town has been built to the hilt, we need to ask the state commission on unfunded mandates to pay for a convenient, advanced shuttle up and down El Camino.


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Posted by curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 14, 2014 at 9:39 am

"Are you saying that Palo Alto's current apartment buildings are high crime areas?"

The proposed Cabrini-Greening of downtown and Cal Ave has that potential, especially after the tech boom chills out here and moves worldwide.


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Posted by Marlen
a resident of Meadow Park
on Jul 14, 2014 at 10:20 am

@curmudgeon, are you saying it's simply inherent to all areas that grow in density, or is your fear that it might become more affordable to non-whites? You have to be more specific if you're going to be using loaded language like that.


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Posted by curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 14, 2014 at 11:14 am

@Marlen

I'm not the one who brought race into this, and I'd like to keep it out.

The fact is I live in a very diverse neighborhood that could/should be the model for all of Palo Alto: multifamily and single-family dwellings coexisting cheek-by-jowl in a verdant, walkable, densely populated, eminently liveable neighborhood. Come look. Walk around.

I emphatically reject the current push to canonize our precious single-family neighborhoods and to ghettoize mass housing in sacrificial (not my sentiment, but it's out there) zones under the euphemisms of "smart growth" and "transit-oriented development." Our major reserve of underutilized land is in the R-1 districts, especially the high-end ones (they know who they are). If our mission is growth, we must utilize that land to its utmost potential, as is currently done near downtown.


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Posted by palo alto resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 14, 2014 at 11:23 am

@ Sunshinee - I like your shuttle idea, sort-of like Uber shuttles! Part of the issue with public transportation is how much longer it takes to get somewhere using it.

@ They are Deaf, but not Mute - a lot of the new buildings DO conform to zoning, but one story buildings are being replaced by 3 story buildings.


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 14, 2014 at 1:59 pm

If everyone is entitled to live where they want and new homes will be created by new zoning and made 'affordable' to boot, then I want to sign up to live in Monaco right away. And with a Mediterranean view!


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Posted by Pete
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 15, 2014 at 2:00 pm

"We have 2 children...they will take our spot...no-growth practiced here, smart guy."


So grown-up siblings are going to share your one house? Sounds like a tight squeeze unless you're the Lannisters.


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Posted by Please Listen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 15, 2014 at 4:52 pm

What about just plain old zero growth, at least a moratorium on business developments for ten years!


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Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 16, 2014 at 9:53 am

The building industry term "net zero" is a green-wash term designed to confuse the issue about growth per se.
Here is a good article on it, about San Francisco's first "net zero" building.

Web Link

To me the context of this is: powerful special interests are pushing leadership to not amend, revise or update Comprehensive Plan but UNDERMINE it, specifically to negate the Downtown Cap on office space.

To the extent we are invited to comment at all is just a show.

Maybe I'm a wee bit cynical, but that is what I read in the staff reports and hear at the various versions of this I have attended in person, plus putting it in context of watching policy fairly closely for the last five years plus taking into account the Grand Jury Report of 6/6/14 which says Palo Alto is corrupt in at least two cases both involving one developer: do you expect us to believe the corruption is limited to those two cases? How deep is the rot?


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Posted by Amused in SF
a resident of another community
on Jul 16, 2014 at 11:42 am

I'm surprised everyone's ignoring the fact that Palo Alto, as with the rest of the peninsula towns, has okayed more jobs than housing. It's this imbalance that resulting in your traffic woes:

"Independent of commuting to jobs in Palo Alto from other places in Santa Clara County, at last count about 55,000 people from Santa Clara County commute northward through Palo Alto. Meanwhile, more than 75,000 people commute south from homes on the Peninsula and in San Francisco, also primarily into and/or through Palo Alto. Perhaps most strikingly, most of the employees at both new and established jobs—about 75% of the Silicon Valley workforce—are driving to work alone. "

Web Link

If everyone who worked down was able to live there, you would have real demand for local transit/biking/walking infrastructure. Smart growth/net zero would be to ELIMINATE jobs as long as you aren't willing to provide the housing. But this isn't going to happen, so your gridlock won't go away until you become a true city with city infrastructure, not a suburb that employs city-dwellers. We aren't going back to 1950 people—all desirable US communities are going to get denser, and if you think you can somehow legislate that away, you're simply wrong.


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Posted by not amused citizen of the world
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 16, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Amused in SF

"until you become a true city with city infrastructure, not a suburb that employs city-dwellers. We aren't going back to 1950 people—all desirable US communities are going to get denser, and if you think you can somehow legislate that away, you're simply wrong."

You nailed it - all "desirable" communities get denser. It's called make money where you can, take advantage of the desirable markets, speculate, get what you can for the least amount of money. All desirable communities eventually become undesirable, packed with a bunch of people, traffic, stores, retail, more stores, retail, oh and more stores. It's not a community anymore, it's a market.

That may happen here too, but the price will should make speculators bleed, a little at least.


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Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Jul 16, 2014 at 12:26 pm

@not amused citizen of the world

That's why there are so many people packed into those undesirable places? Please, pleeeeease stop speaking for other people.


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Posted by curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 16, 2014 at 4:23 pm

"I'm surprised everyone's ignoring the fact that Palo Alto, as with the rest of the peninsula towns, has okayed more jobs than housing."

I don't think Atherton, Hillsborough, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Portola Valley, and Woodside fit that mold.

The real fault is continuing to think in the 19-th century, when Palo Alto, Mountain Vioew, etc. were actually independent towns strung along the tracks. Those days have been gone since WWII. We are currently a seamless metro area that has to learn to think like one and act accordingly. Jobs and housing do not have to balance at the city-atom level, and indeed, given job mobility, they cannot.

Except as numbers, that is. Per the numbers, jobs and housing balance in a given city/town when its outbound morning commute gridlock balances its inbound morning commute gridlock, and likewise for the evening gridlock. But why is that a desirable thing?


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Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Jul 16, 2014 at 4:37 pm

Gee curmudgeon, you just seemed to have described exactly what ABAG is doing, glad to know you're so supportive of them.


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Posted by curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 16, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Au contraire. ABAG's thinking is totally 19-th century.


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Posted by Just. stop it!
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 16, 2014 at 6:21 pm

The planning commission and city council simply must stop approving massive business developments that Palo Alto does not have the infrastructure or housing to support--nor can it, there simply is no more room for roads and housing.

It is utterly ridiculous that the city council and planning commission have been able to get away with this for so long--it is time to put on the brakes and THINK!


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 20, 2014 at 1:04 pm

If the towns described above have no business relative to population then those people are going somewhere to work. The problem has solved itself - they all can live in cities which have a low business ratio and have normal housing. Likewise if the businesses are building up in Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Moffatt Park there is not enough housing for those people and no plan to increase housing. Why PA has to assume some mantel of guilt or get trapped into some convoluted scheme based on the jobs/population ratio within its borders makes no sense. Don't buy into it.


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