News

City rushes to pass law for residents facing eviction

Palo Alto City Council looks to take up urgency ordinance to require relocation assistance later this month

With residents of President Hotel bracing for displacement, Palo Alto officials are rushing to draft an urgency ordinance before the end of August that would require owners of apartment buildings to provide relocation assistance to evicted tenants.

City Manager James Keene said on Monday that the new law would focus on "mitigating the impact of no-fault evictions on large multifamily rentals." It will address situations in which "the landlord decides to take those rentals off the market."

Keene said staff has begun work on the emergency ordinance in response to recent comments from the council and the general public. Tenants of the historic building at 488 University Ave. and their supporters from the broader community have been petitioning the City Council for the past two months to do what it can to prevent the conversion of the 75-unit building into a hotel.

The conversion plan proposed by the building's new owner, Adventurous Journeys Capital Ventures, already faces one obstacle. On July 17, about a month after the company purchased the 1929 Birge Clark-designed building, the city sent AJ Capital a letter informing it that the proposed conversion would violate a zoning code provision that requires property owners who remodel "grandfathered buildings" (those that were built before the zoning code provisions were adopted) to retain the same use as part of the renovation. The city had determined that shifting the use from residential to hotel would violate the provision; AJ Capital is protesting this determination.

Even as this issue remains in dispute, AJ Capital has informed residents that their Nov. 12 eviction date still stands. With that in mind, the council is now planning to pass a law that would increase the level of compensation that these residents would receive.

Karen Kao, who lives at President Hotel, was part of a group of residents who addressed the council on the topic on Monday. She urged the city to stand by the city's zoning laws pertaining to grandfathered buildings and to not grant AJ Capital any exceptions.

Kao, who moved to the apartment building 14 years ago, characterized President Hotel as a safe and cohesive place that affords its residents both privacy and a sense of community. She requested that the council pass an ordinance that would halt the evictions until all legal and policy issues are resolved.

"We are your humble voter-residents who voted you into office so you can do the right thing," Kao said. "So we appeal to you to guard us against this Goliath."

Nick Selby, a resident of Melville Avenue, also asked the council to ensure that the residents are treated fairly by AJ Capital as part of the eviction. Many residents had complained that the $3,000 relocation payments that the company had offered are woefully insufficient to cover their moving costs.

"If AJ Capital does not act fairly for residents of the city, it deserves nothing from the city," Selby said. "Many of the residents of the (President Hotel) apartment building have lived there for 20 years. It's not fair treatment of those residents to treat them as a mere inconvenience and to evict them on a basis of a few months' notice and a small payment of money -- as if that is all their lives are worth -- just for the sake of having an empty building while they seek permits for their project."

Keene said that staff hopes the new ordinance, which the council is tentatively scheduled to take up on Aug. 27, will "help to soften the blow" during what everyone realizes is a difficult time for residents.

"The ordinance should be able to address the process for rendering assistance that might be appropriate," Keene said.

At the same time, city officials are taking a more cautious approach about approving further laws to bolster rental protections. Staff is now reviewing a colleagues memo on the subject that was submitted last month by council members Tom DuBois, Karen Holman, Lydia Kou and Cory Wolbach. Keene said he expects the council to take up this memo in September.

City Attorney Molly Stump said Monday that there are "significant limitations" on what the city can do under state and federal law to determine tenant arrangements in the private building. While the zoning code can prevent certain uses at the site, the city has little ability to require that President Hotel remain an apartment building, Stump said. One action it can take, however, is adopt mitigation measures.

"There is a window, provided by the city, under the Ellis Act, that does allow municipalities to enact reasonable mitigations when the owner chooses to go out of the rental business, which they have the right under state law to do," Stump said.

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Comments

10 people like this
Posted by stephen levy
a resident of University South
on Aug 14, 2018 at 12:09 am

stephen levy is a registered user.

Thank you staff and council. This seems like a reasonable approach given the law. I do favor and the Commottee to House the Bay Area will recommend stronger protections and relocation assistance around evictions.


61 people like this
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 14, 2018 at 12:42 am

Geez... what happened to property rights for the owners?!

City didn't do anything when my previous landlord ended my lease to remodel. I'm over these fellow renters who feel entitled to stay somewhere they no longer can not afford. It's called making significant life changes. We changed our lifestyle significantly to be able to afford another place in Palo Alto.

One trashy trailer park is nuts enough. Look at Sunnyvale! They managed to close a trailer park. Palo Alto buys one. The absurdity Is beyond me. Watch. The city will end up slapping so many ordinances that the developer will be forced to sell and the city will be in the business of running this as another housing site.


8 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 14, 2018 at 6:32 am

[Post removed.]


55 people like this
Posted by Abitarian
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 14, 2018 at 7:42 am

From the article:

"Keene said that staff hopes the new ordinance, which the council is tentatively scheduled to take up on Aug. 27, will "help to soften the blow” during what everyone realizes is a difficult time for residents."

----------

What the article fails to note, however, is that City Manager Jim Keene is responsible for the "blow" in the first place.

Prior to finalization of the sale, Mr. Keene met with the new owners but failed to inform them that zoning code would prohibit conversion of the property from rental to hotel.

If Mr. Keene had been aware of the law he is charged to support, it seems quite possible, even likely, that the sale would not have concluded and the residents would not losing their homes.


13 people like this
Posted by R. Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 14, 2018 at 8:45 am

QUOTE: City didn't do anything when my previous landlord ended my lease to remodel.

There's usually more recognition of a situation when larger numbers are involved (i.e. 75 displaced tenants at one time vs one renter).

One of the reasons why some class-action suits tend to get more publicity than individual cases.

Plus the scenario is also reflective of the anti-development leanings of many Palo Altans.






31 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 14, 2018 at 10:16 am

Annette is a registered user.

Establishing some protections will be good for this community, not just renters. It's a shame this wasn't done when Dubois, Kou, and Holman first suggested it. Regardless of Council composition, good ideas should be given their due and supported whether or not there's an election around the corner.

The City Manager commented on the Hotel issue last night, touching on the balance between private property rights and situations like this that involve dozens of evictions and the loss of affordable housing. I continue to think there's more to this story b/c some things do not make sense. Time will tell.


11 people like this
Posted by Roger
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Aug 14, 2018 at 11:33 am

Well housing is hard to come by in Palo Alto,so the city seeks to place a huge burden on those who rent to the less fortunate.
End product, less rentals,more homeless.
This is exactly the type of regulation that sounds good but ends up creating havoc.


14 people like this
Posted by Roger
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Aug 14, 2018 at 11:38 am

Oh I forgot what about folk who just don’t pay their rent, will they be protected?
Or how about those who deliberately damage the property or have pets in a no pet rental.
Huge can of worms. It will bite them in the future.
Of course those who vote in the regulation won’t be around by then.


16 people like this
Posted by commonsense
a resident of Professorville
on Aug 14, 2018 at 11:59 am

commonsense is a registered user.

It's a nice gesture but also just another kicking of the can down the road. We need more housing - thousands of units. Eviscerating property rights, and ensuring a long/expensive legal battle to get 75 units saved is not addressing the actual problem. Don't put the affordability issue on one property owner, change the zoning to allow more density/height in strategic areas so we, as well as other cities in the region, can get the housing we all need.


39 people like this
Posted by 40 acres and a mule
a resident of University South
on Aug 14, 2018 at 12:48 pm

Is anyone else getting a little tired of the whining from the residents?

It’s a sad situation but everyone knows the rules of the game. When you rent, you’re subject to changes in ownership, which may impact your situation. If you don’t like the rules, then move.

I think AJ should be lauded for giving the residents so much time and $3k EACH.

Someone in another article suggested a vote on the bailout. I couldn’t agree more. I have a feeling that a very vocal minority is dominating this conversation.

Palo Alto USED to be a place where people took risks, stepped out on their own, and tried to make something great. Now we’re bickering over a LEGAL change in ownership impacting renters....the rest of the country is laughing.

