News

Palo Alto City Council approves first major housing project of 2020

Council signals its desire to see more residential projects on city's southern edge

A housing project at 788 San Antonio Road in Palo Alto approved by the City Council on Nov. 17 includes 32 studios, 66 one-bedroom units and four two-bedroom units. Courtesy Studio S Squared Architecture.

Seeking to make a small dent in addressing the city's housing crisis, the Palo Alto City Council approved on Tuesday morning its largest residential project of the year: a 102-apartment development on San Antonio Road.

By a unanimous vote, the council backed a proposal by 788 SAPA Land LLC to construct a four-story building with 102 apartments and 1,800 square feet of retail at 788 San Antonio Road, near Leghorn Street. The project's residential component consists of 32 studios, 66 one-bedroom units and four two-bedroom units. Sixteen units would be restricted to below-market-rate households.

While the developer plans to offer these units as apartments, the city's approval allows for them to be converted to condominiums at a later time.

"The goal of the project is to serve a range of renters and a range of income levels," said Ted O'Hanlon, who represented the project applicant. "That's both for the inclusionary housing but also for the other renters — or maybe owners — of the property."

"Generally, we are studios and one-bedrooms. … So this will certainly lend itself to single dwellers or perhaps couples."

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In supporting the project, the council signaled its desire to both approve a major new housing development for the first time this year and to raise the stature of San Antonio Road as a housing destination. In addition to backing the residential project, the council voted to extend some of the zoning benefits of this project to 16 other properties on the two-block stretch of San Antonio, between Middlefield and Charleston roads, with the goal of attracting additional developments.

By a 4-3 vote, with Vice Mayor Tom DuBois, and council members Eric Filseth and Lydia Kou dissenting, the council established a "housing incentive program" on this stretch of San Antonio, a designation that provides zoning incentives such as density bonuses to housing developers.

The council's action underscored the city's shifting philosophy on housing, particularly on San Antonio. In 2014, council members reluctantly agreed to include the San Antonio Road sites on the city's Housing Element, a state-mandated document that lays out the city's strategies for producing more housing. Council members agreed, however, that San Antonio is only on the list as a placeholder and that the city should eventually shift its housing plans away from San Antonio and toward the more transit-friendly areas of downtown and California Avenue.

To encourage construction in those areas, the city established a new "housing incentive program" that provides density bonuses and relaxes certain zoning standards for residential projects in downtown, around California Avenue and along El Camino Real. To date, however, there have been few takers. The only major residential project that the city has approved in the past two years is Wilton Court, a 59-unit affordable housing development on El Camino, which relied on a different zoning tool — the "affordable housing zone" — to get the necessary zoning concessions. Meanwhile, Palo Alto continues to lag far behind its goal of producing 300 housing units per year.

Given the city's prolonged housing drought, the council is once again expanding its horizons to encompass the commercial area on the city's southern border.

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"I think a lot of us over the past few years have hoped that some of our zoning changes would result in housing in downtown and Cal. Ave.," Mayor Adrian Fine said. "That obviously hasn't happened to the extent some of us would have liked, but we are seeing some interest on San Antonio. So I think it's worth extending the HIP (Housing Incentive Program) to these sites on San Antonio."

Vice Mayor Tom DuBois supported the development at 788 San Antonio but was less keen on extending zoning benefits to other San Antonio sites.

"I'm still not convinced that this corner is the best place for housing," DuBois said. "I am concerned that we're going to dump a lot of density on the border of south Palo Alto."

The factors that have prompted the council to previously reject San Antonio as a suitable housing site still apply, DuBois said.

"There's not a lot of community services, there's not a school, there's not really transit," he added.

The biggest resistance to the project came from residents of Greenhouse and Greenhouse 2, condominium communities across the street from the project site. Pamela Harter, who lives in Greenhouse 2, noted that the area has heavy traffic, poor bike amenities and very little public transportation. The Planning and Transportation Commission, which voted in August to approve this project, shared the sentiment and encouraged the council to fund a corridor study for this area.

