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With new zoning tool, Palo Alto looks to relieve housing drought

City Council prepares to consider what types of units should be required in exchange for zoning concessions

The development proposed by Sand Hill Property Company for 3300 El Camino Road is Palo Alto's first project seeking to use the city's new "planned home" zone. Rendering courtesy city of Palo Alto.

Palo Alto's elected leaders all agree that the city desperately needs more "affordable housing," though there is little consensus on what exactly that means and on whether that should be the city's sole objective.

For the City Council's more pro-growth members, including Mayor Adrian Fine and council members Liz Kniss and Greg Tanaka, the city's goal should be to encourage everything from subsidized housing to small market-rate units such as the workforce-centered apartments that the city approved for the corner of El Camino Real and Page Mill Road. While the developer is required to designate six of its 57 units for "affordable housing," these units would target individuals who make 120% of area median income, or about $118,950 for a one-person household.

Those on the more slow-growth side, including Vice Mayor Tom DuBois and Councilwoman Lydia Kou, take a more restrictive view and believe the city should primarily focus on apartments designated for tenants at lower-income tiers, much like those in the Wilton Court development that is slated to go up at El Camino and Wilton Avenue. All 59 units are designated for residents that make between 30% and 60% of area median income, with those on the highest end making less than $60,000.

The debate about what constitutes "true" affordable housing will take on increased urgency on Monday, when the council considers the rules governing the city's new "planned home" zone, which will allow developers to exceed zoning rules on aspects such as height, density and parking in exchange for housing. The council voted in February to introduce the zoning designation as a way to encourage more housing, though it left the details hazy.

The new zone is a descendant of the city's "planned community" zone, which was used in the past for both affordable housing projects and for mixed-use developments such as Edgewood Plaza, Alma Village and the College Terrace Centre. Unlike the "planned community" zone, which involves negotiations between the city and the developer over "public benefits" that the latter has to provide, the "planned home" zone would specify that the chief public benefit is housing.

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The idea, Fine said during the February discussion, is to let staff go work with homebuilders to figure out what they need, whether it's reduced parking, more height or reduced setbacks.

"I want to be clear, we're not negotiating things like grocery stores, or park benches or rooftop gardens," Fine said. "Housing is actually the benefit there."

Developments under the planned home zone will be allowed to have a commercial component, though the council specified in February that the housing would need to be adequate to offset the demand for residential units from the project's employees and lower Palo Alto's jobs-housing imbalance.

'We're not negotiating things like grocery stores, or park benches or rooftop gardens. Housing is actually the benefit there.'

-Adrian Fine, mayor, Palo Alto

The council agreed that 20% of the units in the proposed developments would need to be "affordable housing," which is higher than the city's normal 15% requirement for new residential developments. The council left unanswered, however, the question of affordability when it comes to the new housing units. Some on the council, including Kou, argued that setting the limit at the high end of area median income will not produce the type of housing that the city really wants. She proposed in February that these projects be required to provide housing at 50% of the area median income level.

Others, including Tanaka, raised concerns that imposing stringent affordability requirements would discourage applicants from coming forward. He also argued that raising the percentage of income-restricted units would discourage developers from submitting proposals.

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"If we want to make housing, it has to be economically viable," Tanaka said. "We can't expect people to lose money on this."

While Tanaka wondered in February whether the city's proposed rules for the "planned home" zone will actually produce results, Palo Alto has seen some positive signs since then. In June, the council considered a proposal from Sand Hill Property Company for a mixed-use development with 187 rental units and a two-story office building at 3300 El Camino Real, on the edge of Stanford Research Park.

The city also received an application for a potential "planned home" project from the Menlo Park-based developer Acclaimed Companies that includes 119 units, as well as 1,000 square feet of retail and 5,000 square feet of office space, at 2951 El Camino Real, in the Ventura neighborhood.

A new report from the Department of Planning and Development Services states that despite the pandemic, staff "continues to be approached by developers interested in pursuing housing developments." For the council, which has consistently failed to meet its annual goal of 300 new housing units per year, this is a welcoming trend. The staff report notes that the city is not on target to meet its Comprehensive Goal of producing between 3,545 and 4,420 new housing units by 2030.

