News

Editorial: Missing a housing opportunity

Council prematurely nixes what may be the best way to create real affordable housing

With all the talk among Palo Alto elected officials and civic leaders about the need for more housing for lower-income individuals, families and seniors, we were stunned by the City Council's misguided decision Monday night to not even consider the possibility of building such housing above city parking lots.

It was the only one of dozens of strategies identified in a housing plan prepared by the city staff that the council opted not to pursue, and the decision was made as if it was an insignificant minor tweak to the plan. Instead, it jettisoned what may be the best hope of building the type of rental housing most needed in Palo Alto.

The motion to remove a study of this idea from the plan was made by Vice Mayor Eric Filseth, seconded by Councilman Greg Scharff and ultimately agreed to on a 6-3 vote (with Greg Tanaka, Lydia Kou, Karen Holman and Tom DuBois joining them). Mayor Liz Kniss and Councilmen Adrian Fine and Cory Wolbach voted to keep the study in the plan.

The decision was as irrational as the unusual alignment of votes.

Filseth initially stated his strong preference, shared by most of his colleagues, that the city's housing efforts focus more on low-income affordable housing rather than market-rate housing. We totally agree, as do, in our opinion, most Palo Altans. But without a clear explanation, Filseth then casually proposed eliminating from consideration any use of the air space above city-owned parking lots, the one housing strategy that has a land cost of zero.

"I don't think we should give away public land," Filseth said, even though the concept being proposed wouldn't replace parking, wouldn't give away any public land and would merely consider the potential for developing housing above one or more city parking lots.

Scharff, who has previously expressed interest in such an idea, seemed equally disconnected from the unique opportunity presented by publicly owned parking lots and argued Monday night that he would rather turn parking lots into parks than housing if the lots were no longer needed for parking at some time in the future.

Did the council not just agree that housing creation is the city's top priority?

It was as if these six council members had either failed to understand the staff proposal or suddenly lost sight of the enormous financial challenges of creating housing that is affordable for lower-income service workers and others. Or perhaps they are less committed to such housing than they say.

Where is the innovation and creative thinking that we like to associate with Palo Alto?

The single greatest obstacle to creating additional housing in Palo Alto for anyone other than highly paid professionals is the high cost of land, and any opportunity to leverage land already owned by the city to develop housing means that public, non-profit or private housing developers can build housing at a substantially reduced cost, resulting in the most number of affordable units.

Recognizing this, the city staff proposed only that it "explore the opportunity to put housing over parking." As Wolbach said, "I can't think of a better use of a parking lot than to build housing above it." Kniss was equally incredulous at the council's vote to nix the study.

Developing housing above parking lots is not a radical or nutty idea. In 1984, Palo Alto was an early pioneer in the concept when it granted air rights above a small city parking lot on High Street between Lytton and University to developer Chuck Kinney so a 44-unit condominium development called Abitare could be built above the public parking.

That project had 40 market-rate condominium units and four below-market-rate units, and therefore isn't a good example of how to maximize the public land subsidy to create affordable rental units. But it showed the potential for retaining public parking while building housing above. Imagine an apartment building with small units being developed by a nonprofit housing organization like Palo Alto Housing for rentals, using available housing funds, to serve low-income service workers or seniors. Without any land cost, housing dollars can be stretched much further and rents can be substantially lower.

If we are to be successful in developing significant amounts of more affordable housing, we can't depend on requirements or incentives so that private developers will include a few more units of subsidized housing as they build market-rate housing. Because of high land costs, the number of truly affordable units will continue to be small through that approach.

No one dreamed that the council might remove the study of housing above city-owned parking lots from the plan, and we hope housing advocates push back strongly on the decision and ask that it be reconsidered. There is no good rationale for taking the option that is potentially the most capable of providing low-income housing units off the table.

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Comments

81 people like this
Posted by Old Timer
a resident of Professorville
on Feb 16, 2018 at 8:56 am

Why must we keep cramming more and more people into our already overcrowded little town? Where is that written? Who voted for that?

There are other communities all up and down the Caltrain line that would welcome a building boom. Why can’t the developer lobbyists look elsewhere?


