News

Parks commissioners blast plan to add housing to Cubberley

In a memo, three members of Parks and Recreation Commission say housing plans would 'limit future recreation growth'

Three members of Palo Alto's Parks and Recreation Commission have come out against a new proposal to build housing at Cubberley Community Center, arguing that doing so would deprive future generations of a valuable recreation resource.

In their memo, which the full commission will consider on Tuesday night, Chair Don McDougall, Vice Chair Jeff Greenfield and Commissioner David Moss argue that placing housing on city property at Cubberley would deprive the community of valuable recreation space. The memo responds to new alternatives that were unveiled two weeks ago at the fourth and final community meeting on the Cubberley Community Center master plan – an effort that is being jointly undertaken by the city and the Palo Alto Unified School District.

At the May 9 meeting, city consultant Concordia unveiled four alternatives for including housing at Cubberley. The first, which was largely consistent with community feedback at prior meetings, included 32 units for school staff at 525 San Antonio Road, a site next to Cubberely that is owned by the school district and that is already zoned for housing.

The other three alternatives propose between 64 and 164 housing units and would require using land at the Cubberley campus. The two most ambitious options would include 112 and 164 units, respectively, and would include both apartments for school staff and for residents unaffiliated with the schools. The option with 164 units would add two stories to Cubberley itself, turning the proposed complex from two stories to four stories.

The new housing alternatives received some pushback at the meeting, with some residents calling them a last-minute "bait and switch" and others arguing that housing, while important, does not belong in a community center. Echoing the latter argument, the three parks commissioners call Cubberley the city's "largest hub for recreation programs and services" and note that, over the lifetime of the new center, meeting the community's increasing recreation needs will be challenging.

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As such, they recommend that all building space at Cubberley be "designated as a public recreation resource to meet our evolving needs over the lifetime of the new Cubberley Community Center project."

"The direct consequence of including housing on City land at Cubberley will be to limit future recreation growth, as well as losing a community recreation resource for many generations, if not forever," the memo states. "As stewards of our recreation and open space resources, it is incumbent upon the PRC (Parks and Recreation Commission) to strongly advocate for maximum recreation facilities and programs at Cubberley and not including any housing on City property at Cubberley."

The three commissioners, who have all participated in the Cubberley community meetings, noted in the memo that they do not oppose the addition of housing on school district property at 525 San Antonio.

Concordia staff said at the May 9 meeting that the three additional housing alternatives were added at the behest of the city's Planning and Transportation Commission and the City Council. At a Feb. 11 council study session, several council members requested that Concordia explore some more ambitious development proposals, including ones with more housing.

Ultimately, it will be up to the Board of Education and the City Council to decide whether housing belongs at the 35-acre Cubberley campus. The school district owns 27 acres of the site, which it leases to the city, while the city owns the remaining 8. The two sides are scheduled to complete the master plan process by the end of the year when their lease agreement expires.

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The proposed master plan calls for preserving existing uses at Cubberley, which include playing fields, tennis courts, classrooms, arts studios, a theater and nonprofit spaces, among other uses. It would also create space for a potential future school and for a new school district headquarters, while also creating a host of shared facilities, including gyms and performing art spaces.

More information about the Cubberley co-design process is available here.

Gennady Sheyner
 
Gennady Sheyner covers the City Hall beat in Palo Alto as well as regional politics, with a special focus on housing and transportation. Before joining the Palo Alto Weekly/PaloAltoOnline.com in 2008, he covered breaking news and local politics for the Waterbury Republican-American, a daily newspaper in Connecticut. Read more >>

Follow Palo Alto Online and the Palo Alto Weekly on Twitter @paloaltoweekly, Facebook and on Instagram @paloaltoonline for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Parks commissioners blast plan to add housing to Cubberley

In a memo, three members of Parks and Recreation Commission say housing plans would 'limit future recreation growth'

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, May 28, 2019, 8:08 am

Three members of Palo Alto's Parks and Recreation Commission have come out against a new proposal to build housing at Cubberley Community Center, arguing that doing so would deprive future generations of a valuable recreation resource.

In their memo, which the full commission will consider on Tuesday night, Chair Don McDougall, Vice Chair Jeff Greenfield and Commissioner David Moss argue that placing housing on city property at Cubberley would deprive the community of valuable recreation space. The memo responds to new alternatives that were unveiled two weeks ago at the fourth and final community meeting on the Cubberley Community Center master plan – an effort that is being jointly undertaken by the city and the Palo Alto Unified School District.

