News


Proposed office-and-condo complex raises concerns in Palo Alto

Plan for 550 Hamilton Ave. calls for more office space at the site, dozens of condominiums

A proposal to demolish an office building in downtown Palo Alto and replace it with an office-and-condominiums development that would have more than twice the square footage is raising alarms among residents who believe it will worsen the area's traffic conditions and clash with the adjacent residential neighborhood.

The proposal for 550 Hamilton Ave. is still in its preliminary stage. So far, there haven't been any formal applications or public hearings. Furthermore, for the plan to become a reality, developer C.M Capital Corporation has to convince the City Council to rezone the site to allow the greater density -- a tough sell at a time when the city is trying to limit office space in the city's major commercial areas.

The proposal, which the council will consider on May 16, calls for demolishing the 43,272-square-foot office building, located between Webster and Cowper streets, and constructing two new buildings: one with 57,475 square feet of office space and the other with 57,292 square feet for between 35 and 50 condominiums. The developer is also proposing an underground garage with 297 parking spaces. Because part of the project would be built on what is now a parking lot of 115 spaces (and redwood trees), the net increase in parking space would be 182 spaces.

There is nothing unusual about commercial developers proposing to exceed existing density requirements, but the proposal from C.M. Capital stands out in one respect. Historically, developers looking to exceed zoning regulations seek "planned community" (PC) zoning, which requires an offer of "public benefits" (such as a grocery store, funds for parking facilities or ap piece of art) in exchange for greater leniency in height and density standards.

In this case, however, the site in question is already a planned-community site, and C.M. Capital is requesting that the zoning be changed to "downtown commercial" -- the same designation that exists at an adjacent site. Other parcels around the site of the proposed development are zoned for multi-family residential use, along with one planned-community zone for The Marc, a 12-story residential complex.

The proposed development would be 50 feet tall -- 6 feet shorter than the existing office building, according to a report from the Department of Planning and Community Environment. But while the existing office building only occupies 25 percent of the 57,500-square foot site, the mixed-use development would fill up the bulk of the property, with the exception of a 9,500-square-foot courtyard in the middle. As such, it could have a significant impact on an eclectic neighborhood that includes professional offices, two-story residential buildings, single-family homes and the First United Methodist Church.

The report notes that redevelopment "would result in a much different visual environment from the current development pattern, with properties along Webster Avenue being more impacted by the loss of mature redwood trees and proposed residential building." While normally, buildings that are within 150 feet of residential uses are restricted to 40 feet in height, the city's zoning code allows an additional 10 feet of height for properties that abut a residential "planned community" district, as this parcel does.

The developer's design narrative states that the "overarching goal" of the project's design is to create "a vibrant, mixed-use setting that benefits the immediate neighborhood and downtown Palo Alto as a whole." The zone change, the application argues, "allows the design the flexibility to achieve this goal and to be compatible in both land use and physical context." Each building would have a base element of stone and terra cotta and upper stories that "step back" to minimize the visual impact of the height.

The residential building, which would be primarily located along Webster (with a small portion on Hamilton), would be four stories tall with an entrance from the courtyard. As the building turns from Hamilton to Webster, its massing "breaks up into smaller volumes clad in cement plaster and wood, responding to the scale and materiality of the single-family houses along this street."

The design narrative also states that planters, seating areas and bike racks will be added to make the buildings attractive to pedestrians. The developer also plans to have on-site electric-vehicle-charging stations and a host of green features, with the goal of achieving LEED certification.

The new two-level underground garage would be accessed from Hamilton. The two existing driveways along Webster would be closed off and replaced with a new curb and landscaping.

But while the design narrative stresses that the building will be compatible with the surrounding context, area residents are far from convinced. Earlier this week, 15 residents co-signed a letter calling the proposal "massive," "out-of-scale" and "an intrusion into our residential neighborhood."

"The new construction will increase traffic and population density significantly," states the letter, which is signed by longtime land-use watchdog Elaine Meyer, Roberta Ahlquist, Adolfo Otero Lopez,

Marie Louise Starling Bell, Bill Cane, Bonnie Berg, Chan Kam Chu, David Foster, Jeanette Revelas. Lin Jiang, Linda Otero Lopez, Paul Bundy, Peter Revelas, Stephanie Munoz and Walter Bliss.