While the developer and several project supporters touted the project's bike-friendly amenities and its proximity to major employers as significant benefits, Harter said she was "flabbergasted that everyone thinks that this is such an ideal place to bike."

"We don't have any transportation coming up and down the street in terms of buses and there's no bike lanes," Harter said. "People have to dodge bikes on the sidewalk because there's no place for bikes and people to walk."

But the vast majority of the roughly 30 residents who attended the virtual meeting urged the council to approve the project and add much-needed housing units. John Kelley, a housing advocate, suggested that the project can serve as a "strong anchor for more housing in south Palo Alto."

"I think San Antonio is an underappreciated resource in Palo Alto and this project at 788 San Antonio can be an anchor — an anchor tenant if you will for revitalization of higher density housing in Palo Alto," Kelley said.

The Palo Alto City Council approved on Nov. 17 a mixed-use development with 102 apartments at 788 San Antonio Road. Courtesy Studio S Squared Architecture.

Former Council member Gail Price, who now serves as board president at Palo Alto Forward, a nonprofit that advocates for more housing, said the project will help the city come closer to meet its regional housing allocations. She also wrote to the council that the project would "demonstrate the viability of the area for new housing."

"Approval of the project and needed zoning changes will send a signal to regional and state agencies that Palo Alto is taking our increased housing goals seriously and providing zoning and incentives to make such housing feasible," Price said.

The zone change would apply to 16 properties that are currently zoned as "service commercial," a designation that typically includes uses such as auto services, motels and appliance stores. The new designation would allow — and encourage — housing by roughly doubling the allowed density for residential projects. The housing program also allows developers to use balcony spaces and rooftops to meet the city's open space requirements.

While some council members lamented the lack of services, Council member Liz Kniss observed that there is one benefit to approving a project at a relatively remote site: little neighborhood resistance.

"Normally we get pushback from people who live close by, who don't want something of that size," Kniss said. "It's kind of a pleasure to not be in somebody's backyard. That makes a big difference."

Kou, who supported the housing development, voted against the extension of the zone change to other areas on San Antonio, saying that the move goes against the city's Comprehensive Plan and its prior housing vision.

"We've just upzoned a lot of these parcels to provide these parcel owners with more profitability," Kou said. "Essentially, what we've done is increase the value of land all around the corridor."

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Palo Alto City Council approves first major housing project of 2020

Council signals its desire to see more residential projects on city's southern edge

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Nov 17, 2020, 12:45 am

Seeking to make a small dent in addressing the city's housing crisis, the Palo Alto City Council approved on Tuesday morning its largest residential project of the year: a 102-apartment development on San Antonio Road.

By a unanimous vote, the council backed a proposal by 788 SAPA Land LLC to construct a four-story building with 102 apartments and 1,800 square feet of retail at 788 San Antonio Road, near Leghorn Street. The project's residential component consists of 32 studios, 66 one-bedroom units and four two-bedroom units. Sixteen units would be restricted to below-market-rate households.

While the developer plans to offer these units as apartments, the city's approval allows for them to be converted to condominiums at a later time.

"The goal of the project is to serve a range of renters and a range of income levels," said Ted O'Hanlon, who represented the project applicant. "That's both for the inclusionary housing but also for the other renters — or maybe owners — of the property."

"Generally, we are studios and one-bedrooms. … So this will certainly lend itself to single dwellers or perhaps couples."

In supporting the project, the council signaled its desire to both approve a major new housing development for the first time this year and to raise the stature of San Antonio Road as a housing destination. In addition to backing the residential project, the council voted to extend some of the zoning benefits of this project to 16 other properties on the two-block stretch of San Antonio, between Middlefield and Charleston roads, with the goal of attracting additional developments.

By a 4-3 vote, with Vice Mayor Tom DuBois, and council members Eric Filseth and Lydia Kou dissenting, the council established a "housing incentive program" on this stretch of San Antonio, a designation that provides zoning incentives such as density bonuses to housing developers.

