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About this blog: I grew up in Los Angeles and moved to the area in 1963 when I started graduate school at Stanford. Nancy and I were married in 1977 and we lived for nearly 30 years in the Duveneck school area. Our children went to Paly. We moved ...  (More)

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My Pet Poster Peeves--Part One

Uploaded: Jun 8, 2015
A few posters make comments that tell other people and companies what to do in terms of where to live and work. It seems like they have invented a variation on the Golden Rule: I will do what I want and you should do what I want.

Here are a few examples.

? Companies should take jobs elsewhere, like Oakland or Oregon for example or other places that need more jobs.

There is a serious answer.

Of course companies are already free to locate outside of Palo Alto and the peninsula so if they wanted to be in Oakland or Oregon, they could make that happen and some do so.

The companies that want to locate and expand in the peninsula like Google and Facebook and many others do so because it makes business sense to them. One major reason (since it is not the cheapest location) is that there is a large workforce here and many workers prefer to work up and down the peninsula.

Moreover, in terms of overall job growth in our local area, we have Stanford University, Stanford Research Park, Stanford Shopping Center and the Stanford Hospital and medical services complex. So there has been and will be lots of expansion here.

There is also a more in your face answer.

Moving works both ways. Since it seems unlikely that Stanford and companies are ready to abandon peninsula locations and growth, perhaps these posters should take their own advice and move. Freedom and choice do work both ways.

? People who want an urban, dense living environment should move to San Francisco (or Manhattan or Hong Kong)

There is a serious answer.

First, people are free to move to San Francisco or Tracy or Oregon if they wish. There are reasons they prefer cities like Palo Alto.

Palo Alto (or most cities up and down the peninsula) is not like San Francisco. In Palo Alto, new "tall" buildings are four stories, not 20 or 50 stories. Most posters (obviously not all) CAN tell the difference in what is considered dense between San Francisco and Palo Alto. There are obviously other major differences that might attract some people to a downtown, walkable, slightly dense center of Palo Alto who prefer that to San Francisco.

And, oh yes, there are the schools and parks. So to me at least it seems perfectly reasonable that young families or older residents might want to live in buildings like where I live and would not want to live in Manhattan or San Jose.

The bidding wars going on for condos and townhouses in my neighborhood and across the city gives market validation to the fact that my living situation is attractive to many kinds of families.

There is also a more in your face answer.

Most housing being built up and down the peninsula is no longer single family homes. That is the future although change is slow. So, again, moving works two ways. Posters are free to move and take the advice a few so freely give to others.

? Some variation of "no one wants to live in dense housing" (some of the angrier posters call it stack and pack") and/or young families when they have children will want a suburban home and older residents want to stay in their homes and not move downtown.

These allegations are demonstrably false. The bidding war for condos and townhouses is evidence that there is strong demand. In our building and among my friends are young families with children living in "dense" downtown housing and young families with children living downtown in single family homes.

These families are free to move to places like Tracy where single family homes are available for much less cost than in Palo Alto but they prefer to live here.

And we have a number of older residents like those in Channing House and elsewhere who have sold their single family homes and prefer their new living arrangements. Again, the market evidence confirms that downtown locations and I assume around California Avenue command interest and high prices and rents.

Why is any of this important?

The policy answer is that the city council will consider a variety of housing issues in the Comp Plan update including moving some sites in the Housing Element from the south of the city to downtown, Cal Ave and similar locations and consider policies that affect what kind of housing will be allowed and preferred.

And we will continue to have a policy debate about housing job growth in Palo Alto. That will probably go better without telling other people where they should live and work. Posters probably do not want anyone telling them where to live and work.

Comments

 +   13 people like this
Posted by John Kelley, a resident of Community Center,
on Jun 8, 2015 at 9:27 pm

Steve, I applaud you for writing a thoughtful piece aimed at improving the quality of civic discourse in Palo Alto, even among people who disagree. I particularly liked this part of your conclusion: "And we will continue to have a policy debate about housing job growth in Palo Alto. That will probably go better without telling other people where they should live and work." At the Comprehensive Plan Summit, I was fortunate to participate in several thoughtful discussions with people whose perspectives were very different from my own. I learned a lot from everyone. I believe that the people who live in Palo Alto --- not its buildings or its companies --- are what make this a great community, and I value not only the diversity of the people in our city, but also the diversity of views that we share with one another. Thanks for an excellent piece that may help to improve the ways in which we communicate about important civic issues.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jun 9, 2015 at 8:44 am

So I gather from your essay that you are in favor of limiting buildings to 4-stories?


