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City looks to downsize massive Page Mill Road proposal
Original post made
on Sep 11, 2012
An expansive plan to build two office buildings, an apartment complex and a highly coveted public-safety building near California Avenue earned a mixed reception from Palo Alto officials Monday night, with several members of the City Council arguing that the proposed buildings are too tall and too massive even for this rapidly changing neighborhood.
==B Related stories:==
Palo Alto's police quandary may hinge on massive development]
Page Mill Road could see commercial influx]
Read the full story here Web Link
posted Monday, September 10, 2012, 11:41 PM
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Posted by Ronna Devincenzi
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 13, 2012 at 12:56 pm
I was on California Ave. yesterday, and asked four merchants why there were signs on Cal Ave, indicating work was to be done to the street next week. These were owners & managers of stores, and not just employees. Here are their answers:
1) "Oh, something is going to be done to the street."
2) "I think they are going to repair sidewalks."
3) "I think they're checking the gas lines."
4) "They said work was to be done between the hours of 10PM and 7AM, and it's before we open, so I didn't pay attention to what work was going to be done."
When I asked person Number 4 if she got an email notice or a letter, to determine who "they" were, she said, "Someone came here from the City and told me what was going to happen." Presumably, a staffer went to ALL the businesses, to notify merchants.
The above scenario has *not changed* from the days when I would email or stop by to personally speak with merchants, delivering information about the street. Nothing has changed at all.
These are ALL excellent and nice people. BUT they are BUSY.
In 75% of the instances, in those days, I'd get a glazed over look after about 60 seconds, and would be asked, "Can you come back later? I'm so busy now."
Or about an email they'd say, "I remember getting something from you, but didn't have time to read it. Can you resend it to me?"
Only about 25% of merchants were really interested in what was happening, enough to remember, and not one new person ever came to a meeting, district meeting or council meeting. So, please do NOT blame the City for a lack of transparency or outreach.
Pat Burt has had his finger on the pulse of what's been going on regarding California Ave, calling a spade a spade, the night the two lanes was voted on by council. Pat Burt and Greg Scarff have been *excellent* representatives for Cal Ave, during 2010-2012, the period of time the Streetscape was discussed. Both have offices in that district, and they use the street daily. The Year 2009 is NOT the Year 2012. Now, things are great.
I read a letter to the editor in the Daily Post, lamenting that "council doesn't read blogs to find out what the public wants". But if council DID begin to read blogs, they'd be confused, because Curtis Williams name was changed by one blogger to "Fred Williams".
Bloggers often get information *wrong*, including about how long Cal Ave has been discussed, in relation to the Citywide Comprehensive Plan.
Bloggers furthermore, do not normally use their names, expect to be called on to VERIFY their information, or show enough interest to show up to council meetings, and speak their peace about an issue.
They just shoot off some comments, based on nothing. If council put any weight on what most say, it would be the blind leading the blind.
Palo Alto residents need to be thankful there is a remarkable improvement at City Hall, first for paying attention to the Cal Ave district; secondly, for transparency and for its engaging the public.
If a city staffer goes TO shops, and personally speaks with shop owners and managers, it's *not* the city's fault that owners don't know what's happening.
So bloggers: do any of you know what work is going to be done on Cal Ave next week, that 2 signs at each end of the street announce? Provable FACTS only, please. Thank you.