Let’s put this to bed and move on. We have much more important topics to discus.


36 people like this
Posted by A Landlord's Perspective
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 14, 2018 at 12:48 pm

To the residents of the President Hotel...tough luck. Stop whining and use the time to find another place to live.

As a landlord, I do not have any obligations to provide lifetime housing for my tenants. They reserve the right to extend a 30-Day Notice if departing just as I reserve the right to extend a 30-60 Day Notice to get them off MY PROPERTY.

The new owners (AJ) are the new landlords.

Those who sympathize with the soon to be departed residents of the President Hotel are nothing but a bunch of whiners who think life (and the Palo Alto CC) owes them a living.

Move to an Alviso trailer park, buy a used RV or push a shopping cart. It's not my (or any landlord's) problem. The market dictates the prices...not the milk of human kindness.


11 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 14, 2018 at 12:59 pm

"The market dictates the prices...not the milk of human kindness."

No...you the landlord dictate the prices. My rents, for example, have always been raised by a notice from the landlord. I have never gotten a rent raise notice from the market. You can easily freeze or roll the rents back if you choose. How often do you so choose? Thought so.


35 people like this
Posted by A Landlord's Perspective
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 14, 2018 at 1:03 pm

"No...you the landlord dictate the prices. My rents, for example, have always been raised by a notice from the landlord. I have never gotten a rent raise notice from the market. You can easily freeze or roll the rents back if you choose. How often do you so choose? Thought so."

Accept and pay the rent increase or move out. Your choice.


3 people like this
Posted by Resident 488
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 14, 2018 at 1:08 pm

Does Palo Alto face a rental housing crises? Do other cities around the Bay? Are there easy solutions to this problem, and what about traffic problems? Is it time to buckle-up and take a stand, is it time to provide solutions? Or do we pass the buck? Hotel President apartments has 75 units which function as rentals now, does PA have a chance to protect and save these from the "luxury hotel" market? Is that feasible, is that prudent, is it moral? Palo Alto has to make that decision now!!! While San Francisco passed prop. 'F' yesterday, as protections against evictions of renters, and also provided funding for legal help for this cause. Can Palo Alto get ahead of this crises developing all around us, or do we continue to only speak about it?!?


7 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 14, 2018 at 1:10 pm

This new effort is worth a try, but the horse left the barn a few months ago. This new ordinance idea makes the city manager, staff, and CC look good, which is very important in an election year. Sadly, in the end, I doubt if a new ordinance will help the current residents. That bothers me because I've seen them speak at CC meetings and they are the kind of people we need in our community. It will be our loss and some other community's gain, that will benefit from their presence and contributions that they gave us here in PA for so many years.

I have no legal expertise, but I don't think the ordinance could be made retroactive. I'm sure just that comment will elicit opinions from real legal experts and pseudo wannabe legal experts. The sale has been made and AJ Capital is fighting very hard now and will continue to fight the city's interpretation of a zoning violation. Law suits to follow, and happy smiling lawyers on both sides.

One other thought to challenge CC members and all others who are so much in favor of ADU's (but in some other neighborhood). Okay, my jesting starts now and I'm aiming it at Mayor Kniss just to make a point. I like her and voted for her last time although I've been critical of her positions and votes on issues at times. I've met her casually several times and I like her for the good things she's done for our community and all residents of Santa Clara County. To be elected to different positions on PAUSD's Trustees, PA CC, SC Board of Supervisors, and now back to PA CC is noteworthy. She has endurance and stamina. She couldn't have fooled all of us all the time and accomplish that. Okay, now for the fun teaser question. Mayor, I'm pretty sure you have a big back yard. Correct me if I'm wrong. I suggest you have an ADU built in your back yard and invite one of the evicted persons to come and live in it...and for the same rent they are currently paying at President Hotel.

Just teasing, but I hope I made a point.


40 people like this
Posted by Property Rights
a resident of University South
on Aug 14, 2018 at 1:16 pm

I couldn't agree more with "40 acres" and "Landlord's Perspective."

This is a depressing and direct taking of property rights by a reactionary city government. We live in a country built on rule of law and free markets. This erosion of property rights could have broader consequences in Palo Alto and discourage further investment which we have all massively benefited from. I don't understand why the residents feel they can dictate the financial return that the "greedy" developers are entitled to -- it betrays a naive understanding of the system. Do none of the residents pursue profit maximizing behaviors in other areas of their own lives?


13 people like this
Posted by rsmithjr
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 14, 2018 at 1:28 pm

rsmithjr is a registered user.

We need more housing.

Unfortunately, this (and similar) action adds just another reason why people who would build us more housing are not doing so.

Rent-control measures, and similar things, have a long history of hurting the community as a whole and also the people who would be renting.


12 people like this
Posted by Verity Justice
a resident of Professorville
on Aug 14, 2018 at 1:46 pm

Verity Justice is a registered user.

Responding to: A Landlord's Perspective: So your philosophy is gouge, gouge, gouge, right? "I got mine -- tough for the rest of you!" "Get off my lawn!"

It's clear that those with money hate the very bones of anybody who comes on hard times.

Welcome to the death of Palo Alto, and welcome to the new America.

P.S. Thanks for your warmth.


11 people like this
Posted by A Possible Alternative
a resident of another community
on Aug 14, 2018 at 2:08 pm

Is there any city-owned property where a 'shanty-town' could be built to alleviate this current housing crisis in Palo Alto?

Perhaps a place where RVs could park in a circle (like covered wagons) and within the circle, a collection of temporary dwellings including tents and housing units built from discarded scrap materials.

Stanford still has a lot of open space. The area where people tailgate during football games would be an ideal site. If not, maybe somewhere near the baylands.




15 people like this
Posted by Come to EPA
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 14, 2018 at 2:20 pm

An article in today's San Jose Mercury cited house prices in East Palo Alto approaching the $1M mark. Hooray for us homeowners! Finally we will get to tap in on the local housing crunch as well.

To those displaced PA renters, consider relocating to East Palo Alto. It is within close proximity to Palo Alto and crime is down. Plus, you can always tell people unfamiliar with the area that you reside in Palo Alto.

Don't be a snob.


18 people like this
Posted by long view
a resident of South of Midtown
on Aug 14, 2018 at 2:54 pm

long view is a registered user.

Our society supports regulation of food, regulation of land use, regulation of building construction. Our society needs to choose leaders who will act for the public good. Letting an unregulated market set rents often hurts our community. No one will want to build more housing? No, land prices will fall and non-profit builders committed to the public good will buy and build, and will be happy to accept limits on how they can set and increase rents. As prop 13 provides for stability for homeowners, housing stability is good for communities. It is up to communities to elect leaders that value all residents.

I have not lost hope that the common good is possible.
Web Link


12 people like this
Posted by pmarca
a resident of Stanford
on Aug 14, 2018 at 3:06 pm

these situations are great examples of how we have a conflict between property rights and the reality of a housing crisis thanks to years of bad policy.

The solution for everyone is to insure housing supply is dramatically increased to meet the housing demand, which would also stabilize the outrageous rents.

This means both incentivizing and allowing developers to...

...build TALL structures
...incorporate underground parking
...encourage ground floor mixed use

If we were doing this already, we would not have this SPECIFIC crisis be as serious because there would be options for tenants and there might be different choices an owner would make if they were seeking a hotel (i.e build one from scratch).

Again, this is the failure of bad policy and anti-growth NIMBY's who have caused this situation.

Tenants should blame first are the city leaders and NIMBY's who created this housing crisis.

The issue of whether it should or shouldn't be converted into a hotel is not the real issue.


3 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 14, 2018 at 4:23 pm

Trumpian populism, Palo Alto-style.

Look like your helping someone by actually making things worse.


10 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 14, 2018 at 4:49 pm

"We live in a country built on rule of law and free markets."