At the May 9 meeting, city consultant Concordia unveiled four alternatives for including housing at Cubberley. The first, which was largely consistent with community feedback at prior meetings, included 32 units for school staff at 525 San Antonio Road, a site next to Cubberely that is owned by the school district and that is already zoned for housing.

The other three alternatives propose between 64 and 164 housing units and would require using land at the Cubberley campus. The two most ambitious options would include 112 and 164 units, respectively, and would include both apartments for school staff and for residents unaffiliated with the schools. The option with 164 units would add two stories to Cubberley itself, turning the proposed complex from two stories to four stories.

The new housing alternatives received some pushback at the meeting, with some residents calling them a last-minute "bait and switch" and others arguing that housing, while important, does not belong in a community center. Echoing the latter argument, the three parks commissioners call Cubberley the city's "largest hub for recreation programs and services" and note that, over the lifetime of the new center, meeting the community's increasing recreation needs will be challenging.

As such, they recommend that all building space at Cubberley be "designated as a public recreation resource to meet our evolving needs over the lifetime of the new Cubberley Community Center project."

"The direct consequence of including housing on City land at Cubberley will be to limit future recreation growth, as well as losing a community recreation resource for many generations, if not forever," the memo states. "As stewards of our recreation and open space resources, it is incumbent upon the PRC (Parks and Recreation Commission) to strongly advocate for maximum recreation facilities and programs at Cubberley and not including any housing on City property at Cubberley."

The three commissioners, who have all participated in the Cubberley community meetings, noted in the memo that they do not oppose the addition of housing on school district property at 525 San Antonio.

Concordia staff said at the May 9 meeting that the three additional housing alternatives were added at the behest of the city's Planning and Transportation Commission and the City Council. At a Feb. 11 council study session, several council members requested that Concordia explore some more ambitious development proposals, including ones with more housing.

Ultimately, it will be up to the Board of Education and the City Council to decide whether housing belongs at the 35-acre Cubberley campus. The school district owns 27 acres of the site, which it leases to the city, while the city owns the remaining 8. The two sides are scheduled to complete the master plan process by the end of the year when their lease agreement expires.

The proposed master plan calls for preserving existing uses at Cubberley, which include playing fields, tennis courts, classrooms, arts studios, a theater and nonprofit spaces, among other uses. It would also create space for a potential future school and for a new school district headquarters, while also creating a host of shared facilities, including gyms and performing art spaces.

More information about the Cubberley co-design process is available here.

Comments

Mark Weiss
Registered user
Downtown North
on May 28, 2019 at 10:54 am
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
Registered user
on May 28, 2019 at 10:54 am

We should do something modeled after Dartmouth's Hopkins Center, which combines the creation of visual arts and the performance of music and dance, all under one roof. (Ie. imagine if standford had combined Bing and McMurtrey --by the way, we the people contributed to an early study of what became bing)


Jonathan Brown
Registered user
Ventura
on May 28, 2019 at 11:03 am
Jonathan Brown, Ventura
Registered user
on May 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

No housing at Cubberley! This is a community center, sports, arts and educational facility, not a housing development. Citizens care about quality of life, not just quantity.


Badly need Comprehensive Approach to Planning Here
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 28, 2019 at 11:06 am
Badly need Comprehensive Approach to Planning Here, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on May 28, 2019 at 11:06 am

Almost immediately after the surprise addition of housing to the Public Facility (PF) zoned portion of the Cubberley site, City Council announced that they are proposing upzoning parcels along San Antonio Road for denser housing--an idea I support, but NOT if they also plunk housing on top of the PF-zoned facility that would support future housing in that area with community services and school space. Preserve PF-zoned land for its designated purpose. We are going to need it. Once it's gone, it will be impossible to replace.

We need to look at land use planning in a comprehensive way with an eye toward the needs of future residents as we respond to the present housing crisis. Balancing housing with community services is how we grow and still maintain a high quality of life. Preservation of this PF-zoned parcel for public use will insure that the city and PAUSD can meet the increased community service and public school needs of a growing population as we increase our housing stock on San Antonio and throughout the city.