11 people like this
Posted by Midtown
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 16, 2018 at 9:01 am

So has this been done anywhere else and what were the costs. Seems to me you would have to tear out the garage that is there and start over to build something earthquake safe.


26 people like this
Posted by Eric Filseth
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 16, 2018 at 9:17 am

I appreciate the Weekly’s analysis of Palo Alto issues, which I most of the time agree with.

Aside from the obvious paradox of, why on earth would we use garage land for garages (which I see as a debt to existing neighborhoods) but not housing, I hope it’s clear we didn’t say, “we’ll never do this;” instead we asked staff not to go develop a citywide policy on it, at least not ahead of the three dozen other housing policies we’ve just given them to work on. This may seem like hairsplitting, but we’ve shown a sporadic willingness to make sweeping policy decisions on only cursory analysis. Those involving public land merit some extra care.

To people who disagree, and I know there’ll be some, let me just offer a couple of thoughts. First, I believe the City continues to consistently undervalue land, which we’re not making any more of, even as the Bay Area’s population and (average) wealth increase. If we value affordable housing, then we should be willing to spend actual money on it (including buying more land for it if that’s the limiting factor). We have around $12M in appropriate housing funds now, and we could spend more if necessary. Furthermore, we can raise more money from our impact fees, which every nexus study has shown aren’t enough to actually cover their impacts. The challenge of affordable housing is not cranky neighbors; it’s that somebody has to pay for it. Since our region’s housing woes are a byproduct of our region’s economic boom, they ought to be paid for from the proceeds of that boom. Spending public land instead of money, if it’s just because the former is easier, is bad policy.

Second, to anybody paying close attention it ought to be clear that the City has not entirely worked out what “affordable” housing actually means in Palo Alto. As a newly-minted MBA thirty years ago, I rented a 500-sf studio at market rate in Palo Alto; for the city to subsidize me would have been folly. Yet there are arguments floating around that would define my old unit, at market rate, as “affordable” and therefore eligible for public largess. That’s nuts. Until we can ensure that City affordability programs actually go to people who could not otherwise afford to live here, we should not be making broad city policy involving public land for them. If we’re going to take some risks while we work out the kinks of this, better to take those risks with money, than with land.


19 people like this
Posted by Marie
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 16, 2018 at 11:19 am

Marie is a registered user.

Mr. Filseth makes one very good point: the limiting factor for affordable housing is land. If Palo Alto used its funds focussed on buying land, and then leased it for whatever small cost that would make a worthwhile project "pencil in" (ie make financial sense), various low income housing consortiums could probably pay for the construction of livable housing with reasonable parking using the actual rental payments. Including retail might also help make it work.

And for those who think people who live in affordable housing don't need cars, why hasn't anyone done a survey of the people who live in existing affordable housing, with parking and publish the results? Start with the complex right next to the train station. I would make a small bet that the complex uses up all its existing parking and still needs to park additional cars on the street even though they are next to the train.

And surveying the condominiums on the other side of the street would give a very good idea of how much parking market rate owners want as well.


9 people like this
Posted by All options on the table!
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 16, 2018 at 11:58 am

Eric filsetht makes a cruel argument here and ignores the fact that he is making a policy preference to build parking spots for cars instead of homes for people. ALL options should be on the table for housing. Not enough land? Build up!


4 people like this
Posted by Pat Burt
a resident of Community Center
on Feb 16, 2018 at 12:19 pm

The Editorial makes good points about the need for the city to fully explore this opportunity and thanks to Eric Filseth for sharing his thoughts. I'd like to add some points to those in the Editorial.
Providing affordable housing is not only required of us by regional planning bodies (ABAG), our Housing and Comprehensive Plans have committed us to working to provide significant amounts of affordable housing. Those plans have designated the University Ave and Downtown pedestrian/transit areas as where we want to allow for much of that new housing because they are the best locations to reduce, but not eliminate, the average car trips per each new housing unit.
They're not all obvious, but in just the University Ave Downtown area, we have around 10 surface parking lots. That's the lowest value use for that expensive land. A high level hypothetical is that converting one those lots to a 5-level parking structure would eliminate the need for four other surface parking lots. Those freed up surface lots could then be used for three equivalent sized affordable housing projects and one park. Without a creative way to provide land, affordable housing in the downtowns is not likely to happen.