The council's action underscored the city's shifting philosophy on housing, particularly on San Antonio. In 2014, council members reluctantly agreed to include the San Antonio Road sites on the city's Housing Element, a state-mandated document that lays out the city's strategies for producing more housing. Council members agreed, however, that San Antonio is only on the list as a placeholder and that the city should eventually shift its housing plans away from San Antonio and toward the more transit-friendly areas of downtown and California Avenue.

To encourage construction in those areas, the city established a new "housing incentive program" that provides density bonuses and relaxes certain zoning standards for residential projects in downtown, around California Avenue and along El Camino Real. To date, however, there have been few takers. The only major residential project that the city has approved in the past two years is Wilton Court, a 59-unit affordable housing development on El Camino, which relied on a different zoning tool — the "affordable housing zone" — to get the necessary zoning concessions. Meanwhile, Palo Alto continues to lag far behind its goal of producing 300 housing units per year.

Given the city's prolonged housing drought, the council is once again expanding its horizons to encompass the commercial area on the city's southern border.

"I think a lot of us over the past few years have hoped that some of our zoning changes would result in housing in downtown and Cal. Ave.," Mayor Adrian Fine said. "That obviously hasn't happened to the extent some of us would have liked, but we are seeing some interest on San Antonio. So I think it's worth extending the HIP (Housing Incentive Program) to these sites on San Antonio."

Vice Mayor Tom DuBois supported the development at 788 San Antonio but was less keen on extending zoning benefits to other San Antonio sites.

"I'm still not convinced that this corner is the best place for housing," DuBois said. "I am concerned that we're going to dump a lot of density on the border of south Palo Alto."

The factors that have prompted the council to previously reject San Antonio as a suitable housing site still apply, DuBois said.

"There's not a lot of community services, there's not a school, there's not really transit," he added.

The biggest resistance to the project came from residents of Greenhouse and Greenhouse 2, condominium communities across the street from the project site. Pamela Harter, who lives in Greenhouse 2, noted that the area has heavy traffic, poor bike amenities and very little public transportation. The Planning and Transportation Commission, which voted in August to approve this project, shared the sentiment and encouraged the council to fund a corridor study for this area.

While the developer and several project supporters touted the project's bike-friendly amenities and its proximity to major employers as significant benefits, Harter said she was "flabbergasted that everyone thinks that this is such an ideal place to bike."

"We don't have any transportation coming up and down the street in terms of buses and there's no bike lanes," Harter said. "People have to dodge bikes on the sidewalk because there's no place for bikes and people to walk."

But the vast majority of the roughly 30 residents who attended the virtual meeting urged the council to approve the project and add much-needed housing units. John Kelley, a housing advocate, suggested that the project can serve as a "strong anchor for more housing in south Palo Alto."

"I think San Antonio is an underappreciated resource in Palo Alto and this project at 788 San Antonio can be an anchor — an anchor tenant if you will for revitalization of higher density housing in Palo Alto," Kelley said.

Former Council member Gail Price, who now serves as board president at Palo Alto Forward, a nonprofit that advocates for more housing, said the project will help the city come closer to meet its regional housing allocations. She also wrote to the council that the project would "demonstrate the viability of the area for new housing."

"Approval of the project and needed zoning changes will send a signal to regional and state agencies that Palo Alto is taking our increased housing goals seriously and providing zoning and incentives to make such housing feasible," Price said.

The zone change would apply to 16 properties that are currently zoned as "service commercial," a designation that typically includes uses such as auto services, motels and appliance stores. The new designation would allow — and encourage — housing by roughly doubling the allowed density for residential projects. The housing program also allows developers to use balcony spaces and rooftops to meet the city's open space requirements.

While some council members lamented the lack of services, Council member Liz Kniss observed that there is one benefit to approving a project at a relatively remote site: little neighborhood resistance.

