News


Palo Alto residents seek to keep their Eichler neighborhoods from growing — upward

Recent city approvals of 'McMansions' prompt advocacy

Residents in five Palo Alto Eichler neighborhoods said they plan to ask the city to institute zone changes that limit homes to one story on their blocks, marking the single-largest movement for such a change in the city's history.

The goal, to cap the construction of towering residences in 1950s-era neighborhoods, is coming in response to a series of recent approvals by the City Council of large, two-story homes, they said.

The new homes are out of character with the neighborhoods and intrude upon privacy, members of the ad hoc Palo Alto Eichler Association said during a May 19 presentation before the Midtown Residents Association. The Eichlers' expanses of glass let in natural sunlight, but neighbors in adjacent two-story remodels can see inside bedrooms, bathrooms and other spaces.

The controversy isn't new, particularly in the communities developed by Joseph Eichler. Palo Altans have been lobbying for so-called "single-story overlays," which ban the addition of second floors, in specific neighborhoods for nearly two decades. In February, the City Council conceded that guidelines for reviewing proposed homes and protecting the character of neighborhoods are flawed and should be revised.

Three large remodels in the Midtown and Palo Verde neighborhoods sparked the residents' movement, they said.

Residents initially challenged approval of a 27-foot-tall remodel on Richardson Court, but they dropped the appeal after a compromise with the homeowner in August added opaque glazing and repositioned the second-story windows.

In Palo Verde, residents opposed a blocky, two-story home in the 3500 block of Louis Road in May 2014. The applicant revised the plans.

Residents lost their appeal over a third residence when the council approved a home on Corina Way in February.

Frank Ingle, who lives on Richardson Court in the 35-home Faircourt subdivision, lives next to the new home over which residents reached a compromise. Preserving the neighborhood's character is as important as his privacy, he said.

For Richard Willits, however, the issue is privacy, he said after the Midtown association meeting.

"It's that our homes typically have two floor-to-ceiling glass walls," he said.

Willits lives in the 213-home Royal Manor tract bounded by Loma Verde Avenue, Louis Road, West Bayshore and Greer roads, and Kenneth Drive. His neighborhood group is working to obtain the required number of signatures to petition for the overlay. In neighborhoods with covenant restrictions (CC&Rs), 60 percent of homeowners must approve of the overlay. In neighborhoods without restrictions, 70 percent approval is required, according to city code.

Other neighborhoods considering single-story overlays include Faircourt, in the area of Richardson Court and Murray Way; the Triple El "extension," east of Greer Road and Elsinore Drive; and the remainder of the Greer Park North subdivision, including Metro and Moffett circles and adjacent Eichlers on the north side of Greer and east side of Amarillo.

Adjacent Van Auken Circle already has an overlay, Chief Planning Official Amy French said.

The city has approved overlays for eight neighborhoods in the past 20-plus years: Walnut Grove in 1992, followed by Adobe Meadow/Meadow Park, Greenmeadow, Garland Park/Charleston Meadows, Triple El, and small portions of Duveneck/St. Francis, Barron Park and Midtown, according to the city.

The Planning and Transportation Commission rejected a bid by 89 Fairmeadow residents in 2010 after other residents came forward in opposition. A city-generated survey to all 300 residences received a low response, with those for and against nearly evenly split, and the petition eventually died.

Some neighborhoods have CC&Rs, or "covenants, conditions and restrictions," which specify that only single-story homes are allowed unless a three-member, neighborhood architectural-review committee approves of an exception. But Ingle said the process can be fraught with problems.

Faircourt homes, where he lives, are restricted to a single story, according to its 1957 CC&R, but enforcing that rule would pit the homeowner seeking the two-story exception against three others who are on the committee. That might lead to litigation, Ingle said. The neighborhood doesn't even have an existing architectural committee, given that the original three members -- Joseph Eichler and his sons, Richard and Edward -- are deceased.

To obtain a single-story designation from the city, a neighborhood must be defined by natural or man-made boundaries, such as streets or parks, and 80 percent of existing homes within the designated area must be single-story, according to the city ordinance.

There are also hefty fees to be paid, Ingle said.

French said the fees total nearly $8,000. Mayor Karen Holman and Councilman Tom DuBois had asked the council's Finance Committee to consider waiving the fees, but the committee voted on May 26 not to authorize a waiver at this time, French said.

"The discussion centered around a desire for additional information at a later time. For example, the committee is interested in information regarding the numbers of neighborhoods that could be affected, whether waivers should be considered to be permanent or temporary, and other factors," she said in an email.

But other options besides single-story overlays could also be considered, said Steven Eichler, grandson of Joseph Eichler, after the Midtown meeting. In 2010, the City of Los Angeles adopted a historic-preservation overlay in Granada Hills to protect Joseph Eichler's only subdivision in Los Angeles.

Other "Eichler zones" are possible through preservation or conservation districts, he said.

Palo Alto established one such conservation district when it added the South of Forest Avenue (SOFA II) overlay, which established specific criteria to guide new housing and major additions based on the characteristics of the neighborhood.

But former Planning and Community Environment Director Curtis Williams in 2008 warned the adoption of such overlays could likewise be difficult to obtain.

"Staff notes that any approach to this issue, either an overlay similar to the single-story combining district or neighborhood plan standards, would be very time and staff intensive, and is likely to be highly controversial," he wrote.

Comments

30 people like this
Posted by MaryannH
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 29, 2015 at 11:15 am

I don't understand why the city staff and planning department have been so deaf on this issue. The city remodeling guidelines include a drawing which clearly shows what is unacceptable. If you took a photo of a house recently constructed on a nearby street and its neighbors, it would be a real-life representation of the drawing's "don't". Why can't the city's own guidelines (which the city put time, money and a great deal of effort into) be upheld? Why can't we have housing and neighborhood diversity?


47 people like this
Posted by Rachel
a resident of Menlo Park
on May 29, 2015 at 11:28 am

It is unbelievable that the City of Palo Alto is allowing historic Eichler homes to be torn down.


57 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 29, 2015 at 11:50 am

I think it is great when people want to remodel the old Eichlers ... when remodeled they can look pretty nice and be very livable.

BUT, this thing of restricting what people can do with their own property, particularly here in Palo Alto where the cost of that can be in the millions of dollars, that is unacceptable.