 +   10 people like this
Posted by Mike-Crescent Park, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jun 9, 2015 at 9:48 am

Mike-Crescent Park is a registered user.

Steve, although you do take the time to state your positions and reasoning unfortunately you still appear as a lobbyist for developers.

Your own personal economic and business bases seem to be here and you'll so seem to like a high density environment for business and personal life. So you expect that everyone else should too and anything else is foolish. A lot of us don't. Creating a new flight from the suburbs for the rest of us because you and others decree Palo Alto must become urban is not a reasonable answer. Not for those who like Palo Alto as a place to live in a civilized style-neighborhoods, parks, usable streets and a quality downtown.

It has been many years since companies discovered that major growth often means locating net new campuses in new geographic locations to offer employees affordable space and options for less crowding. The giant headquarters complex that just keeps growing is no longer common (although Google has done a pretty thorough job of absorbing everything within a half mile of its HQ building.) The big successful companies can expand that way without the need for new 50 story buildings next to their current building. And small companies can continue to incubate along Page Mill and adjacent office parks without tearing up Palo Alto to create more space.

I mentor technology grads and undergrads from my alma mater. Recently one of them took an internship at Tesla. He lived in Mountain View because housing was available and compared to Palo Alto reasonable. (Mountain View has committed to high density apartments and condos which are changing their downtown but works for them.) He commuted to Tesla by bike or on bad weather days by train to the Tesla shuttle. It worked well for the entire duration of his six moth internship. If Tesla reaches the point where it cannot hire interns anymore because of housing costs or commutes they will make an adjustment in either compensation or locations for workers or something else. We aren't really required to erect dense apartment blocks in Palo Alto neighborhoods to ensure Tesla's success.

We do not need to obliterate our town or neighborhoods to continue to enjoy continued economic success. Some may choose to pursue that path but a lot of us will work to keep that from happening. Palo Alto started as a town when Stanford University started because many teachers, professors and other University employees wanted to have space for a home and gardens and space versus the alternative of living on campus with more limitations. That was the genesis of Professorville. For a lot of us committed to Palo Alto those same preferences for quality of life remain.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Mike-Crescent Park, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jun 9, 2015 at 12:50 pm

Mike-Crescent Park is a registered user.

Sorry- a few lines in my post above are garbled. Operator error or iPhone intervention.

It says:
Your own personal economic and business bases seem to be here and you'll so seem to like a high density environment for business and personal life.

Should say:
Your own personal economic and business bases seem to be here and you seem to like a high density environment for business and personal life.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community,
on Jun 9, 2015 at 2:16 pm

Lived in England for about 3 years where I lived about 50 miles south of London and going to London was like going to San Francisco from San Jose. When I went to London just to see sights but sometimes I would ride the train or take the tube to other parts of the city.

What I found that parts of London were dense but those parts were closest to the city center, tall buildings that were 20 to 35 stories. Some of those building were thrown up after World War 2 to house offices and people in a quick amount of time.

The other thing I would do is travel to the parts that had more reasonable density and were untouched by the bombings. What I found were more suburban high density that included 4 to 5 story building on main roads or areas that were old industrial estates. Older 2 to 3 story flats or rowhomes. The higher density was found more by the rail or tube stations Walked about 50 feet from a 3 story building would find large family homes.

The 15 story blocks of flats won't work in Palo Alto, but the 2 story flats, 4 story buildings with ground floor retail, rowhomes full of 1 or 2 bedroom cottages, the large family townhomes. All can be built upon old apartment buildings, major roads or older areas of industry.

Now comes the best part, think the bay area with its old shopping rundown shopping centers, outdated businesses parks, old unused car lots, old rundown apartments and small outdate rundown homes.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Mark Michael, a resident of Community Center,
on Jun 10, 2015 at 7:08 am

Thanks Steve, again, for seeking to raise the level of analysis and insight in our civic discourse. I attempted a Google search on academic studies regarding anonymous Internet posting. Evidently, this issue has not received a great deal of attention. The few articles that come up suggest a tendency for anonymous posting to "deteriorate into negativity." See, for example, "It's time to end anonymous comments", Washington Post, Aug. 14, 2014. Perhaps Palo Alto Online could at least segregate anonymous and attributed commentary?