"Normally we get pushback from people who live close by, who don't want something of that size," Kniss said. "It's kind of a pleasure to not be in somebody's backyard. That makes a big difference."

Kou, who supported the housing development, voted against the extension of the zone change to other areas on San Antonio, saying that the move goes against the city's Comprehensive Plan and its prior housing vision.

"We've just upzoned a lot of these parcels to provide these parcel owners with more profitability," Kou said. "Essentially, what we've done is increase the value of land all around the corridor."

Comments

Worst kind of Nimbyism
Registered user
Mountain View
on Nov 17, 2020 at 11:09 am
Worst kind of Nimbyism, Mountain View
Registered user
on Nov 17, 2020 at 11:09 am
17 people like this

Very true Ms. Kniss. There isn't anybody around to complain about this project because other than the Greenhouses, there are no other neighbors!!! Instead, this complex will be surrounded by car shops, light industrial, and offices.

If Palo Alto is going to shunt all their new housing down to the PA/MV border, how do they plan to provide the necessary services for a community, like a grocery store, schools, and most of all, parks! The nearest green space to this project is across major roads and not walkable.


Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Nov 17, 2020 at 11:52 am
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Nov 17, 2020 at 11:52 am
46 people like this

From the PA Weekly...
>"Seeking to make a small dent in the local housing crisis.."

^A small dent indeed but yet another Legoland eyesore for Palo Alto...along with added traffic gridlock along the San Antonio Road corridor.

The southernmost area of PA is becoming more mundane by the moment.


Actually, Liz...
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 17, 2020 at 12:02 pm
Actually, Liz..., Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Nov 17, 2020 at 12:02 pm
46 people like this

Actually, Liz, please don't mistake silence for not paying attention. We are paying attention, so don't get sloppy and dump inappropriate amounts if housing here because you think it's "refreshing" not to hear opposition. I live in the neighborhood and I haven't opposed this project, though I am concerned about impacts. I am balancing community housing needs vs. these impacts. However, please think carefully how deeply you dive with housing in this poorly supported area of town--and balance any growth with an investment in transportation and community services infrastructure.

Cubberley should be used for schools and services, NOT housing. For once, Council, stick with the agreed plan and follow the Comp Plan. San Antonio is a parking lot at peak hours. Operations at Middlefield and Charleston on San Antonio are a hot mess, and the city has no solutions that I know of.

Also, get the Charleston-Arastradero Plan done. It is the mitigation for the last thousand units that Council approved and were built at this end of town. The city's failure to finish the project in over twenty years does not build trust or confidence in the city's commitment to implement promised mitigations for growth. The most dangerous intersections still have not been touched and STILL lack any bike lanes at all.

I bike... a lot. San Antonio is absolutely NOT bike friendly. Riding along it is dangerous, even for skilled, experienced bicyclist. (Sharrows on San Antonio. Really?!) Getting across San Antonio is not for the faint of heart, even at signalized intersections. It is definitely not an acceptable school route--not that there is school capacity at this end of town to support a lot of additional housing.

Think carefully about what Council does with Cubberley. CM Cormack's push for housing there is a monumentally bad idea--and yet another betrayal of trust. School capacity is going to be a problem as seniors age out and transition to smaller housing units. Their former homes will be filled with new families who will need school capacity that seniors have not been using for decades. Add lots of new housing on top of that, and really, the district's linear enrollment projections aren't worth the paper they're printed on.


Geneva
Registered user
Barron Park
on Nov 17, 2020 at 12:19 pm
Geneva, Barron Park
Registered user
on Nov 17, 2020 at 12:19 pm
37 people like this

Overbuilt apartment complexes. Incompetent and lousy planning all the way around. No consideration give to the public and alternative transportation need to environmentally sustain these developments, let alone infrastructure improvements of roads, bike lanes, recreation sites.
The vacancy rates of all the apartments in this area and all along elcamino have sky rocketed during the pandemic.....and many who live in these locations have left permanently.
None of this development is helping the environment or the climate change crisis. No mention of solar, LEED sustainable construction efforts ......this is thinking like 1960’s. Backward thinking on behalf of the planning dept.


