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Panel selected to help update land-use vision

Original post made on Jul 7, 2015

Housing advocates, land-use watchdogs and two former planning commissioners are among the 20 residents selected last week by City Manager James Keene to help the Palo Alto revise its land-use bible, the Comprehensive Plan.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, July 7, 2015, 5:26 PM

Comments (58)

33 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2015 at 9:46 pm

Adrian Fine is also a PAF member, which makes this committee 20% PAF. PAF leadership also advocates for large office projects, indicating a broader goal of urbanizing Palo Alto in general; "housing and transportation options" is being coy.

Dan Garber has also been a strong supporter of large commercial projects, including the now-suspended Arrillaga towers which he also worked on. The article implies he is a slow-growth advocate, but this is not correct.


80 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2015 at 10:00 pm

The composition of this panel seems so stacked against Palo Alto's future as a residential town that the Council should step in and consider directing the City Manager to rescind his invitations, and rethink the role of the 20+thousand homeowners who moved to Palo Alto not to live in a business park, but to live in a residential community for the rest of their lives.

This panel is not one in which the bulk of Palo Alto can possibly have any faith.


19 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Jul 7, 2015 at 10:04 pm

"Palo Alto's future as a residential town"

That ship sailed a long time ago...


74 people like this
Posted by What a Mistake
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2015 at 10:09 pm

Keene should not have been allowed to form this committee - the Council should have done it. The Comprehensive Plan is the City's land use bible and will shape the future of this City for a long time to come. The council should have invested the time to appoint this committee.


40 people like this
Posted by Huh
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 7, 2015 at 10:52 pm

I’d like James Keene to explain this one: “the roster is weighted toward north Palo Alto, with 12 of the 17 voting members making their homes there.” If there were 50 applicants, how difficult could it have possibly been to find 8 from south Palo Alto?

And weren’t Mila Zelkha, Ellen Uhrbrock, Doria Summa, and Elaine Uang on the Comprehensive Plan Leadership Group (also appointed by James Keene)? Elaine Uang and Bonnie Packer were also on the Comprehensive Plan Housing Element panel. Could we get some new voices, or is James Keene going to appoint these people Queens of Palo Alto.

Dissolve the panel, fire James Keene.


53 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 7, 2015 at 10:56 pm

What a farce. We had an election and this is just an end-run around the new city council which wants to slow growth. First Dubois recuses himself on growth issues and now this.

How DARE Keene reject a leader from Palo Alto For Sensible Zoning! Does Keene think this is a new dictatorship? Forget I asked; we know the answer.

Just change the city's name to Palo Alto Gridlocked Office Park and stop the charade with the meaningless community outreach pr and the silly "happiness maps" and all the rest.

And stop preaching about conservation if you're going to keep adding dense developments whose occupants consume water and energy.


11 people like this
Posted by David
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2015 at 11:10 pm

Gee, no one from the Palo Alto foothills are represented even though it represents nearly half of Palo Alto...


46 people like this
Posted by Not pc
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 8, 2015 at 6:05 am

I am dumbstruck that Cheryl Lillienstein was not selected. Obviously, she would have been an excellent individual for this Committee. She has much experience in land use issues as well as able to work collaboratively with all kinds of people with different viewpoints. IMHO, she would make a great city council member. Why was there a summit, if not to vet most of the land use future of Palo Alto? The cc needs to meet (for 1 weekend) with a good facilitator to approve our future comp plan. The voters have spoken.........this is too important to afford another mistake by the city manager.


17 people like this
Posted by Kazu
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 8, 2015 at 7:39 am

"That ship sailed a long time ago..."

Then we should build more housing, lots more. Then Palo Alto will have a future as a residential town.


6 people like this
Posted by Kazu
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 8, 2015 at 7:46 am

"I'd like James Keene to explain this one: “the roster is weighted toward north Palo Alto, with 12 of the 17 voting members making their homes there."