1 person likes this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2018 at 12:45 pm

Posted by Pat Burt, a resident of Community Center

>> They're not all obvious, but in just the University Ave Downtown area, we have around 10 surface parking lots. That's the lowest value use for that expensive land. A high level hypothetical is that converting one those lots to a 5-level parking structure would eliminate the need for four other surface parking lots.

OK. Make it 6 levels. Just build down to keep the height down.

>> Those freed up surface lots could then be used for three equivalent sized affordable housing projects and one park.

OK. Just build 3/4-story row houses with separate entrances and 2 car garages, so that the tenants don't have to park nearby on surface streets.

A few questions:

- Would the city continue to own the land?
- Who will own the buildings?
- Who will maintain the buildings?
- Who will provide security?
- Who decides who gets to live there?
- How much will this cost per year per apartment, vs, providing a subsidy for an apartment somewhere else in the city?



8 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 16, 2018 at 3:23 pm

I think it is time to turn Foothill Park into housing.


15 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 16, 2018 at 5:58 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

@ Marie

Come on, the audacity to propose doing a survey on current parking needs of existing low income housing residents. That truth would spoil the fun and thinking of progressives who feel their futuristic wisdom should be applied immediately.


9 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 16, 2018 at 6:09 pm

Face it. To build submarket housing of the quantity and quality needed for teachers, city staff, and police will require far more money than the city government can ever hope to raise, and/or development concessions to private investors far greater than concerned residents will ever tolerate.


5 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 16, 2018 at 7:41 pm

Annette is a registered user.

Articles on affordable housing should include the current working definition of affordable housing. Let people know; I suspect many will be surprised to learn that the targeted demographic earns more than the people most in need of housing assistance. Without disclosure of this key detail we may inadvertently be creating more profit for developers (arguably not a top priority)and more housing for people who are housing frustrated (can't get what they want where they want it) but NOT for people who are housing insecure. I think people are much more willing to squeeze and adjust to provide housing for the housing insecure; less so for the housing frustrated.

What's the point in continuing this discussion until we know what we are talking about? Who is this housing for? If we are going to radically alter our built environment, further bloat our population, and further burden our already faltering infrastructure, shouldn't we at least be informed about who is helped?

And a question to add to Anon's list: if a person qualifies for BMR or affordable housing but then has a financially positive change of circumstances, is that person required to vacate that affordable or BMR unit? How does that work? Leaving ones home is a complicated matter. I think that would be a pretty horrible spot to be in (except for the higher income part) but I think the first goal here is to reduce housing insecurity. We will likely never even dent the housing frustrated issue; we sank that ship when we over-built commercial space.


16 people like this
Posted by Sense
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2018 at 9:21 pm

I disagree with the argument here, because I think it's not okay to see poor people as less deserving of health and safety than anyone else, and putting housing above public parking garages for anyone is a bad idea because of the fumes and risk of fires.

I agree with Eric Filseth that we do a disservice to the future of affordable housing by charging ahead with anything labeled "affordable" without making any effort to define the need and how to best meet it. One thing that has never been considered is requiring companies above a certain size in this area to pay a tax to go into a fund to subsidize market-rate housing for workers in traditionally low-income jobs. These companies are, after all, creating this "crisis". Or the City buying up retail areas and over time as it becomes possible to allow retailers far lower costs (the way Stanford housing is cheaper because Stanford owns the land), it could become possible to require them in exchange to pay everyone a living wage. This strategy has the advantage that once the expenditure is made, it becomes more and more valuable to the City over the years for no more cost.

The current strategy of creating expensive and sparse housing units without understanding the "market" and need ends up creating (per the consultant review of PAHC) even units that go empty for years even as there is a huge demand for affordable housing. The other problem is that building more housing means even more demand, it's not a deficit that can ever be made up so long as we take a completely laissez-faire approach to corporations growing here while making the negative consequences completely a public problem.