Nonsense. The law and free markets are mutually exclusive. The free markets say hire illegal immigrants wherever possible to save money on labor. The law says you cannot do what the free markets say. If your enterprise can afford it, you will hire lawyers to find ways to subvert both the law and the free markets. And at the top, our president creates tariffs to have the government defeat the free markets.


14 people like this
Posted by Steve
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 14, 2018 at 5:00 pm

This is why anyone with any sense leaves this poorly run city for greener pastures elsewhere. Palo ALto is just not wirth it.


3 people like this
Posted by 40 acres and a mule
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 14, 2018 at 5:35 pm

To the voters, remember who on CC chose to erode your property rights come time to vote in November!

[Portion removed.]


8 people like this
Posted by Voter
a resident of The Greenhouse
on Aug 14, 2018 at 5:55 pm

The issue I have is the reactive energy put into this, versus missing proactive planned choices.

We can decide quickly but will be influenced by ideology and emotion and the winds of pressure to react.

But I would prefer to see deliberate long term general rules that we like, keep, depend on, follow, and enforce.

This “special case” stuff has got us into trouble. It’s clear that we can’t depend on our cc to do the right thing for us as a city. They may not even be able to figure out the right thing for themselves as politicians.


Like this comment
Posted by Headed for Palo Alto/Mountain View
a resident of another community
on Aug 14, 2018 at 6:00 pm

[Post removed.]


11 people like this
Posted by Another Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 14, 2018 at 6:13 pm

"Okay, now for the fun teaser question. Mayor, I'm pretty sure you have a big back yard. Correct me if I'm wrong. I suggest you have an ADU built in your back yard and invite one of the evicted persons to come and live in it...and for the same rent they are currently paying at President Hotel. "

That is not a "fun teaser question" -- it is an unsophisticated childish retort.

There's always someone who suggests "well how about *you* have <x> do <whatever> in *your* backyard."
Is that going to solve the problem? Really? I don't think so, and I don't think it advances the discussion either, so even if you're thinking it, do us favor and keep it to yourself.


6 people like this
Posted by Roger
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Aug 14, 2018 at 7:00 pm

Dear verity Justice,
Let’s say you own an apartment building which you want to sell,let’s say for 10 million.
Someone offers you 30 million but says they want to pull down the building and build a new whatever.
Would you turn down the sale because your tenants will be displaced?


9 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 14, 2018 at 7:01 pm

"The solution for everyone is to insure housing supply is dramatically increased to meet the housing demand, which would also stabilize the outrageous rents."

To the extent that the free market myth you imply is true, you can achieve the same effect right now by unionizing renters and agreeing on a ceiling rent structure that everybody in the union observes. Else, building more housing just means more rent money for more landlords, because they have their Association and you don't. In other words, accept and pay the landlord's rent or move out. Your choice.


9 people like this
Posted by Roger
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Aug 14, 2018 at 7:12 pm

Pmarca,
You realize of course that you are a NIMBY, we all are, maybe for different topics (eg do you want high speed rail running through your back yard).
Why would anyone want high level buildings in there town?
We live in an earthquake zone,underground parking could be disastrous.
Lastly the housing crisis is state wide Too many people want to live here.
Have you ever thought why that’s the case, maybe it’s because Palo Alto is such a pretty place as it is.


18 people like this
Posted by R. Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 14, 2018 at 8:16 pm

QUOTE: It's clear that those with money hate the very bones of anybody who comes on hard times.

Your statement is a tad harsh as 'hate' is a strong word.

In today's upscale reality, those with money tend to pity & look down on the very bones of anybody who has fallen on hard times. Then they continue on to their favorite overpriced restaurant feeling glad (not grateful) that it isn't them.


5 people like this
Posted by JR McDugan
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 14, 2018 at 8:52 pm

JR McDugan is a registered user.

I hope this developer loses every dime they put into this project. This is not Wall Street, you cannot evict long-time residents to make room for a hotel for the rich. Palo Alto will not stand for it, take notice developers.


11 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 15, 2018 at 10:43 am

Annette is a registered user.

What are the options for this property? I am not aware of any challenge to the private transaction and assume the $65M transaction stands. The new owners think they can revert the property to a hotel; the City is saying they cannot. That may need to be worked out in Court. If not a hotel - what?

1. Stay as is w/75 affordable housing units with the owner forfeiting ROI?
2. Stay unchanged but empty?
3. Improved as luxury apartments with lease rates that reflect the change?
4. Purchased by a housing group and leased as affordable housing?

#1 is not going to happen unless the new owner completely changes plans and doesn't mind losing money, #2 does no good for anyone, #3 is good for only a very few people, and #4 is about as likely as #1, given the sticker price. So where does that take us? At the end of the day, the hotel idea may be the most sensible outcome. I don't find that satisfying given the evictions, but this may be a fait accompli given the options.

Ignoring the code issue, this is an out-of-proportion issue b/c we have an out-of-proportion housing deficit. That is not the fault of the seller, the buyer, or the hotel residents. Responsibility for that rests with the City. Developers develop and everyone knows that. But they can only build what is approved and the power for that rests with City Council and in this city, some senior City Staff.

We've not gotten the jobs:housing balance right; not even close. And now we are facing the inevitable result of our development policies. This and the threat to local control that is embedded in numerous pieces of pending legislature should be top concerns in the upcoming election.

Responsibility for who sits on the dais rests with us. Vote carefully.


3 people like this
Posted by Verity Justice
a resident of Professorville
on Aug 15, 2018 at 11:19 am

Verity Justice is a registered user.

Replying to Roger: Yes, as a matter of fact, I would find $10M quite enough. The problem with your question (and those who support this thought) is that even if a property owner DID take the $30M to evict their tenants, soon -- very soon, that $30M would not satisfy. Greed upon greed is a deep sickness ravaging society. Just ask someone like, for example, Paul Manafort why he ran through $60M in the blink of eye. Enough is *never* enough to those who are consumed with $$$.


6 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 15, 2018 at 11:32 am

"The problem with your question (and those who support this thought) is that even if a property owner DID take the $30M to evict their tenants, soon -- very soon, that $30M would not satisfy. Greed upon greed is a deep sickness ravaging society."

Taking market value is now being greedy? That's the most ridiculous statement I've seen. That's like saying that charging $4 for a gallon of milk is greedy.

Price is set by the market. Skyrocketing prices is an effect and a measurement of market balance (or in this situation, imbalance). Trying to fix pricing is like taking taking a stethoscope away from the doctor. Just because a doctor can't hear your heart or your breathing doesn't fix the underlying health issue.


9 people like this
Posted by 40 acres and a mule
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 15, 2018 at 1:34 pm

The President leases have to have a 30 or 60 day evict clause. If I were AJ, I’d very heavily consider serving those notices today, retracting the $3k offer, sell the building, and sue the city for damages.

Time to wake up City Council! You’re about to get hit with a Bigly lawsuit. One things for certain....it will certainly be awkward this fall trying to get re-elected while rip-toeing the line between placating the vocal minority and avoiding a lawsuit.


2 people like this
Posted by Attorney
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Aug 15, 2018 at 1:57 pm

"The President leases have to have a 30 or 60 day evict clause. If I were AJ, I’d very heavily consider serving those notices today, retracting the $3k offer, sell the building, and sue the city for damages. "

60 days for those who have resided at the President for over 1 year. 30 days for those less than one year. Retracting the $3K offer could prove problematic if the agreements were signed. On the other hand, those who signed & accepted the relocation remuneration have to vacate...no questions asked.

AJ could also sue the seller for damages arising from this fouled-up scenario.

A potentially lucrative opportunity for lawyers...ka-ching!


Like this comment
Posted by Attorney
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Aug 15, 2018 at 2:28 pm

"Greed upon greed is a deep sickness ravaging society."

"Greed is good." Gordon Gecko/Wall Street

Greed built America into the country it is today & other countries have since followed suit. It is a ticket to self-preservation & financial success.