The mid FdG9gand southern portionsc of Palo Alto get shafted. City Council members should be elected by district, not on a city-wide basis. The same general idea should apply for this commission.


31 people like this
Posted by Suzanne Keehn
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 8, 2015 at 8:04 am

I agree with most of the current comments. Why do the people we hire to help run the city when we have changed the flavor of our City Council at our last election. The City Council should decide on this panel, not the managers.

In fact the City Council should be the ones choosing the panelists. This process needs to be redone. I totally agree with the comment made by "Joe"

The composition of this panel seems so stacked against Palo Alto's future as a residential town that the Council should step in and consider directing the City Manager to rescind his invitations, and rethink the role of the 20+thousand homeowners who moved to Palo Alto not to live in a business park, but to live in a residential community for the rest of their lives.


45 people like this
Posted by Ugh!
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2015 at 8:18 am

This committee has nothing but pro-business development people on it. James Keene has his hand in it, so that invalidates it from the get-go. What a losing proposition!

James Keene should be let go, and the City Council should be the ones to ask for his resignation.

Yes, Palo Alto is flush with cash, but that is NONE of Keene's doing!


36 people like this
Posted by Ugh!
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2015 at 8:35 am

Actually, in agreement with Not pc, I would say that there is no single person more qualified to be on this committee than Cheryl Lilliienstein. I feel certain that it was an intentional act not to appoint her!

Also intentionally not included were Bob Moss and Art Liberman.


18 people like this
Posted by Redo
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 8, 2015 at 8:57 am

I'm completely flabbergasted! Why are some many neighborhoods left off the committee? I heard the council discussions on composition and it was clear council wanted representation from many neighborhoods, they wanted parents of kid in the school district, and they wanted some local merchants. It seems like the City Manager ignored those suggestions completely.


PAF is NOT 20% of Palo Alto.
Why so many members from downtown Palo Alto? What about Green Acres? Midtown is huge - only one member? Professorville?

It's time to redo the composition of this committee. Moving forward with this group will only delay the Comp plan completion even longer.

And please - for those not selected - come and participate in the meetings anyway. Hopefully with large public participation, the City will allow votes of all those attending, not just those appointed


25 people like this
Posted by hmm
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 8, 2015 at 8:58 am

Cheryl's claim to fame is fighting an affordable housing project for very low income (less thank 25k a year) senior citizens. That's not something to be proud of. It's something to be deeply ashamed of. Simply hating things because they personally inconvenience you isn't a qualifier for this committee. The people chosen, as far as I can tell, all actually have direct experience in one of the areas that the application called for - like affordable housing, economics, planning. The application also asked for stakeholders, including people who owned businesses here, etc. This list makes sense to me.


24 people like this
Posted by Ugh
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2015 at 9:31 am

In almost every other city in America, city council members are elected by district/neighborhood to ensure equal representation throughout the city.

Palo Alto has a major problem with a lack of fair or equal representation!


18 people like this
Posted by Citizen of Palo Alto
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2015 at 9:58 am

As someone involved very early on before the referendum and was very involved for awhile -- who is Doria Summa? I'm not saying anything about her, but PASZ got members later who were not there to help. I don't remember her at any meetings or helping with the referendum.

Half the people in town live south of Oregon and we are taking the brunt of development around residential areas. We aren't getting the open space we are promised. Steven Levy wants to Build Baby Build! and already has too much influence.

This group is a sham and shame on the new councilmembers we sent to represent us if they don't do something and frankly just dump it and replace Keene.

The state has legal requirements around formation of Comp Plans. There are requirements around public input and outreach. and there has to be balanced input from all stakeholders. I'm saying this because I can't be the one this time to step up the the plate. If you don't like this, I'm just point out that there are things you can do. If you do nothing, don't be surprised when the usual suspects boobytrap the CP.