We limit the size of grocery stores here for pete's sake, we should limit the size of companies, and enforce codes so they don't destroy our retail areas as has happened to University and Cal Ave, so that Palo Alto can be safe for startups and residents again. We will always have Stanford as an innovation generator - it's time we pushed the state to invest in, essentially, new towns with modern infrastructure and planning, so we can spread the wealth, and that companies that wish to grow have someplace to go. We can't afford to continue ignoring that the cause of all these problems is too much corporate growth where we simply do not have the infrastructure to support it. Facebook moved out of Palo Alto to grow and the sky did not fall, and both Palo Alto and Facebooks were better off for it. We must take a sober look at how to reduce the worker population here during the day while also understanding better the problem of traditionally low-wage workers here so that we can really solve the problem, not just give developers an excuse to ruin our town without ever solving the problem for all but a tiny handful of lottery winners (who usually come from far away anyway).


11 people like this
Posted by Solon
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 16, 2018 at 10:38 pm

Is there any empirical evidence that government orders housing “near transit “or otherwise has ACTUALLY reduced car trips?

It is well know eg BART consultant has said in public forums, that HOUSING near t rankest has NOT been shown to reduce car trips, but OFFICES near transit CAN reduce car trips — former City of Palo Alto employee.

If goal,is to reduce car trips A) ALLOW landords to have two,tier rents, higher if you own operate a car or perhaps even have a drivers license and a lower rent tier if you did not and

B) do not allow ANY rental with an in,cubed parking space, but rather OFFERparking spaces by same la lord at market clearing prices to all I. Area not just tenants, market forces will raise pardoning costs, LOWER apartment rents, and REDUCE demand
For parking overall.

I recall John Hackmann psoke of this in a city council forum or meeting or such years ago.

Do,we think it could be a one valid option?


4 people like this
Posted by george drysdale
a resident of Professorville
on Feb 17, 2018 at 11:43 am

It's nice being nice. Especially for a politician. Land valuation is the basis to real estate (land) economics. If you look at the numbers it's virtually impossible to provide much "affordable" housing in Palo Alto. We're not Hong Kong yet. Very few, because of the very high price of land in Palo Alto can get "affordable housing." One in six at the most after waiting maybe five years. After going through the numbers the Buena Vista trailer park will make things clear. Read: George Drysdale on rent control Google. You see trailers and not real estate they are not attached to the ground, they are personal property. The Buena Vista will provide countless term papers and thesis as well as an outrageous joke. Let's wait for the numbers to roll in.


3 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 17, 2018 at 12:48 pm

The obvious solution is--dare I say it--RENT CONTROL.


8 people like this
Posted by David Hirsch
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 18, 2018 at 12:24 pm

In the national political dialogue we have become more trusting of the press than our elected President. So too here in Palo Alto we are lucky to have Palo Alto Online as a critical contrast to the council as it blunders on an obvious affordable housing opportunity. It cannot be stated any better or more indisputably.

Of the three items that determine the cost of housing, the first is the cost of the land, the second is the (unalterable) cost of construction and the third is the soft costs (architects, engineers, lawyers, fees, financing, etc.) Certainly the Council knows this and realizes that, with the minimal number of affordable units they can beg from private developers after these developers fund the huge price of purchasing property and cover all soft costs and risks of construction, the City will never solve the issue of affordable housing. And every other idea will take many years to develop, hardly make a dent in the immediate housing mandate.

There is no better or obvious path to creating affordable housing than to use the parking lots. By eliminating the purchase price and by using city funds to pay for soft costs (and by eliminating the private developer) affordability is possible.

Everyone, especially Council members, should look at the manner in which the High Street example noted in the article integrates with the downtown streetscape and maintains parking. Imagine such a creative effort on all of those open parking lots, a gap tooth border, many on Lytton, hardly reinforcing the sense of a downtown.

Let City Planning do their job and hire the consultants to determine how effective the use of the parking lots will be to solve this crisis of affordable/workforce housing.


3 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 18, 2018 at 12:31 pm

OK, we build up the parking lots. Then what?


4 people like this
Posted by Pat Burt
a resident of Community Center
on Feb 18, 2018 at 2:09 pm

Pat Burt is a registered user.