Eichers are not the Eiffel Tower or the Empire State buiding. Most of them are very worse off for wear. The foundations settle, crack and open up to the ground, the in floor radiant heating breaks and is expensive to fix and maintain. The construction had no insulation at all, and particularly the roofs are problematic. I was looking to buy one Eichler but the floor was so uneven a ball would roll across the floor if you just set it down. Nice as it was, I'm glad I did not go for it ... though it would not have been bad investment for sure.

No, this is not because people think Eichlers are historic, this is because people don't want other people coming in and building nicer houses around them, particularly since they will be taller. I can understand this, and sympathize with it as well, but I don't think it outweighs of justifies holding back progress or allowing people to improve their properties.

Face it, you are really hurting people who have to spend a huge premium to live there, and then they do not have enough space and are paralyzed to do anything about it in terms of remodeling or upgrading. A bad plan for the future. And in particular the really cheap-o Eichler knock offs.


50 people like this
Posted by OPar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 29, 2015 at 3:19 pm

People don't have to pay a premium to live here. It's a choice. Just because they overpay doesn't mean they should have the right to adversely affect their neighbor's homes.

I've just lost the privacy of my backyard because a big home went up and a window now looks right into my yard. It's not pleasant and if this had been the situation when I bought my house, I probably would have not made an offer.

No one has absolute property rights here. I can't set up an oil well or build a factory--so we're just talking about degrees of restrictions.


11 people like this
Posted by Barron Park neighbor
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 29, 2015 at 3:37 pm

I'd like to be able to do a TWO-story overlay district in my neighborhood! I'm tired of developers thinking zoning rules are optional or everything that mitigates the upper limits on everything should be ignored and anything that pushes up to the limit in every way can be called "within zoning". And then 3-story on El Camino. (That way pushing the height limit won't always mean flat roofed ugly boxes like that monstrous hotel - not that it was within zoning or even close.)

In fact, if we had a two-story overlay in my area, probably BV never would have been so attractive to developers.

How do we get a TWO-STORY overlay in my neighborhood??


62 people like this
Posted by MaryannH
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 29, 2015 at 6:33 pm

Our Eichler which we had lived in for twenty years had all the problems CrescentParkAnon mentioned, but we extensively renovated the interior by gutting the bathrooms, kitchen, master bedroom and living room. We installed new radiant heat, leveled the floors, put insulation in the walls and installed a great new kitchen that all my friends love. We replaced the single pane windows and sliders with doubled paned, insulated glass, added skylights and solar panels. The exterior was not modified by much and it was done in the same style as the original architecture. Was it expensive? Yes, but not nearly as expensive and wasteful of resources as tearing the house down and starting over from scratch, and we have a house which is attractive from outside and in, bright, airy and a home we love to live in.

Eichlers were not just intended to be isolated houses, but designed to be part of a neighborhood where their design features enhance one another and create a cohesive community. For example, the floor to ceiling glass walls which bring the outdoors in work because the neighboring houses are single story as well and the fences which separate them are the only requirement needed to give each other privacy. When houses of a different size and scale are introduced, the harmony and cohesiveness of the architecture and community break down.

Eichlers may not be as well known as the Eiffel Tower, but they are definitely an important contribution to mid-century modern architecture, and should be preserved as much as possible.


32 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2015 at 12:58 pm

Eichlers were designed to be affordable post-war housing. They aren't architectural marvels. There are many aspects of their design that aren't compatible today's desires. Compatible remodels of any height should be allowed as long as they blend into the neighborhood.


36 people like this
Posted by Marrol
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 31, 2015 at 3:09 pm

There should be minimal government interference or limitations on a property owner's right to build a structure of their choosing. Let's not allow another vocal minority to shout down common sense and logic. The Eichler design is outdated, inefficient, and in the opinion of most unattractive. It would be equally unfair to expect Eichler owners to change their home design. If you wish to live in an Eichler home that is one's choice. If you wish to demolish an Eichler home that you own and rebuild that is also one's choice.


28 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 31, 2015 at 4:57 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Many people now have the state of mind of "Palo Alto or Bust'. They absolutely must live in Palo Alto and nothing else will do. They have no respect for Palo Alto's uniqueness, history, tradition and character. How would a Florence resident feel if newcomers decided Florence is the only place for them and turned it into Milwaukee?


13 people like this
Posted by Rajiv
a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 31, 2015 at 5:34 pm

We are in the Greenmeadow neighborhood without the deed covenants that would restrict the way our house looks (like on the other side). Our neighborhood has a single story overlay. While that does impact our ability to grow our house, it gives our whole neighborhood a feeling of calm and ease. No one can build a second story to look into our yard. At the same time, if you don't like the style of your Eichler, you can change the look. I love our Burke & Wyatt (Eichler style) home because of the high ceilings and and big windows, though I could do without the slab foundation.

Every neighborhood should decide for itself about single story. The economics of the neighborhood will adjust accordingly.


6 people like this
Posted by Kazu
a resident of Downtown North
on May 31, 2015 at 6:09 pm

@ mauricio wrote:

"Many people now have the state of mind of "Palo Alto or Bust'. They absolutely must live in Palo Alto and nothing else will do."

Is that surprising? You live in Palo Alto and so do I. Unless we are willing to lead by example, telling others to stay away is hypocritical.

"They have no respect for Palo Alto's uniqueness, history, tradition and character. How would a Florence resident feel if newcomers decided Florence is the only place for them and turned it into Milwaukee?"

They don't have any respect at all, and neither does Palo Alto. Nothing trashes a nice neighborhood (or ticks off the neighbors) like adding stories or doing teardowns and building McMansions or townhouses. That is why urban planning is so critical. Build up in certain core areas - but only in those core areas, which must be very clearly defined. That provides housing units, but at the same time allows preservation of the surrounding neighborhoods. For most aspiring residents, it is not the house that is so important, it is the zip code on their mailing address and how much they can get for their residence a few years down the road.