Not endorsing...just saying.


21 people like this
Posted by Get Real
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Aug 15, 2018 at 3:34 pm

>>>>Dear verity Justice,
Let’s say you own an apartment building which you want to sell,let’s say for 10 million.
Someone offers you 30 million but says they want to pull down the building and build a new whatever.
Would you turn down the sale because your tenants will be displaced?

>>>>Replying to Roger: Yes, as a matter of fact, I would find $10M quite enough.


In reality...Verity sells for $10M & then the buyer resells for $30M. *ROTFLMAO*

Verity maintains noble demeanor & buyer makes profit. A win-win for all. *LOL*


10 people like this
Posted by R. Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 15, 2018 at 5:32 pm

QUOTE:In reality...Verity sells for $10M & then the buyer resells for $30M. *ROTFLMAO*

Verity maintains noble demeanor & buyer makes profit. A win-win for all. *LOL*


Note to Verity...why not sell the property for $30M & then divide/disperse the additional $20M to your displaced tenants? Did you ever consider that option?
You'll still have your $10M + an opportunity to promote your humanistic endeavors.

It's OK to 'stick it to the man' (aka developer). He can afford to pay market value.


3 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 15, 2018 at 6:59 pm

"why not sell the property for $30M & then divide/disperse the additional $20M to your displaced tenants"

Always easy to spend other people's money I see. Why don't you donate your next year's salary to the tenants? After all, you can afford to live in Palo Alto, so you must be flush with cash.

See how easy it is?


Like this comment
Posted by Soon to Be Evicted From President
a resident of University South
on Aug 15, 2018 at 7:35 pm

Since the President Hotel is one of those older Birge Clark designs, couldn't the city simply declare the building a historical landmark and be done with all of this hassle?

Next, form a non-profit group called Friends of the President Hotel & have a series of gala fundraisers to generate enough revenue to assume full ownership of the building.

Rent the 75 units at reasonable prices on a sliding scale...market value less a certain % based on one's income level.

Then tell AJ/Graduate Hotel to go build their 'luxury hotel' somewhere else. Maybe along 237 on the way to 880/680. Lots of land available with freeway access.



Like this comment
Posted by Matt Crosley
a resident of another community
on Aug 15, 2018 at 8:14 pm

I've been out of the Palo Alto area for awhile. Whatever happened to the Craig Hotel on Hamilton? There was another one in downtown Mountain View near the RR tracks.

Both offered very reasonable rates. When I lived in Palo Alto and my ex-wife came to town about 15 years ago, I booked her a room there for the weekend.


1 person likes this
Posted by Whatever
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Aug 15, 2018 at 8:39 pm

Annette says:
"1. Stay as is w/75 affordable housing units with the owner forfeiting ROI?
2. Stay unchanged but empty?
3. Improved as luxury apartments with lease rates that reflect the change?
4. Purchased by a housing group and leased as affordable housing?

#1 is not going to happen unless the new owner completely changes plans and doesn't mind losing money, #2 does no good for anyone, #3 is good for only a very few people, and #4 is about as likely as #1, given the sticker price. So where does that take us? At the end of the day, the hotel idea may be the most sensible outcome. I don't find that satisfying given the evictions, but this may be a fait accompli given the options. "

The new owner has only two realistic development options:
1- attempt to get the City to change the grandfather clause that currently prohibits changing an Apartment building into a Hotel
2- develop the Apartment building into luxury units and charge accordingly (which was your option 3)

The law is the law until the City Council changes it, and/or after the courts allow or disallow after all the suits are settled. Im betting that my new #1 does not happen, and so they are left with luxury apartments (but not a Hotel). Then they just Air-B-B it out on a daily basis, as if it were a Hotel.


2 people like this
Posted by Stephen
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 15, 2018 at 9:47 pm

One small aside to this dismal affair. How about making it illegal in future for folks like former PA Planning Director Steve Emslie to be allowed to have anything to do with zoning/planning/development issues in Palo Alto? I am surprised that Mr. Emslie does not see the enormous conflicts of interest and ethics issues involved when he has dealings with his former staff members in order to obtain concessions from the city for his clients.


5 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 16, 2018 at 7:22 am

@Whatever - your new #1 would set a precedent that could cause all sorts of trouble down the line much like PC zoning has proven problematic, but I think it is a possibility. This is going to be like a bruise that doesn't go away for a long, long time. It will be most interesting to learn who on the City side said what to AJ Capital.

At City Council on Monday someone commented to me that this reminds him of the closed door meetings on 27 University Ave. $65M seems like an awful lot of money to pay for a big fat problem but a reasonable amount to pay for a development opportunity in the Palo Alto mother lode.


4 people like this
Posted by Roger
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Aug 16, 2018 at 7:48 am

Response to Verity Justice.
How much is your home worth? $5 million let’s say.
You decide to sell, someone offers you $10 million.
Are you going to not accept the bid because it’s too high.
Me thinks not.
The value of anything isn’t in what the seller thinks it’s worth, it’s in what the buyer is willing to give.


Like this comment
Posted by R. Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 16, 2018 at 8:15 am

[Post removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by Matt Crosley
a resident of another community
on Aug 16, 2018 at 8:36 am

[Post removed.]



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Posted by Long Gone
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 16, 2018 at 12:09 pm

>>>>I've been out of the Palo Alto area for awhile. Whatever happened to the Craig Hotel on Hamilton? There was another one in downtown Mountain View near the RR tracks.

As I once recall, the Craig was Palo Alto's answer to affordable housing. I think it was demolished for a new building.


3 people like this
Posted by corker
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Aug 16, 2018 at 12:12 pm

corker is a registered user.

A community has every right to decide that an apartment building that allows low income tenants to reside in the community is more valuable to the community then a high price hotel servicing clients from the surrounding area.
The community then votes to limit the use of the property to moderate apartments, The value and the price of the property then adjusts instantly to an amount such that the buyer of the property receives a fair return on his investment.
The community and the investor are well served by this process.


4 people like this
Posted by Long Gone
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 16, 2018 at 12:16 pm

>>>>A community has every right to decide that an apartment building that allows low income tenants to reside in the community is more valuable to the community then a high price hotel servicing clients from the surrounding area.

How does one establish the value that low-income residents bring to the community?

[Portion removed.]


6 people like this
Posted by Rob
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 17, 2018 at 5:24 am

I'll be having all my guests flying in from out of town stay at this HOTEL. Location is perfect! Please get thee entitled tenants out of MY FUTURE LUXURY GO TO HOTEL. bye bye


3 people like this
Posted by pmarca
a resident of Stanford
on Aug 17, 2018 at 11:29 am

"building more housing just means more rent money for more landlords"

well maybe yes in the short-term, but it also means MORE HOUSING OPTIONS for those who need housing.

There's this crazy thing called supply and demand. We currently have very little supply thanks to bad policy and NIMBY's and we have massive demand, so let's...add...supply if you want people to have a place to live, stabilize rents, address the crisis and stop destroying the future of this community.

Don't get me wrong, there are lots of greedy landlords (many of them NIMBY's) who don't want competition for their limited housing options.

The solution to the greedy landlord situation is to build more housing.

Once again, build more housing.


4 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 17, 2018 at 11:38 am

Online Name is a registered user.

Re supply and demand, tell that to ABAG (Assn of Bay Area Governments of which Greg Scharff is a vp and PA City Council member that planning for 2 million more jobs and only 1 million more housing units ain't gonna help things.

How many family members with each of the 2 million new workers have? 2? 3? 4?

ABAG and Mr. Scharff and the landlords know that offices are more profitable than housing.


3 people like this
Posted by pmarca
a resident of Stanford
on Aug 17, 2018 at 11:52 am

Roger asks some key questions, so I've added my responses with a * :

Pmarca,
You realize of course that you are a NIMBY, we all are, maybe for different topics (eg do you want high speed rail running through your back yard).