Samuel
Greenmeadow
on May 28, 2019 at 11:16 am
Samuel, Greenmeadow
on May 28, 2019 at 11:16 am

I completely support the Parks Commissioners, Chair Don McDougall, Vice Chair Jeff Greenfield and Commissioner David Moss recommendation, that all building space at Cubberley be "designated as a public recreation resource to meet our evolving needs over the lifetime of the new Cubberley Community Center project." ...and "The direct consequence of including housing on City land at Cubberley will be to limit future recreation growth, as well as losing a community recreation resource for many generations, if not forever."

I further agree with the Commissioners opinions, noted in the memo, that they do not oppose the addition of housing on school district property at 525 San Antonio. The site next to Cubberley that is owned by the school district and that is already zoned for housing. Looking at the bigger picture, providing affordable housing for members of the educational, fire, and police community in Palo Alto is also very important and pressing... but the solutions should not include City owned land.


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 28, 2019 at 11:35 am
Resident , Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 28, 2019 at 11:35 am

Thanks to the commissioners for raising their concerns, but it is the city council who will make the decision. Alison Cormack was the primary person who got the housing alternatives dropped into the last public community meeting after they had not been supported by the public in the previous meetings. She will need to be convinced this is a bad idea.


Novelera
Registered user
Midtown
on May 28, 2019 at 11:39 am
Novelera, Midtown
Registered user
on May 28, 2019 at 11:39 am

Alison Cormack has been a BIG disappointment since she took her seat. She does not vote the same way she campaigned, as being more of a residentialist.


DT North
Downtown North
on May 28, 2019 at 11:41 am
DT North, Downtown North
on May 28, 2019 at 11:41 am

Please don't put housing there! We are in need of a better rec center. Look at other cities or right next door at Burgess in Menlo Park.


In The Public Interest
Charleston Gardens
on May 28, 2019 at 11:44 am
In The Public Interest, Charleston Gardens
on May 28, 2019 at 11:44 am

I agree with the parks and recreating commissioners; no housing, Cubberley is a resource to be shared among the whole community, not just a few.


Wishful thinking
Greenmeadow
on May 28, 2019 at 11:49 am
Wishful thinking, Greenmeadow
on May 28, 2019 at 11:49 am

This is land that the whole city gets to make use of. Not to house members of the teacher's union or other public sector unions. Cubberley is for our residents to enjoy; our parks and libraries are what make Palo Alto an enjoyable city. Housing can be built elsewhere and by the private sector, and the city can provide funds if so inclined.


Kerry55
Registered user
Palo Verde
on May 28, 2019 at 12:09 pm
Kerry55, Palo Verde
Registered user
on May 28, 2019 at 12:09 pm

Allison Cormack is a
BIG disappoint. Always seems to
vote pro-development, not supporting
residents like her campaign platform.
Maybe she's getting tips from Liz.


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 28, 2019 at 12:27 pm
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 28, 2019 at 12:27 pm

I agree that Cubberley is not the place for housing. It is a community resource and needs to stay that way for education and for recreation.

Since east of 101 has been discussed many times for car dealerships, why isn't this same area being discussed for housing. And building a pedestrian bridge over 101 will make it even more suitable. Anyone living in that area would be able to bike to Google and Facebook. Google is planning to build east of 101, it is worth thinking about.


No housing on Cubberley!
Downtown North
on May 28, 2019 at 12:33 pm
No housing on Cubberley!, Downtown North
on May 28, 2019 at 12:33 pm

Yes Cormack is a "growther" but she replaced Wolbach who was also a "growther". We need more people who care about the city and keeping it livable to run for city council.

That being said, thank you to the Parks Commission for stating the obvious - Public Lands should be for the use of all of the public, not given away to house a few people. Once gone we don't get this land back.

And remember that there are large tracts of land where density if being decided right now with no adequate park space. The Ventura area (Fry's site) is turning into a massive tenement of high rise housing driven by the majority of builders on the committee. It is a massive up-zoning of land to give builders and real estate companies muti-million dollar profits and the residents of Palo Alto will be stuck with more crowded roads, over taxed community services and schools and more pollution. The city is 100+ acres behind on what the comprehensive plan says we should have in park space for our population. Why isn't a big part of this area being dedicated to park and community services. Especially since there are no large open spaces and community buildings in the area.