Geneva
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Nov 17, 2020 at 12:21 pm
Geneva, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Nov 17, 2020 at 12:21 pm
11 people like this

Overbuilt apartment complexes. Incompetent planning .No consideration give to the public and alternative transportation need to environmentally sustain these developments, let alone infrastructure improvements of roads, bike lanes, recreation sites.
The vacancy rates of all the apartments in this area and all along elcamino have sky rocketed during the pandemic.....and many who live in these locations have left permanently.
None of this development is helping the environment or the climate change crisis. No mention of solar, LEED sustainable construction efforts ......this is thinking like 1960’s. Backward thinking on behalf of the planning dept.


Becky Sanders
Registered user
Ventura
on Nov 17, 2020 at 12:55 pm
Becky Sanders, Ventura
Registered user
on Nov 17, 2020 at 12:55 pm
29 people like this

Gee Whiz I'm astonished this article did not mention the water table and the impacts of a two story subterranean garage. Man. Wells and pumping all that water at 50 feet. The folks at Save Palo Alto's Groundwater provided so much data about the possible release of latent TCE into the biosphere as well as wreaking havoc on our environment as water wends its way to the Bay. Is this not a problem?


Time to go to court!
Registered user
Downtown North
on Nov 17, 2020 at 1:27 pm
Time to go to court!, Downtown North
Registered user
on Nov 17, 2020 at 1:27 pm
45 people like this

When will this city get serious about human overpopulation and the need for local communities to push back on the developer driven mantra of "more growth" coming out of Sacramento.

It is past time to take SB 35 and all the other pro-growth measures being passed by the state that limit the ability of local communities to control development to court.

We need to form a coalition with other cities that don't want massive overdevelopment and out of control populations and gather the funds to go up against the state mandates. Time to tell pro-development and anti-environmental Sacramento to develop elsewhere.


Oh well.....
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Nov 17, 2020 at 2:10 pm
Oh well....., Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Nov 17, 2020 at 2:10 pm
16 people like this

Not to mention that both properties border or on Federally registered SuperFund sites. Oh well....


Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Nov 17, 2020 at 2:56 pm
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Nov 17, 2020 at 2:56 pm
22 people like this

>"Not to mention that both properties border or on Federally registered SuperFund sites."

^ Was an EIR (environmental impact report) conducted prior to approving this development?

Residing on or adjacent to a Superfund site poses potential human health hazards.

Will the developers be taking preliminary & comprehensive measures to clean-up the tract and will they along with the city assume long-term responsibility for any remaining carcinogens and/or subsequent birth defects?

Is Palo Alto becoming little more than a twisted Monopoly game for fly-by-night developers & complicit local politicians?




San Antonio Parking Lot
Registered user
Palo Verde School
on Nov 17, 2020 at 3:22 pm
San Antonio Parking Lot, Palo Verde School
Registered user
on Nov 17, 2020 at 3:22 pm
27 people like this

Tossing another few hundred trips a day on San Antonio Road sounds like an excellent idea.

BTW...who did the traffic study for this one? Last I heard, San Antonio Road is beyond capacity for more than 4 hours a day.


Amie
Registered user
Downtown North
on Nov 17, 2020 at 3:43 pm
Amie, Downtown North
Registered user
on Nov 17, 2020 at 3:43 pm
8 people like this

Way to do the right thing Council well at least part of the council. I believe in a Palo Alto for more people and income groups. This project makes us stronger and better as a community. We are way beyond a little inconvenience for drivers, how fast you can drive down a road seems like a sad measure of quality of life anyway.

This city needs thousands of units, not hundreds. Build more, small units with limited parking please. Lots more!


Sheri
Registered user
Midtown
on Nov 17, 2020 at 3:47 pm
Sheri, Midtown
Registered user
on Nov 17, 2020 at 3:47 pm
16 people like this

"We've just upzoned a lot of these parcels to provide these parcel owners with more profitability," Kou said. "Essentially, what we've done is increase the value of land all around the corridor."