Given the serious concerns about jobs and housing, it continues to puzzle me why the City doesn't utilize study sessions at the Planning & Transportation Commission to facilitate discussion and debate. Perhaps the lack of a dedicated forum forces concerned residents to vent or express ideas and rebuttal in any virtual forum they find convenient.

This week I met three fellows from Mt. View who were impacted differently by the local housing forces. One lives in a rented 2 bedroom apartment in a building that recently sold to a developer. All the tenants are being evicted and the units will be refurbished and rented at triple the current rates ($7500 per month v. $2700). This man is retired from a Silicon Valley job and plans to relocate to Ukiah where he can rent a 3 bedroom house for $1700. Another owns a small house and plans to keep it as a rental when he relocates to San Luis Obispo (keeping his Prop 13 tax base, avoiding capital gains, and estate planning for a step up in basis for his heirs). The third guy mentioned a nice new apartment building that just went up, where an entire floor is rented to Google for temporary housing for its employees. And, of course, the traffic situation getting from Palo Alto to Mt. View was ridiculously congested both in the morning commute and the late afternoon return. Palo Altans should not feel that we alone are afflicted with economic growing pains.

On Sunday I met three younger folks who had graduated from Stanford in the last 5-10 years. One woman had a degree in Chemical Engineering, had worked at a biotech startup that was acquired by a larger company and was happily struggling to advancement career and invest her capital gains. Another fellow and his wife, with EE credentials, had just purchased their first home in Menlo Park, moving from a San Francisco apartment, hoping to start a family.

A tale of two different generations, one on the way out, another on the way up?


 +   2 people like this
Posted by palo alto resident, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Jun 10, 2015 at 10:13 am

Steve - you always bring up some good points, but I also wonder if the reason people with young families are buying condos and townhomes is because that is what is available, not because that is their personal choice in housing.

As our buildings age and get replaced, I wish we would redevelop property on University and Cal Ave in a manner similar to Newbury street in Boston, charming buildings (aka as not all glass), with first floor retail and restaurants and 3 floors of housing. We really don't "need" more offices in either place.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Jun 10, 2015 at 10:32 am

Thanks for the Economics lesson. And you seem to be doing a lot of that same "telling us where we should live" or "where we should move to". People who live here obviously can afford to live here, altho it might put a strain on their budget. But there are many more who can't afford to live here and are commuting long distances, like from Tracy for example. Please don't make us long time residents feel like Native Americans who should be pushed out by the hordes of foreigners who want to come here to work and live. And please don't use that trite overworked term NIMBYs. It's childish, like kids' taunts on the playground.

If you've read any of my many previous comments you know I'm in favor of increasing height limits for new more dense housing.
Not for more office space, however. Let the housing catch up. But there are so many questions that need to be answered. How much more housing is needed and what is the current mix of studio, 1-bdrm, 2-bdrm, 3-bdrm apartments or condos that are needed? The Business Registry would be a good source of information but it is slow getting out of the gate.

Affordability: What is affordable for those many tech workers who commute everyday? That needs to be asked and answered.
How much additional housing will it take to impact (bring down) rental rates? Is it incremental, an analog function? Or will it only become significant when housing nears or exceeds the demand.

Stop it Steve! You make it sound like so many posters are your enemies and have to be dealt with. Don't bring yourself down into the mire of some of them that disagree with. And stop tossing in those little extra "in your face" comments. You're a better blogger without those.



 +   6 people like this
Posted by Good Luck, a resident of another community,
on Jun 10, 2015 at 11:05 am

I hope you find this recent blog therapeutic. Good luck with your opinions and trying to heal the pain of your pet peeves. I'll spare telling you mine, because honestly, nobody really cares. Oh sure it may SEEM like I have all the answers, but in the end I'd just look like a blow hard. Again, I hope you find some healing from this blog.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by mauricio, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Jun 10, 2015 at 11:43 am

mauricio is a registered user.

There is nothing new in Mr. Levy's essay. This has been the developers spiel for decades and he barely even bothers to change the code words they use when lobbying for unfettered development. Most people live in Palo Alto precisely because they don't want to live in the kind of place Steve Levy envisions and wants to create. Now he tells them to feel free to move elsewhere, so he can more easily lobby for a dramatic urbanization push. If we wanted to live in a dense urban environment Levy loves so much, we would have already move to San Francisco, San Jose, Manhattan, Hong Kong, etc.

And if his wish to ease up on height limit is granted, how long before more aggressive demands for even taller buildings, using the same 9false) arguments are presented?