50 people like this
Posted by Over It
a resident of Midtown
on May 31, 2015 at 7:22 pm

Sorry, but Eichlers are hideous. And from a planning perspective, they are the antithesis of progressive, community-fostering design. If you don't believe me, drive through an Eichler neighborhood and take a look at how many front doors and windows face the street. The average Eichler hides behind a front wall and a carport or garage door, with barely a bathroom window facing the street. That kind of design would be laughed to the curb under modern residential design guidelines. I don't care how mid-century modern the Eichlers are -- ugly is ugly. And I say all this as someone who used to live in an Eichler.


23 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of Barron Park
on May 31, 2015 at 7:38 pm

I don't know why the "save" the Eichler group wants to decrease their neighborhood's home value. Put up the restrictions and there will be no buyers for your neighborhood.


14 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto Native
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 31, 2015 at 8:22 pm

Bob,

Your statement, "there will be no buyers for your neighborhood"? Not quite. Any house in Palo Alto is a hot sell.

Agree that Eichlers are ugly, but the point of the story is that single-story Eichler owners don't want to be next to a two-story house which blocks views, sun, and compromises privacy. The newest bunch of Eichlers, built in 1975, near Philz on Loma Verde/Middlefield are built with two-story houses intermixed, but the owners knew this when they chose to move to the neighorhood. The issue here is that Eichler owners have bought their houses based upon all the houses being one-story houses and others should not be allowed to flip the finger and build a two-story next to them because of their selfishness. Eichlers have floor-to-ceiling windows and a two-story built next to them would compromise the view for the single-story owner.


39 people like this
Posted by Take it from Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2015 at 8:32 pm

An elderly friend who once worked for Joe Eichler told me that: Eichler homes were designed for returning GI's who had minimum down payments, limited income, and VA financing. They were not meant to be permanent structures, but TEMPORARY homes for lower middle class families--to hold them over until they could afford to move or tear down and build a larger and more permanent structure. They were built on the cheap with materials that were cheap at that time.

This friend told me years ago, when we first considered buying in Palo Alto, to stay away from Eichler homes, because most were in sad states of disrepair and though priced well, were nothing but money pits.


5 people like this
Posted by Kazu
a resident of Downtown North
on May 31, 2015 at 10:11 pm

"No, this is not because people think Eichlers are historic, this is because people don't want other people coming in and building nicer houses around them, particularly since they will be taller."

Partially correct. The houses might be taller, but they are seldom nicer. The bigger houses can be flipped for more $$$, though. The people in the neighborhood won't appreciate some outsider rolling in, making the place less desirable, and then rolling back out again. I have seen plenty of Eichlers in Sunnyvale with second stories added on. Talk about ugly!


28 people like this
Posted by seriously?
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 31, 2015 at 10:35 pm

I can't believe people are freaking out because someone might be able to see through a window into their backyard. All of my neighbors and I can see into each other's backyards. We wave to each other - sometimes say hello and move on. What do you think is going to happen? Your neighbors will set up surveillance? Seems unlikely.

This seems like much ado about nothing.


15 people like this
Posted by Wouldn't It Be Nice
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 31, 2015 at 10:47 pm

I would love it if when we bought in our neighborhood we could freeze everything just the way it was, but unfortunately, that doesn't happen for anyone. We have lived in multiple neighborhoods, and they all change. We lived in a neighborhood where some residents wanted to impose a single-story overlay - and found the biggest proponents were those whom either already had two-story homes or had huge (end of cul-de-sac) lots so they could expand their homes with no need to go up.

The point is everyone wants to fight for what is best for them, personally, and use anything they can to make it so. Loss of privacy when a two-story home goes up is not only happening to Eichler owners, it is happening all over the city. No one wants to own the only old, tiny home on the block.

But applying significantly new rules after people have bought a home is a huge issue for individual property rights. These type of changes should require 100% of neighborhood agreement, not 60%.

What if next some contingent of a neighborhood decides they want no cars parked on the street or in driveways overnight? Can you imagine how you would feel/react?


10 people like this
Posted by member
a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 31, 2015 at 10:50 pm

Palo Alto Native,

It baffles me that although you state that Eichlers are ugly, you still believe that buyers will pay big bucks. Eichlers are the CHEAPEST price/sq.ft. Why? Less demand.No historic value seen by general public. It's a joke that one commentator compared Palo Alto Eichlers to Florence and other European architectures. There is a demand for those places. You cant create demand for architecture that was built for low income with low quality stuff that no one wants. That way you could sell huts made in asia and africa as roomy, airy and indoor/outdoor crap. The only reason Eichlers are being bought is because they are now on an expensive land. You build a new two story house next to an Eichler, it will sell at a premium. Basic capitalism and economics. The original Eichler buyer who wants privacy can always build a tall fence or put blinds. They cannot tell others to stop rebuilding a 2 story house when majority of house in Palo Alto and rest of the country are 2 level houses. And yes it is different from somebody building a oil rig in their backyard.


10 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto Native
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 1, 2015 at 12:28 am

@member: No, one cannot build a fence high enough to block a two-story next door. What city would allow that? And why should a homeowner live like a mole with window blinds closed just because the arrogant a-hole next door is self-serving? You think people are buying houses in Palo Alto simply to flip them and make a profit? No, people actually want to live in Palo Alto and send their children to the schools, the schools that their children can actually bike or walk to, unlike most other cities. Ask any real estate agent and they'll tell you that it only takes one open house for them to sell an Eichler because of the lower price point, which is $2.3 million. Seems you have a horse in this race. This is exactly the mentality of the new wealth that is moving to Palo Alto - the me, me, me personalities. There goes our friendly neighborhoods.


17 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 1, 2015 at 7:23 am

mauricio is a registered user.

People who think of Palo Alto as a place where you can buy a house in order to flip it a few years later and walk away with a cool few millions are the people who are destroying this town. Greed always triumphs in our country, and I know it's impossible to legally prevent them from doing it, but one way of slowing them down is to prevent them from building two story houses in an Eichler street.

In order to become a US citizen, an applicant must pass a citizenship test proving he has knowledge of US history and system of government. It's a shame people who move to Palo Alto don't have to pass such a test on Palo Alto's history, tradition and uniqueness. Many new residents would be shocked to discover it isn't only a real estate get-rich- fast Mecca.


9 people like this
Posted by Supply & Demand
a resident of Green Acres
on Jun 1, 2015 at 8:29 am

You live and love your Eichler that is your business but don't interfere with other's right to their properties, as long as they follow City Codes! This is the basic American Value.