We need to think about quality of life for the people who live here, not just cram in more people and let developers make more money. We need to have a well thought out plan for the entire city that states a sustainable balance of people who fit in the city without damaging the environment and don't continue to erode the quality of life in the area. We need more parks and more open space and to keep what little we have. No housing on Cubberley!


Steve Dabrowski
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 28, 2019 at 12:34 pm
Steve Dabrowski, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on May 28, 2019 at 12:34 pm

Well the election is only a year and a half away, maybe we can get a Allison recall going.


BP
Barron Park
on May 28, 2019 at 1:19 pm
BP, Barron Park
on May 28, 2019 at 1:19 pm

Watch Cormack push housing thru at Cubberley. Real Trojan Horse for the developers.


resident
Greenmeadow
on May 28, 2019 at 1:20 pm
resident, Greenmeadow
on May 28, 2019 at 1:20 pm

I don't know why it is a surprise to residents that Alison Cormack is pro-development and not a residentialist. Regardless of her non-committal stance in the campaign, it was developers who funded her campaign. And lots of pictures/mentorship from Liz Kniss.

I think the most important question to anyone running for City Council is: do you benefit financially in any way from developers or the real estate community.

Follow the money!


Bilk
Mountain View
on May 28, 2019 at 1:38 pm
Bilk, Mountain View
on May 28, 2019 at 1:38 pm

In this thread someone proposed east Embarcadeo as a housing alternative. While I support that, there is a pretty good chance sea level rise would force it to be abandoned by 2200. No, Cubberley is not only a safer choice to remediate Palo Alto’s long-standing ineptness at solving the housing crisis, it’s also a pleasant walk or bike ride to the San Antonio CalTrain station. SB50 as a 2020 state ballot initiative, anyone? It’s polling over 60 percent...


Gale Johnson
Adobe-Meadow
on May 28, 2019 at 2:17 pm
Gale Johnson, Adobe-Meadow
on May 28, 2019 at 2:17 pm

@Bilk...Let's make smart decisions for the next two or three generations. No need to panic yet. The East Embarcadero Road housing idea is a good one. Build them now, then watch and wait to see if the climate change predictions start to happen. In 2050 if it looks like that area will be flooded by 2200, then there is plenty of time to build a seawall...Zeider Zee like dikes around us. Holland (The Netherlands) figured it out, and we are so much smarter than they were. I think you're conceding too early that any location at a current elevation under 20 ft will is doomed. Give us your elevation number.


No Apts next to homes
Charleston Gardens
on May 28, 2019 at 2:25 pm
No Apts next to homes, Charleston Gardens
on May 28, 2019 at 2:25 pm

No SB 50. Biased poll. Nope. And people need not work here or anywhere - it is their choice, or was, as it used to be a free country.


Ahem
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 28, 2019 at 2:52 pm
Ahem, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 28, 2019 at 2:52 pm

If we don't start to convert parks to apartments how will real-estate developers ever be able to maintain the bucolic lifestyle they have become accustomed to in Atherton, Woodside, and Portola Valley and still manage to fund candidates for Palo Alto City Council?


Gale Johnson
Adobe-Meadow
on May 28, 2019 at 2:52 pm
Gale Johnson, Adobe-Meadow
on May 28, 2019 at 2:52 pm

@Samuel...good post. I voted for Don McDougall for CC in 2016. I met him at a gathering of candidates at Marie Wolbachs's home. I listened to him speak and then I visited with him after the official part of the gathering was over, (candidates speaking and answering questions from the people who attended). I liked what he said and he thanked me for my support. He would have been a good addition to CC. Allison sounds like a nice person, I'm sure she is, and is probably loved by all her neighbors, but her voting record has made her suspect as far as taking us PA residents' concerns first in making decisions, so as the old saying goes, "Once fooled shame on you, twice fooled shame on me".


Mark Weiss
Registered user
Downtown North
on May 28, 2019 at 3:06 pm
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
Registered user
on May 28, 2019 at 3:06 pm

i’ve watched this debate and participated for at least 10 years and been a community member on and off for 40 years and I think the developers will keep winning; it would help the residentialist cause if people sign their own names to these posts, as Gale does.