I never claimed that Levy is a paid lobbyist for developers:i just have absolutely no evidence that he has ever received any monetary compensation from them. Nevertheless, he is lobbying exactly for what the developers want, using very similar terminology and rational terminology, and this in my view makes him a lobbyist for the developers.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Feedback for Mr. Levy, a resident of Green Acres,
on Jun 10, 2015 at 1:36 pm

I agree with "Good Luck," but here's a pet peeve of mine anyway:

Bloggers that delete posts that are critical of their logic (or lack thereof) and arguments, and then seek to rebut phantom arguments that they themselves craft to attempt to portray anyone who doesn't agree with their own specific worldview as NIMBY/backwards/closed-minded/ etc.

Anyone making a good argument is not afraid of a follow up question. Deleting critical comments ("Why I support the property tax" thread, for example) is akin to a child covering their ears and yelling to drown out something they don't want to hear.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Henry, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jun 10, 2015 at 3:32 pm

Steve, What is the difference between telling other people to go live or work somewhere else and you telling people to pay more (both monetarily and in loss of quality of life/services) to have other people live and work here? Isn't that just the opposite side of the same argument?

Your data analysis has consistently been commissioned by and in support of pro-growth developers and civic entities that profit from high density. Why should others respect your world view when you can not respect theirs?


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Dan, a resident of Midtown,
on Jun 10, 2015 at 3:55 pm

My pet peeve ... people who say "tell me what you think" but are only interested in hearing things that fit neatly into their own world view. I far prefer to read blogs/opinions/articles that are outside my own echo chamber because there is no chance to understand deeper if you are only listening to clones of yourself. That is why I like things like Steve's blog, Paul Krugman's NYT opinion column, etc. which are usually opposite of my viewpoint.

"Most housing being built up and down the peninsula is no longer single family homes."

I would agree that this is definitely true of most "for profit" housing development. Its about land and regulation costs, the money and ROI. However, there are many single family homes being built/remodeled/re-developed in our neighborhoods. The difference is these are owner driven projects rather than developer / investor driven.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Iconoclast, a resident of University South,
on Jun 10, 2015 at 4:34 pm

"The companies that want to locate and expand in the peninsula like Google and Facebook and many others do so because it makes business sense to them. One major reason (since it is not the cheapest location) is that there is a large workforce here and many workers prefer to work up and down the peninsula."

If there is already a large workforce here, why do we need to stuff in more?


 +   2 people like this
Posted by mauricio, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Jun 10, 2015 at 4:43 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

I am one of many residents who sacrificed a great deal to purchase a house(without asking other residents for help or demanding a change in their lifestyle and quality of live to accommodate me) in Palo Alto. We wanted to live in Palo Alto, and not in San Francisco, Mountain View, San Jose or Manhattan or any other urban, high density city. We wanted this life style and this quality of life. Mr. levy has been a long time lobbyist of a radical change to Palo Alto which would make it much more urban and densely populated. Now he has the temerity to suggest that those who disagree with him should just leave Palo Alto. If he, PAF and their like-minded pro growth advocates want to live in a more urban, dense place, obliterating our chosen lifestyle and quality of life, it is not us who should move out of Palo Alto.

Every job application includes the question: 'Will you be willing to relocate?'. A number of friends have been transferred over the years by their high tech companies from this areas to Austin, Dallas, Boston, El Segundo and other parts. There is no doubt that companies will move entirely, or move some of their operations to other parts of the country due to the space and housing shortages (and cost) on the peninsula. It is already happening. It's the right and smart thing to do. Asking companies to do the smart, right and inevitable thing to do. .


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Tim Buck II, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jun 10, 2015 at 4:46 pm

@Stephen

The title of and several elements in this topic show you are way too thin skinned to be blogging. Give up before you totally lose it in front of everybody.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Robert, a resident of another community,
on Jun 10, 2015 at 4:57 pm

I think mauricio exemplifies the mindset perfectly: He didn't cause an impact to Palo Alto, its all those people moving after him. Kind of like traffic people the fault of all those other cars on the road, density being a result of all those other people who want to move here, and so on.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by stephen levy, a resident of University South,
on Jun 10, 2015 at 5:00 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

@ crescent park dad

you commented

"So I gather from your essay that you are in favor of limiting buildings to 4-stories?"

I think some additional height in selected areas would be fine. I would rather accommodate additional housing in ways that reduce unit costs, increase amenities and if five story buildings like the one I live in or six/seven story buildings like the beautiful apartments next to where I live can produce that, I am fine doing so.