10 people like this
Posted by Supply & Demand
a resident of Green Acres
on Jun 1, 2015 at 8:35 am

If you want City to preserve what you value, You can always ask the City to propose it as Historical Landmark and vote on it! Or have City change the Codes.

You don't have any more say than other citizens!


8 people like this
Posted by Rachel
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 1, 2015 at 9:27 am

Good point @Supply&Demand, anyone could nominate an Eichler house as a designated historic building and then it couldn't be torn down.


6 people like this
Posted by TimH
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 1, 2015 at 10:49 am

Some Eichler homes are cool while others, well, not so much. However, adding a second story to homes is just as offensive as building out the home to a few feet from the sidewalk. That said, this is about defining action over motion. If Palo Alto residents agree to control "the aesthetic" of neighborhoods, then gather the attorneys and write up the rules. The fears of over-regulation preventing home buyers are unfounded, as cash buyers will keep coming to their own “field of dreams”. Extra permit fees don’t even slow down most new buyers, just another distraction to handle and move forward. Many new buyers have little knowledge of “old” Palo Alto and really don’t care, either. People want to live here and also want to maximize their living space and investment. Some folks I've talked with even view local opposition as being rather provincial and of little consequence.


10 people like this
Posted by Wouldn't It Be Nice
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 1, 2015 at 11:05 am

I think the biggest issue to creating new barriers to how a property owner can improve or change their own property is that it can significantly alter the value. 1500 sq ft Eichlers are simply less valuable than 300 sq ft two story homes sitting on the very same piece of dirt.

I completely agree that it is not desirable to have a two story home go in next to your one story with floor to ceiling windows, but I don't think your right to leave the windows uncovered and enjoy an unobstructed view outweighs the right of your neighbor from adding a second story. Of course neighbors should be willing to work together to ensure one owner's right to build up is done in a way that has the least negative impact on their neighbors as possible.

Beyond that, consider landscaping options to screen the taller house and maintain your privacy. There are some really beautiful, fast-growing, and lush plants that will grow tall enough to block the house and provide year-round attractive foliage. Many are require minimal water once established.

Even two two-story homes next to each other don't want to look into each others homes and yards. When we bought our current two-story home, I immediately planted screening vegetation because I did not want to look into my neighbors yards (even though the house had been here for decades). Now we have a very private oasis of mature vegetation that no longer needs irrigation.


Like this comment
Posted by Wouldn't It Be Nice
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 1, 2015 at 11:06 am

Sorry - typo: I meant 3000 sq ft, not 300!


16 people like this
Posted by Annie's Biped
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 1, 2015 at 11:09 am

What the problem really is here is that a neighborhood was established with single story homes of a particular design, and over time, owners have wanted to turn the single story home into a two story home. Sometimes that works, and sometimes it doesn't. It depends upon the architectural sensitivity to the surrounding homes, to the established neighborhood. Unfortunately there is a great deal of insensitivity with the resultant clashes.
It is baffling to me why someone would want to buy a home in a neighborhood that has a specific design, and then proceed to replace it with something totally out of character with the neighborhood.


12 people like this
Posted by European
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 1, 2015 at 11:34 am

Looking at the architecture in PA I believe the the single most important part to preserve us the diversity. Most hoses are unique that is something to preserve. The mixture of styles, size and material, that is what I think you should preserve and encourage.
To just preserve outdated, bad quality houses does not make any sense. More a sign of jealousy cause the family next door builds a nicer home.

There is however one problem that should be tackled. People who come in and buy homes (sometimes many) as pure investments, never plan to live in them. Just let them or leave them as ghost houses. This is totally devastating for a city's prosperity and social life. I don't see a lot debate about this real problem.


11 people like this
Posted by Member
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 1, 2015 at 11:39 am

An inaccuracy regarding Fairmeadow: the following fails to reflect the reality: "The Planning and Transportation Commission rejected a bid by 89 Fairmeadow residents in 2010 after other residents came forward in opposition. A city-generated survey to all 300 residences received a low response, with those for and against nearly evenly split, and the petition eventually died."

What actually happened is that a small group of people spoke with a city planner, who advised us to survey a particular area of concern to us. We did conduct a survey of those people, and over 70% favored a single-story overlay to prevent 2-story new construction. Since the percentage reached the necessary critical percentage, the City conducted a survey but insisted that all of Fairmeadow be surveyed. Our original survey had no interest in imposing the overlay elsewhere, including streets that already had 2-story construction.

The City's survey document was so egregiously flawed that the Planning and Transportation Commission recognized that another survey would need to be conducted. Five years later, it has NOT been conducted. It is worth noting that I, a professional writer involved with the original survey, asked to see the City survey before it was conducted but was refused. Many people did not respond to the City survey, NOT for lack of interest but because some felt they had already done so (the neighbors' survey) and others because the survey was so poorly worded and formatted.

I suspect that those of us in the original area--an area marked out to us by a city planner--still want to preserve the single-story benefits of backyard privacy and access to views of sky and trees as assured by original Eichler plans.

Unfortunately, a single-story overlay will not please everyone, but, in our surveyed area, it pleased 73% of residents. While U.S. laws respect private property, a single-story overlay does indeed prohibit a homeowner from adding a second story. The consequence of such a second story, however, could negative impact as many as five other homes; while the owner of the 2-story home could leave the area and sell his or her home for a larger sum, the net result would be depreciation for as many as 5 other homeowners as well as for some "ruining" their experience of living in their homes. Most people in the area we surveyed did NOT want a 2-story home on either side or across the back fence. People are different: for some, backyard privacy is not important; many, however, want to look out windows and NOT see a looming structure.

A separate issue, which we did not address, is preserving Eichler style.


19 people like this
Posted by MD from TO
a resident of another community
on Jun 1, 2015 at 11:54 am

MD from TO is a registered user.

Lots of comments here from the WIIFM group ("What's in it for me")informing us of how lousy Eichler Homes were built and that they aren't representative of Mid-Century Modern-Sounds like "Eichler Envy". This group must enjoy living in over-sized "stucco boxes". The classic comment from "Take it from Joe" who has a "friend" that told him that Eichlers were designed to be torn down eventually-"Really"? Sounds like some research is needed here. At least Granada Hills, located in SOUTHERN California, had the foresight to establish an Historic Preservation Zone for their Eichlers. Mansionization has it roots in SoCal and is now infecting Palo Alto.


