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Buena Vista closure effort stymied by info gap

Original post made on Jul 26, 2013

For more than a half century, the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park has stood out as a quiet counterpoint to Palo Alto's affluent, touchscreen-tapping Prius culture. Now, an effort to close the city's only mobile-home park is shedding a spotlight on a part of the community that hasn't had much representation at City Hall in recent years.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 26, 2013, 9:44 AM

Comments (205)

Posted by Winter Dellenbach, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 26, 2013 at 9:25 am

What this story misses is the bigger picture. There are two competing sets of rights and interests here among owners, with very different outcomes foreseen for each. The Buena Vista landowner wants to sell (likely going from merely rich to "wow" rich), while the homeowners lose everything - homes, jobs, schools, community, friends, and for many, family, as they are forced from the area. The required compensation to residents will never make up for the loss and misery (though it must come close as possible).

But wait - there is a sensible way out - the landowner, redeveloper, Buena Vista homeowners and affordable housing experts can cooperate to build replacement housing as part of the redevelopment as has been done before in Palo Alto, and very successfully for all. The rich would still get richer, but the low income Buena Vista residents would remain, perhaps losing home ownership, but keeping everything else.

In the meantime, let's not blame Buena Vista residents for the shortcomings of the landowners paperwork. There are ways to gather information and ways not to. Here the landowner apparently thinks if residents are just told what to do and when to assist with their own demise, they will line-up compliantly to do as ordered. If unreasonable methods are used in the guise of the reasonable, it seems the owner hopes his effort will be legally sufficient. Surely it is not, nor is it the fault of the Buena Vista homeowners.


Posted by Jane, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 26, 2013 at 10:11 am

There are also other ways to close the park, such as raise the rents to evict everybody for lack of payment. sounds like the owners are doing what they can and the tenants are playing games.


Posted by Downtowner, a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 26, 2013 at 10:28 am

Speculation about the owners' degree of wealth, however sarcastically phrased isn't appropriate.

Calls, mailings, door postings, bilingual assistance - what else could be reasonably expected. Modifications without permits normally have city enforced penalties - why not here?

BV residents have had a sweet deal for a long time. Face reality. If people want to live in Palo Alto, it's going to cost them. City authorities should be checking for violations of the number of persons allowed per housing unit too.

I'm not sympathetic to the residents who just don't feel like complying with the law & don't appreciate the tone of Ms. Dellenbach's letter.


Posted by Res, a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 26, 2013 at 10:30 am

I agree with Winter. That property is zoned RM-15. If the City wants to allow for over 180 units on 3 acres, I can't see what public benefit they could possibly offer that would offset the loss of what is really the only truly affordable housing in Palo Alto (meaning, people are paying market rates and don't have to be under the control of an organization which involves loss of privacy in application, restrictions and some loss of independence, etc).

I think residents will fight rezoning of that property to high density, unless the City is willing to include a significant component of affordable housing there, with BV residents getting priority.

I'm not sure where that gets us, though. If the City wasn't just handing out density rezoning at the drop of a hat on the south side of town, we'd have some leverage.


Posted by Joe, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 26, 2013 at 10:38 am

> Speculation about the owners' degree of wealth, however
> sarcastically phrased isn't appropriate.

Agree! Says a lot about the author of the comment's motivations.


Posted by Jane D, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 26, 2013 at 10:54 am

On a broader topic we should all be grateful to have Gennady Sheyner reporting on local issues. Whatever position you hold on the issues, Sheyner's reporting is always thorough, fair, and exceptionally well written.


Posted by Owners Rights, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 26, 2013 at 11:19 am

Winters tone is also harmful to the tenants. The owners are dealing with a park closure law, not a park preservation law. Thus is will close. telling the tenants otherwise is giving them false hopes

Also, the owners gains, profits and wealth should never be discussed is such a case. Really, should the government dictate the amount of profit you can make. Imagine you cannot sell an investment simply because it will make you wealthy?

Sounds like the owner is complying with the laws and the tenants are not liking the news. So they are resorting to games. Palo Alto or any other city should not reward such behavior. Imagine a world where a defendant can win a case simply by pleading the 5th.

Further, all our homes value is based on location, not construction cost. this is why a $2M home in Palo Alto would sell for $1M or less in a near by city. Thus the value is in the land. That wealth belongs to the land owner and not the tenant. This city law would easily be ruled non constitutional in a State court. that being true the city should caution on how it moves forward.


Posted by Greed is ugly, a resident of South of Midtown
on Jul 26, 2013 at 11:20 am

I think Winter was pretty gentle in describing Jisser's wealth. We should start calling a spade a spade. Our developers, not just this one, exhibit incredible greed and avarice and should be described accurately. Ugly, ugly buildings are being built, in which maximizing size is the major value. Just 2 examples, 101 Lytton and the Arrillaga monsters.
Greed is an emotion that seems to have no end. Look at what is happening downtown and in south Palo Alto. For these boys, whoever has the biggest greed wins.


Posted by Rainbow, a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 26, 2013 at 11:29 am

This is fascinating. Where was the park management when all the house "modifications" were being done? While changes to the interiors are harder to see, all changes to the outside of the homes were clearly visible. Did the manager(s) turn a blind eye? Did they neglect to inform/remind the residents of the need for permits and park permission before making modifications? Apparently some of the present complications were brought on by mismanagement.

Re some of the information needed for the report, information about the date of manufacture of each house, etc. can be found on public records - one just has to look for it.

As for houses that can't be moved, probably none would/could be. Local mobilehome parks usually have no vacant lots and older homes aren't accepted.

Including low-income units as part of the project would be helpful but where would the residents live until the project was completed? Given the current lack of affordable housing in the entire area, finding appropriate living situations for the park residents would certainly be challenging. Would they be compensated for a double move? Also, the school-age children would have to make more than one school change which would/will be very hard on them.


Posted by wondering, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 26, 2013 at 11:34 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Berry, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 26, 2013 at 11:42 am

+1 Downtowner

"BV residents have had a sweet deal for a long time. Face reality. If people want to live in Palo Alto, it's going to cost them. City authorities should be checking for violations of the number of persons allowed per housing unit too."


Posted by wow, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 26, 2013 at 12:22 pm

It's really UNFORTUNATE that Winter choses to editorialize about Jizzer's wealth. It is SO irrelevantd to the issue at hand (as well as inappropriate) and it undermines for me her credibility regarding other potentially valid points she makes.

I am totally opposed against the IDEA that this park closure take place. However whether Jisser was just scraping by or worth half a Warren Buffet simply is no one's business just as Winter's wealth or lack thereof is no ones concern either.


Posted by Fritzi, a resident of another community
on Jul 26, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Of course the family owning the park can take profit from their ownership. It's sad, though, to watch the unrelenting and irreversible course of local gentrification. If we value diversity, then low income, "poor" "special needs" or others are part of the human spectrum. Privilege tends to isolate itself, nothing new there. I support the idea that some of the new housing would be low income housing.


Posted by Sally, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 26, 2013 at 1:24 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Aquamarine, a resident of Stanford
on Jul 26, 2013 at 1:48 pm

It's absolutely fair for Dellenbach to characterize the Jissers' wealth, as it speaks to motive, which is of course important in dealing with development and redevelopment.


Posted by Joe, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 26, 2013 at 1:58 pm

The fact that the owner submitted a revised RIR (Relocation Impact Report) is old news. This was already covered last Friday in the SJ Mercury. Here's a link to the City's information about the closure: Web Link The revised RIR is available in the links at the bottom of page.

The most interesting document is the letter written by the owner's
attorney: Web Link The telling point is in the last paragraph where owner says that the Buena Vista residents are repeatedly asking when they can begin to relocate and when will they receive their compensation. The owner's attorney also details their many attempts to meet with the City to discuss the information gathering efforts and the City's refusal to do so.

It's easy to blame the owner or accuse the residents of wanting to extort a big payoff from the closure. But, the party most responsible for poor handling of the closure of Buena Vista is the City of Palo Alto. The City wrote a poor ordinance. The City required the owner to gather resident information for closure. The City said the original RIR was incomplete because the resident forms were not filled in with "-" or "N/A" and left some spaces blank. When asked to help resolve the issue, the City's lawyers refused to return phone calls or emails and suggested the owner send the surveys back to the residents.

Mr Sheyner's article makes the Buena Vista closure and the resident's compensation hang on the word "comparable" but this nonsense. When the City crafted the ordinance in 2002, the City used this language because they knew that "in place value" for closure compensation was illegal and would cause the ordinance to be found invalid.

The illegality of "in place value" for compensation was tried and failed in other mobile home park closures in California. For example, the residents of Conejo Mobile Home Park in Thousand Oaks gathered signatures for a referendum using exactly that language a few years ago. Rather than place the referendum on the ballot, the council approved it as law. However, when it came time to close the park, the owner sued over the "in place value" language and the city lost: Web Link

When the Buena Vista resident's attorneys and the City's lawyers argue "comparable" they are simply using the word as a proxy for "in place value". That is, they expect compensation that includes the environment beyond their Buena Vista Mobile Home Park residences. The City knows that this language won't stand legal scrutiny from a judge. They even cited Adamson v Malibu in their response to the first version of the RIR.