* I'm not a NIMBY...might be a YIMBY

* if high speed rail (the state's speed-challenged project) was actually HIGH-SPEED, then I would have no problem with it. Hyperloop, although not yet fully proven out, would be better. Bullet trains in Japan and elsewhere are much faster than California's so-called high speed rail project.


Why would anyone want high level buildings in there town?

* Tall buildings are far better land use, can have more housing, more mixed use, more parking and free up open space.

* Tall buildings are efficient. 50 units in a tall building are far less expensive to build than 50 single family homes.

* Tall buildings can be aesthetic and every tall building provides great views

* Most importantly, we have a housing crisis and limited land options, so in order to solve this problem, we need to build more housing and tall buildings are the best way to do that with least impact on land use.



We live in an earthquake zone,underground parking could be disastrous.

* Earthquakes are NOT the reason we have so few tall buildings or underground parking, but if underground parking is dangerous for tall buildings, why are there so many buildings across Caliifornia that have underground parking? What makes Palo Alto more dangerous than everywhere else?

* If for some reason underground parking is dangerous (it's not), then build parking above ground, either inside the building or a separate deck. More reason to build taller.


Lastly the housing crisis is state wide Too many people want to live here.

* Yes, the housing crisis is across California, but if every community acts like NIMBY's and sticks their head in the sand, how do we solve the crisis? Why is Palo Alto more special than any other community? It's every community's responsibility to solve the crisis.

* As for "too many people want to live here" that's includes NIMBY's. Why should NIMBY's who have lived here for a long time continue to live here? Why shouldn't they go away and let someone else live here if we are going to limit housing? Everyone has a right to live wherever they wish, but almost everyone in this region can't trace their entire history to the Bay Area, so what makes anyone one person more special than another?

* If the issue is too many people, then why don't we have an immediate ban on all NIMBY's having children? Wouldn't that stop the need for more housing, too?

Have you ever thought why that’s the case, maybe it’s because Palo Alto is such a pretty place as it is.

* My guess is that wherever you live, it was pretty before your home was built there. What makes your home okay to disrupt that "pretty" area?

* Palo Alto is currently known for being against people who need housing, offices, against startups, students and against common sense. Not very pretty.


Like this comment
Posted by Roger
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Aug 17, 2018 at 3:45 pm

pmarca. Just for your illucidation.

I’m very happy living here and yes I’m a nimby,
Given the right circumstances so are you,yet you refuse to admit it.
Since irs obvious by your snarky remarks I’d suggest you go back where you came from since it wasn’t good enough for you and reform it.
Leave Palo Alto alone it’s fine the way it is.


12 people like this
Posted by Where does it come from
a resident of Addison School
on Aug 17, 2018 at 5:16 pm

It feels like outside pressure from people who want to live in Palo Alto to change the city so they can live here, with support from developers and associated industries who see the chance to make big money from that change.

The people who grew up in Palo Alto already have fewer than two kids per couple on average. This whole discussion is about accomodating those who want to move here. And their claim seems to be that they can make more money here, so we have a moral obligation to help them move here.

And sacrifice quality of life so those moving in and developer-related industries can make more money.

There are also various claims that higher density is just plain good.

But I think that quick motion toward higher density brings not only all kinds of transitional problems, but also all sorts of permanent damage to the city, it’s current and future residents, and the environment.

Those attached to city government get to use bigger population, dollar, and building size numbers on their resumes, but so what?

The cost is conversion of a uniquely valuable place to just another medium-size city complete with insolvable problems.

How moral is it to destroy a rare jewel in order to provide higher salaries with a lower quality of life for new residents, money for those attached to development but who may not even live here, and for the advancement of political careers of politicians willing to make this trade in order to assist that advancement?

This seems to be the rallying cry of the “down with NIMBY” crowd.


Like this comment
Posted by Rev. Beecham
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 17, 2018 at 5:33 pm

>>>How does one establish the value that low-income residents bring to the community?

You can't (unless strictly basing it on job descriptions)...next question?


2 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 18, 2018 at 10:04 am

@Where does it come from

Lots of straw man arguments I see.

"It feels like outside pressure from people who want to live in Palo Alto to change the city so they can live here, with support from developers and associated industries who see the chance to make big money from that change."

No. That's a talking point There is flimsy evidence that this is true. But it sure sounds good to paint the opposition so negatively.

"The people who grew up in Palo Alto already have fewer than two kids per couple on average. "

Data please. I see many folks with 3+ kids in Palo Alto elementary schools. However, you are hinting at a trend of having fewer kids in Palo Alto per capita, but we can blame this on old folks who won't/can't leave Palo Alto because of Prop 13 (including people who move to Monterey County and keep their house in Palo Alto to give to their kids).

"There are also various claims that higher density is just plain good."

No one said that. Density in fill-in areas could be good in the right places (like near transit), but no one has said "density is plain good." That's just in your mind.

"How moral is it to destroy a rare jewel in order to provide higher salaries with a lower quality of life for new residents, money for those attached to development but who may not even live here, and for the advancement of political careers of politicians willing to make this trade in order to assist that advancement?"

Moral? How moral is it to freeze a city in amber just to so you can pretend that things never change? How moral is it that you as a long term resident have your city and state services (police, fire department, highways, CHP, etc.) being subsidized by newer residents?

I don't think you stand in any higher moral ground than anyone else here.


23 people like this
Posted by Esther Granderson
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 18, 2018 at 10:27 am

It's too late. Palo Alto has already gone downhill to a certain extent.

Every picture tells a story...of then & now.

The 'new Palo Alto' began to take form around the late 1970s.

You can't go back to those wistful PA days of the 1950s-early 70s. They're long gone & never coming back. They're just memories.

Just ask any of the older residents...you know, the ones still residing here under the Prop 13 tax blanket. Though they've got property tax relief, PA is now a far more unpleasant place to live with its congestion, traffic gridlock & pervasive upscale sensibilities.

Shangri-La does not exist & to expect it of PA is unreasonable.

Life is change.






27 people like this
Posted by Willie Sutton
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 18, 2018 at 1:32 pm

Why are these displaced residents of the President Hotel getting so much sympathy?

I've been forced to move several times due to a house being sold by the owner.

I didn't complain about it & no one wrote about my problems in the PA Weekly.


5 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 18, 2018 at 3:30 pm

@Willie - I think the show of sympathy has to do with the fact that a large # of Palo Altans are losing their home at the same time and being forced into a search for housing in a housing-poor city. The pro-growth majority on our CC have promoted development policies that have grown only the demand side of the jobs:housing balance. As a result there's little to no comparably priced housing options for the Hotel residents.

We've pretty much built-out Palo Alto and we did so in a way that is heavy on desks and light on beds. Now we have a problem that cannot be solved without making irrevocable changes to our built environment. Wolbach and Fine want to add 10,000 housing units. Our current population is about 65,000. If two people reside in each of the proposed new units, we're looking at a growth rate of ~30%. That growth is not sustainable w/o some significant and very expensive investments in various aspects of the infrastructure required to support a community of 85,000 people. Just this week we learned that our roads are among the worst in the state. And we know our jobs:housing imbalance is also the worst in this area and high on the "worst anywhere" list. Imagine 101, Oregon/Page Mill, 280, Embarcadero, El Camino, and University Ave with 30% more residents needing to use them. And roads are but one item on the infrastructure list. Imagine landfill demands for 30% more residents. And these numbers do not factor in the growth that Stanford plans in its new GUP.

It is against this backdrop that the Hotel President issue lands on the front page. I think the sympathy for the residents is tied to development impact. At the very least we need to ease up on commercial development b/c we are not managing well even the amount we already have. And I think our emphasis on commercial growth leaves us very poorly situated for growing our population. If things aren't working well with 65,000 people we shouldn't expect them to work better with 85,000 people. Said differently, we cannot simply add buildings and people.