"The lack of housing affordable at all income levels contributes to other impacts experienced in Palo Alto," the report states. "These impacts relate to traffic congestion, higher vehicle miles traveled, greater greenhouse gas emissions, and diminished housing opportunities, among other quality of life issues."

To gain some clarity on the issue of affordability, staff is proposing numerous options for the council's consideration. Under one proposed option, the 20% requirement would be split among various affordability levels, with the developer being required to provide 5% for each income strata.

Under another option, the city would weigh units based on their affordability level and adjust the number of required units accordingly. Thus, a developer who wants to satisfy the 20% requirement by building housing for the "moderate" income level would need to produce more such units than a developer who is building units in the "low-income" tier. The approach, according to staff, recognizes that units in the "low," "very low" and "extremely low" categories entail more subsidy and a lower return of investment.

"Requiring more units to be deed restricted at the lower income level means greater concessions from the zoning code to home builders will be required."

'If we want to make housing, it has to be economically viable. We can't expect people to lose money on this.'

-Greg Tanaka, city councilman, Palo Alto

The option, according to staff, provides "maximum flexibility to determine how to comply with the inclusionary requirement and, if elected, would tend to generate more low and very-low income units than would otherwise be produced — or a greater number of income restricted units if a developer chooses units in the moderate or workforce housing range."

For rental properties, staff is proposing a different approach: requiring them to provide 10% of their units for "very low income" housing (50% of area median income) and paying housing impact fees equivalent to 20% of the city's requirement. This, according to staff, is equivalent to a 25% inclusionary requirement. The city would then be able to use the funds to support affordable-housing developments similar to Wilton Court, which received about $10 million in city funding.

"Payment of the housing impact fee will help restore the City's housing funds, which are typically used by non-profit, low-income housing projects," the report states. "Non-profit housing typically also provides supportive programs that low-income households can use to find jobs, help with school work, connect with social services and other programs; these services are not generally provided in market rate housing projects.

According to staff, a hypothetical 100,000-square-foot rental project with 100 units would be required to provide 10 "very low income" units and pay about $2 million in fees.

Even with the new zone designation, developers would need to go through the city's typically lengthy review process to win approval. This includes a "pre-screening" session with the council, reviews from the Planning and Transportation Commission and the Architectural Review Board and final approval from the council.

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With new zoning tool, Palo Alto looks to relieve housing drought

City Council prepares to consider what types of units should be required in exchange for zoning concessions

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Thu, Sep 17, 2020, 12:17 pm

Palo Alto's elected leaders all agree that the city desperately needs more "affordable housing," though there is little consensus on what exactly that means and on whether that should be the city's sole objective.

For the City Council's more pro-growth members, including Mayor Adrian Fine and council members Liz Kniss and Greg Tanaka, the city's goal should be to encourage everything from subsidized housing to small market-rate units such as the workforce-centered apartments that the city approved for the corner of El Camino Real and Page Mill Road. While the developer is required to designate six of its 57 units for "affordable housing," these units would target individuals who make 120% of area median income, or about $118,950 for a one-person household.

Those on the more slow-growth side, including Vice Mayor Tom DuBois and Councilwoman Lydia Kou, take a more restrictive view and believe the city should primarily focus on apartments designated for tenants at lower-income tiers, much like those in the Wilton Court development that is slated to go up at El Camino and Wilton Avenue. All 59 units are designated for residents that make between 30% and 60% of area median income, with those on the highest end making less than $60,000.

The debate about what constitutes "true" affordable housing will take on increased urgency on Monday, when the council considers the rules governing the city's new "planned home" zone, which will allow developers to exceed zoning rules on aspects such as height, density and parking in exchange for housing. The council voted in February to introduce the zoning designation as a way to encourage more housing, though it left the details hazy.

The new zone is a descendant of the city's "planned community" zone, which was used in the past for both affordable housing projects and for mixed-use developments such as Edgewood Plaza, Alma Village and the College Terrace Centre. Unlike the "planned community" zone, which involves negotiations between the city and the developer over "public benefits" that the latter has to provide, the "planned home" zone would specify that the chief public benefit is housing.

The idea, Fine said during the February discussion, is to let staff go work with homebuilders to figure out what they need, whether it's reduced parking, more height or reduced setbacks.

"I want to be clear, we're not negotiating things like grocery stores, or park benches or rooftop gardens," Fine said. "Housing is actually the benefit there."