24 people like this
Posted by Europa, Europa
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 1, 2015 at 12:02 pm

I go to various countries in central and Western Europe at least twice a year. Each time, I am there 10-15 days.

Each time, upon my return to Palo Alto, as I am driven through the city streets to my house, I am appalled at the condition of the streets themselves-- potholes, bumps, uneven paving-- that you simply do not see in Europe. I am also appalled at the condition of many of the houses themselves: dirty, rundown, in need of power washing or paint or roofing.

While I fully appreciate that European governments take better care of roads and streets, and tax credits are giving for taking care of one's house, I often wonder what all the fuss over Palo Alto is about!

For example, in most of the suburbs of Brussels, a 4 bed, 3 bath house on nearly one-third of an acre can be had for less than 500,000 euros-- a steal at the moment, given the falling value of the euro. The schools there are FAR superior to PAUSD, and everyone learns 3-4 languages starting in preschool ( also paid for by the government).

This " Palo Altitis" thing seems less and less worth it!


15 people like this
Posted by YSK
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 1, 2015 at 12:14 pm

Hey, money talks, all else walks. How about the fact that the City is still allowing people to build basements during this historic drought? Do you know how many MILLIONS of water has been SPEWED into the storm drain from the underground aquifers of just ONE job site???? MILLIONS. And, that draining comes from the neighbors properties as well. But hey, a few well off families perceive they need basements, so the "needs" of the few outweigh the needs of the many.


14 people like this
Posted by Eichler owner
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 1, 2015 at 12:20 pm

The Eichler neighborhood in which I live was profiled in the November 1950 "House Beautiful" magazine entitled "Americans have a talent for making a little go a long way". That article commends the Anshen and Allen plans for their "pace setting features", not just as individual houses but as a neighborhood, aligned for climate control and privacy. To quote the article, "This design was good enough to be included in an architectural exhibition held at the San Francisco Museum of Art--rare honor for a merchant builder's house." As for the quality of construction, the clear heart redwood of which it was constructed has proven itself durable and pest resistant and its A.O. Smith boiler worked for 65 years.


21 people like this
Posted by Gethin
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 1, 2015 at 12:33 pm

Gethin is a registered user.

I fully support Mid Century Eichler neighborhoods getting an SSO. It prevents building new homes out of scale with their neighborhoods. There are plenty of non-Eichler, non - Mid Century housing tracts in Palo Alto for someone to build a 2 story home in. One comment at a recent meeting by a would be 2 story builder was that the reason they had bought into an Eichler neighborhood was because they loved the sense of a coherent community. As to the question: then why are you trying to destroy it could not be answered.


5 people like this
Posted by Eichler Proud
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 1, 2015 at 12:39 pm

If you want to see what can happen, even with a single-story overlay, just take a look down the Carolina Ln. cul-de-sac. Palo Alto badly needs to reform its approval process to have some real meaning, value, and protection.


10 people like this
Posted by Take it from Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2015 at 12:40 pm

American quality was at its peak in the postwar years, which is why Eichlers are still standing at all-/especially considering all the neglect most have had.

The fact remains that they were built to be throwaways, which is how most of the initial owners treated them. What makes them pricey NOW is the size of the lots they are on. They were built when land was cheap, building materials expensive. That is why Joe Eichler used cheap materials ( at the time--perhaps not now) to create affordable housing for the postwar generation.

NOW, the lot a house stands on is up to two-thirds of the value of the property as a whole. Which is why we see large new homes on postage stamp yards with no room for kids to play.


1 person likes this
Posted by John Thomas-Whitcomb McCoy
a resident of another community
on Jun 1, 2015 at 1:03 pm

As usual I am confused, are we talking about 3-minute or 5-minute Eichlers?


7 people like this
Posted by Go Up
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 1, 2015 at 1:05 pm

This is a short sighted movement that limits property rights and those involved are shooting themselves in the foot. If they were to think outside the box, they would instead come up with a neighborhood plan that accommodates the inevitable need for upgrading these disposable homes into ones that house more people and maximize the value of each property, and yet remain in keeping with the good aspects of the original neighborhood. In seeking to control and oppress others and prevent them from building a home that is in proportion to what they paid for the property, they are limiting their own heirs for the future. I'm sorry to see this NIMBY behavior continue to strangle Palo Alto. Our town is at the epicenter of economic growth that is inevitable and we should respond with out of the one story plywood box and work together to rise to the occasion. One story housing means more urban sprawl, more transportation cost and pollution, and less farmland and wilderness for our children to enjoy. Go up, tastefully!


2 people like this
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 1, 2015 at 1:10 pm

Random thoughts:

1-story overlay in a neighborhood that doesn't have flood zone restrictions = basements instead. In other words, you're still going to get larger homes.

Clear heart Redwood was used in all PA homes prior to 1950. Check out the sub-floors of the old houses in CP and OPA. What is also impressive is that those houses were built with hand-tools/saws...no power-saws, air hammers, etc.

The city is not going to go for a 1-story overlay unless includes the entire subdivision - this is due to the existing CC&Rs already in place. You're not going to be able to declare your side of a 1-block area (for example) an overlay zone.


8 people like this
Posted by Jean
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 1, 2015 at 1:17 pm

"Single story overlay" and "historically preserved" homes are two huge deterrents when selling your house. A realtor friend told me she lost a sale when a potential buyer realized a house he wanted could not be replaced with a two story house. She told me that "single story overlay" has not yet affected property values because there are so many buyers for every house that is for sale. However, in the future, if property values change, homes for sale with the designation: "single story overlay" may be detrimentally affected.

I live in an Eichler/Williams & Burroughs neighborhood. Several years ago an Eichler resident tried to get a petition together to request "single story overlay", she backed off because such a designation was unpopular, she could not get the signatures. Since then several of the Williams & Burroughs houses have been replaced with two story homes, because two story homes are what today's generation of buyers want.

Just be careful when signing a "single story overlay" petition.


12 people like this
Posted by MD from TO
a resident of another community
on Jun 1, 2015 at 1:48 pm

MD from TO is a registered user.