I guess the question back to you is, given the housing goal of 2,000 units, would you prefer fewer taller buildings or more smaller buildings?

I hope we can agree that the talk of 50 story buildings, Hong Kong and the like is not something either of us advocate for Palo Alto.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by stephen levy, a resident of University South,
on Jun 10, 2015 at 5:10 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

@ Mike from Crescent Park,

We seem to disagree about how attractive Palo Alto is now. I live downtown and like it. I liked it when we lived on Edgewood Drive in a single family home.

You commented

"So you expect that everyone else should too and anything else is foolish. A lot of us don't.

There is no "should" in what I wrote. There is a statement that there is demand for the kind of living arrangement nancy and I and many others have now. I do not disagree with your perspective of what is right for you. Do you deny that the high and rising market prices and rents downtown signify strong demand and the same is true up and down the peninsula? Do you have anything to say to these people other than "live elsewhere"?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by stephen levy, a resident of University South,
on Jun 10, 2015 at 5:23 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

to the posters who claim I represent developers.

First, of course you know that is false. You can see my client list and publications on the CCSCE website.

Second, you seem to overlook an important point. Developers build for customers. If they build homes and offices that no one wants, they will lose lots of money.

So I do stand for the customers, particularly for housing. I do argue for the families who want to buy or rent the new housing that can be built in Palo Alto and up and down the peninsula. We have a major housing shortage and that makes life difficult for all renters and for the new households that are added to our region each year.

Development is a job with often large risks and rewards. In the housing collapse of 2008, lots of people including developers lost money as housing prices and the value of land fell.

But the bottom line is that developments are built for people and companies who create the demand. If posters want to criticize the customers, they are free to do so but they are the appropriate target.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Gale Johnson, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Jun 10, 2015 at 5:23 pm

Thanks to you many responders to Steve's blog. He overextended his support of the developers' (his buds) mantra. Build it, they will come. That seemed to work in a cornfield in Iowa but I don't think, or at least hope, it won't work in my town! Too many to thank for your spot on responses...but thanks anyway, and it sounds like we'll be faced with Part 2! Anxiously awaiting! Keep your powder dry and ready for that next attack/assault!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by stephen levy, a resident of University South,
on Jun 10, 2015 at 5:30 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

@ palo alto resident

Thanks for your comment. You asked

"but I also wonder if the reason people with young families are buying condos and townhomes is because that is what is available, not because that is their personal choice in housing."

I think people deal with the choices before them. So the choice of young families you mention is their first choice. They do have a choice to live in a single family home, say in Gilroy and hace made this choice to be in PA. If offered a $1,000,000 single family home of comparable size in PA, they might choose that but it is not a realistic choice.

I like the idea of mixed use buildings downtown with retail or some public use on the ground floor and housing above.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Gale Johnson, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Jun 10, 2015 at 5:33 pm

Time for all of us to take a break, take a nap, or have a good dinner, watch a movie or Giants game , go to bed for a good night's sleep and then go back it again tomorrow.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Iconoclast, a resident of University South,
on Jun 10, 2015 at 6:57 pm

Why do you think Google and the other corporate giants should be entitled to do what they want here, and that we mere flesh and blood mortal residents owe them all possible deference and sacrifice?


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Mike-Crescent Park, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jun 11, 2015 at 10:39 am

Mike-Crescent Park is a registered user.

Steve
I can appreciate that your and some others like the kind of living arrangement (building type etc) you have downtown. I like my single family home in Crescent Park. But I am not suggesting that we tear down apartments and condos so we can build more single family such as I like. I don't buy that downtown or 'transit corridors' should change to accommodate more of the style you prefer. Net new medium to large scale development anywhere can impact what Palo Alto is in appearance and lifestyle as well as all the scaled up infrastructure that may be needed to support it. I do not feel like we owe it to anyone to determine how to provide them with housing in Palo Alto. If I were a developer or land owner I guess I would have a different motivation.

Every large growth mode company I know of has built new campuses out of this area- some as close as Sacramento. Google has a relatively new and large campus in Cambridge MA. We do not bear the responsibility to accommodate everyone's growth driven needs. They will figure out solutions like they already have been.

My net is: incubate here, headquarter here but expand somewhere else. And if you can't live where you want here it's time to find somewhere else. Nobody has a right to have housing created for them where they want it. Market forces create pressure and those with vested interests can create counter pressure.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Chris, a resident of University South,
on Jun 11, 2015 at 10:57 am

The NIMBY homeowners that are against all change are just setting themselves up for a bigger upset down the road.