"Children from north of University walk and bicycle to Addison School along Webster Street. This project will turn our residential neighborhood into a noisy, congested, dusty, long-term construction site. It will also encourage more development."

The council has also grown exceedingly cautious about new office development, recently adopting an annual 50,000-square-foot cap on new office space in three commercial areas: downtown, El Camino Real and the California Avenue Business District. The project at 550 Hamilton, however, stands just outside the downtown boundary where the office cap applies.

The council will consider the project on May 16 in a "prescreening" hearing, which typically involves comments from members but no formal votes. The discussion is intended to inform the developer as to whether to submit a formal application.

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Comments

78 people like this
Posted by craziness
a resident of Evergreen Park
on May 6, 2016 at 12:16 pm

This is just nuts. Enough already. I feel sorry for the people who live downtown trying to get anywhere, because we're slammed with construction and bad biking roads here down by Cal Ave. Palo Alto cares little for the quality of life for us high tax payers. Please stagger developments and stop pushing them through. Plus I've been seeing a lot of "for lease" signs on new office developments. Maybe they SHOULD slow down. This town is unrecognizable from just a few years ago. So sad.


31 people like this
Posted by Me
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 6, 2016 at 1:42 pm

People are screaming about a building that's one block off University?

I love this quote:

"Children from north of University walk and bicycle to Addison School along Webster Street. This project will turn our residential neighborhood into a noisy, congested, dusty, long-term construction site. It will also encourage more development."

You people are a piece of work. Children in Downtown North are already walking by big buildings - AND CROSSING UNIVERSITY AVENUE.

Putting housing in downtown will help reduce traffic if people can work and live close by. Imagine that. By blocking all new housing in Palo Alto, you are encouraging people to live elsewhere *AND DRIVE INTO PALO ALTO FOR WORK AND SHOPPING*


32 people like this
Posted by Downtown Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on May 6, 2016 at 2:36 pm

Increasing people density is a good thing and a global trend that we should be helping to lead

It’s no accident that financial services in New York and London are so highly concentrated and Palo Alto has a part to play. Enabling a critical networked mass of financial service workers in Palo Alto ensures outsize and sustained economic vibrancy, which benefits everyone through tax revenues, employment and home values. Naturally with economic activity there are tradeoffs such as greater traffic and short term construction – however in the long term the benefits for Palo Alto residents far outweigh these.

In addition, raising population density facilitates increased healthy daily walking/cycling for local errands, which may, in some cases reduce cars, parking and pollution.

Palo Alto has some of the best schools, libraries, parks, free buses, cycle ways in the country – paid for by the healthy local economy we inhabit - why risk losing this as well as investment and jobs if a developer decides to build in Mountain View or Sunnyvale instead?


45 people like this
Posted by Me Me Me
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 6, 2016 at 3:32 pm

The oft repeated sentence
"Putting housing in downtown will help reduce traffic " is followed by a big IF. An unspoken IF.

IF they continue to work downtown for many years
IF they don't pair up with someone who works elsewhere
IF they aren't an overseas investor just buying property as investment
IF they don't have kids who need to be taken places
IF they never go to the supermarket, the movies, a restaurant elsewhere, never go to the doctor or the dentist, never shop in MtView, only go to work,
AND
IF you could restrict the tenants to these people
THEN you would reduce traffic.

To say building housing downtown and increasing the population will reduce traffic is laughable and dishonest.


11 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on May 6, 2016 at 3:46 pm

@Me Me Me

Sorry, but that type of criticism only works on the assumption that if someone isn't housed downtown, they cease to exist.


27 people like this
Posted by Observation
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 6, 2016 at 5:21 pm

@Me,
People don't drive into Palo Alto anymore for shopping. Retail is being decimated because of all the office overbuilding. People drive out of Palo Alto for shopping, or delivery trucks drive in.


47 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 6, 2016 at 5:47 pm

"Putting housing in downtown will help reduce traffic if people can work and live close by."


Let's see. 57,475 sqft of office space at 250 sqft per employee would be 230 new jobs. At startup densities it would be more than that - say 325 jobs.

If there are 50 new apartments to go with that, and each one holds two workers, and every single one of them works in the office building next door and never changes jobs ever, then that's 130 to 225 new workers commuting into town every day.