"Two story homes are what today's buyers want" - YIKES, what ever happened to creativity and functionality in architecture. "Single story overlay" may detrimentally affect the neighborhood? Sounds like real estate talk-check out today's "stucco box-2 story abominations". Beware folks-the San Fernando Valley-Southern California mentality will soon appear in your neighborhood!


1 person likes this
Posted by YSK
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 1, 2015 at 2:23 pm

When we came out from the East Coast we were shocked, no basement? How does that happen? What do we do now? 70's Eichler, must smaller and more expensive than our NY house.

But, we coped, adapted and eventually flourished. More isn't always necessarily better.


16 people like this
Posted by Jeff Keller
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 1, 2015 at 2:47 pm

A house that presents a garage door, a fence, ivy covered front yard, and a burglar alarm sign to its neighbors is not a mid century marvel promoting the feeling of a friendly close knit community. The only time spent by the owners in the front yard is walking from a car parked in the driveway to the front door of the house. Many Eichlers are very ugly from the street and are not neighborhood friendly. Some have been remodeled to match the "modern" aesthetic but to present much more than a fence and a garage door and are quite attractive.

If an Eichler neighborhood makes itself and its Eichler homes look very attractive there won't be as much desire to build an out of character home which clashes with the neighborhood. If the neighborhood looks like a bunch of houses waiting for a bulldozer, investors will be attracted to the opportunity to replace a small ugly home with something desired by more people.

The best way to get a desired look and character is to make the look and character desirable. Get rid of the "fence and garage door aesthetic". Make your home look like you use the front yard to meet neighbors. If the neighborhood looks attractive people will want to match and quite likely out-do/improve on the concept. If it looks like it should be bull-dozed, new owners will consider it a blank slate.


12 people like this
Posted by Gethin
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 1, 2015 at 3:40 pm

Gethin is a registered user.

I fully support Mid Century Eichler neighborhoods getting an SSO. It prevents building new homes out of scale with their neighborhoods. There are plenty of non-Eichler, non - Mid Century housing tracts in Palo Alto for someone to build a 2 story home in. One comment at a recent meeting by a would be 2 story builder was that the reason they had bought into an Eichler neighborhood was because they loved the sense of a coherent community. As to the question: then why are you trying to destroy it could not be answered.


16 people like this
Posted by Long Time Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 1, 2015 at 4:11 pm

I once lived right next door to an Eichler which put on a second story addition. My bedroom window faced the windows in one of their second story rooms, and a roof balcony which they built. As a teenage girl, I immediately asked my parents for different kind of curtains as there were old boys next door.
Only a few years after the addition was complete, ALL 3 Kids left for college, and rarely ever even visited. The 2 parents lived alone in this house for many years.
As the years went on, she told us it was hard for them to get upstairs, and neither of them bothered to go upstairs and clean up there. After her husband passed away, it was only the her left alone in a 5 (I think) bedroom home. One of her kids recently moved her to an assisted living place in the valley.

What I am saying is two things:
1) It was hard for my family with 2 girls to live next door to a two story addition with 2 teenage boys, in the Eichler area of our street. The windows in our bedrooms faced their second story addition.
2) The second addition to their home was unnecessary because the kids left home shortly after the second addition was built. They rarely returned to visit, and never stayed in that upstairs addition. The second story became a burden for both parents as they got older.

We actually have smaller set backs and windows facing each other and a broken fence in the home we bought in Old Palo Alto. I hate it - we have to keep the drapes or blinds closed most of the time all year. BUT, I can't complain because I am the one who bought it, and I should have thought about this before I signed the papers.

The Eichler residents in the article bought their homes with the large windows, thinking that it would be okay since the homes next door also had large windows, but are single story.

I don't think these people should have to live in near darkness like I did as a kid.


17 people like this
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 1, 2015 at 4:26 pm

I live in an Eichler. Unfortunately the previous owner did not take care of it. Frankly these are POS homes that weren't build to last this long. We had no insulation in the walls, no insulation in the roofs and the windows were single paned. "Exposed beams" was just a cheaper way of "not slapping a ceiling on the house."

Please do NOT put an overlay; when we can afford to raze our home, we'd want to rebuild on our lot.


15 people like this
Posted by Update Code Now
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 1, 2015 at 4:42 pm

Ok...this is plain stupid.

The practice of removing an existing 2 bedroom 1200 sf house having a two car garage and 2 car driveway and replacing it with a 5 bedroom home and a ONE car garage and ONE car driveway is ridiculous and harming our neighborhoods.

A 5 bedroom home will have at least 3 if not 4 cars. The extra two cars are placed on the street. In the span of 4 years, we have packed Louis road with on street parking simply due to the STUPID CPA Code permission only requiring ONE covered and ONE driveway space.

This is a safety issue for pedestrians and bike riders and those who drive down Louis as it has become nearly impossible to safely back out of our driveways for all the on street parking.

Let me be 100% clear here. This problem did not exist prior to the removal of small houses with two car garages/driveways and replacing them with ONE car garages and ONE car driveways.

HOW DO WE FIX THIS?

Do we need to can the City Counsel and start all over? Why does the Planning Department ignore the community?

The ONLY people who gain here are the spec developers who trash our neighborhoods then run away to spend their profits elsewhere. We are left with unsafe streets and unsightly oversized and underparked homes.


12 people like this
Posted by Its happened all over
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 1, 2015 at 5:21 pm

We live in a single story 1950s ranch house in midtown and have 2 story houses on 2 sides. The bedrooms of one house can look down in to the bedrooms of our house and one of the bathrooms. But we know our neighbors well and have no issues. We respect each others privacy and draw the blinds when needed. The bathroom window of course has privacy glass.

As others have said there are 2 story homes next to single story homes all over Palo Alto. As long as the 2 story homes are within code I see no reason they should not be allowed and would be against a single story overlay. I get so tired of Eichler owners thinking they are entitled to some special treatment.


2 people like this
Posted by palo alto resident
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 1, 2015 at 5:32 pm

@Update Code - the reason that people replace existing 2 bedroom houses is because they are too small for most families and they are old. Blame it on the economy, not the City Council and codes.