The City playing games with the Buena Vista owner and focusing on "comparable" as a means of increasing compensation is very dangerous for many Buena Vista residents. The best of part of the City's closure ordinance is that the law specifies that many types of mobile residences not covered by California's law are also entitled to closure compensation. If the ordinance is found invalid, these residents will get nothing.

If the City was truly interested in helping the Buena Vista residents, they wouldn't have constructed such a poorly written law. Instead, the City should have tied the park's closure to the development of the site. After all, development would be the only reason to close the park. That way, the City could have controlled both the closure and the compensation for the current residents. Unfortunately, the Buena Vista residents need to pay for the City's huge mistake.


Posted by Poor writing, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 26, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Jane d--
What's your job at the paloalto weekly?????
Gennady is always thorough, fair and EXCEPTIONALY well written???
I do not see any mention of comments from the jisser family or their attorney. Did gennady contact them? Plenty of comments form winter and the site reprentative. Jane, the way the weekly reports is that they choose a side and then report based on that decision.
You call the following an exceptionally well written comment:
"For more than a half century, the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park has stood out as a quiet counterpoint to Palo Alto's affluent, touchscreen-tapping Prius culture."

Not everyone in palo alto is affluent. Not everyone drives a Prius and not everyone is tapping a touchscreen!!!! what a ridulous crock.
I can see why gennady is writing for the weekly.

BTW, joe makes some interesting points. The process is weighted against the owner. And how come no one has dealt with the illegal modifications??? Why can't they be dealt with now??????


Posted by Josef Stalin, a resident of another community
on Jul 26, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Winter Dellenbach's sarcastic tone diverts this thread's discussion from the issue of the proposed upzoning of the property to the issue of her sarcastic tone, and also hides the fact that her proposal is objectively part of the developer's strategy to upzone the property from RM-15 to RM-40 by appointing herself as spokesperson for the mobile home park residents to enable the for-profit developer to intensify the development potential of the property ("Buena Vista homeowners and affordable housing experts can cooperate to build replacement housing as part of the redevelopment as has been done before in Palo Alto").

[Portion removed.]

Remember this, when the City Council adopted the relocation language for the Buena Vista property, the Council did not change the property's zone district and development potential, although they could have if the Council believed a more intensive zone district was required to enable the mobile home park residents to be given relocation payments.

Therefore, the principled political position would be to do two things: (1) oppose the change in zoning that is the only reason somebody wants to buy the property, and then (2) insist on the relocation assistance to the Buena Vista tenants that is their right under the existing zoning.

[Portion removed.]


Posted by wondering, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 26, 2013 at 6:40 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Barron Parker, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 26, 2013 at 7:39 pm

I guess it isn't enough to be rich these days, the rest of us aren't allowed to mention it either. The relative wealth of the owner and the residents is relevant to the ethics and the equities here. Thanks Winter for being a strong voice.


Posted by Michele Dauber, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 26, 2013 at 9:30 pm

I live in Barron Park, and I support the right of the residents to appropriate affordable housing in this neighborhood. Over 10% of Barron Park school's children come from BV and it would be a catastrophic loss to the school community to remove all these families from their homes.

There should be an appropriate redevelopment of the area with affordable housing built in. Why wouldn't we want that? Jisser will get to benefit from the redevelopment and the families will get to benefit from staying in the community and the City will get to benefit from not being heartless thugs approving a plan that ends up evicting children and old people into the street. Sounds like a win-win-win.

Winter's comment about the financial implications of the redevelopment were mild and appropriate and her support of the diversity of our community is inspirational. She is being attacked because she is being effective. The editor should not allow her to be attacked on such a personal basis. People who speak up should not find themselves subject to this level of character assassination. [Portion removed.]


Posted by not your school, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 26, 2013 at 9:44 pm

Yeah, well, when you send your kids to private schools I guess it really does matter to you.


Posted by Chris Gaither, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 26, 2013 at 10:06 pm

To Wondering - your question asserting that the majority of residents in BV are undocumented should not even be asked unless you have proof. You are making a discriminatory association simply because you believe the majority of BV residents to be of hispanic decent. What if all of the people are Lawful Permanent Residents or Naturalized Anericans, or born in the USA? Don't make assumptions about things which you do not know, or cannot confirm. This is a major problem in America, making assumptions about groups of people before verifying your assumptions. This is why discrimination exists.


Posted by Michele Dauber, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 26, 2013 at 10:11 pm

Our child went to Barron Park for 6 years, and I don't have any issue with the fact that I sent him to a private middle school. That decision didn't sever my feelings about his school or my community. I don't know where "Adobe Meadows" is but I actually live in Barron Park. We moved to Barron Park because we wanted the racial and economic diversity that BV brings to the community. Many Barron Park residents feel that way as does the PTA.


Posted by not your school, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 26, 2013 at 10:21 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Posted by TruthSayer, a resident of another community
on Jul 27, 2013 at 7:05 am

It is so sad to see so many confused liberals ruled by emotion, rather than by clear thought.

1. The landowner has the right to do with their property as they see fit. The mobile home owners knew they did not own the land when they chose to move in.
2. The mobile home owners also have property rights - which is to move their home if they see fit.
3. Living in Palo Alto is a privelige, not a right.
4. Government is principally to blame here. Government has forbidden the development of new mobile home parks. Thus, there is no place for the residents of BV to go.


Posted by jane, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 27, 2013 at 8:32 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Alice Smith, a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 27, 2013 at 9:09 am

Buena Vista has been here for 50 years; surely a community that has been established for that long has some form of prescriptive easement to remain; if this property could be acquired by the Palo Alto Housing Corporation, wouldn't that be a better solution than 187 more expensive apartments displacing a community which maintains some economic balance in a town where people bid on houses in the millions and then tear them down to put up some huge mega building out of touch with what made Palo Alto the community it has been?

We need to take care that acquisitors aren't changing the very core values of the community which has made it worth living and working in.


Posted by Poor writing, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 27, 2013 at 9:22 am

[Post removed.]


Posted by member, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 27, 2013 at 9:46 am

It is amazing that in Palo Alto 21 century there is such an old and crumbling place. Not all Palo Alto residents are rich some take on a huge mortgage to be eligible to the education system and the quality of life here. This is why I fail to understand this loophole where people can live in sub-standard conditions and pay such a low sum for rent. The change is inevitable and the best way to continue is to have the park residents consolidate and negotiate directly with the owners. If they can't afford a one bed-room apartment here have them move. To that note if I lose my job and have to sell my place (Or be evicted by the bank) I will also be facing the same circumstances.


Posted by Billy bob, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 27, 2013 at 10:28 am

[Post removed.]


Posted by palo alto parent, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 27, 2013 at 10:40 am

The residents of Buena Vista will have to move, no matter what the resolution to this is. If PAHC were to buy the land - at the same price that Prometheus is willing to pay - and build low income housing, the residents of Buena Vista STILL would have to move for the construction to take place.

They are simply holding on in hopes of receiving more $$ - can't say I blame them.

Buena Vista will close unless someone is willing to pay the Jisser family the same amount as they have been offered AND are willing to spends thousands upgrading the utilities and sub-standard mobile homes.

We should be focussing on finding housing for these families, not trying to cast blame on the Jisser family for wanting to sell.


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 27, 2013 at 11:37 am

>if this property could be acquired by the Palo Alto Housing Corporation, wouldn't that be a better solution than 187 more expensive apartments displacing a community which maintains some economic balance in a town where people bid on houses in the millions and then tear them down to put up some huge mega building out of touh with what made Palo Alto the community it has been?

No, it would not. Property taxes would be substantially reduced...you know, those taxes that pay for our schools, Alice? PAHC has been dumping subsidized housing on S. Palo Alto for far too long. If it wants it, it should go into elite N. Palo Alto neighborhoods. Maybe the BV tenants can move into Crescent Park?

We should be allowing Barron Park to have its own neighborhood vote on your concept, Alice. Then we should allow Crescent Park to vote on whether they want to accept BV into their neighborhood. The PAHC will get its butt kicked in each vote, IMO. Do you disagree, Alice?


Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Jul 27, 2013 at 11:39 am

I understand nobody has the right to live in Palo Alto but as humans we do need to make housing built and maintained.

People need shelter, housing or a dry warm room to lay their head. Children, disabled and senioisrs needs safe places, a place to eat and to live.

I also understand this park is in a sorry state, old and rundown. The way things have gone that replacing it with another park of same size and location is hard. Maybe the PAHC site on Maybell Clemons would work.


Posted by jane, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 27, 2013 at 1:39 pm

[Portion removed.] The owners are playing fair and following the "closure ordinance" and not a preservation ordinance. Hence the park should close. The owners are investors and want to sell.

Why is Winter fighting to save a park if the city admittedly formed a closure ordinance. We have a standard buyer seller deal and a third party trying to stop it. [Portion removed.]