Gale Johnson
Adobe-Meadow
on May 28, 2019 at 3:14 pm
Gale Johnson, Adobe-Meadow
on May 28, 2019 at 3:14 pm

Oh, that wonderful Comprehensive Plan that was finally approved and applauded by CC. I think there are so many missed goals and mutually exclusive goals in the plan that we should just treat it as a happening, a dreamlike happening. If we have missed our park and open space goals plus the ridiculous housing goals, the plan can't be taken seriously in the day to day operations, activities and planning that goes on at City Hall.

All the problems we have...I don't need to repeat them...have been brought about by the success of tech companies that rule Silicon Valley. Thanks to some of them, they are finally showing signs of a willingness to engage and mitigate some of the problems they caused. So far it hasn't been enough. It's amounted to a pittance so far and only on the housing issue...and housing for only the tech savvy highly paid employees, not for the service workers who serve them in the restaurants they love. They can't shop in mom and pop stores in PA anymore because there aren't any left.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on May 28, 2019 at 5:32 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on May 28, 2019 at 5:32 pm

The comment that one person is going to make the decision regarding Cubberley is in error. And new building at that site will be a complicated financial situation that will require approval of funding. We have a city manager and a city financial person. We also have the school system and city which have to approve the eventual plan. So where is the funding coming from? Where is the approval of the final plan coming from? City management is not in the hands of one person who may - or may not have the qualifications to manage this project. This is not a three blind mice city. Any action that has not been thoroughly vetted is open to a law suit.


anon
Evergreen Park
on May 28, 2019 at 6:38 pm
anon, Evergreen Park
on May 28, 2019 at 6:38 pm

The article quotes the consultant saying
"Concordia staff said at the May 9 meeting that the three additional housing alternatives were added at the behest of the city's Planning and Transportation Commission and the City Council. "

This statement is untrue.

The Planning commission had an update on Cubberley as a study session and transmitted no official recommendation on the matter period. They did not take a vote so there is no such "behast " implied or officially transmitted whatsoever!


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on May 28, 2019 at 9:01 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on May 28, 2019 at 9:01 pm

Thank you Anon for your comments. I looked up Concordia and from where Google is sitting they are an east cost group. If that is untrue what is the local business address? I previously indicated that we have had great support from the local experts in the past who understand Palo Alto history and have successfully completed projects which are in conformance with city, state, county, and state specifications. We love you people - great jobs in the city.
The Mitchell Park project had some problems that were eventually solved to great results but the type problems encountered indicated a lack of experience in managing "redevelopment" projects. We are not going to go down that road again.
Housing changes the nature of the end product and those changes cannot be corrected. Also changes the tax base of the project - NOT GOOD. the whole point is to upgrade the site which falls into the typical expected requirements for any aging property. Bottom line is that the city can make money by upgrading the site with an upgrade to the theatre - bigger with more amenities for getting more use.
The site currently has good use for the over 50 groups for exercise and dancing and fun. The city depending on Lucie Stern as their sole site is not good. Lots of good use by small non-profits who need a space to operate their programs.


Chris
University South
on May 28, 2019 at 10:12 pm
Chris, University South
on May 28, 2019 at 10:12 pm

Housing does not need to be built at Cubberley, but Filseth needs to knocked off his hypocritical stance of housing as a major priority but then doing everything he can to prevent more housing from being built. Cormsck would make a good mayor next year.


musical
Palo Verde
on May 29, 2019 at 1:13 am
musical, Palo Verde
on May 29, 2019 at 1:13 am

Perhaps these new suggestions to add housing are tactical. Sowing divisiveness to obstruct any actual decision. Similar to keeping the city-wide tunnel option on the table for grade separation. We should be able to stretch the studies and community meetings into the 22nd century! (And coincidentally Concordia's contract.) The school's been closed four decades already without a bulldozer in sight (except filling the pool). Since we flushed the homeless encampment, Cubberley has been useful as our convenient slot for temporarily locating the Mitchell Park Library, Avenidas, and now the Junior Museum. A workable venue for controversial presidential campaign rallies and large private company parties. (How quickly forgotten.) Cubberley is the last large "open space" left in our town's flatlands. Closest we'll ever have to a "fairgrounds."