You have to truly believe in the power of positive thinking, to call that a traffic reduction.


22 people like this
Posted by Allen Akin
a resident of Professorville
on May 6, 2016 at 8:58 pm

Me Me Me and Resident are right on target.

More people means more traffic, period. If you arrange it so that the new people live close to their usual destinations, then the increase in traffic will be smaller; it will still be an increase, though. If people change jobs, or their companies move, or they have kids they eventually need to drive to their own destinations, the increase in traffic gets larger. That's one reason why high-density housing downtown isn't a solution to the traffic problem.

On the other hand, well-designed public transit really can reduce traffic.


39 people like this
Posted by unimaginable
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 6, 2016 at 9:13 pm

550 Hamilton is a beautiful building, possibly the most elegant office building built here in the last 50 years. It has many tenants, some long-term who would be displaced, who serve among their customers long-term residents. It provides parking in a landscaped lot with mature trees. Imagine the sight of the first blows to this building by a wrecking ball,and then huge trucks hauling away the debris, through the neighborhoods, preparing the site for a massive excavation. So this proposed project is not just about long-term impacts, it would be a blow to our sensibilities. Even for the Palo Alto of the last dozen years, this project crosses the line to say the least and is really unimaginable. Or will the Council tell
us that there really is no line here. Get used to it.




6 people like this
Posted by AlexDeLarge
a resident of Midtown
on May 6, 2016 at 11:51 pm

I'm a native Palo Altan (58 years). However, during my lifetime I've lived in Austin, NYC, SF, Istanbul TR and they all grew and changed before my eyes. I remember when PA was kinda a small town, but those days are loooooong gone. Love it, or hate change is here to stay


41 people like this
Posted by Caught In The Middle
a resident of University South
on May 7, 2016 at 1:21 am

I live in downtown right in the middle of all this. It started out as a place I absolutely adored many years ago; now, I can hardly stand to live here. The whole town has been turned into a VC capital sandbox. We get those little cards from City Hall about a proposed demolition or new liquor license or whatever new horror within so many feet of the residence on practically a daily basis. If I had a dollar for every one of those cards... the final straw was for the one in the building for which I reside. For two years, partial demolition, complete exterior building "rehab", asbestos removal, sandblasting, electric wall hammers, tore out the entire beautiful heirloom garden, complete gut of the entire first floor beneath my room. Sometimes, I thought those drills would come up through the floor boards and hurt me, they were so loud. I had to wear noise canceling ear plugs all the time. and my whole room shook daily throughout the construction. Some people sued, but in the end the developers got what they wanted. They made fancy offices for themselves downstairs and strategically moved their construction company in, displacing everyone else. We, the residences upstairs got no improvements except rental increases, mine 75% since 08 and it's still a hole in the wall. Put up with at least a year or more of scaffolding and couldn't even see out my own window except a shadowy gloomy net. If I opened my blinds, my life was a fish bowl for the entire construction crew. The list goes on. Now that I can see out of my window, it is nothing but a constant parade of cement trucks, debris hauling, construction traffic bottle necked with even more office traffic. We had to install a costly portable air filtration system into my space just to be able to breathe the air in my own room! No matter how much one cleans and laundry, everything is covered with a sooty grimy dust of some kind the next day. Big monied interest always gets what they want. I dare the Palo Alto City Council to stop this insanity. My only hope is that someday to get out of here to greener pastures, if there are any left in the world.


32 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 7, 2016 at 6:30 am

mauricio is a registered user.

This project is tragic and awful and what is happening to Palo Alto is tragic and awful. A very unique town has been ruined and corrupted by overdevelopment. We have decided a few days ago to start looking for a house in the Bolinas area. Once we move, we will not sell or rent out our Palo Alto house, in accordance with our strong belief that Palo Alto should reduce its population density rather than increase it.


24 people like this
Posted by Ben
a resident of Downtown North
on May 7, 2016 at 7:51 am

If the city developed, and actually followed, a uniform building code, this sort of **** would not happen.

Thank you many past and present city council members, ARB members, and city staff that have rarely met an over bloated development proposal they did not embrace and push through the review process. I know a home owners who got more scrutiny for a modest home remodel than most commercial property developments in town ever do.