Posted by Josef Stalin, a resident of another community
on Jul 27, 2013 at 2:05 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Josef Stalin, a resident of another community
on Jul 27, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Does the person who is deleting my posts have the authority to remove publisher Bill Johnson's name from the post, if that is the only substantial information in the post, assuming that person is not Bill Johnson himself? The reason I ask is that when someone other than the publisher censors a newspaper, common sense dictates that there be an audit trail to enable the publisher to know what is going on and make a correction if necessary. Bill Johnson, when you were Pete McCloskey's press person, could you do what ever you wanted and then hide the evidence that you did it, or did the staff director or the Congressman himself have the authority to go back and review every thing you did to be able to correct your behavior if necessary?


Posted by PA parent, a resident of Ventura
on Jul 27, 2013 at 5:42 pm

The survey found 75 children in BV, but according to PAUSD, there are 103 PAUSD students in BV. The authors suggest that not all BV minors have been counted. Another possibility is that parents who do not live in BV but would like to have their kids attend PAUSD schools are using the addresses of friends and/or relatives in BV to improperly register their kids in PAUSD schools. It could also be that there's a combination of under- and over-counting going on here.


Posted by palo alto parent, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 27, 2013 at 5:56 pm

the most accurate statement regarding the number of students is that PAUSD has 103 students whose mailing address is in Buena Vista?


Posted by hulkamania, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 27, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Downtowner sez, "City authorities should be checking for violations of the number of persons allowed per housing unit too."

There are state and federal laws addressing the right of association. If the City attempted what you propose, they could be sued and would eventually be libel for a huge payout.


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 27, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Not true. There are housing standards and limits to numbers of persons in housing units. Plus most landlords set limits to the number of people who can live their unit/facility.

I have no doubt that some kids are registered at BV but don't actually live there. Tis happens all over town and is not unique to BV.


Posted by Ellie, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 27, 2013 at 8:31 pm

The number of children at Buena vista is known. For a year 2 Stanford profs and a class of students from the education dept have worked with the families there weekly. They know everyone. No one is cheating anyone. I agree with our school board - BV kids are our kids and we want them here. That is and should be our primary concern.


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 27, 2013 at 9:43 pm

Last I checked, *some* board members expressed some concern...the board has not done anything officially. Plus those same board members also acknowledged that they cannot do anything about the move.

Perhaps you're thinking of the local PTA from the local elementary school?


Posted by Res, a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 27, 2013 at 10:18 pm

Just as no one has a right to live in Palo Alto, no developer has a right to build whatever they want. (I know this City Council lets them think they do, but they don't.)

The developer wants to put in a 180 person development. The trailer park is 3 acres, currently zoned RM-15. That's ... 45 units under existing zoning (a little more for BMR units). If the City wasn't so used to just handing out rezonings at the drop of a hat, they could probably leverage the affordable housing as an exchange for consideration in rezoning. Unfortunately, developers realize this Council is all too willing to just give them whatever they want so they offer such ridiculous "public benefits" it's insulting.


Posted by not your school, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 27, 2013 at 10:20 pm

It is not at all true that the board cannot do anything about the move. The board has complete control over whether the BV children stay in the district. The board can waive the charge that it normally assesses to the sending district for out of district transfers. All the board has to do is pass a resolution that any children residing in BV at the time of the announcement of the closure may continue to attend PAUSD until their high school graduation without assessment of the fee ordinarily charged to the sending district. There are only around 100 children at most who would be affected.

PAUSD clearly has extra money. Recently the district spent $160K on a PR officer and $140K on lawyers to fight the federal government and avoid following federal civil rights law for the equal treatment of disabled students. With that profligate record, we can afford to help our neighbors in a time of need.


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 27, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Now that PAUSD cannot charge for summer school, I doubt there is any extra money. And I sincerely doubt that the greater population would be OK with giving away hundreds of thousands of dollars.


Posted by don't get it, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 27, 2013 at 11:11 pm

Please explain why the BV kids should be entitled to a PAUSD education if they leave PA, whereas middle-class PA kids whose parents need to move to more affordable nearby communities cannot continue to attend PAUSD schools?


Posted by not your school, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 27, 2013 at 11:34 pm

The closure of BV is akin to an earthquake. An entire community is being displaced. It is not a similar event to one family suffering a misfortune because when an entire community is affected by a catastrophe there are effects that radiate out into the whole community. If a large proportion of the children in a school just vanish one day, there are broken relationships. The fabric of the community itself is torn. For a full treatment of the issue, see Kai Erikson, Everything in its Path (Web Link).

If there was a flood or a hurricane or an earthquake that caused 150 families to be rendered homeless and the children to be thrown out of our schools, everyone would (correctly) race to help and the children would not be forced to leave their schools. This is no different An entire community is being displaced and that will have effects on those left behind as well as those who are forced to leave.

Matthew 25:35 correctly summarizes the dilemma in which PAUSD finds itself. Shall we be sheep or goats?

That's why.


Posted by village fool, a resident of another community
on Jul 27, 2013 at 11:47 pm

@not your school - Thank you.
@moderator - would it make sense to list/link this thread also under the Schools & kids category?


Posted by Ellie, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 28, 2013 at 7:03 am

The Pausd school board voted unanimously on a Statement of Support for parents and children at Buena vista. One board member presented it in person to the city council. In addition, the PTA Council ((all 17 schools) voted to similar support and created an Advocy Committee. The point is to keep the residents in palo alto - so obviously the kids would stay in our schools. Also - there are 4 acres at BV mobile home park.


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 28, 2013 at 8:00 am

True. Web Link

But the difference is they support "keeping them in Palo Alto" so they can continue to attend PAUSD. However it is also stated that there is no legal means to allow the students to continue at PAUSD if the families move out of PAUSD.


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 28, 2013 at 8:16 am

The difference between the earthquake example and this situation is that the BV residents are moving to other towns on a permanent basis. Their homes are not temporarily uninhabitable or going to be rebuilt so the they can return and live in PA.


Posted by Michele Dauber, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 28, 2013 at 8:21 am

CPD, as I have posted elsewhere,

"Not your school" is thinking about this the right way. The eviction of the BV families would be the largest single displacement of families from Palo Alto that has occurred in modern memory. The families are all long-time PA residents who will be displaced by the lack of affordable housing options in the community. Many of them are families with children. Something over 10% of Barron Park School's students will be evicted. That is a large disruption to the school community.

The school board could, due to the uniqueness of the problem, make a determination that those students displaced by the evictions will be able to attend PAUSD for some period of years, or until graduation.

Under California law the school board is responsible for setting all policies relating to inter-district transfers and accepting out of district students. The power resides within the School Board to permit these students to attend our schools. This is something that is completely within the school board's power to do and it should do. The board can vote to let them stay. See: Web Link

In order for an interdistrict transfer there must be a hardship (which there could be in this case) as defined:

"When it is determined by the administration through evidence provided that there are psychological, sociological, financial or environmental reasons indicating that it is essential to the student's well-being that a transfer be granted."

In such cases, normally the sending district of residence has to agree to pay tuition to PAUSD:

"Prior to enrollment of a nonresident student in the Palo Alto Unified School District, an agreement shall be on file in the Central Attendance Office, or be in the process of completion, stating the financial agreement between the district of residence and the Palo Alto Unified School District for the tuition payment of the identified student."

See: Web Link

Normally the process of establishing hardship is difficult and it is rarely found: Web Link

Under the law the Board could simply resolve that the BV students have a hardship, much like might be found in the case of an earthquake that displaced 200 low income students. As in the case of a physical disaster, the eviction is no less a disaster over which these families have no control. They have no fault for what has occurred. They are innocent victims of circumstance. As "not your school" points out, if there had been a physical earthquake, it could find that in this instance, these students have been injured by forces beyond their control and they should receive a hardship without expectation of payment from the sending district for some period of time, perhaps five years or graduation whichever comes first.

Such a resolution or policy would be easy to draft. I could do it in under an hour. What is missing is not legal authority. What is missing is political will. It is all well and good to pass a resolution about how we all hope that the problem is solved. That is different than solving it, especially when the power to solve it exists in their hands.

The school board should resolve that the BV children who are evicted have a hardship and that their sending districts will not be charged for them to remain until graduation.

The only reason to be mustered against this is one of precedent but since there are no other mobile home parks in PAUSD that should not pose much of a hurdle.

The question from a legal perspective is easy -- from a moral perspective it seems to be proving more challenging. It raises the issue of who is my neighbor and what do I need to do for him or her. The answer to that is also easy, but it requires more courage than this school board is typically capable of showing.


Posted by village fool, a resident of another community
on Jul 28, 2013 at 8:58 am

@Michele Dauber - Thank you for articulating the legal aspects in a way fools (me) can understand. I am wondering if the fact the district staff who reside out of Palo alto can bring their kids to PAUSD can be any type of precedence? As far as I know this option is not available in all the school districts in CA. As far as I know this is a decision each district can make.


Posted by not your school, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 28, 2013 at 9:50 am

Or the council could just reject the proposal. Let's see a simple solution vs. a complicated precedent setting solution. Yeah, let's go for the complicated precedent setting solution, which will only apply to a select group of families and ignore all the other hardship in the district.