28 people like this
Posted by Willie Sutton
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 18, 2018 at 5:46 pm

"@Willie - I think the show of sympathy has to do with the fact that a large # of Palo Altans are losing their home at the same time and being forced into a search for housing in a housing-poor city....As a result there's little to no comparably priced housing options for the Hotel residents."


Couldn't they just move to a town where rents are cheaper? Why do they feel compelled to remain in Palo Alto?

I moved from Sunnyvale to Oakland to Richmond and finally to EPA. It wasn't easy and my work commute times tripled.

If I can do it, so can they. Sometimes I get the feeling that certain residents in Palo Alto think they're too good to live elsewhere.

That's their problem. Deal with it.


7 people like this
Posted by Abitarian
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 18, 2018 at 5:50 pm

Annette wrote:

"We've pretty much built-out Palo Alto and we did so in a way that is heavy on desks and light on beds. Now we have a problem that cannot be solved without making irrevocable changes to our built environment."

----------

Certainly, I agree that Palo Alto is built-out and the addition of more housing is sure to worsen existing problems.

There is one alternative for addressing the jobs / housing imbalance, however, that might be manageable: convert existing office buildings to multi-unit homes.

Years ago, when the economy began shifting from industrial manufacturing to information technology, many former factories, warehouses, etc. were converted to apartment and condominium buildings.

This is the one strategy that would attack both housing supply and housing demand with a single action that doesn't add people, structures, etc.


8 people like this
Posted by sophie
a resident of another community
on Aug 18, 2018 at 11:18 pm

@Willie
Couldn't they just move to a town where rents are cheaper? Why do they feel compelled to remain in Palo Alto? No, they couldn’t, because they are either too old, too entitled, or lazy to go to other cheaper place. People tend to take advantage of others, no matter its financial or emotional factors, to get their own gain. It’s human nature,


2 people like this
Posted by Here To Stay
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Aug 19, 2018 at 10:04 am

"No, they couldn’t, because they are either too old, too ENTITLED, or LAZY to go to other cheaper place."

Sometimes old habits are hard to break. Sounds like the most of the longer-term President tenants are 'settled-in' and never expected a change in their living environments.


4 people like this
Posted by human
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 19, 2018 at 10:23 am

human is a registered user.

Why show sympathy?

Because no matter the details, moving is ranked as a top stressor along with death and divorce.

Moving in these circumstances adds stress and I would think more so for older people.

To those who tie this to “development” issues that sounds crude and selfish. Don’t mix all of us up in that caricature. I hope resources are put forth, including counseling and that Council passes measures to help President residents.


9 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 19, 2018 at 11:56 am

The best reason to help protect these renters and other longtime renters throughout the community is because they are the backbone of our social and economic diversity, to the extent that it remains. What kind of healthy community can exist if only the very affluent, new high income tech job renters, or older homeowners can live here?
The silver lining of the President Hotel crisis is that it is finally getting a majority of the city council to look seriously at the reality that renters need greater protections in our gentrifying region. Even Wolbach is now willing, during his re-election year, to work with DuBois and the other council members who put forward a proposal last year for the council to review stronger protections. Sadly, if the council had not opposed Dubois’ proposal, the President Hotel residents and others would probably not be facing eviction today.


1 person likes this
Posted by Roger
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Aug 19, 2018 at 12:41 pm

Look here is the bottom line.
If you live anywhere and you have to move, be it by your own choice or your landlords, no one blinks an eye.
However if a number of people are involved say 10 and up suddenly everyone becomes involved and this is what ensues.
If you rent you have protections,making one of those protections being that your landlord has to prey for your relocation is and should not be one of them.
Let’s put it another way.
If you decide to move for whatever reason,should your landlord be allowed to collect rent from you till he re-let’s the property.
Of course not, but isn’t fair,fair.


Like this comment
Posted by Roger
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Aug 19, 2018 at 12:42 pm

Oops that was supposed to be pay not prey, but you get the jist.


4 people like this
Posted by Oh Really?
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 19, 2018 at 1:40 pm

> Why show sympathy?

> Because no matter the details, moving is ranked as a top stressor along with death and divorce.

Stress is a part of everyday life. Death can't be helped but divorce can be avoided...providing you know & accept what you are getting into. Wedding vows often mean nothing these days...just perfunctory BS.


>> The best reason to help protect these renters and other longtime renters throughout the community is because they are the backbone of our social and economic diversity, to the extent that it remains.

^^^ That is debatable.


4 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 19, 2018 at 2:31 pm

"We've pretty much built-out Palo Alto"

I love when people voice their opinions as if they were facts.


25 people like this
Posted by R. Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 20, 2018 at 9:44 am

QUOTE: What kind of healthy community can exist if only the very affluent, new high income tech job renters, or older homeowners can live here?

I can think of a few communities in Marin County....which are actually pretty nice places to live.

On the other hand, they've managed to limit commercial development (i.e. office buildings, hotels etc.) as most of their residents either commute to SF or are self-employed within the immediate area.

Thinking of maybe unloading my CP house to a wealthy overseas CASH buyer & moving out there myself.

Prop 13 is transferable + MC is a 'blue' county.







8 people like this
Posted by Zoning Ignorance
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 20, 2018 at 10:12 am

Zoning Ignorance is a registered user.

Once again a developer wants a free upzoning and acts as if they are entitled to it. It's pretty clear from this thread they think bombarding these comments with their comments along with their sympathizers will get their way, but it will not. This site is not zoned to be a many story hotel. Jim Keene telling the developer they were clear was a really big mistake and yet again and example of our planning department not following through on zoning. Jim gets paid how much per year? Why do residents always have to be the ones to point out zoning violations because the planning department consistently ignores its own zoning rules?


3 people like this
Posted by WTx is zoning for
a resident of The Greenhouse
on Aug 20, 2018 at 12:13 pm

“Why do residents always have to be the ones to point out zoning violations because the planning department consistently ignores its own zoning rules?”

+1


8 people like this
Posted by Parking Problems
a resident of University South
on Aug 20, 2018 at 12:20 pm

> This site is not zoned to be a many story hotel.

Wondering...if the President is converted back into a hotel, where will guest parking be accommodated? The city parking lots are pretty much crammed to the hilt & there are obviously no provisions for underground parking at the site.

Back in the day, when The President was an actual hotel there were far fewer cars & parking wasn't an issue.


8 people like this
Posted by pmarca
a resident of Stanford
on Aug 20, 2018 at 2:59 pm

Hello there Roger and any other self-claimed NIMBY's,

I've probably lived in Palo Alto longer than you, my family has been here even longer than me, yet I'm 100% in support of dramatic change for every community, including Palo Alto.

Almost nothing in Palo Alto existed in its current form at one time, so what makes YOUR home okay compared to what was there before?

NIMBY's are destroying not only the future for "new people" who want to move here, but for everyone who has lived here for decades.

By continuing NIMBY, anti-growth, anti-change policies, we are driving out the next generation and making it impossible for "normal" people to move here...teachers, cops, restaurant workers, students, landscapers to keep the high and mighty's bushes trimmed.

When NIMBY's impose a ban, cap or restriction on NIMBY families from having more kids, then I'll believe that NIMBY's really are serious about limiting "new people."

Otherwise, it's a bunch of hypocrisy, bias and discrimination.

And, yes, I'm fully supportive of deporting NIMBY's to Mars if anyone asks.


18 people like this
Posted by Downtown Merchant
a resident of University South
on Aug 20, 2018 at 3:00 pm

"Back in the day, when The President was an actual hotel there were far fewer cars & parking wasn't an issue."

Prepare to see a lot of double-parking as hotel guests arrive/depart from the New President Hotel.

As if traffic on University Avenue isn't bad enough already.

It's called 'developer' progress.


7 people like this
Posted by pmarca
a resident of Stanford
on Aug 20, 2018 at 3:04 pm

It's also fascinating to see how NIMBY's resist any change.

Keep the status-quo forever.