A reasonable plan for accommodating more seniors and younger workers is imperative.

These NIMBY homeowners will be trapped in their houses as seniors because there will be no senior housing for them.
Very shortsighted.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Not Starstruck, a resident of Professorville,
on Jun 11, 2015 at 11:02 am

I suppose it is inevitable fthat some people will become so starstruck by corporate wealth that they view Google, Facebook, and their peers as nothing short of royalty. What Google etc. want, Google etc. must get.

Sorry, I am not a rube. Google, Facebook, etc. are welcome if they can fit in like the rest of us have to, and are welcome to move to a more obseqious environment if they can/will not.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Gale Johnson, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Jun 11, 2015 at 5:43 pm

Why do all those Crescent Park posters seem to get it so right so much of the time? Maybe they're smarter, maybe older, but maybe only having a longer experience dealing with all these kinds of issues we're talking about online today. Whatever the reason, thanks, keep sending your gems of wisdom.Some will catch on...but be patient. You know things move at sloth speed in our town.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by mauricio, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Jun 11, 2015 at 5:54 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Palo Alto does not need and shouldn't change into a dense urban metropolis because corporations keep moving in and hire more workers in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world, especially since land is already so scarce. It is the corporation's responsibility to find housing for their workers under such circumstances. Since there is no available land in palo Alto for what they have in mind, it's up to them to either relocate or find housing for their employees further away from Palo Alto.

What's good for Google, Facebook, Palanteer, etc is not necessarily what's good for Palo Alto, and contrary to popular belief, we the people don't exist to serve corporations.I personally don't care that Palanteer keeps orchestrating en masse showings of their employees at council meeting demanding dense and subsidized housing. What corporations want vis-a-vis Palo Alto housing is utterly irrelevant.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by chris, a resident of University South,
on Jun 11, 2015 at 11:38 pm

mauracio,

all I hear you saying is that you are against change (and that apparently is defined as PHYSICAL change).

That is unrealistic. If you hold the physical environment constant, there will be a big change in the human composition, which you have no way of dealing with if you don't allow physical change.

Are you ready to go there?


 +   2 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jun 12, 2015 at 12:08 am

>> My net is: incubate here, headquarter here but expand somewhere else.

The problem is that it is a big risk for someone who got a job here to move out of the area. If things don't go well coming back is problematic, or staying in touch with one's network.

Instead of this idiotic idea of HSR ( high speed rail ) to LA or SAC what is needed is something like BART on steroids out to some local hubs that could move significant numbers of people to places like Gilroy, Livermore, San Ramon, Santa Cruz, Hollister.

Having recently visited Watsonville the other day I am always amazed at how backward these little town are. This is like Santa Cruz use to be 30 years ago.

This is the scale and area coverage we need if we want companies to spread out.

It would be better to do now, to spend the money now, to stop development in the core Bay Area in order to economically motivate devlopers to move out of here and put up some infrastructure and modern plants and housing with modern codes on cheaper land. If someone could go to the train station and be at work in some of the outlying towns in less than an hour on a fast train with decent security and without bums.

Maybe every other car could be privately owned, reserved for business class customers, they can be given preference to corprorations who support the HST ( high speed transit ) or subsidize people who move out by giving free round trip tickets into the bay area if you leave back out, meaning commuting would be free to those who made the jump.

Otherwise this is what will eventually happen anyway, but Palo Alto and the core Peninsula will be overcrowded and trashed.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jun 15, 2015 at 11:00 am

Steve - thanks for answering my question directly!

My reply: Palo Alto hasn't come close to building out the areas with their current height limits, including the transit zones. Why not see what happens under the current zoning before creating all-day shadow canyons in some parts of town?

I know what the intent is. But those who are advocating higher limits in the transit zones may want to consider making a compromise proposal: Trade a proposed higher limit zone for placing lower limits in other nearby zones. Just a thought.

Though extreme, take a look at the new shadow canyon created by the Safeway on 1st Street in Los Altos...it is sad to say the least. Besides the concerns for overall density, I think many people fear this permanent imposing impact/effect.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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Tips for the Best Latkes
By Laura Stec | 0 comments | 649 views

 

The holidays are here!

From live music to a visit with Santa, here's a look at some local holiday activities to help you get into the spirit of the season.

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