Posted by common sense, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 28, 2013 at 10:54 am

Michelle Dauber: although I sympathize with the plight of the Buena Vista residents, I think the rationale of 10% of an elementary school population changing isn't abnormal. My experience with my children's elementary school, is that having 30-40 kids change per school year is quite common (2-3 kids per classroom).

What I find a shame is that the city knew that this would happen for at least the last 8-10 years, and with 1000 affordable housing units in the city, and more being created, that the effects of this can be mitigated. For example, there are 50 family afforable housing units being built at 801 Alma; Alma village has 14 more BMR apartments. Between these two developments, there are enough housing units to cover each of the families with children.


Posted by palo alto parent, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 28, 2013 at 11:23 am

Common sense - the City knew about Buena Vista closing but so did the residents. I wonder how many applied to the new housing on Alma and how many are simply waiting to see what kind of pay out they will receive.

Michelle Dauber - Even if the District had/has the money to keep all those kids in PAUSD schools, it is totally unfair, not to mention fiscally irresponsible to keep non-resident students in our schools. The employees of PAUSD receive the schooling as a benefit of their jobs, we get better teachers (in theory anyway). Also, from a simply practical standpoint, how will the students get to school from their homes? Will we have to pay to bus them also?

Again, I think we should focus on getting new housing for the residents. They should also be proactive in this process if they are physically able to participate.


Posted by Michele Dauber, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 28, 2013 at 11:57 am

I agree that the best solution would be to increase the amount of affordable housing in Palo Alto. But judging from the extremely negative reaction to the Maybell project, I am beginning to doubt that this can be accomplished in the time frame required.

The problem from a political perspective is that if the School Board and the City Council engage in a game of "hot potato" (or more, aptly, "chicken") with the future of the BV children, then there won't be a solution. As of now, the school board has voted that it hopes that the City Council will fix the problem. That's not particularly courageous or responsible when the school board actually has an easily attainable solution to the school attendance issue.

If Barron Park residents don't want dense affordable housing and will scream for the head of anyone who approves it, and the City is burned by Maybell and PAHC is afraid for their lives after the Maybell drama, and the school board is just praying that someone else will solve the problem, then where does that leave the children. Shouldn't we do better?


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 28, 2013 at 12:04 pm

>I agree that the best solution would be to increase the amount of affordable housing in Palo Alto

So why not insist that it be put in Crescent Park? Distribute the load....


Posted by Jane, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 28, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Drove by this morning, no wonder the owner wants to sell. How is it that code enforcement hasn't been through this place. Everybody is discussing the kids education. What about kids safety??


Posted by not your schoo, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 28, 2013 at 12:17 pm

You claim you live in Barron Park. Do something about it. You claim you want diversity but are happy to shove this onto the board instead of doing something yourselves. As I said previously, actions speak louder.


Posted by not your school, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 28, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Hint: "Maybell Petition"


Posted by palo alto parent, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 28, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Craig Laughton - I always love when people suggest putting affordable housing in Old Palo Alto or Crescent Park. 4 acres of land in either place would be worth 40 million dollars or so.


Posted by palo alto parent, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 28, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Eden housing is opening a 50 apartment complex on Alma in the next month or so. Preference is given to people who reside or work in Palo Alto and are low or extremely low income. I wonder if any residents of Buena Vista applied, 50 apartments would have accommodated a lot of the families with children.

Web Link


Posted by not your school, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 28, 2013 at 12:52 pm

I think the Eden House project have already been assigned. The due date for application was April 30th. Web Link

It is amusing that Craig doesn't know where affordable housing is located in Palo Alto.


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 28, 2013 at 12:58 pm

>Craig Laughton - I always love when people suggest putting affordable housing in Old Palo Alto or Crescent Park. 4 acres of land in either place would be worth 40 million dollars or so.

If it worth doing, then it worth paying for it. It is not unrealistic: Just buy up 4 acres for $4OM; use eminent domain to force the sale; change the zoning to high density; sell the dense new single family homes for a huge profit, which will pay for the subsidized housing that will part of the deal. In other words, same thing as is being forced on Barron Park.

Of course, always put it to vote in each neighborhood.

I fail to see your point.


Posted by Michele Dauber, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 28, 2013 at 1:11 pm

@not yours...I don't "claim" to live in Barron Park. I live on Paul Avenue and anytime you want to not be anonymous and have a real conversation do stop by. [Portion removed.]

I think the debate between Craig and others nicely illustrates the problem that the Maybell rebellion will now cause in counting on the City Council to resolve the BV housing issues. What would be wrong would be to allow these innocent families to be caught in the middle between different groups of residents fighting over where to site mixed or low income housing.


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 28, 2013 at 1:16 pm

While there is an obvious emotional set of concerns by many friends/neighbors to BV, I don't know how this issue plays for the rest of the city. And I think that granting such a large precedent will be a big political concern --- and I doubt that it will be a very pleasant debate. I hate to say it, but it's going to devolve to finger pointing, moral brow beating, haves vs have-nots, "you pay for it" or "you take in a family" retorts, etc.

The other issue is practicality and costs to PA residents. If this idea does move forward, there is going to have to be a financial impact discussion. Once those numbers are revealed, this board will become the land of locked threads...


Posted by not your school, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 28, 2013 at 1:17 pm

[Portion removed.] As you'll see from the forums, the folks from Adobe Meadows are quite active.
Since this is a community wide issue and not just about schools, it is a city problem. Trying to duck your responsibilities to your neighbors does not make it a school district problem.


Posted by Poorwriting, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 28, 2013 at 1:20 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by not a legal expert, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 28, 2013 at 1:27 pm

I agree that an ideal solution would be to give BV families (or at least those with kids in PAUSD) priority for available BMR housing units in PA. However, my guess is that the head of household would need to be a US citizen or permanent resident to qualify for subsidized BMR housing, whereas this is not the case for residence in BV (a private mobile home park). Could this be why residents are, instead, resigned to moving to nearby (more affordable) communities but advocating for larger payouts and grandfathering their kids in PAUSD?


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 28, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Residents of BV are not resigned to moving, but are looking into buying the park to preserve it. The build outs without permits were all done with complete knowledge and on some, participation of the park owner. I reported the build out encompassing the heritage oak to the city arborist who found no issues with it. The city does not oversee the park, the state does. It has always been difficult to get the city to deal with any issues at the park The park owner has willfully neglected the park since taking ownership. The original owners, a family, lived on site and were a very positive force.


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 28, 2013 at 3:01 pm

The city does oversee certain aspects of BV. Code, infrastructure and utilities enforcement is one item that the current owner discussed as one of the reasons he has chosen to sell - he says he cannot afford the costs for all of the utility upgrades that PA is requiring (not the state).

People are also forgetting that if BV remained, all of the trailers would also need to be upgraded to current city utilities requirements (at each trailer owner's expense, not the property owner's responsibility). And the other issue is that the upgrades and other current/upgrade requirements would mean that some trailers would have to be removed due to zoning/density requirements. All of this was discussed in the original announcement in the Weekly last September.

No matter what, there is no easy or inexpensive solution. Wishing for everything to remain the same is not an option. And the fact still remains ( that one way or another), either some or all of the BV residents are going to get moved out....redevelopment or not.


Posted by Davi, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 28, 2013 at 3:46 pm

It was the land owner and developer that talked about upgrades at BV in the context of a reason for selling. Then a developer simply repeated this. But there has been no actual indication that any of this is true - it is just talk by 2 self-interested people. An inspection and review of laws and regulations would be needed to know the facts.


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 28, 2013 at 4:11 pm

>I think the debate between Craig and others nicely illustrates the problem that the Maybell rebellion will now cause in counting on the City Council to resolve the BV housing issues.

Michele,

Do you underestimate the cost of a very large civil law suit against the city/PAUSD, by the owners of BV, if they are blocked from selling? There have been several large recent civil awards against municipalities, by private property owners, because they (the municipalities) went too far. For example, Half Moon Bay and Mammoth Lakes in the southern Sierra. These can be crippling suits. Do we really want to go down that path?

Perhaps Crescent Park might want to take up the burden for the BV refugees? Or perhaps Barron Park, if you, Michele, can convince your neighbors, which I doubt...but go ahead and give it a try.


Posted by Michele Dauber, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 28, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Hi Craig:
I think you misunderstand me. I am arguing that the school board should just allow the BV children to remain in PAUSD without charge to their sending districts regardless of what happens with the property. That is, one of the most salient issues for the BV residents is that their childrens' education will be disrupted. This is also a salient concern for the community itself, as evidenced by PTAC, Barron Park PTA, the district leadership, and the school board all expressing support for the hope that they can remain in Palo Alto.

I think this is critical because the Maybell rezoning imbroglio has probably made it very difficult, if not impossible, to locate any more low income high density housing in Barron Park for some time. Obviously that was procedurally problematic and the community states that it is not against low income housing, but I think the net net on it will be that Barron Park probably won't have more low income development in the near future until it is sorted.