21 people like this
Posted by Citizen of Palo Alto
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2015 at 10:03 am

@Ugh,

I've heard some very apt criticism of the setup you described, however you do have a point. We should at least require a balance on the Council of north and south, perhaps the side with the most people getting the extra seat might even help create balance. Perhaps requiring task forces to also represent the City better would also be good.

All it takes is an initiative. I'm guessing something like that could pass. You'd have to first bring forward, urgently, an initiative to give Palo Alto a fair ballot process. Currently the City Attorney writes the most gawdawful slanted and deficient ballots because they can. We should have an impartial ballot development process similar to what they have in SF (and have been using for 30 years).

If you can get that, then you can get more resident-favorable initiatives passed.


24 people like this
Posted by Adrian Fine
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 8, 2015 at 10:21 am

@Resident - your information is simply wrong ("Adrian Fine is also a PAF member"), and that's not helpful in a public forum. I consider myself an independent and a pragmatist. I am on PAF's email list because I'm interested in hearing what they have to say, just as I am on Palo Altans for Sensible Zoning's email list because I'm interested in what they have to say.

As an aside, I'm also on the Bay Area MOPAR email list, because I drive a Dodge from the 1970s :)


52 people like this
Posted by Cheryl Lilienstein
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 8, 2015 at 10:50 am

1. Lest it be forgotten: Rezoning residential neighborhoods for high density development was the issue of the Maybell referendum and this issue is very much at stake with this committee selection being heavily weighted on the high density development side by the City Manager who selected (mostly) ideologically, politically, professionally, and financially invested individuals.

2. The appointments perpetuate the lack of representation for the majority who live here: 70% of appointees live north of Page Mill, while more than half of our population lives south of Page Mill.

3. The poster who requests shame is ignorant of PASZ's support for Buena Vista. Let's stay focused on the issue, which is:

4. Why did Mr Keene ignore council's direction? When you look at this committee makeup, it’s a natural question whether the historically cozy connections between City Hall and developers had too much to do with the selections.


23 people like this
Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 8, 2015 at 10:53 am

Jerry Underdal is a registered user.

Kudos to City Manager Keene for choosing Lydia Kou to be on this committee. She represents the strong residentialist values in Barron Park, but without an ideological edge. She has worked hard for the community at large for many years and just barely failed to capture a city council seat last year. I would say she's on deck for the next council election if she chooses to run and participating on this committee will be excellent preparation for it.


20 people like this
Posted by representatives
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 8, 2015 at 10:55 am

I think it's reasonable to have more representatives from the neighborhoods (downtown and CalAve area) that are likely to have the most future development. Steven Levy seems like one of the more thoughtful members of PAF.


5 people like this
Posted by Unbelievable!
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 8, 2015 at 11:31 am

[Post removed due to inaccurate factual assertions.]


30 people like this
Posted by Keen is a Pro-Growther Period
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jul 8, 2015 at 11:58 am

Looks real clear now - a stacked deck. Keen gleefully suggested at the big summit, hey no worries, 85% percent of the residential neighborhoods won't be impacted by on-going development - felt like a divide and conquer strategy at the time - steamroll the neighborhoods that are going to be built out.

The California Avenue area is a main target - and it got two slots - the message to those most impacted is: go jump in a lake.

And it's damn the last election - full steam ahead - and BTW, put on the fig leaf of citizen participation to cover it and just work to tire everyone out who doesn't have time to spend their life taking advantage of "opportunities" to express their opposition to turning Palo Alto into an office park.


20 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 8, 2015 at 12:20 pm

Given the recent reported corruption at ABAG and their widely reported inability to track their projects approved, I hope this commission seriously questions Palo Alto's adherence to ABAG mandates to build more offices that hire more workers that require more housing to support all the new workers.

Lather, rinse, repeat. We're approaching 4 workers per resident. How many more people and vehicles can we possibly absorb without coming to a total halt?