Could a citizen sponsored ballot measure with a uniform building code pass a ballot initiative, because it's pretty clear that our 'leaders' are not going to do much about this on going problem.


19 people like this
Posted by Member
a resident of Mountain View
on May 7, 2016 at 9:22 am

We need more housing. Period. Yes there will be more traffic. NYC didn't start by building sky scrapers. Are they swamped with traffic? Give up the housing cartel, current homeowners. I am tired of artificially inflated Bay Area home prices because of restrictions and hurdles implemented by current home owners who use myriads of weak excuses "traffic, noise, our children, blah blah blah" when let's get real; they are only concerned with a potential drop in property values of Palo Alto were to prop up high rises full of condos.


43 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 7, 2016 at 10:25 am

mauricio is a registered user.

We need less housing and less offices, period. As a matter of fact, we don't need any more offices and we don't need any more housing. We are overpopulated and overdeveloped. We should not become the next Manhattan, next Hong Kong, next San Jose or next LA. Decades ago, we allowed the financial interests of Stanford to dictate the future shape, quality off life and life style of Palo Alto, beginning with the construction of the Oregon Expressway, and we tragically ruined this once wonderful and unique town. The inflated prices of Bay area homes have nothing to do with local homeowners. Tech companies keep moving in and hire employees who can't afford to live here, while not paying them enough. Local realtors keep advertising Palo Alto's real estate in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, attracting foreign buyers who outbid all other potential buyers and inflate the prices. Even a sardine can contain only so many sardines, and we are now a sardine can. No one has an inherent right to live her, unless they can afford an existing home or meet the exorbitant rent prices, which are a result of greed and the hubris of several city councils. Residents have a right to protect their quality of life. We didn't move here to live a dense urban life style. There are three cities within a short driving distance in additional to a few towns who promote and welcome density .


22 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 7, 2016 at 1:28 pm

Actually tech employees are paid enough. That's why they keep coming. They just aren't paid enough to outbid each other on housing. That wouldn't be possible, unless there are some mathematics I'm not aware of.


25 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 7, 2016 at 7:30 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Tech workers are not paid nearly enough to outbid foreign buyers, the main trigger for outlandish home prices. Yet companies keep moving in, while aware their employees are unlikely to find and afford housing, and expect residents to take care of that problem for them.


15 people like this
Posted by University South Neighbor
a resident of University South
on May 7, 2016 at 11:30 pm

For those concerned about the project, a neighborhood information meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 10, from 6:30pm-8:00pm at the All Saints Episcopal Church, 555 Waverley St. at Hamilton Ave..

You are also welcome to join concerned residents and tenants for the public pre-screening hearing on May 16, at 6pm in the Council Chamber at 250 Hamilton Ave. Note: this is a pre-screening meeting so no decisions will be made.


31 people like this
Posted by EyeOfSauron
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 8, 2016 at 4:54 am

With Palantir taking out 10 year leases on every office they can and offering substantial housing subsidies this either is or likely will be Palantir Worker Housing. Let's call the place Mordor and the downtown office park takeover will be complete.

We need diversification in business for a healthy downtown. Too many orcs running around.


20 people like this
Posted by Jeannie
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 8, 2016 at 9:20 am

Palo Alto Planners- Remember the phrase, "Less is More". You're building Palo Alto into another San Francisco...all tall buildings with no sun on the streets. Palo Alto used to be a wonderful town with wonderful trees and great streets and neighborhoods. Your planning is making it a mess. When the techies and car dealerships leave, all that will be left is empty buildings with no tenants. Don't leave that hot mess for future generations...


23 people like this
Posted by Professorville
a resident of Professorville
on May 8, 2016 at 9:35 am

This entire state is going down because of NIMBYism and prop 13. Enough transfers of money and benefits to people just because of their age. Just because you've been living here many years doesn't mean this place somehow belongs to you. If you don't like change move out. And count yourself lucky you made a fortune on your real estate because of this change you purport to despise. You are the same people who opposed upgrading caltrain and electrifying the line, and now you complain about traffic. I have no respect for people who talk out of both sides of their mouth.


6 people like this
Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 8, 2016 at 9:37 am

I remember when 550 Hamilton was a brand new building. I worked for PacBell at the time and was installing the initial phone equipment there.