I haven't really offered a view on who should develop what where. I don't personally object to low income housing for seniors, families, or others. That's my personal view. I have close friends that live in the PAHC development on Los Robles and I have no issue with more of same in my neighborhood, speaking for me personally. I agree with Winter that "the landowner, redeveloper, Buena Vista homeowners and affordable housing experts can cooperate to build replacement housing as part of the redevelopment as has been done before in Palo Alto, and very successfully for all." This is regardless of where it is -- Barron Park, Crescent Park, Charlie Munger's backyard, whatever.

But we have to be realistic. Before that can happen these families will be evicted and the community and children will suffer. The school board should allow them to stay regardless of whether or not low income housing can be developed or where.

Best,
Michele


Posted by parent, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 28, 2013 at 4:59 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 28, 2013 at 5:33 pm

>I am arguing that the school board should just allow the BV children to remain in PAUSD without charge to their sending districts regardless of what happens with the property.

Michele,

Since I went to different public schools during my time, including massive bussing, and made new friends, and studied hard, I fail to understand your point. It is not an earthquake, just an adjustment for each kid and family.

You also need to explain the transportation issues to PAUSD schools...will bussing be required?

I think you worry too much about the school issues. You don't give these kids enough credit to survive in a different environment. Try to relax. PAUSD schools are not as important as you make them out to be.


Posted by bad precedent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 28, 2013 at 6:00 pm

IMO it would set a risky precedent for PAUSD to allow former BV students to continue to attend PAUSD schools through HS once they've left the district. This will open PAUSD up to demands by other parents moving out of Palo Alto to also keep their kids in district schools. Palo Alto schools are desirable and should be limited to Palo Alto residents OMO.


Posted by Michele Dauber, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 28, 2013 at 6:16 pm

Hi Craig:

The BV parents and students are the ones who are pressing the school issue. It is important to them. I don't fetishize the PA schools -- believe me. I think many people who read these threads know that. But I think any parent would not want to have their child's education disrupted, particularly for those who have already commenced high school. Transferring schools is a big deal academically and socially. In addition the loss of so many families to a school community is a big deal. You don't agree -- that's fine, let's agree to disagree.

Likewise we have to agree to disagree about whether or not this mass eviction, without any fault on the part of the families, is similar to a natural disaster. These families have no control over what has happened. They have worked hard and tried to give their children what they think of as a better life. They should be commended for that. Now, through no fault of their own, they are facing a catastrophic loss over which they have no control. Usually in such circumstances, the community comes together, for example in Hurricane Sandy, to help and support the victims of a calamity like this. Is it less an earthquake because it is an economic earthquake rather than a physical one? The victims have no control either way.

These children aren't to blame for this and they don't deserve to have their lives upended this way. I hope that the school board will find compassion for them and pass a resolution allowing them to stay here for some period of years at least, so that they don't lose both their homes and all their friends, teachers, support, and community. PAUSD's school board has here an opportunity to show that it supports minority communities in a real, tangible way not merely symbolically.

But we can agree to disagree about that too, Craig.

M


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 28, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Michele,

A branch of my family moved a lot (military). I was bussed, big time. I can understand that BV parents want to keep what they have, but they do not have that choice. If you continue to enable their (false) hopes, you will enhance their pain.


Posted by not your school, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 28, 2013 at 7:20 pm

They also had no guarantee. They knew that. It was a risk they took when they decided to live in BV. They have also known for a long time this was coming.
Who's fault is it? The only one left is the developer and to claim the developer is the only one at fault in this is disingenuous. Your attempt to blame the district for it is also disingenuous. As I stated earlier, stand up and do something instead of trying to find fault and shift blame and responsibility.


Posted by C, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 28, 2013 at 7:49 pm

For the sake of discussion, assuming the district were to allow BV residents to remain until graduation, what of the siblings of the youngest BV residents who are not yet enrolled in PAUSD? Or to-be siblings? I believe Tinsley guarantees all siblings be able to use the district (please correct me if I'm wrong, I really don't know). The commitment would then be longer than 18 years from today.
I also believe that its typical for a district to let students finish the school year even if they move mid-year. I think PAUSD is this way, but again, I don't really know. Perhaps, rather than forcing students to leave in a year there could be a one-time exception to let students graduate the school they are in? Because students move elementary to middle to high school normally anyway, so that way the transfer wouldn't be as detrimental socially. A much shorter commitment (5 years assuming kindergarten was just finished at most).


Posted by Michele Dauber, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 28, 2013 at 8:02 pm

@C, yes I think that would also be a reasonable compromise.


Posted by not your school, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 28, 2013 at 8:34 pm

@C, that's the most sensible proposal I've seen on this forum.


Posted by bad precedent, a resident of another community
on Jul 28, 2013 at 10:27 pm

IMO it would be highly reasonable to allow BV residents who must leave Palo Alto mid-year to finish out the school year in their PAUSD schools. However, IMO it is unreasonable (overly expensive, bad precedent) to allow any former BV resident (let alone future progeny of current BV residents) to continue in PAUSD through HS graduation.


Posted by bad precedent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 28, 2013 at 10:33 pm

As far as I can see, the only way to keep BV open with all the current residents in place would be for the residents to bring their mobile homes up to code (maybe with financial help from supportive Barron Park neighbors or PAHC), the owner to bring the park up to code, and the owner to raise rents or maybe get city funds to make up his costs in upgrading the park. Is this a possibility?


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 28, 2013 at 10:56 pm

Does anyone know how much it would cost PAUSD to allow the students to stay without the usual inter-district transfer of funds?

If it is 6 figures or more on an annual basis, I think there will be a huge push back from the general population.


Posted by Curious, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 29, 2013 at 1:31 am

My landlord evicts my family and we cannot (or just do not) find a place to our liking in PAUSD so we move to Mountain View. Can I now request that my children stay in PAUSD through high school, or the promotion from the current school? Why is that different that what is being suggested above for BV residents? Why is the misfortune of one family treated differently from that of several? I'm not sure how you draw the line on this one


Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Jul 29, 2013 at 7:55 am

My school background was stable but did see a lot of coming and goings of others. You name it we had it at Bibb, Graham and Mountain View. Military families had it really not just the kids.

Maybe allow those in high school to finish up and graduate. Those kids in middle school to finish up and graduate. Come fall they attend their local high school.

Those kids who are attend the elementary school should be allowed to finish up and graduate middle school. Then come fall they attend their local high school.

This allows the teachers at PAID to get the BV students ready for high school.


Posted by not your school, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 29, 2013 at 7:56 am

"Can I now request that my children stay in PAUSD through high school, or the promotion from the current school? "
If in the senior year, then yes you can. Web Link
"If parents move after the student has completed the 11th grade as a legally enrolled student, the student may continue at the present school for 12th grade at the discretion of the site administrator (senior privilege)."


Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Jul 29, 2013 at 8:01 am

On a very important side note for the students and parents of the BV. If and when they have to relocate out of PAUSD and their kids to finish up.

The communte to school may be just to great.


Posted by palo alto parent, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 29, 2013 at 1:55 pm

@Garrett - I believe it is PAUSD policy to let kids finish out the school year even if they move.

@Crescent Park Dad - The cost to educate the current Buena Vista kids who are PAUSD students is about $1.35 million per year.

Since there is such a huge discrepancy between the number of student reported to be actually living in the park (75) and the number shown as enrolled in PAUSD (103) I'm wondering if the District should be checking residency of all the BV students.


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 29, 2013 at 2:03 pm

If $1.35mil is correct, then absolutely no way will an exception be granted. Taxpayers will go nuts.


Posted by palo alto parent, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 29, 2013 at 2:22 pm

@Crescent Park Dad - From the PAUSD website - General fund expenditures per student: $13,169 and there are 103 kids according to the District.

Web Link


Posted by Michele Dauber, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 29, 2013 at 2:55 pm

If we are going to start cutting costs I would suggest that we start with the PR person not the low income children who are being rendered homeless by the lack of affordable housing in PA.

Another place to cut costs would be on the skyrocketing legal fees being expended like mad money to try to figure out how to challenge federal law rather than comply with it.

If we are throwing people out of the lifeboat, let's not start with the most vulnerable members of the community.

Also, the cost will diminish over time -- it won't be the same fixed cost each year because the children will age out, graduate, transfer schools, move away through attrition.


Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Jul 29, 2013 at 2:58 pm

I know about letting them finish up their school year but how many will remain local. If they move to MP, MV or EPA let them finish up inside the PAUSD up to the 8the grade. The ones in high school should remain until they graduate.

If they end of further away and somehow attend without causing harm to their education then I don't see a problem. But only and only they have a safe way to school and home again. I just don't care to 4the graders riding the 22 alone.


Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Jul 29, 2013 at 3:05 pm

One more thing if they do wish to stay beyond the 8th grade they are free to, if they want to attend their local high school that is fine.


Posted by Poor writing, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 29, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Time to start with the over- exaggerations. the people in BV are not being " rendered homeless" . As we know the owner must reach an equitable settlement with the tenants, which has been discussed on this and other threads.
One also,has to wonder if there would have been proper code enforcement at BV how many would be without a home now anyway.


Posted by palo alto parent, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 29, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Michelle and Garrett -

Assuming the kids are evenly spread out age wise, the cost to educate 103 kids at the current PAUSD spending levels would be over $8,000,000 dollars by the time they all graduate. You don't think that asking the taxpayers of Palo Alto to commit to that would cause a huge backlash?