The continued correlation of jobs and housing strikes me as ludicrous when we are A) facing a drought, B) facing road constriction that prevents people from reaching 101 easily until 2017, C) facing huge construction projects at Stanford for buildings that will employ even more workers and D) the ever-worsening traffic gridlock all over town.

At the very least, there should be a hiatus on approving new office construction until 2017 when the work on 101 is completed. Our residential streets are already packed with commuters and the noisy Dumbarton Express buses. Major construction is SIMULTANEOUSLY planned or happening on every major access roads and the lack of COORDINATION leaves residents with no acceptable routes since everything is bottlenecked.

Attention must be paid to our city's transportation/planning inefficiencies when we're approaching 7 or 8 years to synchronize the highly problematic Paly/Town & Country light on one of the city's MAJOR access roads. If we can't fix a simple light, how can we seriously contemplate MORE development.

Finally, the commission should address the cost/benefit performance -- or lack thereof -- of city managers and consultants.


9 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 8, 2015 at 12:28 pm

No problem. Panels like these are only window dressing. Keene's staff will write the real plan out of public view, then front it to an eagerly gullible city council as the citizens' product. Works every time.

Besides, they need to continually amend anycomprehensive plan so it conforms to development projects that would otherwise be non-conforming.


24 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 8, 2015 at 12:42 pm

Then we and the commission need to address Mr. Keene's performance and that of his staff and consultants. We already have 2 of 3 highest paid city, Keene and his new asst. city manager from San Jose.

Recently Menlo Park seriously looked at firing its city manager; no reason we can't do the same.


25 people like this
Posted by Jane
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jul 8, 2015 at 12:56 pm

Listening to the council discussion I was surprised and dismayed when the council gave James Keene the power to select the members of the new Citizens Advisory Committee.Having watching a good number of televised council meetings and listening to Keene's responses to questions from council members it is striking how his responses to are heavily carefully biased toward development. (Not surprising given his lengthy involvement and advocacy of the secret Stanford/Arriaga negotiations for four huge office towers at the top of University Avenue [portion removed due to inaccurate information.] Also, Keene's political sense when he sees which way the wind is blowing with the new council, for which the expression a wolf in sheep's clothing comes to mind.

Keene's "representative" selection is so obviously weighted in favor of the wheelers and dealers from the wealthy enclaves in the north of Palo Alto, whose neighborhoods will not be impacted by development, and pro-growth advocates. How did the council let that happen?


29 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 8, 2015 at 4:08 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

James Keene is heavily biased in favor of developers and big development projects. He stuffed this group with pro development advocates from PAF and their supporters. We didn't choose to live in an overdeveloped dense urban city and an office park, but an unelected employee is pushing very hard for just that.


12 people like this
Posted by What a Mistake
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2015 at 4:23 pm

This 18-person panel could have easily been appointed fairly by our nine ELECTED officials - each council members appoints two people. Done!


1 person likes this
Posted by What a Mistake
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2015 at 4:24 pm

Correction: 17-member panel. Council members draw straws and loser only gets to pick one panelist. DONE!


9 people like this
Posted by Jane
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jul 8, 2015 at 5:03 pm

Now that Keene's selection has been made public it puts the council in a difficult position if it wants to change the composition. Instead, the council could expand the committee (the number of appointees was an arbitrary choice in the first place) by appointing a few more members, especially if they live south of Oregon, to even the field. First additions should be Cheryl Lillienstein since three members are already on the PAF steering committee, and Bob Moss whose knowledge of Palo Alto is deep and broad, and he participated in the last Comprehensive Plan update, plus a couple of members who live south of Oregon.

@ Citizen of Palo Alto: "- who is Doria Summa? "

If you attend or watch on television the broadcast of the live Council meetings over the last decade you would be familiar with Doria Summa since she attends and has spoken at many council meetings, and has also attended many meetings of the PTC, and ARB. She has acquired a deep knowledge of Palo Alto's planning process and codes during the last decade, and was appointed as one of a couple of residents on James Keene's prior Leadership Group, which he ran, almost all members of which represented pro-development interests.