Thanks to David Hirsch for his comments about the critical value of providing land to make affordable housing work in an expensive city like Palo Alto. The role of the city probably does not need to extend beyond that since non profit housing developers are experts at leveraging resources to make these projects happen.
These projects alone will not solve our housing problems, but they can serve an important role. Increased renter protections, including rent control, has also become a critical consideration for protecting longtime renters. Lastly, these measures will be undermined if we do not, as a region and city, address the demand side of the equation by restraining the rate of high end commercial growth, as well as considering business taxes, similar to what San Francisco charges, dedicated to addressing our transportation crisis.
Our city and region are experiencing increasingly unsustainable deterioration of our social and economic balance. We need to move forward with a comprehensive plan if we are to continue to thrive as a region.


7 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 18, 2018 at 7:37 pm

"Lastly, these measures will be undermined if we do not, as a region and city, address the demand side of the equation by restraining the rate of high end commercial growth ... Our city and region are experiencing increasingly unsustainable deterioration of our social and economic balance. We need to move forward with a comprehensive plan if we are to continue to thrive as a region."

Finally, an epiphany by our former mayor. Why couldn't he have had it when he was on the council?


2 people like this
Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 19, 2018 at 9:47 am

Jerry Underdal is a registered user.

Affordable housing opponents in Palo Alto have been frustrated for years by automatic replenishment of affordable housing funds through developer fees reserved for this purpose. Palo Alto was a pioneer in the use of these fees to fund affordable housing and became a target for commercial developers eager to challenge its constitutionality. Without having to ask voters to approve taxes, non-profit developers like Palo Alto Housing for years were able to use funds from developer fees to leverage additional financing for its projects in Palo Alto. Measure D killed the Maybell project, but it didn't cut off the inflow of developer fees available for use when circumstances allow.

It was a blow to affordable housing opponents statewide when the CA supreme court ruled that developer fees were a reasonable regulation of development, not an unconstitutional taking of property.

PASZ, from its origins, has opposed adding density through new construction. It is not surprising that we're seeing resistance on the council and the PTC to the use of city-owned parking lot space to build affordable housing. They can't stop money from coming into the housing fund, but they can reduce the "damage" it causes by making it exceedingly expensive to actually build anything– a sort of harm reduction model for dealing with pressure on the city to comply with state and regional demands.

This is complex. I like mini-parks and affordable housing. Which to choose? I'd go for housing, the council's declared priority. But there's a debate to be had. Thanks to the editor and posters who identify themselves by name for laying out their differing positions.


9 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 20, 2018 at 3:47 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

Good article basically, but the editorial board seemed stunned by the vote and the strange combination of bedfellows who voted for it, and they, the board, supported the idea of housing over parking lots. That's okay! But that is a decision that shouldn't be treated lightly or rushed into.

I didn't watch all of the telecast so I missed a lot of the discussion. I think Vice Mayor Filseth clarified very well, in his post above, his thinking on the subject, and acknowledged that it could happen, but is proposing a wait and see attitude until it is reviewed further. Parking lots occupy precious space, and there could be many unknown possibilities for the use of that space in the future. And I think he is also challenging us to put our money where our mouths are. Sure, housing above parking lots is 'low hanging fruit', and a quick fix in the near term, but once that housing is built and in place where do we go from there?? How many units would that add, and how many more would have to be built to satisfy the state mandate as executed by ABAG. Hmmm! "A nice dilemma... we have here", stealing a Gilbert and Sullivan line from 'Trial By Jury".

@David Hirsch

Good post, especially your description: "Of the three items that determine the cost of housing, the first is the cost of the land, the second is the (unalterable) cost of construction and the third is the soft costs (architects, engineers, lawyers, fees, financing, etc.)" I hope you're right about all of our CC members understanding that. There is a wide range of talent on CC...from degree levels, training, and experiences. There are people with backgrounds in nursing, education, political science, engineering, business, law, and experiences including PAUSD, commissions, and many volunteer organizations in town.

No lack of talent, but maybe a little lack of willingness to work together to solve the really tough problems we have in PA. Let's be honest...millennials think differently than most of us, their preceding generations...and especially me, the worst of all, being counted as a 'The Big Depression' baby (January 13th 1937).