Our equipment room was on the forth floor. We shared it with the main power panel, air conditioning equipment and the elevator pumps.

The building wasn’t occupied yet as the finishing touches were still being finished up. One was the air conditioning. The AC guy was ready to fire up his main compressor. Unfortunately, he neglected to bleed the compressor of any liquids before flipping the on switch. The compressor attempted to compress oil which doesn’t compress, the compressor circuit breaker held and the main power panel right outside of our equipment room exploded. The whole building went black which was really exciting because our ears were ringing so badly it was hard to figure out what happened.

As we couldn’t do any work until the lights came back on we held flashlights for the electricians so they could repair the panel. About an hour after the explosion we heard giggling coming from the AC and elevator room. I went to investigate and found the elevator installer rolling around on the floor loaded on Romilar cough syrup. After that none of the construction people would use the elevator.


22 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 8, 2016 at 12:04 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Those who want to live on top of each other like sardines in a can with urban lifestyle and quality of life( or rather lack there of), density, noise and traffic, have three fairly large cities within a 40 mile radius. What they refer to as NIMBy is protecting the treasure that is Palo Alto from becoming another dense, depressing big city and preserving a quality of life from destruction by those demanding to live here at all cost even if it means the destruction of Palo Alto as we know it.


15 people like this
Posted by SteveU
a resident of Barron Park
on May 8, 2016 at 1:19 pm

SteveU is a registered user.

Why not tear down 250 Hamilton and build Condos there? That location is still fairly near the Transit Hub.


8 people like this
Posted by Not a sardine can
a resident of Barron Park
on May 8, 2016 at 1:43 pm

As usual maurucio repeats the same comments over and over over again. However his argument is undercut by his constant claim that palo alto is,like a sardine can!!!! Hardly. Is he familiar with all the neighborhoods in the city that have detached homes? Why does he constantly harp about the building in downtown and claims that we are a sardine can? The vast majority of the city is made up of single family homes. Which hardly makes us a sardine can? What is wrong with an urban lifesyle? And why does maurucio feel that his definition of " quality of life" is the one everyone wants?


5 people like this
Posted by I agree
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 8, 2016 at 1:48 pm

Well stated, not a sardine can


22 people like this
Posted by Problem solved
a resident of Midtown
on May 8, 2016 at 2:17 pm

SteveU says> Why not tear down 250 Hamilton and build Condos there? That location is still fairly near the Transit Hub.

Great idea! and tear down 100 Hamilton too, while you're at it. The Palantir octopus will move to a more spacious location and Problem Solved!

And ask the developer who wants to tear down 550 Hamilton to do the job. He's experienced destroying fine buildings for no good reason.


28 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 8, 2016 at 4:11 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

There is nothing wrong with an urban lifestyle if that's what one desires. Palo Alto is not the place for it, Oakland, San Jose and San Francisco are. Regarding the sardine can analogy, let's not be naive. Downtown, El Camino and Cal Ave can't accommodate even a fraction of those demanding to live here. In the not distant future, R1 neighborhood would be targeted for dense , height limit removed buildings, there is a zero chance this is not happening. The pressure to Manhattanise Palo Alto will be immense, and CC members have not shown any evidence they can, or want, to whithstand that kind of pressure.


3 people like this
Posted by Not a sardine can
a resident of Barron Park
on May 8, 2016 at 6:28 pm

[Post removed.]


13 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 8, 2016 at 8:10 pm

Overpopulation of the planet is an existential threat.
Think globally, act locally.


25 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 8, 2016 at 8:32 pm

Obviously "Not A Sardine Can" needs to get out more. Go check out the gridlock and the exhaust fumes on Embarcadero Road, Middlefield, various El Camino intersections, Oregon/Page Mill, Sand Hill etc. etc etc.

The Bay Area has the WORST traffic congestion in the nation.



5 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2016 at 8:51 pm

The minute we start having candidates running on an anti office anti jobs platform will be the minute any of this anti growth talk will be anything more than just lip service.


29 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 9, 2016 at 9:48 am

mauricio is a registered user.

Just like I can't move to Manhattan and demand that they live a rural lifestyle, "not a sardine can' can't demand that we live a city lifestyle in Palo Alto. Those desiring an urban lifestyle have several choices in the Bay area, San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland.