It is wonderful to be compassionate and I would love to find a way to keep these students in PAUSD by finding them housing, but PAUSD money is not yours to spend, it belongs to the taxpayers of Palo Alto, many who struggle to afford to live here.

As it is, it sounds like there may be 28 kids who don't really live in Palo Alto who are enrolled in our District.


Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Jul 29, 2013 at 4:22 pm

In reality after BC is closed, the residents move away to their new communities and who knows where they will end up? How far from BV and will it be close to Palo Alto schools and how long will it be until they move again. How many BC children will return over time? Yes you have 103 right now but in 2 years time less then 40?

Attendance enrollment office, yes sounds nasty but must be done. Only certain exceptions to allow enrollment to PAUSD. Guardianship, legal transfer, special transfer or Tinsley. In the case of BV special enrollment rules, once and only when official list of approved students. Enrollment is granted.


Posted by PA Dweller, a resident of Community Center
on Jul 29, 2013 at 4:40 pm

The best way to solve this issue is to through incentives and accountability. That is, if a resident responds to the surveys in an expeditious manner, they will be rewarded with getting the most generous compensation. If they do not comply, then they will be given an estimated amount based on the builder's assessment. If they don't agree with that amount, they are accountable to file an appeal based on better information to be supplied by themselves.

The article is written with an air of entitlement written all over it. No one is entitled to Palo Alto schools and all of its associated benefits. The most honorable thing to do is to not give BV residents or anyone else special treatment.


Posted by to PA Dweller, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 29, 2013 at 6:56 pm

What if some BV residents are not completely filling out their surveys because they lack proper documentation and are justifiably afraid of authorities. Why should they be penalized for this?


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 29, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Tonight BV residents met with financing specialists and attorneys and overwhelmingly decided to pursue purchasing the park to preserve it as a mobile home park.


Posted by not your school, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 29, 2013 at 9:44 pm

That would be problem solved.


Posted by Dreaming, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 30, 2013 at 8:03 am

I've been in finance for years, the tenants are dreaming. Palo alto prices are to high. The rent would have to triple to make such a payment.


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 30, 2013 at 10:59 am

As explained to residents, financing is available from federal and state sources!


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 30, 2013 at 11:13 am

>As explained to residents, financing is available from federal and state sources!

Maria, who, specifically, promised you that?


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 30, 2013 at 11:19 am

And, Craig Laughton, you need to know that because.....


Posted by not your school,, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 30, 2013 at 11:32 am

Web Link
At a guess, I'd say the "Public Financing" section.


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 30, 2013 at 11:37 am

>And, Craig Laughton, you need to know that because.....

Because it was a public meeting (I presume), and suggestions/promises were made...which could have an impact on Palo Alto, if the property owner decides to sue Palo Alto...if Palo Alto gets involved in such schemes.

Were minutes/notes or video of the event made, Maria?


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 30, 2013 at 11:40 am

It was not a public meeting, Craig.


Posted by Q to Maria, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 30, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Would such state financing allow the resident/owners of BV to bring the park and its various mobile homes up to code?


Posted by Q to Michelle Dauber, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 30, 2013 at 12:21 pm

I'm curious about your strong interest in keeping the BV kids in PAUSD, even if they leave Palo Alto. Given your strong interest in the case of the disabled child whose civil rights were violated by bullying at Terman, I'm wondering whether that child's family resides in BV. If so, it may be in the financial interest of the child's families and legal team that she stay in PAUSD. Care to comment?


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 30, 2013 at 12:46 pm

>It was not a public meeting, Craig.

Interesting...how were the residents noticed about the 'private' meeting, Maria? What percentage of them showed up? Who organized this private meeting? Were non-residents allowed to attend? Was the Jisser family (or representatives) notified/invited? .

I am clearly very concerned about Palo Alto getting involved in a major lawsuit that could cause major financial damage to our city. Half Moon Bay and Mammoth Mountain got involved in populist causes against developers, and they ended up in huge doo-doo. I suggest that Palo Alto stay out of this thing, however it goes.


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 30, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Craig, all residents were noticed, 90 percent showed up, the board of directors of the resident's association and their attorneys organized the meeting, again, it was a private meeting.


Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Jul 30, 2013 at 1:08 pm

The meeting has happened which sounded like the residents, lawyers for the residents and finance people got together. Sounds like they are trying to find ways to buy the park and upgrade. Yes I agree to buy and upgrade would cost a small fortune for such a small amount of housing for so many people.

Good Luck if they can find a way, but then again I hope the public dollar doesn't foot the bill. A little bit of funds are fine but not the whole funding package.


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 30, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Maria,

Did your resident's association keep official minutes of your private meeting? My parents were members of their resident association, sometimes as Board members. They always had an official secretary that kept official minutes. It is important, because of potential lawsuits by dissenters.

BTW, Maria, if you are part of the BV resident's association (Board or otherwise) , and you live in BV, then I admire you...you are about to face some huge headaches. Also, is the BV residents association Board in the public record? If so, can you provide...also legal counsel, if available.

Thanks,

Craig


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 30, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Craig, the residents assoc. BOD includes a secretary. Thank you for your admiration! I believe the city's web site on BV has info on legal counsel.


Posted by Josef Stalin, a resident of another community
on Jul 30, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Maria, The value of the property is based on the maximum allowable gross floor area ratio (FAR). Currently, the property is zoned RM-15, which allows an FAR of 0.5. The property owner and potential developer of market rate housing have been behaving as if the fix is in to rezone the property to RM-40, which allows an FAR of 1.0, or double the current development potential. There have been statements on this thread that the current use may require utility upgrades, based on the fact that redevelopment of the property will require utility upgrades. So the two key variables in determining price are what utility upgrades, if any, are required if the current mobile home park and trailers remain, and whether the owner can bargain for a premium based on some increase from the currently allowed RM-15 FAR, regardless of whether the purchaser takes advantage of that increased FAR.


Posted by palo alto parent, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 30, 2013 at 1:47 pm

If the residents were to purchase the property - I assume they should match the price that the Jisser family was going to receive elsewhere.


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 30, 2013 at 1:49 pm

The value of the property at both its current use and if rezoned and redeveloped are in the appraisal provided by the owner in the RIR, which is up on the city's web site for BV.


Posted by palo alto parent, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 30, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Maria -

The "current use" value of the land is $14.5 million, the value of the land if vacant (with either R-40 or R-15 zoning) is $29.2 million, would the residents expect Jisser to take the lower amount?


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 30, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Yes.


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 30, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Maria,

Please just keep the city of Palo Alto and PAUSD out of this deal...I don't want PA/PAUSD to get sued by the property owner. To put it another way, just keep it entirely private.


Posted by Aquamarine, a resident of Stanford
on Jul 30, 2013 at 4:05 pm

How can she keep it private it people here keep asking her to make the info public? You just wanted enough information to know if you're entitled to be even nosier.


Posted by i agree with craig, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 30, 2013 at 5:18 pm

Personally I don't care whether the Jisser family gets screwed or makes a killing; I just don't want this debacle to be a financial drain on Palo Alto and/or the PAUSD.


Posted by jane, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 30, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Maria. Would you take the lower amount if you were the owner? [Portion removed.] 29m empty or 14m with the park on it. Gold is gold polished or rough. It will never sell for 14m when Palo alto housing corp just paid 6.5m per acre for maybell.


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 30, 2013 at 7:42 pm

>How can she keep it private it people here keep asking her to make the info public?

I just want the official meeting information to made available to Palo Alto and PAUSD lawyers...so that PA/PAUSD is not drawn into a potential quagmire. I think the BV residents and the owners of BV can fight it out on their own, but I do not want PA/PAUSD to stick their necks out on this one...the costs could be extremely large.


Posted by Poor writing, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 30, 2013 at 7:53 pm

Since it was a private meeting, there s no obligation to provide any information to palo alto or school lawyers ( despite what Craig says) . Craig has no skin in the game so not sure why he s poking his nose in ( is he bored with the maybell discussion?) . Of course he can always demand that they bring it to vote. I am sure he also wants to make sure that no one else gets subsidized benefits besides him.


Posted by palo alto parent, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 30, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Maria - Not that I don't want the Buena Vista residents to keep their homes, but do you seriously think the Jisser family will accept $14 instead of $29 million without suing the City for the difference?


Posted by jane, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 30, 2013 at 8:46 pm

The Palo alto mobile home park closure ordinance, and I want to put emphasis on the word "closure" put in place by the city, is going to drag the city into this mess. As the park owner this ordinance is the only thing standing between him and wealth. If he sues (which he should), he's going to sue the city and our tax dollars are gonna go into defending this clearly unconstitutional ordinance.


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 30, 2013 at 8:53 pm

palo alto parent, I think the property may have less value once a complete appraisal is done, including engineering studies, evaluation of utilites and whether or not there is any toxic contamination from the gas station. The owner has deferred maintenance over the entire period of his ownership.


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 30, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Jane, the actual title of the ordinance is the Mobile Home Park Conversion Ordinance. Not closure ordinance.