Cling to the past.

So, with that type of thinking, why are you on a website?

Why not stick to the 1980's where these things were not around?

Why not go back to payphones?

Next time you need to take a photo, try FILM.

Hypocrisy of NIMBY's is stunning.


4 people like this
Posted by Bad Logic
a resident of Barron Park School
on Aug 20, 2018 at 3:48 pm

Here’s an argument:

Things change. Technology can improve our life.

Therefore:

We should make Palo Alto as dense as possible.

Bad logic.

Here’s another argument:

You want to keep growth in Palo Alto in line with the capability of infrastructure and finances of the city.

Therefore:

You are a NIMBY. You think there should be no change. You want to preserve the racist policies of 70 years ago. You are bad.

Bad logic.


3 people like this
Posted by human
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 20, 2018 at 6:49 pm

human is a registered user.

pmarca,

“Almost nothing in Palo Alto existed in its current form at one time, so what makes YOUR home okay compared to what was there before?”

Palo Alto exists in the current form because people planned for it and things didn’t happen by chance

parks
open space
height limits
neighborhood schools

Palo Alto is not dense because nobody planned for that. Infrastructure to support a dense community didn’t happen. Trying to now fit a square peg in a round hole - density without adequate infrastructure is not easy.

Transporting current residents to Mars won’t help change that Palo Alto as it is now happened apparently iby design.




29 people like this
Posted by Just Say NO
a resident of Mayfield
on Aug 20, 2018 at 9:35 pm

>>> By continuing NIMBY, anti-growth, anti-change policies, we are driving out the next generation and making it impossible for "normal" people to move here...teachers, cops, restaurant workers, students, landscapers to keep the high and mighty's bushes trimmed.

That's like saying Atherton or Hillsborough should promote expanded housing developments in order to provide affordable residences for all of its..."teachers, cops, restaurant workers, students, landscapers to keep the high and mighty's bushes trimmed." Not gonna happen

Palo Alto may have had a broader socio-economic representation back in the day but times have changed as each town eventually develops its own 'socio-economic' profile or reputation over time.

This means some folks are going to be priced out. Kind of like if you can't afford a Mercedes-Benz, you might have to settle for a Toyota. But building additional (or even smaller) MBs won't make them any more affordable to those who cannot afford to buy one in the first place.

Besides, what assurances are there that the newer rental/housing prices will be lower than the established PA norm? If anything, they will probably be reflective (or close to) the existing prices. Afterall, most developers & landlords are in it for the monetary profit...not some benevolent humanitarian gesture.

It's time to put a lid on Palo Alto 'over-development'. For those advocating more high-rise 'alternatives', take a look around you. Do you really want more of these mundane 'mixed-used' condo/apartments lining every street in town?









3 people like this
Posted by pmarca
a resident of Stanford
on Aug 21, 2018 at 12:20 am

Someone named "human" (ironic) said:

Palo Alto exists in the current form because people planned for it and things didn’t happen by chance

parks
open space
height limits
neighborhood schools

Well, it's pretty obvious Palo Alto and, to be fair, the entire region, has been extremely poorly planned or we wouldn't have a housing crisis, office space crisis, traffic crisis, transportation crisis and various other crisis-level problems to deal with.

What strikes people with common sense is that when people refer to "height limits" in the same category as things like parks and open space, it's PRECISELY because of those height limits that you can't have more parks and open space. It's due to height limits that you have sprawl, traffic and poor land use.

Palo Alto is going to change one way or another, so I hate to burst the fantasy for some that you can keep clinging to the past. Either the community will embrace progress, change and find solutions...or it will deteriorate by clinging to the NIMBY mentality.


3 people like this
Posted by pmarca
a resident of Stanford
on Aug 21, 2018 at 12:32 am

Just Say No said:

That's like saying Atherton or Hillsborough should promote expanded housing developments in order to provide affordable residences for all of its..."teachers, cops, restaurant workers, students, landscapers to keep the high and mighty's bushes trimmed." Not gonna happen

Palo Alto may have had a broader socio-economic representation back in the day but times have changed as each town eventually develops its own 'socio-economic' profile or reputation over time...

* * *

Every community needs to be part of the solution, even the high and mighty of Atherton and HIllsborough, but I'm not saying there should be "affordable housing" designated for teachers, cops and so on.

There should be more housing for everyone (i.e increase supply). The exception might be Stanford, where they could easily and should add thousands of housing units for students, faculty and staff. If they added 10,000 units tomorrow, that frees up 10,000 units elsewhere with very little impact on all the other issues that NIMBY's complain about.

And, if you understood economics, you would know socio-economics changes, but the situation in Palo Alto and the region where you have to spend over a million dollars for a starter home is directly caused by the bad policies, bad planning and greed of NIMBY's.

Pretty sure very few of the NIMBY's who oppose growth would be able to move to Palo Alto if they were coming from somewhere else today. It's hypocrisy.


3 people like this
Posted by pmarca
a resident of Stanford
on Aug 21, 2018 at 12:35 am

NIMBY's should welcome a ban on fellow NIMBY's from having more kids.

Let's try the same logic that NIMBY's thrust upon others and see how it works on NIMBY's.

Only 100 new babies per year?

Or only 1 baby allowed per household every 20 years?

I mean if NIMBY's really want to limit new people, let's start with the people who are HERE and causing the problem instead of simply blaming people who want to move here.

No more children for any NIMBY's.

Which of the NIMBY's who opposed new people are going to speak up openly and support that?


4 people like this
Posted by pmarca
a resident of Stanford
on Aug 21, 2018 at 12:43 am

I would also encourage the Palo Alto City Council to impose an air tax.

That's right. AIR, not land.

If you are sitting on a property that is taking up a large chunk of land, you should pay an air tax as well.

$1 million per acre?

Now, don't freak out.

If you have a home or building on the land that is 5 stories high, you pay the same tax because it's the same amount of surrounding air.

If you are making better use of the land, then you indirectly pay less air tax.

NIMBY's who are sitting on massive amounts of equity thanks to bad policy like Prop 13 while complaining there's not enough revenue for infrastructure should start paying more from those magical gains.

That's right, NIMBY's should pay the bulk of the costs for all the infrastructure development that is needed to transform Palo Alto.

NIMBY's have benefitted from equity gain and not having to pay their "fair share" for years, so let's see just how much NIMBY's really care about Palo Alto.

Open your wallets, checkbooks and start paying for the chaos you helped create.


9 people like this
Posted by Hope this helps
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 21, 2018 at 1:11 am

@pmarca
Have you thought of trying new meds?


20 people like this
Posted by R. Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 21, 2018 at 10:04 am

QUOTE: NIMBY's who are sitting on massive amounts of equity thanks to bad policy like Prop 13 while complaining there's not enough revenue for infrastructure should start paying more from those magical gains.

Prop 13 was enacted to protect retirees from losing their homes due to increased property taxes & to curb wasteful local government spending (aka bad policy).


QUOTE: That's right, NIMBY's should pay the bulk of the costs for all the infrastructure development that is needed to transform Palo Alto.

The commercial/corporate business establishments still hiding under the Prop 13 umbrella should bear the brunt of this highly debatable infrastructure transformation.


QUOTE: NIMBY's have benefitted from equity gain and not having to pay their "fair share" for years, so let's see just how much NIMBY's really care about Palo Alto.

In terms of paying one's 'fair share'...the repeal of Prop 13 for older corporations & businesses making millions>billions of dollars makes far more sense. This movement is currently underway.


1 person likes this
Posted by Marc
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 21, 2018 at 10:58 am

Re: R.Davis

in regards to :

In terms of paying one's 'fair share'...the repeal of Prop 13 for older corporations & businesses making millions>billions of dollars makes far more sense. This movement is currently underway.