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on May 29, 2019 at 7:53 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on May 29, 2019 at 7:53 am

Since housing is the rationale for arguments here there are obvious places to put new housing:
1. On West Bayshore we have new apartments going up - yeah. But we still have the commercial buildings that are always "for lease". No one wants to go to that topic because "someone" owns those buildings and would rather sit on an unused building as opposed to converting it to housing. Time for the city to use their "Social Justice" mantra and expose that problem and force the hands here. It is the perfect place for new condo housing.
2. East Bayshore environment - same problem - old buildings that are not up to specification but some sit empty. WHY? If we have a housing shortage and unused buildings then why isn't this problem solved. Any building on that side of the freeway would have to be elevated for any possible bay intrusion.
3. El Camino - many buildings that have been closed - just sitting there. Popular restaurant closed - why not a restaurant? This was a popular place. Other one story buildings that are not up to spec. Someone owns those buildings so the city does not want to take on that legal fight - it is waiting for Sacramento to provide the tools to make it happen and the R-1 homeowner is perceived to be the low hanging fruit as opposed to a bunch of unused commercial buildings.
4. this city has some obvious issues regarding the ownership of these unused buildings which could be converted to housing with an allocation for teachers and low income. That is the obvious place and it fits the requirements.
5. Cubberely is low hanging fruit? Yes it requires upgrade and renovation. But it fills a specific purpose as a community center available to fledgling non-profits and sports activity, kid sports, theatre, etc.
6. Suggest that as part of this total makeover some analysis be made of empty buildings so that teachers and low income can get a place in what is a r-2 neighborhood.


observer
Old Palo Alto
on May 29, 2019 at 12:40 pm
observer, Old Palo Alto
on May 29, 2019 at 12:40 pm

It was a pleasure to watch commissioners with integrity standing up
for their charter and for the well-being of the community.

Not the usual feeling one gets watching the City Council.


HerbF
Registered user
Palo Verde
on May 29, 2019 at 3:34 pm
HerbF, Palo Verde
Registered user
on May 29, 2019 at 3:34 pm

Housing is a reasonable element of the Cubberley Plan. I attended all 4 meetings and it is incorrect to state that it was only sprung at the end. It was discussed at the vey first meeting of our group. Also, there was no reduction in any of the recreational and open space elements by the add-on housing shown at the last meeting. Housing can work. Cubberley is a natural, right on the VTA 35 bus route, close to the Piazza shopping center, and makes activities available without driving. Combining housing works well at the Oshman JCC, which also has recreation, cultural, education, preschool and many youth activities.

The community meetings gave opportunity for suggesting all kinds of elements to be included in the concept. Most were. Cubberley redo is a concept, the implementation is many years away. Meanwhile, the area's housing shortage worsens. It's going to get even worser before it gets better, if it ever does.


Just the facts.
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 30, 2019 at 3:46 pm
Just the facts., Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on May 30, 2019 at 3:46 pm

The subject of housing at Cubberley was raised at Meeting 2. It received fewer than five individual votes from meeting participants, the lowest rank of any of the 33 reported program options that received votes. Each table had 15 individual votes. People were given the option of assigning more than one vote to any single program option.

Given that the subject of housing was raised and not well supported by community participants early in the process, it was set aside in response to community input in the Community Co-Design process. Council Member Cormack encouraged consultants to reintroduce housing at the last meeting even though hundreds of community particpants had chosen not to include it. She incorrectly states that it was not previously considered. She continues to press for adding housing to the project even though it was widely rejected in that final meeting.

Cubberley is a public facility used for community services and school use. These are uses that SERVE housing. If we are going to densify housing in other parts of Palo Alto, we need to preserve public community spaces to meet the increasing demand for community services and schools that will result from that growth. Housing is a private use. Once we give up a public facility for private use we can never get it back. Further, buying land to create room for future expansion of public facilities will be very expensive. We should preserve the last, large public facilities space we have that is perfectly located to serve as a community center and future secondary school.


NIMBY now
Barron Park
on Jun 1, 2019 at 1:03 pm
NIMBY now, Barron Park
on Jun 1, 2019 at 1:03 pm

Allison has been such a disappointment. What we need now is Patrick Burt, Arthur Keller and Greer Stone in 2020.


Bill
Mountain View
on Jun 1, 2019 at 2:02 pm
Bill, Mountain View
on Jun 1, 2019 at 2:02 pm

Keep the fields, but build affordable housing where the buildings are today... the big service population coming and going every day creates more than traffic for us and a demeaning quality of life for them, it also creates a huge and otherwise intractable greenhouse gas problem. Both can only be solved with wise land use.