Developments under the planned home zone will be allowed to have a commercial component, though the council specified in February that the housing would need to be adequate to offset the demand for residential units from the project's employees and lower Palo Alto's jobs-housing imbalance.

The council agreed that 20% of the units in the proposed developments would need to be "affordable housing," which is higher than the city's normal 15% requirement for new residential developments. The council left unanswered, however, the question of affordability when it comes to the new housing units. Some on the council, including Kou, argued that setting the limit at the high end of area median income will not produce the type of housing that the city really wants. She proposed in February that these projects be required to provide housing at 50% of the area median income level.

Others, including Tanaka, raised concerns that imposing stringent affordability requirements would discourage applicants from coming forward. He also argued that raising the percentage of income-restricted units would discourage developers from submitting proposals.

"If we want to make housing, it has to be economically viable," Tanaka said. "We can't expect people to lose money on this."

While Tanaka wondered in February whether the city's proposed rules for the "planned home" zone will actually produce results, Palo Alto has seen some positive signs since then. In June, the council considered a proposal from Sand Hill Property Company for a mixed-use development with 187 rental units and a two-story office building at 3300 El Camino Real, on the edge of Stanford Research Park.

The city also received an application for a potential "planned home" project from the Menlo Park-based developer Acclaimed Companies that includes 119 units, as well as 1,000 square feet of retail and 5,000 square feet of office space, at 2951 El Camino Real, in the Ventura neighborhood.

A new report from the Department of Planning and Development Services states that despite the pandemic, staff "continues to be approached by developers interested in pursuing housing developments." For the council, which has consistently failed to meet its annual goal of 300 new housing units per year, this is a welcoming trend. The staff report notes that the city is not on target to meet its Comprehensive Goal of producing between 3,545 and 4,420 new housing units by 2030.

"The lack of housing affordable at all income levels contributes to other impacts experienced in Palo Alto," the report states. "These impacts relate to traffic congestion, higher vehicle miles traveled, greater greenhouse gas emissions, and diminished housing opportunities, among other quality of life issues."

To gain some clarity on the issue of affordability, staff is proposing numerous options for the council's consideration. Under one proposed option, the 20% requirement would be split among various affordability levels, with the developer being required to provide 5% for each income strata.

Under another option, the city would weigh units based on their affordability level and adjust the number of required units accordingly. Thus, a developer who wants to satisfy the 20% requirement by building housing for the "moderate" income level would need to produce more such units than a developer who is building units in the "low-income" tier. The approach, according to staff, recognizes that units in the "low," "very low" and "extremely low" categories entail more subsidy and a lower return of investment.

"Requiring more units to be deed restricted at the lower income level means greater concessions from the zoning code to home builders will be required."

The option, according to staff, provides "maximum flexibility to determine how to comply with the inclusionary requirement and, if elected, would tend to generate more low and very-low income units than would otherwise be produced — or a greater number of income restricted units if a developer chooses units in the moderate or workforce housing range."

For rental properties, staff is proposing a different approach: requiring them to provide 10% of their units for "very low income" housing (50% of area median income) and paying housing impact fees equivalent to 20% of the city's requirement. This, according to staff, is equivalent to a 25% inclusionary requirement. The city would then be able to use the funds to support affordable-housing developments similar to Wilton Court, which received about $10 million in city funding.

"Payment of the housing impact fee will help restore the City's housing funds, which are typically used by non-profit, low-income housing projects," the report states. "Non-profit housing typically also provides supportive programs that low-income households can use to find jobs, help with school work, connect with social services and other programs; these services are not generally provided in market rate housing projects.

According to staff, a hypothetical 100,000-square-foot rental project with 100 units would be required to provide 10 "very low income" units and pay about $2 million in fees.

Even with the new zone designation, developers would need to go through the city's typically lengthy review process to win approval. This includes a "pre-screening" session with the council, reviews from the Planning and Transportation Commission and the Architectural Review Board and final approval from the council.