Posted by Jane, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 30, 2013 at 9:04 pm

Conversion comes from the word convert. Meaning to change use. Can't convert the park without closing it. That being said the word closure appears in the ordinance much more than the word convert.


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 30, 2013 at 10:26 pm

Jane, thanks for explaining where the word conversion comes from. That changes everything!!


Posted by Jane, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 7:00 am

Maria - I meant no disrespect with that. We have a land owner and the "conversion" ordinance that allows him to convert his property. So far the owner has followed the process set by the city and state.

If he continues to do so then the park will close. that is the reality of it. laws are put into place for this reason. If the city and/or the attorneys for the residents fight hard enough. The owner will sue the city and cost all of the tax payers big money. normally I would not mind if the cause was worth it. however in this case if the owner wins the park will still be closed.


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 11:08 am

Jane, the city has not yet accepted the amended RIR, so I think you are a bit ahead of yourself.


Posted by Jane, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 11:16 am

I understand, they don't to accept it. As per the ordinance it just needs to be complete.

That being said, its just a question of time.


Posted by Jane, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 11:19 am

That being said, I cant wait to see it go. This property has been an eyesore for many years. It is way beyond its useful life.


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 11:19 am

Even if complete, it may not be acceptable.


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 11:22 am

Not useful to you, Jane, but the city has counted it as part of its low income housing in the comprehensive plan and with ABAG. I hope you never have a need for low income housing.


Posted by Jane, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 11:27 am

Im not against low income housing. I just support in building new low income housing. The park is beyond its useful life, and that is a fact.

Im sure with its removal a nicer affordable housing complex will work


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 11:35 am

Jane, I wish I could see what your house looks like. Your property might look better with a new structure on it too! If you are so concerned with the park being an eyesore, have you ever voiced those concerns to the owner over the past 25 years? If you had, it may have prompted him to be somewhat less negligent about maintaining the park. A lot of people enjoy living in the privacy a mobile home affords, and do not wish to be warehoused in a high-density apartment complex, as I'm sure you would not either.


Posted by jane, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Yes, I actually have stopped by a few times in the past. He seems really nice and once walked me through. The issue is the units. He only owns the dirt and such. The units are the eyesore and seem to be very dangerous. Many built without permits is what I am reading.


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 12:37 pm

The owner was well aware of and in many cases a party to all of the build outs on the individual lots. He allowed and was a party to building without permits and the overcrowding that resulted. He has a responsibility beyond the dirt.

The owner has failed to provide routine maintenance for the units and areas he does own and have responsibility for, i.e. the fences, walls, streets, signage and community mailboxes, the studios/cabins, laundry and shower buildings, the single-family home, the workshop and its carport and until the spa moved in, the stores.

He can be very nice when he thinks that is appropriate. Unfortunately he does not think that is appropriate with his tenants, lol. His reputation, based on his 25 years of ownership and various court documents he has accrued over that time, is that when his lips are moving, he is lying 99.9 percent of the time.

Check out his litigation history, I mean REALLY check it out, for enlightenment.


Posted by Jane, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 12:47 pm

At my old age, I have learned that every story has two sides. With all the tenants he has to do deal with, It cannot be an easy job. Nor can he be friends with all of them.

regardless the owners should have and do have the right to either sell, close down, go out of business or what ever else they see fit with their land.

No tenant, mobile home or apartment should have the right to dictate what they can do with their land. That is between them and the city.


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Nobody is dictating anything and nobody says the owner doesn't have a right to either sell, close down, etc., in compliance with the city's mobile home ordinance and in fact the residents welcome his departure and look forward to becoming owners of their park, which will then have on-site management, as is and always has been required by law and an end to deferred maintenance.


Posted by Jane, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 1:14 pm

[Portion removed] the new owner is A developer. They usually by old real estate to develop it. hence the name developer.

Can we stop this thread now. I'm starting to feel that you live there. If so I meant no disrespect and which you luck. I spent many years in real estate prior to retirement I know you are fighting an uphill battle.

Even the city will have huge financial benefits if the park gets developed.


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 1:24 pm

There is no new owner yet. The residents will own and preserve the park. As a small business owner of 19 years and holder of a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, I understand business very well. Thanks for explaining the term developer. Very enlightening!

As to the benefits to the city if the park is developed, there is a downside as well, including the high-density, 187 unit "luxury" apartments becoming a magnet for car burglaries, like you have never seen. doubling the current cut-through traffic from Vista to Los Robles and huge traffic tie-ups on Los Robles.


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 31, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Maria,

Do you live at BV? Or are you an outside advisor? The reason that I ask is that I think you may be setting up the renters for a disappointment. However, my larger concern is that you will get the city of Palo Alto involved in this civil quagmire; you might even find yourself in the legal mess, if you push it too far. I still admire your tenacity, even though I think you are on thin ice...your choice, of course.


Posted by Jane, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Then the owner must be a liar. Many of the articles quoted him as
Saying that he was in contract. And any new offers should be directed to the developer.

A bold statement I would add, if its not true.


Posted by curious PA resident, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 31, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Craig, as long as the city follow the letter of the law, it should be in good shape legally (I hope).
Marie, I realize that the BV tenants have a top-notch team of legal experts on their side, so you may well be able to wrest control of BV park from the current owner. However, I'm really curious how you anticipate obtaining the funds to buy the land, bring the property and all the mobile homes to code, and not raise the rents substantially. Can you obtain funds from PAHC to develop this as a low-cost housing site? Do you plan to sue the city? Do some of your supports have deep pockets and want to invest in BV? Please clarity if you can.


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 31, 2013 at 2:11 pm

>Craig, as long as the city follow the letter of the law, it should be in good shape legally (I hope).

Similar statements were made over at Half Moon Bay. In the end, HMB got crushed. I prefer not to rely on "hope".

If CPA takes a serious stance on this private contract issue, we could all lose huge amounts. Feel lucky?


Posted by Jane, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 2:19 pm

[Portion removed.] I know they have hope, I can't believe that CPA will risk millions in a legal battle when they know the end result will be the conversion of the land. Only time will tell but if history teaches anything a new development is near.


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 31, 2013 at 3:00 pm

> I believe the city's web site on BV has info on legal counsel.

Maria, it was not obvious to me, so could you provide it?

Thanks,

Craig


Posted by CPA BV website, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 31, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Craig and others, the city's BV info website is here:
Web Link


Posted by jane, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Web Link


Posted by Aquamarine, a resident of Stanford
on Jul 31, 2013 at 5:53 pm

Jane says, "He only owns the dirt and such." No, not really.

You also say, "Many built without permits is what I am reading." The buck stops with him, as he is the landowner.

Jane, I'm betting that for all of your time in real estate, much of it wasn't in dealing with mobile home parks. You may have been on this planet for a long time, but you lack real knowledge of how mobile home parks work, as well as tenant/landlord laws. There is a lot of responsibility that goes along with the privilege of collecting money from those who live on another's land. Owning a piece of property which houses many people has some complex aspects to it, as does selling that property. This landlord hasn't been honoring his responsibility. There is a long history of this. In short, he's been known as a bit of a slumlord.


Posted by Robert, a resident of another community
on Jul 31, 2013 at 6:30 pm

A tough choice for Palo Altans, on one hand, excited about getting rid of low income residents, on the other they're probably being displaced for high density housing. No wonder this is such a contentious issue!


Posted by Jane, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 7:09 pm

Harsh words aquamarine. I do know that when a landlord leases a space to a tenant and that lease runs out. The tenant no longer has right to that space. That being said the only reason these people believe they have rights is because they are poor and believe they are entitled to something.

Further, it's been my experience that even the best landlords are referred to as slumlords once they make a decision that is unpopular with the tenants. Regardless or landlord rights.

Remember you may not like what I'm saying but the law is on his side and in the end after all the name calling. His rights will prevail else he will so and the rest of the tax payers will be stuck with the bill


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 8:16 pm

Jane, as previously stated, the owner has a history of prevaricating 99.9 percent of the time.

Curious, as previously stated, federal & state funding.

Aquamarine, you are correct as he's been closely following the slumlord handbook in his management style.


Posted by don't quite get it, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 31, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Maria's argument seems to be that because the mobile home owners broke the law (made illegal modifications to their mobile homes, i.e. enlarging one structure to include a tree that protruded through the roof) and the owner knew about this and did not prevent them from doing so, the owner is liable and can be sued by the residents. This sounds a bit convoluted to me.


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 8:39 pm

wrong, don't quite get it, the residents don't want to sue anybody, they wish to purchase the park to preserve it.


Posted by don't quite get it, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 31, 2013 at 8:48 pm

But Maria, in order to purchase the park, the residents will need to get the owner to reduce the price to half of what he could get from a developer. How can you coerce him to do so without threatening him with legal action for "breaking the law" as described in my post above?


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 8:53 pm

The city probably wants to maintain its low income housing stock and may not approve the RIR, they already rejected it once and the owner has gone on record stating that he is standing by his original offer.


Posted by jane, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Maria, you state the the owner is a lair. A lease is a legal document that requires signatures. If the lease is expired what legal right do the tenants have. And why when faced with these questions do you always resort to name calling. Ie "he's a liar."