We shouldn’t be surprised if we find out that pollution is enough to completely zero out all other PA sustainability successes combined.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 1, 2019 at 3:13 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Jun 1, 2019 at 3:13 pm

Given what we know about the SU expansion Cubberley will be used again as a high school. Gunn and PAHS are already overloaded with students. If you keep expecting to add students to those high schools then what ever quality education we can provide to our students is going to suffer. You have to look at the impact on the educational system this will have. There is space in PA at numerous locations for the building of housing. Start with the Palo Alto Business Park - a location of large size that has a lot of buildings that are empty. How can that be given all of the publicity of how great we are? You can build all of the housing required to meet our requirements at that location.

The city has an office in the business park so they are well aware of the immense amount of land that can be used for this purpose.

Any idea that the Cubberely site is a do or die situation is nonsense. It is a high school and will be needed in the immediate future.


HerbF
Registered user
Palo Verde
on Jun 1, 2019 at 3:33 pm
HerbF, Palo Verde
Registered user
on Jun 1, 2019 at 3:33 pm

Of course, providing for adequate HS space at Cubberley is a priority. The housing element was added on after all the other educational, recreational and cultural aspects were accommodated. None were reduced by the housing.

When housing was brought up at the first community meeting, I was negative about it. It did get little support. However, as the housing crisis comes more into the forefront, I changed my position. We are getting more and more desperate to provide additional housing for teachers, city primary responders, support workers, and even non-technical industrial employees.

It's no longer a matter of either-or. It's how to find a comprehensive solution to education, housing, recreational space, solving traffic, etc. The Cubberley Plan is a good approach. As much as I love the city's suburban feel, that train left the station years ago.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 1, 2019 at 7:31 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Jun 1, 2019 at 7:31 pm

So much desperation for housing. If we are all that desperate then there is land for that available. Trying to justify cutting into the Cubberley site and reducing it is just so much hype. We need that for the students and future growth of the school system.

Palo Alto Business Park - busy selling buildings to Google? Trying to create a crisis on the one hand while the other hand is busy dealing is not going to work.

Reality says that teaming with SU on the educational pursuits is a great idea while selling open or available land to Google is a bad idea.

This is like a chess game isn't it? And the students and citizens are going to lose? Don't bet on it. When all is said and done the city is a government agency - municipal - and it is required to contract IAW government regulations and processes. And there are a lot of people in the city who know what that means and what is expected. No one here is going to roll over dead.


Not So Not for Profit Soccer
Fairmeadow
on Jun 2, 2019 at 1:47 pm
Not So Not for Profit Soccer, Fairmeadow
on Jun 2, 2019 at 1:47 pm

How many of these commissioners are affiliated with the SUPER expensive youth soccer leagues (not AYSO) that charge and make a killing while paying next to nothing for essentially permanent rights to use publicly provided and maintained facilities? Was it half of them? Make sense.

No need to disclose that conflict of interest in positions of public power, apparently.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 2, 2019 at 2:20 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Jun 2, 2019 at 2:20 pm

Herb F - no - we are not desperate to provide housing for teachers at Cubberely. If that is a priority then the city can make that happen with an R-2 apartment complex that is already built. There are a whole bunch over behind the car wash near Mountain View. Or build an apartment over at the business park.

We are desperate to provide a good quality education for our children and not have overloaded schools with teachers who are overloaded with too many kids in the classroom and make-shift classrooms added on in the school zones. As SU does expand that is going to flow down on the two high schools we have with overloaded results. We are a city that sells education - that is one of our signature selling points. People move here just to have their Kids in the schools. Evidently there has been some building going on with the promise of teacher housing that in fact did not happen. We should first change that. Get that housing back into the committed category of available housing.

So what is the fixation that the building has to be at Cubberely? What is the impelling reason it has to be at that site? What is the deal with that?
No - it is not going to be a senior living center. So don't plan on moving. Keep your day job. For senior living there are already a number of opportunities in the city.