Comments

Native to the BAY
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Sep 18, 2020 at 11:05 am
Native to the BAY, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Sep 18, 2020 at 11:05 am
6 people like this

How many on the council who ran and won in 2016 promised to deliver on affordable housing? Zero. Now it’s the 11th hour scramble for re-election votes. Get them out! We need true progressive leaders and doers, not more smoke and mirrors.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 19, 2020 at 12:07 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Sep 19, 2020 at 12:07 pm
10 people like this

I love the terms being thrown around now - "planning tool", "progressives". "smoke and mirrors". The problem of housing is actually more integrated with legislation which we have been discussing of late, and funding for specific types of housing which do not "pencil out" - like Fry's.

The Fry's location is the perfect place for the type of housing we are required to provide at this time for the teachers, city support people, etc. But is does not "pencil out" to build it. So what we need is for the legislators who promote this type of legislation - Weiner and Atkins - to include the funding source for the type of housing they are pushing. That includes the governor who has unleashed the legislature to carry out his agenda. That is where the disconnect is.

The next disconnect is some of the schemes they think up - duplexes in the middle of established housing tracts which denote a tearing down of the structure of cities which is counter productive to a healthy city. That is an opinion. That is not going got fly - and the people that promote it are not going to get elected.


Be accurate
Registered user
Charleston Meadows
on Sep 19, 2020 at 1:46 pm
Be accurate, Charleston Meadows
Registered user
on Sep 19, 2020 at 1:46 pm
11 people like this

Resident -1,

Thank you. State subsidized housing, in some form, is the only way to go. Until that starts happening, it will not "pencil out". Developers will not be building cheap units if they can build expensive units. There are some city quotas but we see how that is helping.
One of the housing bills pushed through in Sacramento recently includes buildings with the number of units just under that where they would need to start adding "affordable" low budget units. It is pure travesty.

Housing subsidies have been thrown out of the budget when there was a shortfall but the Senate pro tem Atkins never put it back in once they got the budget surplus. She is married to a developer. Who knows - maybe that is the reason. Senator Weiner received more campaign donations from developers than any other legislator in CA. Until that is stopped by the voters it will not "pencil out".
The state is persistently shying off the issue of housing subsidies and is behaving as if they have no idea what more and more people are talking about.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 19, 2020 at 4:06 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Sep 19, 2020 at 4:06 pm
16 people like this

Oprah lives in Montecito. Can I build a duplex in Montecito? How about Malibu? How about Atherton? Why are we twisting in the wind here? Why are we willing to be a target for this type of residential hoax when there are a lot of communities in this state that are unaffected by housing hoax's? Because OUR legislators are part of the cabal?

Are our legislators more concerned about their relationships with each other as opposed to the taxpayer residents they represent? Are our residents more concerned about their standing in the progressive group then the total effect on the city when it is dismantled? Do people who have a problem with our housing choices have a map that can take them to Mountain View? Sunnyvale? Santa Clara? Those are nice cities.
Just asking.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 19, 2020 at 4:26 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Sep 19, 2020 at 4:26 pm
17 people like this

"Can I build a duplex in Montecito? How about Malibu? How about Atherton? Why are we twisting in the wind here? Why are we willing to be a target for this type of residential hoax when there are a lot of communities in this state that are unaffected by housing hoax's? Because OUR legislators are part of the cabal?"

Because of politicians supported by ABAG/MTC keep and candidates funded by the local, state and national YUMBY party keep worsening the jobs/housing imbalance that they've rigged to exempt those places you've listed. Palatir's Peter Thiel's made no secret of his desire to turn Silicon Valley into an office park with tiny "workforce housing" while he paid for all those Palantir employees to sit on the MTC, Palo Alto PTC, Palo Alto City Council and similar bodies in Menlo Park.

Be careful how you vote. Check for YIMBY backing check for Palo Alto (and Menlo Park and Redwood City) Forward affiliation.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 19, 2020 at 4:54 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Sep 19, 2020 at 4:54 pm
12 people like this

So glad we are talking about this. There are obvious cabals in this state. Oprah and her buddies have a cabal and it does not include building duplexes where ever and whenever. BLM probably not visit her location. Bill and Melinda Gates just bought a house in Del Mar on the beach. Now they can be protected by a military site in that area. Enough of Washington State for them. So despite Mr. Gavin Newsom trying to sell a concept we know that the cabals for the rich and famous are protected. Suspect that Hillsborough and Los Altos Hills will not be seeing any duplexes in their residential areas zoned as r-1.