Posted by palo alto parent, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 31, 2013 at 9:04 pm

Maria - when I look at the Buena Vista info on the City website, all the info is about the procedure, steps and documentation required for the conversion process. Nowhere do I see anything about selling to another party instead of Prometheus.


Posted by jane, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Also the rir was not rejected just found incomplete. The owner has resubmitted the report. I'm assuming it was submitted with the required changes. This will go on till its complete. If the city keeps rejecting it without cause then a the owner will sue and our tax dollars will be lost.


Posted by not buying it, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 31, 2013 at 9:06 pm

The city rejected the 1st RIR because it was incomplete. According to the applicant's letter, many residents flatly refused to fill out their information sheets at all, and others omitted answers to some questions. I'm assuming this was less of a problem for the re-submitted RIR. Although I don't personally care who ends up owning the property, I'm praying that the city of Palo Alto does not open itself up for costly litigation by getting involved in this dispute.


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Palo Alto parent, the residents met with financial specialists and attorneys Monday evening, 7/29/2013.

Jane, there is a time limit of one year on the RIR.

Not buying it, as previously stated, the applicant has a history of prevaricating 99.9 percent of the time. There are many other issues in the RIR.


Posted by jane, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Maria, what time limit? There is no time limit. Get an attorney to better explain it to you.


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Jane, you need to read the ordinance, the application is valid for one year.


Posted by jane, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Web Link

Number 1 on the list is the conversion ordinance. Owner has all the time needed to complete the report. Once the report is accepted then the owner has one year to move forward on the closure

I can't imagine him doing all this work just to cancel it. Especially when the value more than doubles when the land is empty.


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Jane, the Application is good for one year from the date submitted.


Posted by Wow, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 31, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Jane. You are really on top of this. Great point!!


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 9:52 pm

Wow, Jane is not on top of it. The ordinance specifies the Application is valid for one year because appraisals will not necessarily remain the same after a year.


Posted by jane, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 9:57 pm

Thanks wow. This park is next to my house. So it's going to impact me directly.

Maria. You are wrong. See section 9.76.090 Page 7. It is clear. One year after approval. NOT one year to complete the report.

Guess the delay tactics by the tenants are out the window


Posted by Wow, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 31, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Anything Maria? Think Jane has done her research.


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Jane, the residents have not employed any delaying tactics. The residents will be purchasing the park and preserving it. You'll be able to thank them for helping you avoid having high density housing next to your house.


Posted by jane, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 10:21 pm

For 30 million?? Plus the money required to Repair /rebuild The park. Does the bankruptcy come to mind?


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Again, federal and state assistance for fair market value as a mobile home park.


Posted by jane, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 10:35 pm

So you expect the owners to walk away with 16m on the table?? He must be a stupid liar then. Good luck and keep dreaming.


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Jane, as previously stated, the owner has a documented history of untruthiness, as Stephen Colbert would say, lol, so your description of him is quite accurate.


Posted by Aquamarine, a resident of Stanford
on Jul 31, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Jane, which do you prefer to live next to:

A) High density housing
B) A trailer park that has fewer residents than the above but whose social status may be more modest than those residing in the high density housing

I'd like to know why you care so much where the current residents get their funds to make an offer.


Posted by jane , a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 10:56 pm

What I care about is people like maria expect him to accept 16m less than market. That simply will never happen without a fight. That will cost us tax payers dearly.

People must be realistic. You would not walk away from money like that. So why should he?


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Jane, if the city does not accept the RIR and decides to preserve its low income housing stock and not assist in the largest forced relocation in over 50 years, the park can be sold as its present usage. Without the zoning change, the developer will not be interested. The fair market value has been appraised as 14.5m.


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 11:13 pm

I agree with the other speculators...the city is looking at a lawsuit, but perhaps no matter the decision. Either the developer & owner will sue if they don't get their zoning request or the BV residents will sue if the city gives the zoning change. Then the party left out will sue the other party for damages. The winner will be the lawyers.


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 11:31 pm

The lawyers are working pro bono for the residents.


Posted by end this please, a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 1, 2013 at 7:07 am

maria - its already zoned rm15, thats why its worth millions more. rezoning it now will be CPA biggest law suit in history.

The owner is moving forward with legal help to complete the conversion ordinance. its only a question of time.

The tenants cannot sue the city for giving the owner what he already has. and if they have to choose sides because of the the fear of being sued, then they will side with the owner.... not only because its right, but the tenants case will not win in court.


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 1, 2013 at 11:39 am

Jane, the residents do NOT wish to sue anyone, they intend to BUY the park and preserve it.


Posted by palo alto parent, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 1, 2013 at 11:57 am

Maria - I think the point Jane and others are trying to make is that currently, the Jissers can get $29 million for the property if the conversion goes through (assuming that the offer from Prometheus is consistent with the appraised value). If the residents force the City to reject his conversion proposal, Jisser can't sell the land for that amount. This potentially puts the City in a position of being sued by the Jisser family for the loss in value of their property.

If the Residents were able to purchase the land, it sounds like current Building Codes would require the removal of a number of the units and all the remaining mobile homes would need to be brought up to code.

BTW - the land value is the same if the zoning is R-15 (the existing zoning) or is changed to accommodate Prometheus.


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 1, 2013 at 12:18 pm

palo alto parent, the residents will not be "forcing" the city to do anything, the city will want to maintain its current stock of low income housing and will want to assist the residents in preserving the park.

The park, which is subject to HCD housing guidelines, passed a one year long HCD inspection of the build outs on every lot in 2012. The park's build outs are not subject to city building codes and city code enforcement officers do not provide inspections to anything that is not connected to the ground. The city oversees the buildings in the park, such as the single family home, the office, the laundry and showers, the studios/cabins and the workshop. The individual mobile homes are subject to HCD only and are currently in compliance.

The change in zoning makes the park more valuable for a developer, without the zoning change, only 89 new units may be constructed. The park as is, is grandfathered under R-15.


Posted by palo alto parent, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 1, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Maria - if the City was committed to maintaining Buena Vista as low income housing, wouldn't the info on the City website reflect that? As it is, all the BV info on the website refers to the conversion process. The appraised price of the property is the same whether it is zoned R-15 or higher density, the lower value is ONLY with the mobile homes on it.


Posted by Wrong again, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 1, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Your math does not work. Rm15 allows 89 units. Currently there are over a hundred units. Thus the grandfather zone is higher.

Also regardless what the city wants the owner has the right to convert the park. Hence the conversion ordinance.

Many of these post sound very childish in tone. When the facts are stated the next post just ignore those facts and say the opposite.


Posted by Maria, a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 1, 2013 at 1:44 pm

palo alto parent, the appraisal submitted to the city gives two values, one as is, and one for development.


Posted by Wrong again, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 1, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Wow. Maria we can all read. As is 14m empty 29m. I bet 15 million that the owner will close it at collect more.


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 1, 2013 at 1:56 pm

> I believe the city's web site on BV has info on legal counsel.
Maria, it was not obvious to me, so could you provide it?

Thanks,

Craig

....
Maria, I checked out the city web site, but I could not find info on the BV legal counsel. Would you mind pointing me to the specific information...or can you just provide it, so that the public can be fully informed?

I don't have a dog in the BV tenant vs. owner fight, directly. However I, and every other PA citizen has a major interest, if Palo Alto or PAUSD becomes entangled, and gets sued.

Thanks.

Craig


Posted by palo alto parent, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 1, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Maria -

Per the City, appraised values:

Current value (with the park as it) $14.5 million
VACANT land $29,225 million at R-15 zoning
VACANT land $29,225 at R-40 zoning


Posted by PA resident, a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 1, 2013 at 5:53 pm

pa parent, it sounds like the safest route for CPA would be to approve the RIR (if complete) but not approve the re-zoning.


Posted by Aquamarine, a resident of Stanford
on Aug 1, 2013 at 6:10 pm

Jane - you really don't know what I would or wouldn't walk away from, but that's not the point. The point is what the owner would walk away from.

So which would you prefer - high density housing next door, or lower income people who can only afford a mobile home park in Palo Alto?


Posted by to Craig, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 1, 2013 at 6:16 pm

Lawyers working on behalf of the mobile home residents are listed in item #8 on the CPA's BV web site:
Web Link


Posted by Jane, a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 1, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Aquamarine - the last statement makes no sense. The owner is dealing with 14 to 29 million. How is that not important?

You don't have the option here. With a completed and approved RIR the owner will force out the tenants. With a huge difference in price the owners will fight and sue anybody who gets in the way.


Posted by Aquamarine, a resident of Stanford
on Aug 1, 2013 at 6:51 pm

I didn't say that the money wasn't important. I asked which you would prefer, a trailer park or high density housing next door. It's a straightforward question, so I'm not sure why you're not understanding the question.


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 1, 2013 at 7:58 pm

>Lawyers working on behalf of the mobile home residents are listed in item #8 on the CPA's BV web site:

Web Link


Thanks for the direction to the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley. I think the various Board members can open up their own (elite) neighborhoods to help the potential refugees from BV. Let's see if they volunteer....


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