6 people like this
Posted by Go Up
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 1, 2015 at 6:26 pm

Update Code, That is not true, actually. Every home owner in Palo Alto is gaining property value as our real estate prices are driven up by this market. All you NIMBYs who don't want anyone else to have a nicer house than your crumby Eichler, please feel free to donate the extra value your home has gained since you've owned it to people who want all boats to rise, rather than just their own. Forcing a one story lid on everyone just because you're jealous is a bad thing to do. If it is done tastefully, a two story home is good for our town. Again, neighborhoods should create a plan that allows people to upgrade while staying in keeping with the neighborhood, while improving the aesthetic and the value per property for the years ahead.


16 people like this
Posted by Alan
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 1, 2015 at 7:53 pm


Eichlers are all about letting in light. So when someone tears down and builds a two-story McMansion in an Eichler community they are destroying that community. It doesn't work the other way however. Eichlers need to be together to work, so it is only natural that these Eichler communities would want a single-story overlay protecting the intent.

If someone wants to build a McMansion, go do it somewhere else.


1 person likes this
Posted by Go Up
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 1, 2015 at 9:16 pm

Yah, it does not have to be a McMansion. Duh.


3 people like this
Posted by Wouldn't It Be Nice
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 1, 2015 at 10:03 pm

If Eichler neighborhoods only "work" if they remain all Eichlers, why weren't these requirements listed in the CC&Rs? It seems like 60 years later is a bit late to start telling people they can't improve their homes.

Creating an single-story overlay should require 100% of the residents affected, otherwise it is completely unfair. Based on the huge amount of money involved in property values, and the fact that many of us have our entire retirement assets in our homes, I would sue the heck out of any entity that arbitrarily decided to limit what I could do with my property this severely.


6 people like this
Posted by MD from TO
a resident of another community
on Jun 1, 2015 at 11:28 pm

MD from TO is a registered user.

To our "stucco box" friends-"Take it from Joe, Jeff Keller, Neighbor, Its happened all over, Go up, Wouldn't it be nice" - so what part of Southern California are all of you real estate developers-contractors from? San Fernando Valley, Palmdale, Oxnard, Orange County?
I'm certain that you can find an architect to design some 2-story monsters with lots of gables, windows with various drapes and curtains, wall to wall carpeting and 3-car garages to make you feel at home. Why have an open floor plan, walls of glass, post and beam construction, Thermador appliances, radiant heat and mahogany wall paneling-when Home Depot can meet your needs for low-end materials?


7 people like this
Posted by Wouldn't It Be Nice
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 2, 2015 at 12:52 am

Ha ha - sorry @"MD from TO," I'm a native Palo Altan (grew up in a MacKay - very similar to an Eichler) in Midtown and am a multigeneration native of the peninsula. I would like nothing more than to return Palo Alto to the town it was 40 years ago, but I can't. I argue against office buildings and every kind of increased density. But I can't see the fairness in telling people who have already bought a home/property that they are suddenly restricted from developing it the way they wish to, unlike the majority of other Palo Altans.

As I think I mentioned, at today's home prices, many of us (me included) have the majority of our retirement income in our properties, so arbitrarily telling some people that their potential retirement income is now half of what they thought is just not reasonable.

Get 100% agreement in a neighborhood and then go for it. But "majority" should not dictate the circumstances for 100% of individual property owners investments. Neither would I advocate allowing neighbors to dictate how I invest other investments, much less the style of home i live in.


4 people like this
Posted by Charleston Meadows resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 2, 2015 at 1:16 am

The Architectural Control Committee (ACC) for Charleston Meadows Eichler Tract 795 (as described in the CC&Rs for Tract 795) was reconstituted in 2000 by the submission of the notarized signatures of a majority of the home owners in the Tract. (The Tract also obtained a one-story overlap from the City.) This ACC has set up a website at www.eichler795paloalto.org which describes the functioning of our ACC. I am currently the webmaster of this site (as well as being a member of the ACC).

If other Eichler Tracts would like to reconstitute their ACCs, we would be happy to share the forms that Tract 795 residents signed to reconstitute our ACC, and for others to use a copy of our website as a starting point for creating their own ACC websites (if they would like to create one).

Please let me know (at bjdpc@yahoo.com) if you would be interested in either of these things. Thanks.


8 people like this
Posted by observer
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2015 at 6:27 am

I find it bizarre that Californians would hold out an entire class of cheaply-built houses from a post WWII boom as something historic or worthy of protection. Have you nothing more worthy?


7 people like this
Posted by Go Up
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 2, 2015 at 8:57 am

MD, don't toss people in a pile without reading what we have said. It makes you look foolish. I also am no developer, nor a real estate agent. I'm in favor of individual property rights, shorter commutes, and less development. As such, I am advocating for tasteful upgrades to land that is already inhabited, which would reduce the sprawl and the transportation costs to get to the many jobs in this area, while protecting the rights of property owners, who should not be dictated to by their petty neighbors as to whether they can improve their homes. If you'd like to see some tasteful two story Eichlers, you have only to do an image search. A neighborhood that encourages home owners to make tasteful improvements within the style of the neighborhood is very much better for all than one where some neighbors impose mean spirited limits on others.


6 people like this
Posted by MD from TO
a resident of another community
on Jun 2, 2015 at 9:28 am

MD from TO is a registered user.

Mr. "Go-Up" (name fits). "Tasteful" 2-story Eichlers are not the same as "stucco boxes". "Petty neighbors" improving homes does not include "Mansionization". FYI, do an "image search" on the Eichler network and you will find that these homes are worth more in "restored" condition with modern upgrades, not replaced by ridiculously over-sized monsters.


Like this comment
Posted by Go Up
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 3, 2015 at 12:19 pm

MD, My points exactly. I'm glad I finally convinced you.


10 people like this
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 3, 2015 at 1:20 pm

Here's an idea - let every homeowner decide for themselves if they want SSO applied to their own property. They can write into their own individual deeds and then see the results on their property value when it's time to sell. If they have a mortgage - then they'll have to convince the bank as well (let's see how that goes).

Apply your own principles to your own property and life...lead by example. Just don't expect every person on the planet to agree with you.