Just saying here that we do not need to buy into the progressive hype with a promise of political mayhem if we don't. In fact that threat to a contrarian is like waving a red flag. Threats don't work. ABAG people can go do their own residential streets and make a mess - bigger than the mess that is already there. We do not have to ruin our city when we know that is the intent of the people pushing the hoax.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 19, 2020 at 5:17 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Sep 19, 2020 at 5:17 pm
10 people like this

How many big offices/jobs/stores are there in the places you mentioned? Few to none.

Even the Marin politician supporting Weiner's densification bills managed to get his town exempted.

The hypocrisy and evasion are staggering.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 20, 2020 at 1:15 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Sep 20, 2020 at 1:15 pm
3 people like this

Dan Walters- CalMatters opinion piece in the SJM today - "High Housing Costs are Keeping California Poor". - Good information on the attempts to build low cost housing across the state with specifics on the cost of doing so. Turns out it is more expensive to build multi-unit living than single family homes. Given that the criteria is BMV units then you are really in a no-win situation for the builder.

The problem is on the table is cost. That spins out to the type of legislation that only addresses part of the problem. ABAG cannot legally tell us to go forth and produce more housing when they have not addressed how that is paid for.

By definition only high end cities that have a large tax base from residential housing - like Montecito can afford to foot the bill for this. When all is said and done it is the tax base of the location that comes into play. And in high end areas that is what you are dealing with. In locations that have a lot of business the offset is the cost of supporting all of that activity from the tax base - police, fire, sanitation, water and energy production. Lots of business activity equates to outlay of lot of money for support. So ABAG has it backwards - their criteria is not legally supported. Just saying to do it does not make it so.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 21, 2020 at 8:57 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Sep 21, 2020 at 8:57 am
7 people like this

Further on ABAG - the local reps sit in the city of SF. How is SF doing? The sewer system is collapsing allowing flooding in the city, the port system is dealing with piers that have seen their best days, and tent cities all over the place. The infrastructure of the city is collapsing. That is on the city to fix. Multi-unit residential units are owned by corporations - and we know that the property tax on those building is probably very low.

ABAG can sit up there on taxpayer money and dictate housing with no accountability. The state can try and pass legislation which breaks down the suburban housing that drew people to the state in the first place. That is corporations that are putting in the multi-unit housing - not single house property owners.

The residential tax base is the major contributor to a cities operating cost. That and local taxes against corporations. That is your business tax issue currently under discussion. That leaves us with pundits and "opinion" pieces telling us we are all in this together. Meanwhile we are looking at the increasing tide level that can inundate the low lying areas.

The city needs to determine where it's operating cost funding is coming from and where the outlays are in that funding. And if outside agencies are attempting to undermine the base of the funding through their legislative activities then we all need to make sure that we are on top of the activity and call it out as it is being floated out for vote.


Here SInce 1979
Registered user
Green Acres
on Sep 21, 2020 at 11:36 am
Here SInce 1979, Green Acres
Registered user
on Sep 21, 2020 at 11:36 am
10 people like this

I get the discussions about affordable housing and businesses need to flourish, but I haven't seen this discussed ... where are we going to get all the water needed for those new people and businesses? I have lived through 3 major droughts and each one was equal to or worse than the one before. Water is essential for life, not buildings. We can have water contracts out of state etc, but with global warming they may need the water too and then where are we? We are constantly battling So Cal about shipping water to them. Will we be squeezed out with extra people?
Quit the greed and come up with a better way of helping the people already here. I realize that the developers have already made deals with the city and major money is at play, but go back to the basics people, it's all about the water.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 21, 2020 at 12:03 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Sep 21, 2020 at 12:03 pm
7 people like this

@Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, ABAG also bases its housing targets on the number of jobs in each city which is why so many pro-growthers keep pushing for more offices / jobs.