12 people like this
Posted by cm
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 8, 2015 at 6:57 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


1 person likes this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 8, 2015 at 7:04 pm

Keene might be right that us villagers in SPA (thank god I live here) won't be affected. If it will be the stacked panel who will have to deal with all the problems in their part of town, then go for it. I don't go there anyway anymore cuz it's too crowded. It's a little different than Yogi Berra said it about his favorite restaurant but you get the idea. Good luck to the panel! Let housing and transportation be their primary focus. If they get off track and add more offices before solving the real problems then I vote for ousting the whole lot of them. Let's give them a chance to perform and do what they promised us they would do. If they don't then they need to look for another line of work.


14 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 8, 2015 at 9:12 pm

I question the inclusion of the gentleman from Stanford University's Department of Land Use and Environmental Planning.

For many years, they've been telling us that there will be NO increased traffic or impact from their massive development and building, including but not limited to the hospital and its related facilities.

Trust us, ladies and gentleman. Just ignore all those cranes and construction trucks and new buildings and new workers/

Also, when articles about the traffic mess at Embarcadero/El Camino were written, many of the delays were justified each and every year because of the need to "seek input" from Stanford as a major "stakeholder."

We know just how expeditiously that "process" has been going and going and going. Not only have they not finished the Paly/T&C intersection, they haven't even STARTED on the El Camino part. Who knew "getting input" could take almost a decade!


10 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 8, 2015 at 10:06 pm

Everybody please wipe the foam off your lips. This panel is pure window dressing. The actual plan will be written by city staff and then ignored like the current one.


16 people like this
Posted by where is the anger?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2015 at 10:27 pm

Keene is trying to hijack the Comp Plan process and turn it into a farce,
disconnected from the recent election as if it never happened or at
the least mute its impact. Where is the anger in the new Council majority
over the debacle of the last 12 years which the voters finally said
they can't take anymore? The promise of this new Council is not being
realized. It's not enough to just stop new atrocities - they need to
roll back and change the framework of what is happening - with
downzoning and reduced FAR's and greater setbacks, and a revamped or
reconstituted design review process as Holman said was needed, and
strict adherence by the staff to the IR Guidelines for new and remodeled
2-story houses, and removal of redundant and unnecessary traffic signs,
which Burt and Holman both criticized 6 months ago, and sand-blasting of ridiculous over-striped crosswalks, and prohibition of dewatering for
basements.The prohibition of retail conversion was one of a series of
immediate actions required. We need a governmental response equivalent to the situation we are in, while the Comp Plan process proceeds.


14 people like this
Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 8, 2015 at 10:38 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

On number of self-identified for Palo Alto Forward, PAN (Palo Alto Neighbborhoods), PASZ (Palo Altans for Sensible Zoning) - from the City's published rooster (I got my copy via email, no web link).
This self-identification doesn't reveal how active they are in those organizations.

Palo Alto Forward members: members: 7 + 1 of the 17

- Elaine Uang (Steering Committee - from their website)
- Stephen Levy (Steering Committee)
- Mila Zelkha (Steering Committee)
- Daniel Garber (former Planning Commissioner)
- Amy Sung
- Jason Titus
- Elen Uhrbock

The "+ 1" is because he self-identified as being affiliated with PAF, PAN, PASZ:
- Hamilton Hitchings

-----------
Those that self-identify as PAN: 4 + 1
- Doria Summa (also PASZ)
- Arthur Keller (former Planning Commissioner)
- Alex Van Riesen
- Bob Wenzlau
- Hamilton Hitchings (also PAF, PASZ)
(On leadership participation: I have disconnected from this group: Doria Summa is the only one I know to be active)

------------
PASZ: 1 + 1 + 1
Leaders?: I don't know.
- Jared Jacobs
- Doria Summa (also PAN)
- Hamilton Hitchings (also PAF, PASZ)


2 people like this
Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 9, 2015 at 1:00 am

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

Update to my previous message:
On the 5 people self-identifying as affiliated with PAN, 3 are not known to have attended a single PAN meeting (van Riesen, Wenslau and Hitchings) -- excluding public events co-sponsored or hosted by PAN.