So far, I see the newly designated zones as only favoring above median income workers in one new zone. Let's see how the 2079 El Camino Real project (Palo Alto Housing funded) works out. There seems to be a general feeling by our most ardent progressive advocates of BMR housing, that people in those income levels can't afford, or don't need, cars. Are they omniscient...or just following their own personal beliefs, without regard to any real facts? Let's hear from those low income workers!

What I would really like to see happen: A study made of all the occupations and where all the tenants/occupants in Palo Alto Housing facilities work. Are some outflow commuters, having to drive miles away from PA to their jobs? How many of all the low paid service workers in Palo Alto (I shouldn't have to describe their jobs) live here, how many live in PAH housing, and how many have to commute, and from where and how far?

Come on, those shouldn't be tough questions to answer. We've got all the brightest people on earth, working right here in our area, in SV. The answers could be obtained thru polls and social media questions and answers! And then there could be algorithms developed to help with all the answers.

I could be wrong, but what I see as a characteristic, and failing (call it a flaw), of many CC members, is proposing ideas based on 'feel good', and what they think is good, often without regard to input from the residents of our community, or doing any, or not enough, fact finding in advance. And just as important, or more importantly, "How the hell do we pay for this?" My hat is off to all of them, however. They were duly elected and do the best job they can. We should be grateful, and we are all welcome to run for office, get elected, and do a better job. Count me out. My bedtime is around 9:30-10:00 PM.

Thanks to all you sitting CC members for serving! If you were thin skinned before, I'm sure it's thickening up a bit now.



7 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 20, 2018 at 4:57 pm

Posted by Jerry Underdal, a resident of Barron Park

>> Affordable housing opponents in Palo Alto have been frustrated for years by automatic replenishment of affordable housing funds through developer fees reserved for this purpose.

From the tone of this, I guess you think that anyone who opposes any particular "affordable housing" -project- is opposed to affordable housing.

Like most everyone else, I started my career in coachroach-infested low-rent apartments. I wish that everyone else could have the same opportunities that I had. Back then, affordable housing included a parking space, and, I think it is wishful thinking to believe that the requirement for a parking space has changed -in Santa Clara County-. I am opposed to "affordable housing" -projects- that presume that people are not going to drive to work.


1 person likes this
Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 20, 2018 at 5:43 pm

Jerry Underdal is a registered user.

@Anon

"From the tone of this, I guess you think that anyone who opposes any particular "affordable housing" -project- is opposed to affordable housing."

No, wrong guess. I don't consider most of the people who voted against Measure D to be the "Affordable Housing opponents" Just look at the enthusiasm with which people across the political spectrum welcomed the rescue of Buena Vista Mobile Home Park. I've got in mind a) commercial developers, b) residential real estate firms, and c) ideological opponents of government subsidies for someone else's housing. It's not in their interest for affordable housing to be built, regardless of the adequacy of parking or the impact on traffic.


4 people like this
Posted by About BMR
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 21, 2018 at 9:18 am

Pat Burt said: We need to move forward with a comprehensive plan if we are to continue to thrive as a region."

Curmudgeon said: Finally, an epiphany by our former mayor. Why couldn't he have had it when he was on the council?

Burt was in favor of BMR OFFICE space downtown in the Lytton Gateway project (corner of Alma) for the Chamber of Commerce. They have luxury offices at Below Market Rate. Thanks Mr.Burt.


1 person likes this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 21, 2018 at 11:42 am

"Burt was in favor of BMR OFFICE space downtown in the Lytton Gateway project (corner of Alma) for the Chamber of Commerce. They have luxury offices at Below Market Rate. Thanks Mr.Burt."

For obvious reasons. Lytton Gateway was a Jim Baer development. Baer is a prolific bestower of political cash and in-kind favors to his friends, including especially Mayor Kniss, under a variety of guises. Burt dutifully read his lines.


2 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 21, 2018 at 1:53 pm

Posted by Jerry Underdal, a resident of Barron Park

>> No, wrong guess. I don't consider most of the people who voted against Measure D to be the "Affordable Housing opponents" ... It's not in their interest for affordable housing to be built, regardless of the adequacy of parking or the impact on traffic.

So, I take it, then, that you are OK with requiring affordable housing projects to have adequate parking and a workable impact on traffic? Good. Glad to hear it.


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

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