If we let our collective finger off the development dyke, R-1 neighborhoods will not be long for this world, and they too will become a sardine can. Yes, I do find University Ave distasteful, although I used to enjoy it very much once.

The Bay area, and Palo Alto, are seriously overpopulated. We do indeed have the worst traffic congestion in the nation. We should be concerned about population reduction, not population and traffic increase. This would be our local contribution to dealing with the very serious global existential threat caused by overpopulation.


2 people like this
Posted by commonsense
a resident of Barron Park
on May 9, 2016 at 10:52 am

this proposal is allowed under the current zoning (though the zero setbacks will be a tough sell.) Alternatively, perhaps the city should allow them greater density if they scrap all the office for more, maybe even taller than 50', housing. That would be a win win - losing the existing 40,000 sf of office and providing more housing.


17 people like this
Posted by Me Me Me
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 9, 2016 at 11:05 am

Great Idea,commonsense.
And none of them will own cars!
And they will sell the cars they already own!
And they will not have children!
And they will never go to the doctor!
And the old folks will learn to bicycle!
And they will refuse to work outside of Palo Alto!
And they will never shop or dine in Mtn View!
R-r-right.


20 people like this
Posted by eyeswideopen
a resident of Professorville
on May 9, 2016 at 11:18 am

This project must be stopped. Period.


6 people like this
Posted by Let's Be Real
a resident of College Terrace
on May 9, 2016 at 11:35 am

What is being discussed here: A virtual gated community. To Mauricio who is moving to Bolinas (The other virtual gated community in Marin County) and leaving their home empty here??? That's a ridiculous solution. Could you not consider renting it out at a BMR rate and allow a single mom of three school age children live there? That would be way too progressive and generous. Better that she raise her family in a tiny, rat-infested studio on Alma.


1 person likes this
Posted by Around the Corner
a resident of University South
on May 9, 2016 at 12:56 pm

I live right around the corner from the proposed development and I am fully in support. More housing and underground parking is what we need in the neighborhood. The existing parking lot is just a waste of space. It will be great to get more out of the location. Further, my kids love watching construction - it is not a bad thing, but a learning experience. I am not sure why the article put that in as a negative. Construction is a sign of growth and that is a good thing.


1 person likes this
Posted by commonsense
a resident of Barron Park
on May 9, 2016 at 1:31 pm

Me me me,
So you are not in favor of removing 40,000 sf of office space and replacing it with residential? You are a hypocrite. This would replace 160 car trips with maybe 35. If you prefer to try to turn it back into an apple orchard, good luck!


3 people like this
Posted by Urban cowboy
a resident of College Terrace
on May 9, 2016 at 1:37 pm

Maurucio-- palo,alto is a city, not a town or a village. We have been living the urban lifestyle here for decades-- we have restauarnts, bars, museums, movies, theatre, arts etc. and palo alto wants to be considered a city- they have tried to,lure business and visitors for decades as well.
Claiming that we are some rural village is ridiculous. Telling people what kind of lifestyle that can live here is ridiculous. Telling people to move to other cities because they want to,live differently than you is ridiculous. Trying to remain in some 1980's vacuum is ridiculous.
There are some people in palo,alto that can be classified as CAVE people ( citizens against virtually everything).


11 people like this
Posted by Jeff
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 9, 2016 at 1:44 pm

Every time more jobs are created than housing is created, the demand for housing will rise. Unless you are paid more than the new jobs pay, your competition to buy a home in Palo Alto will be pull further ahead of you!

Don't assume turning Palo Alto into an urban jungle will provide you a better opportunity to live here.

Of course if all you really want is a job here that your current commute can take you to from outside the city, you would be pro anything that might create another job. To **** with the residents who live here.


Like this comment
Posted by Urban cowboy
a resident of College Terrace
on May 9, 2016 at 1:59 pm

[Post removed.]


1 person likes this
Posted by neighbor
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on May 9, 2016 at 2:26 pm

Mauricio,
If "we ruined this town decades ago" with Oregon Expressway, why are you still here in this terribly ruined town?


1 person likes this
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on May 9, 2016 at 2:30 pm

@Jeff

While you and a vocal minority may be in staunch opposition, here's a dirty little secret: Most people in Palo Alto think jobs are actually a good thing, some may even have ones of their own, which is probably why they generally support their creation.