The school system is having difficulties at this time so adding this as a factor is just too much confusion for them - they have their hands full. And we do not need to add personnel just to manage a teacher apartment. Whoever thought that was their future job forget it - not the cities job.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 3, 2019 at 7:48 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Jun 3, 2019 at 7:48 am

I was at a theater event at the Heritage Theater in Campbell. That whole community center is the former high school - Campbell Union High School - closed in the 1980's. The theater is huge and has top performers. The grounds are well kept and beautiful and covers about twice the size of our high schools. They have a charter school in the main section so the Community Center addresses a lot of functions. If you are looking for "Community Center" comparisons that is a great place to look. There is no housing on that property. All of the property is community, educational, and money generating for the theatre. So do not believe that every one is using school property for housing.


The Baron
Greenmeadow
on Jun 3, 2019 at 4:14 pm
The Baron, Greenmeadow
on Jun 3, 2019 at 4:14 pm

If the "plan" is to increase the community's population...why would you want to cut the amount of available open space to the community's population?


Curmudgeon
Downtown North
on Jun 3, 2019 at 6:38 pm
Curmudgeon, Downtown North
on Jun 3, 2019 at 6:38 pm

"In this thread someone proposed east Embarcadeo as a housing alternative. While I support that, there is a pretty good chance sea level rise would force it to be abandoned by 2200."

No. Dikes will be built to protect the airport, the sewer plant, the municipal services center, and the intense commercial development in the area, especially the car dealers which generate sales tax revenue. Those dikes will also protect housing.


Ahem
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 3, 2019 at 7:48 pm
Ahem, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 3, 2019 at 7:48 pm

When our developer overlords drive past the Cubberly open space it infuriates them to see all of that potentially profitable real-estate being wasted on residents and think if only there was a way to get the camels nose under the tent...

Hmmm, what about teachers? Yeah... teachers. Residents have a lot of sympathy teachers, right? Ohhhh, yeah. Palo Altan residents are suckers for anything to do with education! Now, just need to make a few calls. It's time for our "friends" with political aspirations to EARN their campaign contributions.


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 3, 2019 at 8:15 pm
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 3, 2019 at 8:15 pm

At one time we had 22 elementary schools, 3 middle schools and 3 high schools in Palo Alto. When these schools were built they were designed for much smaller school populations, about 350 per elementary, etc.

Now there are some of our elementaries that are around 500 students. We closed several elementaries and have since reopened them. Some of the closed sites are used by other schools although still owned by PAUSD, and others were closed and the land sold and housing was built.

At one stage Terman and Jordan were both closed and since reopened. At one time JLS was the only middle school and changed its name from Wilbur Middle School to JLS to make the transition easier.

The 3 high schools were well sited geographically around town. Cubberley was closed and at one time Gunn was in danger of closing, but fortunately that was changed at the eleventh hour. There has been plenty of discussion about Cubberley being used as a liberal arts high school or some other type of magnet high school.

We should be learning lessons from all this. There are more residential units in town now than at any other time Palo Alto history. There are housing projects galore and the senior population aging out are being replaced with families. All these factors mean that our population is growing and will continue to grow. These units are going to produce children. Even two bedroom units are housing children. Many grown children are moving back in with parents who live in Palo Alto and there are moves for those homes to have granny flats for the older generation while the younger families live in the main house.

We can't keep building more housing and assume that the school population will not grow. We may be in a static bubble at present, but the likelihood is that once again the school population requirement will increase. Housing produces children who have to be schooled.

Don't use school facilities to house anyone, particularly when that housing is likely to be adding to the number of children that have to be schooled.

We can't buy back the schools that have already been turned into housing. Don't make the same mistake again.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 5, 2019 at 1:25 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Jun 5, 2019 at 1:25 pm

Let's get clear here on Senior Housing. My in-laws moved from SU to Webster House when it was first built with the intention of moving senior retired people off campus. A lot was promised as to what type of care would be available at that site. Turns out that legal and insurance concerns overcame the original intent and people with operation recovery or unable to walk had to be moved over to Litton Gardens on the corner of Webster and University. Then as the retirees further aged the next step was moving people to the third floor of Sunrise on El Camino and Oregon. What you end up with is a corporation that specializes in retirement villages who has already worked out the pluses and minuses of the situation. The school system or the city is in no position to take on that type of legal activity which is very expensive. Also open to litigation when things go wrong and you do not deliver what the contract calls for. Senior living is best left to the corporations that do that job.


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