Real Estate

Home Front: Street sweeping, solar panels and more


SOLAR PANEL DEADLINE ... The City of Palo Alto Utilities is rapidly approaching the 10.8 megawatts for the solar Net Energy Metering (NEM) program. Once the cap has been reached, new solar customers will be under the NEM Successor rate. Existing solar customers may continue on the NEM rate for a period of 20 years from the date the City of Palo Alto first approved the solar PV interconnection (also known as the NEM term). Since the City expects to reach the NEM cap within the next six months to one year, the city's Utilities Department has launched a system to allow solar customers to reserve a place in the NEM program on a first-come, first-served basis, to customers who have signed solar PV purchase or lease contracts; submitted a complete NEM Reservation application; and are able to have the PV system installed and approved for interconnection within six months from the date the NEM Reservation application was approved. The NEM Reservation Application will be available online Monday, Nov. 14 at 8 a.m. at City of Palo Alto.

PALO ALTO STREET SWEEPING ... As the leaves begin to fall, the street sweepers come out. Palo Alto streets will be swept every week until about Feb. 20, 2017. Street sweeping keeps the streets clean and safe by removing the dirt, metals, petroleum products, garbage and vegetation that regularly collect. Removing these materials is important because they could end up in our storm drains and eventually into our creeks and the San Francisco Bay. Keeping the storm drains clear not only helps to reduce pollution, but also reduces the likelihood of flooding during heavy rain. Street sweepers cannot pick up large pieces or piles. To ensure a clean street: Avoid raking or blowing or piling leaves or other debris in the street or gutter. Keep palm fronds and long twigs and branches out. Pick up litter. Park your vehicles off the street on your designated sweep day. During rains, prevent flooding by raking leaves off storm drain grates.

LANDSCAPE DINNER ... The California Landscape Contractors' Association will hold a dinner meeting Thursday Nov. 10 from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. to honor this year's San Francisco Bay Area Chapter Board of Directors and install the officers for 2017. The event will be held at Chef Chu's, 1067 N. San Antonio Road in Los Altos. To register go to

FILOLI FOR THE HOLIDAYS ... The Filoli estate and garden offers a plethora of popular holiday events. Plan ahead and purchase tickets soon, as many events are already sold out. On Friday, Nov. 25 from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. the festivities will kick off with "Opening Night — Première Shopping" where you can enjoy appetizers, champagne, and wine in the Dining Room and Dining Room Terrace. Be the first to see a magnificent showcase of sparkling holiday splendor and to shop a wide range of unique holiday gifts and decor. Black–tie encouraged. Purchase tickets by 4 p.m Monday, Nov. 21 at The cost is $8 for members, $90 for non-members. Check the website for a complete listing of holiday events.

WINTER GARDENING ... Palo Alto's Common Ground expert gardeners say you can plant lots of veggies right now. Plant directly into the ground: beets, carrots, parsnips, radishes, turnips and wildflowers. For a more extensive list and lots of advice go to

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Posted by Beth L
a resident of another community
on Nov 7, 2016 at 8:54 am

Point of clarification for Holiday Traditions at Filoli:
The cost is $80 for members, $90 for non-members. Check the website for a complete listing of holiday events.
Your article states $8 for members and that is not correct.

12 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 7, 2016 at 10:31 am

If you don't know your street sweeping day, look here: Web Link
Please don't park on the street on the street sweeping day for your street. Help them keep the gutters clear by moving your cars. Clean gutters = less chance of flooding. Thank you.

6 people like this
Posted by Smells like Mysk
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 7, 2016 at 11:59 am

Poor quality solar panels ruined half of our new roof,
As well as roofs of neighbors and friends in other locales.

Elon Musk is making solar shingles, which I prefer to wait for. They can't ruin your roof because they ARE your roof. If you have asphalt shingles, they can be laid over those!

We prefer to wait until THOSE are readily available and have come down in price!

1 person likes this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2016 at 7:12 am

Many residents already know what day the street sweepers come on their own streets. The many people who are parking are visitors to the homes or the area. Without a sign, these casual parkers will not know they shouldn't be parking there. Signs are necessary and then penalties should be faced by those that ignore them.

4 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Nov 9, 2016 at 12:31 pm

We need signs for street sweeping days. East Palo Alto has signs on every street. My guess here is that the city has granted permission in the planning stages of buildings for employees to have overflow parking in residential zones. And when street sweeping day comes those employees are now displaced.
So the residents clear the street and the employees fill in the spaces. The city is not serving the residents well here so get those signs on the streets.
Note - the area around Gunn High School has a high volume of signs directing no parking on school days for certain periods of time. So the city does provide signage in volumes if enough pressure exerted. We need common sense here since we are now going to pay a storm drain fee.

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Short story writers wanted!

The 33rd Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 29. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

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