7 people like this
Posted by Me Me Me
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 9, 2016 at 3:59 pm

>So you are not in favor of removing 40,000 sf of office space and replacing it with residential?
You forgot to mention that the large current office building will be replaced with a much *larger* office building in addition to the housing. 57,475 square feet of office. The net will be an *increased* housing shortage. oops.

A fair proportion of the workers are imported from abroad. Employers could supply housing if their workers need it. Lots of billion dollar corporations here, so its not a problem of money. Why don't they?


1 person likes this
Posted by Me
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 9, 2016 at 5:08 pm

Ok maurico, let's take your opinions one sentence at a time:

"The Bay area, and Palo Alto, are seriously overpopulated."

Right. Have you actually driven to Page Mill and 280? That's still part of Palo Alto. [Portion removed.] Anyone who drives up and down 280 that can't make that statement with a straight face.

"We do indeed have the worst traffic congestion in the nation."

Nope. That goes to Washington DC metro, with LA second. If you're going for hyperbole, you could at least make a credible statement (we're #3 by the way).

"We should be concerned about population reduction, not population and traffic increase. This would be our local contribution to dealing with the very serious global existential threat caused by overpopulation."

A big Malthus fan, I see. Have you checked birthrates recently? Maintaining 2.1 births per female is the "maintain" rate - and, oh by the way, the US has only been able to get to that rate through *immigration*. Europe and big parts of Asia (Japan in particular, but China not that far behind) are facing existential crises because their birthrates are way below replacement rate.

So, no, we are not facing overpopulation.


8 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 9, 2016 at 6:00 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

No, growth is not a good thing past a certain point. Turning this small college town into an urban jungle is a very bad thing. Those who claim that we don't have an overpopulation in the Bay area in particular and in the world in general, actually one of the greatest danger to human existence and a major trigger of global warming, are delusional.

I will be personally moving out of Palo Alto to Bolinas by the end of the year, but I will not be selling my house and the house will not be rented out. Palo Alto is seriously overpopulate,d and if I have talked the talk for all those years in while PA was turned into an urban jungle,I will walk the walk as well. Despite the insanely high rents I could charge, I will not be responsible for adding people to a town that needs to reduce its density, not increase it.


17 people like this
Posted by Tainted Money
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 9, 2016 at 6:11 pm

Any foreigner who can get a big loan in their homeland, then defect in the middle of the night and come to America, can buy a house in Palo Alto. But they can never go back home; in some countries they would face life in a dungeon-like prison; in others they would be hung in public.

Apparently if you are not a citizen and pay in cash, the source of the cash is not looked into. If you ARE a citizen you must have documentation as to where and how you came into such a large sum.


8 people like this
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 9, 2016 at 7:10 pm

All of this virtual sword fighting is a bit funny. Bottom line is thankfully the ballot box in Palo Alto has the final say. The PACC has started to get the message from the residents. It started with the Measure D results and then the last city council election.

Like it or not, the residents of Palo Alto have the last word on whether we head towards a greater urbanization of the city or something that is tempered and managed. My personal opinion is that tempered and managed is the best for PA. Some of you may not like that...fine. But if you don't like it, vote the other way when it comes to the next PACC election.

If you don't live here, you don't have a vote. Deal with it.


10 people like this
Posted by No roads to support it
a resident of Downtown North
on May 10, 2016 at 12:09 pm

Been on Middlefield anywhere near downtown lately?

Adding more employees, more housing to Downtown WILL add more traffic. If the opposite were true, given all the mixed use buildings and endeavors in PA in recent years, we would have less traffic today - and we don't, we don't, we don't. We have gridlock and the hazardous behavior that accompanies it.

There is more to city planning or community planning than filling it all in or stacking on top of it.

No need to repeat all the good arguments written above...in the real world, we are full, folks.


2 people like this
Posted by Me Me Me
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 13, 2016 at 11:13 pm

Zero setbacks on Webster though the architect measures distance of the building from the CURB. Nice trick, but it won't fool anyone once it is pointed out. They know it is a problem.

Two levels of underground parking may require dewatering.

Destroy, demolish, disrupt. That's the mentality of a bomber, not progress.


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

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