Which makes it even harder to create non-market rate housing, which is what Palo Alto sorely lacks in its housing goals. We give lip service to "affordable housing," but then making these kinds of zoning changes that fundamentally preclude such housing. Those 15% sops just won't cut it.


Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Nov 17, 2020 at 4:04 pm
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Nov 17, 2020 at 4:04 pm
24 people like this

>"I believe in a Palo Alto for more people and income groups...This city needs thousands of units, not hundreds. Build more, small units with limited parking please. Lots more!"

^ About 25,000+ additional 'small' units contained within larger Legoland high-rise complexes throughout the city & renting for around $1750.00/month max should do the trick.

The question is...who among current residents would want to live here anymore?


Duveneck
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 17, 2020 at 4:12 pm
Duveneck, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Nov 17, 2020 at 4:12 pm
15 people like this

102 apartments--32 studios, 66 one-bedroom units, 4 two-bedroom units. Not only are 16 units too few to set aside for below-market housing, but my guess is that those units won't be either the 2-bedroom units or many of the one-bedroom units. What is going to be the distribution and how far below-market will those units be? Once converted to condos, it is unlikely that those needing below-market housing will be among those able to afford one of those condos--and the below-market problem would resurrect itself.


ralphc
Registered user
The Greenhouse
on Nov 17, 2020 at 4:18 pm
ralphc, The Greenhouse
Registered user
on Nov 17, 2020 at 4:18 pm
28 people like this

As usual with our Council Agendas, the 7pm the actual issues under discussion occurred from 9pm to 11+ at which point I'd quit watching and gone to bed. But not before Ms. Kniss painted a charming picture for Palo Alto's San Antonio Road ala Mountain View's towering 7 story metropolis, ignoring the fact of our narrow street with essential street-side parking vs theirs twice wide and no street-side parking. Then the council disregarded the little matter of it's environmental review process forgetting to consider it's 2nd level underground garage and the ongoing aquifer nightmare which has already caused settling problems to local buildings (including ours). Oh yes, and the Council is pleased that local residents have stopped complaining much -- hardly a surprise after fruitless efforts during a four year loosing campaign over the two new Marriot hotels arisen across the street! Has the Council read PAN letters telling it to stand up to impossible demands for more hosing than is possible. Palo Alto is surrounded by barriers on all four sides, not the least of which is spacious Stanford, 101 and neighboring Cities. We're not alone. It is not Palo Alto's fault that our property values are high.
Once the additional now re-zoned rental 400 sq. ft 1-bedroom apartment properties are added to San Antonio, pressed right against the street, with absolute minimal parking, no bike lanes, no green space, or public transportation, we can be glad we've done our part to dump a bit more of the problem on our southeastern border.


Citizen PA
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2020 at 1:07 am
Citizen PA, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Nov 18, 2020 at 1:07 am
21 people like this

"Liz Kniss observed that there is one benefit to approving a project at a relatively remote site"

Remote? For whom? Don't you just love what a NIMBY Liz Kniss is -- by the true definition, she's happy to keep overdeveloping "remote" crowded South Palo Alto because it's not her backyard, and she's even stated publicly that she has ZERO idea about the traffic here already.

I think she means remote as in the distance she looks down her nose at those of us who don't live in the wealthier neighborhoods of the North (where they have most of the amenities all of us pay for -- remote for us, given the prepandemic traffic).


Citizen PA
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2020 at 1:08 am
Citizen PA, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Nov 18, 2020 at 1:08 am
20 people like this

Challenge to Liz Kniss: rezone your actual backyard first.


Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Nov 18, 2020 at 8:07 am
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Nov 18, 2020 at 8:07 am
26 people like this

>"Ms. Kniss painted a charming picture for Palo Alto's San Antonio Road ala Mountain View's towering 7 story metropolis,"

^ Charming? What an embellishment.