Why are not single family home owners who have benefited from Prop 13 exempted from having to pay their "fair share"

I understand the reason for Prop 13, people on fixed incomes could be taxed out of their homes if the taxes are based on the current value. I have no problem with people being able to stay in their current homes. Keep their tax rate based on the purchase price of their home.

But why are single family home owners allowed to keep the "windfall" profits they get when they sell their home? To be fair, the value of their home is largely based on the value of the neighborhood and town and the services provided. For which they have not paid their "fair" share for decades.

I think that a reasonable solution is that when they sell their home they have to pay all the taxes that they should have paid if their tax rate had been based on the current value, rather then the purchase price.

They don't get to claim NIMBY and then walk away with millions in un-earned profits.

/marc


5 people like this
Posted by Build More Housing
a resident of Stanford
on Aug 21, 2018 at 11:16 am

“Prop 13 was enacted to protect retirees from losing their homes due to increased property taxes & to curb wasteful local government spending (aka bad policy).”

It’s turned out to be a disaster. It not only discriminates between homeowners and renters but between old and new homeowners.

Property taxes are much higher for “new” purchases thanks to the old home sitting on old taxes.

It incentivizes people not to sell and further limit housing supply.

Wild spending by government has continued regardless.

It creates classes of people instead of being fair and equitable for all.

Prop 13 is one of the worst public policy acts in American history.

It should be repealed in full but those who have benefited from years of not paying taxes like others should see gradual adjustments (ie not to exceed 5% per year). It will take a while to equalize the situation but the sooner it starts, the better for all.

Also, if Prop 13 is allowed to continue, California should provide an equal incentive to those who don’t benefit in terms of tax rebates.

It’s frankly amazing this stupid public policy has not been challenged as unconstitutional.


30 people like this
Posted by Prop 13 Was A Good Call
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 21, 2018 at 1:35 pm

> But why are single family home owners allowed to keep the "windfall" profits they get when they sell their home?

Capital gains taxes get a reasonable share of the 'windfall'.


> It’s frankly amazing this stupid public policy has not been challenged as unconstitutional.

The United States Supreme Court held, in Nordlinger v. Hahn, that Proposition 13 was constitutional. Justice Harry Blackmun, writing the majority opinion, noted that California had a "legitimate interest in local neighborhood preservation, continuity, and stability" and that it was acceptable to treat owners who have invested for some time in property differently from new owners. If one objected to the rules, they could choose not to buy.[


20 people like this
Posted by The Old Professor
a resident of Stanford
on Aug 21, 2018 at 6:47 pm

"Prop 13 is one of the worst public policy acts in American history."


Compared to The Trail of Tears (Indian Removal Act of 1830)?

[Portion removed.]


3 people like this
Posted by Build More Housing
a resident of Stanford
on Aug 22, 2018 at 10:21 am

[Post removed.]


11 people like this
Posted by rsmithjr
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 22, 2018 at 11:19 am

rsmithjr is a registered user.

This discussion seems to assume that the residents of the President Hotel are low-income and cannot find adequate housing elsewhere. We do not have much evidence for whether or not this is true.

In San Francisco, studies have shown that many long-term occupants of rent-controlled housing are actually affluent. Some of them even buy non-rent-controlled condos and rent them out at market rates. I know such people. The units do not turn over and people use various methods to "will" them to family members. The landlords suffer for this, of course.

I am sure that the residents of the President Hotel like the building and its location, and may have to pay more elsewhere, and don't want the inconvenience of having to move. That does not prove that they cannot afford adequate housing elsewhere. We just don't know.


Like this comment
Posted by Dave Johnstone
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 22, 2018 at 12:08 pm

"This discussion seems to assume that the residents of the President Hotel are low-income and cannot find adequate housing elsewhere. We do not have much evidence for whether or not this is true."

"I am sure that the residents of the President Hotel like the building and its location, and may have to pay more elsewhere, and don't want the inconvenience of having to move."

Good call & a good observation. rsmithjr

All we've heard so far are tiresome complaints about big bad developers & ineffectual city hall efforts to rectify the situation.

What are the President Hotel residents doing in the meantime?

Just kicking back & feeling sorry for themselves?







Like this comment
Posted by Dave Johnstone
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 22, 2018 at 12:14 pm

@Build More Housing

"It creates classes of people instead of being fair and equitable for all."

Life isn't fair. Get over it.

"Prop 13 is one of the worst public policy acts in American history."

Read up on your US history. The aforementioned Indian relocation & the WW2 internment of Japanese-American citizens would probably outweigh your Prop 13 complaint.


Like this comment
Posted by Show Me the Money
a resident of another community
on Aug 22, 2018 at 3:33 pm

The purchasers of the President Hotel should have offered the tenants more relocation money.

$60,000 (x75) would have been a far more reasonable figure as the $4.5M outlay could have been written off as a pre-production expenditure and amortized via higher room rates for future AJ hotel guests.

Chances are few here would have been sympathetic towards the tenants' plight based on a receipt of $60K upfront + the city would not have to get further involved in this matter.

Besides, $60K buys a pretty decent RV (i.e. a used/modified Mercedes Sprinter) & with the added mobility, the displaced residents could still opt to reside in Palo Alto if they chose. What's 50-60 additional RVs as long as they are really nice ones?

$3,000.00 on the other hand is chump change and an insulting offer. The residents should hold out for a better deal as a mass eviction proceeding would create headlines.




2 people like this
Posted by Ben
a resident of Stanford
on Aug 23, 2018 at 12:35 am

Salesforce is adding 5,000 jobs, great news!

SF, right?

Nope.

Palo Alto?

Nope.

Santa Clara?

Nope.

San Jose?

Nope.

It’s heading to Chicago as part of a new skyscraper where tall buildings are normal and welcome.

Meanwhile, NIMBY’s of the Bay Area are too stupid to realize they are destroying the future by making it so difficult for companies to grow.

Web Link


1 person likes this
Posted by Jeff
a resident of another community
on Aug 23, 2018 at 7:33 am

If I was a landlord I would sell all of my income properties and move out of California, its not worth the trouble anymore. These political hacks are doing all of this to save their own butts come the next election, so they say they did something.

As long as the owner of a property abides by our laws when it comes to eviction of tenants for whatever reason, then that is their right as the property owner to do so. I have had to move twice in my adult life due to property owner changes and a rise in rent and a condo conversion. Was is a difficult time? yes? did i cry like a baby and expect Uncle Sugar to help me? no. This is all a far left wing strategy for wealth redistribution and California (as usual) is the worst.


6 people like this
Posted by eileen
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 23, 2018 at 9:54 am

eileen is a registered user.

Ben, Chicago is a gigantic city! I grew up there but in the suburbs. Palo Alto is really a suburb town trying to
act like a big city. We do not have the transportation network like Chicago. No comparison!


4 people like this
Posted by Perfect
a resident of Palo Verde School
on Aug 23, 2018 at 10:50 am

“Meanwhile, NIMBY’s of the Bay Area are too stupid to realize they are destroying the future by making it so difficult for companies to grow.“

Do you believe companies are more important than people?

Would a building with 5000 people be helpful to Palo Alto in its current environment?

What’s wrong with cities who want and need more jobs to get them?

Bringing 5000 more jobs to Palo Alto now would be an expression of raw greed.

We are more than that, whether we are dissed as NIMBYs or not.


8 people like this
Posted by Go Cubs!
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 23, 2018 at 1:32 pm

@ Ben
It’s heading to Chicago as part of a new skyscraper where tall buildings are normal and welcome.

Meanwhile, NIMBY’s of the Bay Area are too stupid to realize they are destroying the future by making it so difficult for companies to grow.

You need to get out more often Ben. Comparing PA to Chicago is like comparing Malibu to LA.

@eileen
Ben, Chicago is a gigantic city! I grew up there but in the suburbs. Palo Alto is really a suburb town trying to act like a big city. We do not have the transportation network like Chicago. No comparison!


Agree. I'm from Lake Forest. Tell Ben about the 'elevated' in Chicago.


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