7 people like this
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 9, 2015 at 6:49 am

[Post removed.]


6 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jul 9, 2015 at 11:57 am

Crescent Park Dad,

I"m wondering why your post was removed?

Perhaps you could repost it in a way that might be more appropriate so we could see the content?

Thanks


Like this comment
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 9, 2015 at 1:00 pm

"On the 5 people self-identifying as affiliated with PAN, 3 are not known to have attended a single PAN meeting (van Riesen, Wenslau and Hitchings)"

You're thinking PAN = Palo Alto Neighborhoods. To them, PAN = Palo Alto Nemeses.


4 people like this
Posted by Kazu
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 9, 2015 at 1:22 pm

@anon wrote:

"I"m wondering why your post was removed?"

Poor comments section moderation, operation and setup? It would make a lot more sense to just use Disqus Web Link instead of whatever limited software package they are using now. Dedicating someone to running the comments sections also would not hurt.

[Portion removed.]




Like this comment
Posted by Kazu
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 9, 2015 at 1:22 pm

Sorry, typo. That second quote was from @@anon, not @anon.


19 people like this
Posted by Unbelievable!
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 9, 2015 at 3:08 pm

We need to save copies of our posting to figure out what the censor didn't like.
My post above was deleted in its entirety because of "inaccurate factual assertions".
Summary of my post:

I expressed dismay at the Manager appointing Daniel Garber to the Comprehensive Plan committee. [Portion removed due to inaccurate factual assertions.]


1 person likes this
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 10, 2015 at 10:26 am

I'm a little puzzled at the deletion myself. Let's see if this version will work...

These are publicly known facts and have been confirmed by articles written by the Palo Alto Weekly:

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link

Mr. Garber is an architect.
[Portion removed.]
The original 27 University Avenue proposal included one building to be 162-feet high.
The revised 27 Univ. Av. proposal included two buildings at 103-feet each.
The original project origins are part of a significant controversy between Mr. Arrillaga and the PA Planning Department - where many meetings & negotiations took place without public knowledge and/or input.

My personal opinion is that if the 27 Univ. Av. proposal is any indication, Mr. Garber is predisposed to eliminating the current 50-foot height limit.

My personal stance is that downtown PA should maintain the 50-ft height limit.

[Portion removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jul 10, 2015 at 10:55 am

[Portion removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by Becky Sanders
a resident of Ventura
on Jul 10, 2015 at 11:47 am

[Post removed.]


3 people like this
Posted by Garber
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Jul 10, 2015 at 1:16 pm

re: censoring of certain comments about Dan Garber: I think that it's because people keep (erroneously) claiming that Dan was working for Arillaga on 27 University. Dan was working for the city on the 27 University Specific Plan (or something like that), not Arillaga, who had his own architect (I forget who it was-- probably someone on this site with more time could look it up).

I'll bet that repeating known falsehoods get deleted by paloaltoonline staff.


7 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jul 10, 2015 at 2:57 pm

From Palo alto weekly September 12, 2012

Web Link


"Two members of the city's land-use boards, former Planning and Transportation Commissioner Daniel Garber and former Architectural Review Board member Heather Young, resigned earlier this year to work on the Arrillaga proposal."


8 people like this
Posted by Becky Sanders
a resident of Ventura
on Jul 10, 2015 at 3:39 pm

[Post removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by about garber
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Jul 10, 2015 at 4:39 pm

"Two members of the city's land-use boards, former Planning and Transportation Commissioner Daniel Garber and former Architectural Review Board member Heather Young, resigned earlier this year to work on the Arrillaga proposal."

