With the exception of Heather Trossman, the example above shows a perfect example of a Council-appointed political commission completely out of control, exhibiting hubris shows how power can be used in petty ways.
Architectural Review Board member Judith Wasserman's statements to developer Harold Holbach were way off base, especially in a public ommission hearing. Her statements were more than statements of odisagreement; they bordered on mocking behavior. Perhaps Ms. Wasserman's "purview" isn't held in such high esteem by all who come before her on this commission that has been set up to politicize design and aesthetics. More Palo Alto Process, anyone?
Perhaps Ms. Wasserman is still steamed about our City Council approving Mr. Holbach's project. Perhaps she shuold walk in a developer's shoes for a time, and wear those shoes to development meetings to learn what happens to the bottom line when unconsciounable delays are forced on developers, and how those losses in the bottom line result in _higher_ prices to home buyers and apartment dwellers - or, materials of lesser quality used to build to make up for delay costs. This is a dose of reality that many who want to put every developer through the wringer shuold experience first hand, with _their own_ money.
If Palo Altans somehow think that "word doesn't get out" to the developer community about the kind and style of abuse that has been visited on Harold Holbach, they should think again.
Also, I wonder if Palo Altans realize that the spiteful use of the law to delay development creates a phalanx of overly clever developers, who quickly adapt to the shenanigans of petty commission decisions. We, the citizens of Palo Alto, are _paying_ for the delays caused by those few in this community who appear to delight in meddling in every little detail and drawing that a developer puts forward.
If Palo Altans don't think that the law used to intimidate, or cause,and/or threaten development delay for projects that don't quite satisfy the falsely elevated sense of architectual aesthetics of a few, whose obsessive gauntlet of snob-appeal aethetics has been used over and over again in years past to _cost our citizens money_, without ANY positive outcome for those citizens, in general.
If there is a way to issue a cross-compalint against Mssrs. Moss and Jordan, with requests made for damages, including attorney's fees, I hope Mr. Holback carries such a complaint through. If he doesn't, maybe someone will, and force Mssr/s Moss and Jordan to think twice before meddling in the affairs of those who don't need their amateur opinion about what is "right" for Palo Alto development.
IN the meantime, the 195 Page Mill area remains a trash heap of currugated metal buildings, with transients making the back yars of those buildings their temporary homes. It's a dangerous place to walk in the evening.
Thanks again, Ms. Wasserman - and you, too, Mssrs. Moss and Jordan, for protecting our right to get mugged this summer, if Mr Holbach's construction is delayed, and that trash heap doesn't get demolished.
When will our everyday citizens learn that those who like to bake "meddle pie" are doing our city more harm than good, and unwittingly continue to make our fair city the laughing stock of the region because of the nonsensical delays that their meddling causes.
Architecture Commission and would-be watchdogs cost PA taxpayers money and safety
Original post made by J. Habermas, Ventura, on May 23, 2007