Also, Palo Alto is the only community in the region that hasn't yet gotten its act together to implement a business tax when it could have easily started taxing big businesses with more than, say, 40 employees but of course the Chamber of Commerce and other business groups wouldn't like that.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 21, 2020 at 5:30 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Sep 21, 2020 at 5:30 pm
3 people like this

The big businesses are having everyone work from home. That reduces their facility cost for water, heat, energy, trash pick-up. Working from home works out for them. So the company says it has x number of employees. Get that business tax fast before they think up some reason they do not have to pay it. The city is still on the hook for water, energy, sanitation, trash pickup, police, firemen. Hurry up - the opportunity zone for this is closing.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 22, 2020 at 8:52 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Sep 22, 2020 at 8:52 am
2 people like this

In the SFC today it notes that the Gov has authorized funding for homeless housing. Mountain View has received $12.3M to buy land for 100 manufactured homes that will provide temporary housing and support services until residents can move into permanent housing. This is the Homekey Grants. Given that Mountain View is now built out where would this all take place? This will be interesting to see where the land they are using is located. My guess is the south of San Antonio location that is now a combination of small businesses that look like they are living on a thread.

Note that the tax base for the City of Mountain View is totally different than the tax base for Palo Alto. Google is home based in Mountain View and now has a lot of RV'S parked in the winding streets surrounding their buildings. Google teeters on the bay lands and has some potential flooding issues.

Next question is regardless of the size of the homes they will require sewage systems, electrical systems, water systems, fire protection, police protection, etc. It is not clear as to how much of those facility costs are shared with PA. If that is the case then the shared systems will be over-taxed, and over-used. Need to follow this story because I have not seen any homeless encampments in that city of any great numbers. Most are further down in San Jose.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 23, 2020 at 12:05 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Sep 23, 2020 at 12:05 pm
Like this comment

IAW the SFC the location of the Mountain View homes will be on Leghorn - "on the border with Palo Alto". I wonder how the Marriott hotel will like that. So how did a Mountain View project end up on the border with PA? That removes the impact of the homeless project away from downtown Mountain View and pushes it next to PA's residential area, as well as the new Marriott hotel. So the impact will be on PA - not Mountain View - and they will get the credit for fulfilling their "requirement" to the state". That has an impact on the Oshman Center. That has an impact on the location of Ace Hardware - that property has been ought by developers. It will be across the street from the condominiums on San Antonio.

I am sure that this will create a new push on the Cubberley site. Be very careful there - more people means more children means more school requirement and more use of the playing fields. That location now has a high need to remain in the control of the school system.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 26, 2020 at 11:43 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Sep 26, 2020 at 11:43 am
Like this comment

After looking at the Debate the subject of housing at Cubberley was addressed.

Cautionary note here:

SFC - "Controller says that Neru solicited donations". Neru is a high level Public Works Director for the city of SF. The method of soliciting donations took the form of people "donating" to a "Friends of - name of city activity". In one case the SF Airport concessions to friends. It goes on to discuss the method of stacking the deck regarding the awarding of lucrative contracts via an indirect route. The "friends" of organizations provide philanthropic support in many cases.

We appear to have a "Friends of Cubberley" group - and we know that the question of lucrative contracts for building and construction is a main goal here.

So we - the city and members pf the PACC - have ventured into what is a questionable legal activity which is getting a lot of press right now. As to SF - Mr. Neru and his friends - including the mayor - are on the hot seat. They have a Proposition B which is to exert effective oversite of a Department that is clearly out of control.

So now that the subject is on the table suggest that the PACC members who are involved in this activity back-off pending legal action. Being on a city council while decisions are in process regarding the award of construction contracts will be investigated.

Luckily there was a difference of opinion regarding the fate of Cubberely since it partially owned by the school district. The school district should consider using that facility for a whole program of special needs children. Consolidate that educational requirements at one location in the city to maximize the trained teachers who work in that specialty.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 1, 2020 at 10:22 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Oct 1, 2020 at 10:22 am
2 people like this

ABAG's thought process and algorithms are flawed. Someone needs to investigate that taxpayer fed organization. Is anyone contributing to that organization? If taxpayer funded how is that money being spent. The state has an excellent auditor who just uncovered a major problem at the UC campus - one of many she finds there. This one involved the senator's husband.

ABAG appears to be working at the behest of the developers. That suggests money changing hands and people being promoted in the political world to jobs which support their agenda. Possible influence peddling.

If you have any government organization within the state that has a direct impact on development and construction then you have a lot to look at. Any pronouncements from them need to be challenged as to how they derived those "facts". Don't just roll-over.

One of the heads of ABAG had legal issues when he used taxpayer funds for his own use to buy multiple properties for his own use. Obviously no oversite of that organization.


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