@ anon:

my understanding is that Garber and Young were hired by the CITY to work on the proposal. This was a massive project that would have transformed a significant part of our downtown. Whether you supported the project or not, the city was right to hire experienced architects and planners to represent OUR interests.

so... once again, I think that the reason that comments alleging that Garber worked for Arrillaga get taken down is because they are false (and based on a mis-reading of the article that @anon cites). Maybe paloaltoonline should retroactively update that article to "... work on the Arrillaga proposal _on_behalf_of_the_city", and that would keep this smear from coming back.


Like this comment
Posted by Unbelievable!
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 11, 2015 at 8:12 pm

The newspapers and media repeatedly reported that Garber was working for Arrillaga. This is a factual matter to be checked, not argued about.

Since the reporting went on over considerable time and was not corrected by Garber, or by the city, it is reasonable to assume it was correct.
If anyone can show otherwise, please do so.

Here is another website that wrote about it
Web Link
From this website:
Daniel Garber, an architect and past chair of the city's Planning and Transportation Commission, stepped down from the commission earlier this month to avoid a potential conflict of interest relating to the proposal. Garber is on the board of directors of TheatreWorks, the company that would move into the proposed downtown theater. His architecture firm, Fergus Garber Young architects, is also working with the city on analyzing the new development's impacts. He isn't the only city official who is stepping down because of the project. Heather Young, a member of the Architectural Review Board, was also advised by the city attorney's office to step down, Planning Director Curtis Williams told the Weekly. Young, who chaired the board last year, is a partner in Garber's firm.


6 people like this
Posted by Town Square Moderator
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 11, 2015 at 9:18 pm

Town Square Moderator is a registered user.

Garber was hired by the City of Palo Alto as a consultant to assist the staff in reviewing and giving feedback on the Arrillaga proposal for 27 University Ave. He never worked for Arrillaga and the Weekly never reported that he did. Numerous Town Square posters have repeatedly made this incorrect assertion, which is why their comments have been deleted when noticed by our moderators.


6 people like this
Posted by Wait!
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 12, 2015 at 5:54 pm

Wait! Stop!
One of the people selected has designed "green" homes which pumped tens of millions of gallons of groundwater during our last drought.


8 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 12, 2015 at 10:26 pm

Excellent point about pumping groundwater.

How much weight will this panel give to the drought and energy usage by all the new residents, the ever-worsening traffic gridlock and the impact of new and planned construction on most of our major roads?

Also, will this panel be considering ways to reject the ABAG mandates that are paralyzing the city and when we have a regional problem, not strictly a city problem?


10 people like this
Posted by Unbelievable!
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 14, 2015 at 11:35 am

No matter who employed Mr Garber on that monster 27 University project, he is an inappropriate choice to be deciding on Palo Alto's future. Clearly he is a favorite of the City Manager in that he is chosen again. The project was the subject of a County Grand Jury Report.Web Link


Also: Yes he was the architect on a house that was dewatering for a long time. On a corner in old Palo Alto. The sign posted there had his name on as architect.Can someone post the corner? Sign was up for a long tme.


4 people like this
Posted by Unbelievable!
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 16, 2015 at 4:24 pm

Truth is indeed stranger than Fiction.
Garber has been chosen to head the Comprehensive Plan Committee.
Unbelievable only if you haven't watched the Planning Dept. under the City Manager approve underparked, oversized projects for years. Drive down El Camino through south PA and see building after building with stark frontages right up to the sidewalk.
The ARB approved them. You can count on Mr. Garber to plan for more of the same.

His conflicts of interest are too numerous to mention. He resigned from the Board of TheatreWorks in 2012 when his conflict of interest became public, not before. (big theater for them planned to be part of 27 University project).

We'll have to watch for his conficts on the Committee. There are many.He owes alot to arcitects who have approved his firm's projects, like 2555 Park Blvd.


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