1 person likes this
Posted by Go Up
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 3, 2015 at 3:48 pm

CP Dad, I like that idea. That way, they're only reducing their own home value. But Zillow has an ap that shows the changes in property value based on things like square footage, number of bedrooms, etc. I wonder if they have one for overlays. Having these limits definitely does limit the value of the property, while reducing the pool of potential buyers. Of course, nobody wants buyers to come into their neighborhood and put up a hideous Taco Bell house. But instead, I suggest getting the neighborhood to agree on some guidelines. Many lots have sight lines that will work well with a second story if it's designed to not create problems for adjoining homes. Work together, rather than trying to deprive others of their rights.


6 people like this
Posted by cheeseguy
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 3, 2015 at 7:50 pm

Bravo to the residents who are seeking to preserve the integrity of the Eichler neighborhoods. These were not built as lousy houses that there meant to be torn down (see Web Link). These homes were designed by respected architects and though lacking insulation (a problem that applies to many houses of the era), there were not built of cheap ingredients. My Eichler has an expanse of ceiling that's pure Redwood that extends about 8 feet by 30 feet across the back of the house. Try doing that in a new construction. They may not be to everyone's taste, but some people (including me) love them and want these neighborhoods to be preserved without Taco-Bell faux Spanish turreted monsters being built next door (exactly what is the current style that reflects local home building of the day?).


6 people like this
Posted by @cheeseguy
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 3, 2015 at 8:17 pm

Redwood and Philippine mahogany WERE cheap materials back in the 50s and 60s, when they were PLENTIFUL. By the mid-70s, this was no longer true.

Remember that until the mid-70s, land was cheap, building materials expensive, Joe Eichler broke ground by finding CHEAP building materials for the time--and built small houses on large lots. This made them affordable--combined with FHA/VA financing-- to veterans of WWII and Korea. They were also built using lots of glass-- cheaper than walls; linoleum instead of carpet, concrete foundations instead of wood--whatever was cheapest at that time. They also skimped on nails and used a lot of highly flammable materials: an Eichler will burn to the ground in under seven minutes ( according to PAFD).

Building an Eichler from the ground up today, to meet today's building codes, would be unaffordable to 99% of Americans. The large lot would constitute approximately 65% of the cost. Joe Eichler built them to be affordable to everyone: hence, cutting corners, inexpensive materials for that time period, in places where land was cheap at that time.


5 people like this
Posted by original cheeseguy replies
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 3, 2015 at 8:59 pm

The issue is not the inherent value of the building materials (though they were reasonably priced at the time more due to assembly-line, mass production rather than the cheapest building materials, see Web Link). Do they meet current codes, obviously not (nor does any other historic house in this town build from before the 50's). Yet carpeting does not make sense over radiant heat in the floor and glass walls reflect a style consistent with the local climate and life style. These houses reflect a modernist style that defined this area and California in the 1950's and still has significant architectural relevance. Letting people preserve these neighborhoods keeps a bit of history that is of importance. The only thing that these neighborhoods are saying is that this is a style worth preserving and if you want a scrap-off to build a large new house you can go elsewhere.


5 people like this
Posted by Wouldn't It Be Nice
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 3, 2015 at 10:18 pm

I agree with CPD - each homeowner can modify their own deed and terms of sale to preclude 2nd stories and non Eichler-like changes (I started to say improvements, but caught myself). Of course they should be able to control their own property and personal priorities.

For the rest of the (should be equally empowered) homeowners who have already purchased their properties and have their own, personal plans for them, let manage their own properties and assets. Requesting certain design characteristics or prohibition of 2nd stories should be decided neighborhood by neighborhood, but only with 100% of neighborhood property owners' agreement.

As I posted before, for those who have issues with privacy, there are some wonderful, attractive, and fast-growing shrubs and trees that can provide all the screening you need to protect floor-to-ceiling windows and still let the sunlight in. Interesting no one responded to that concept.

Some really nice, versatile options are: Photinia, Pittosporum tenufolium, and Pittosporum eugenioides. Once established these specimens are fairly drought tolerant and do not create surface roots that interfere with patios and other landscaping. I'm not an expert, but have used all three of these varieties for creating screening hedges and been very happy with them. Worst case with Pittosporum: you have to trim them to prevent them from becoming trees instead of hedges - but that's part of their flexibility.

Appropriate Disclosure: I do NOT live in or own property in an Eichler neighborhood, or have friends or family whom live in or own in an Eichler neighborhood. This is just my opinion as a longtime resident.


1 person likes this
Posted by MD from TO
a resident of another community
on Jun 9, 2015 at 12:02 am

MD from TO is a registered user.

To Mr. Observer-
Suggest that you do some research on Eichler Homes. A. Quincy Jones, Claude Oakland and other renown architects designed these houses which certainly makes them "worthy". The Towers on Russian Hill in SF was designed by Jones and it is a tribute to the MCM period. What is the name(s) of the architect that you would have design your monster "stucco box"? SoCal is loaded with these types of houses. Folks that were hoodwinked into purchasing them have no clue about "worthy" architecture. BTW, Mr. "Go Up" would feel right at home there and Mr. "Wouldn't It Be Nice" can plant lots of bushes and shrubs to hide the ugly stucco.


2 people like this
Posted by Wouldn't It Be Nice
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 9, 2015 at 1:14 am

@MD from TO:

Is the name of the architect the critical aspect of home ownership? If that's your priority, more power to you. No one is stopping you from amending your deed to forever protect your house, with it's prestigious, famous (ahem) architect, from being replaced with an energy-efficient and comfortable home. That's your choice!

Hopefully, these "renowned" architects have more worthy legacy than the incendiary Eichler matchboxes that many others would like to replace with safer, more comfortable homes.

I started off expressing support for the rights of existing property owners, and offered a practical solution to all those who are unhappy about the "privacy" change when a two-story home goes in next door. "MD from TO" and his attack on people who want or already own something other than an Eichler, have convinced me to actively campaign against single-story overlays or any agenda that interferes with individual property-owner rights.

Congratulations, "MD from TO," you've convinced me to actively fight your cause rather than just ignore it.


2 people like this
Posted by Wouldn't It Be Nice
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 9, 2015 at 1:17 am

BTW, "MD from TO," you might want to think twice before ASSuming everyone posting on this forum is a Mr.

Pretty much sums up the credibility of these posts.


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

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