Was Ms. Kniss a residential real estate agent in another life?


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 18, 2020 at 10:52 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Nov 18, 2020 at 10:52 am
7 people like this

In your planning you need to include parking for your residents. In the current situation in South PA we have people from JCC and Oshmen directed to park in residential locations so there is more room for the "visitors" to their locations. Unfortunately the people who park here leave trash and fast food wrappers. And now leaving tissue and toilet paper. UGH!!!!! Double UGH!!!!!

I told one parker that his license plate is being recorded and if he leaves any trash than he will be reported for leaving trash. He can be penalized for that.
So all of you "parkers" and people who tell someone to park anywhere but in front of their house or place of business then your parker's behavior - which you appear to have no control over -is going to be reported.

Get your planning in process because if you contemplate any overflow to your projects then you will be on the hot seat along with the trash people. And do not assume that any one living on San Antonio is going to be on bicycles - as been pointed out that street in that location is a jam packed road rage location. That is not a bicycle friendly location.


Here SInce 1979
Registered user
Green Acres
on Nov 18, 2020 at 12:22 pm
Here SInce 1979, Green Acres
Registered user
on Nov 18, 2020 at 12:22 pm
15 people like this

Again, where is the water going to come from? I've lived through 3 major droughts and they weren't fun. Currently we are very close to another drought due to below average rainfall.

Water is finite. We could try to make a pact with other states to get water from them, except in the last drought they backed out of the contract because they were in trouble as well.

So which one of the developers is willing to forgo their share of the water when the next drought hits?


Jonathan Brown
Registered user
Ventura
on Nov 25, 2020 at 3:43 pm
Jonathan Brown, Ventura
Registered user
on Nov 25, 2020 at 3:43 pm
5 people like this

If this underground garage works here with all the water issues, there should be no issue whatsoever with tunneling the tracks.


Liz Gardner
Registered user
Mayfield
on Nov 28, 2020 at 2:43 pm
Liz Gardner, Mayfield
Registered user
on Nov 28, 2020 at 2:43 pm
2 people like this

I was astounded that Council member Tanaka was draconian and austere in his push back on sized of 4 two bedroom apartments on this site. He kept signaling a stack and pack mentality. As if a family (low-income) should not have any more floor space than the lining of thier nil bank accounts. Shame. All people deserve to live with a reasonable amount of space to grow and become. No. We are not a Swiss micro city and not a European mentality either. It's taken them Centuries of living small in all of its development. Besides Europe provides for their citizens better than we do, in many ways we cannot fathom. When we start comparing our housing to Europe we have just shot down housing altogether. Just like we do with with a comparison to thier Healthcare and mass train transit.


Liz Gardner
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Nov 28, 2020 at 2:50 pm
Liz Gardner, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Nov 28, 2020 at 2:50 pm
2 people like this

At "San Antonio Parking Lot". I am assuming you support abolishing exclusionary zoning / Red Lining ? That's what is sounds like with your post. Until the City gets rid of exclusionary zoning, San Antonio is its best bet for providing housing for those who already live here. Its only a very thin margin of what's needed in the housing column. As long as the City of PA ignores that we are well into the 21st Century, gets real and stops pandering to single home ownership, fluffing and supporting prop 13 tax breaks, only then will progress prevail. Hello State of Calif, goodbye austere, racist like housing measures at the very people who float the wealth economy here.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 29, 2020 at 10:16 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Nov 29, 2020 at 10:16 am
3 people like this

Liz are you going to provide WOKE tutoring to anyone who is listening? What is your JOB? Who is your employer? Put your self in a nicely defined category of special interest so your responses can be qualified as to intent.

The first priority in this narrow piece of land is JOBS. And SU occupies a major section here and does their own thing. If you want to WOKE them then go sit in their employment office. As to the rest of us we are here because we have jobs that are specific to the IT world - Hi-Tech. The locations that need housing are in SJ and SF - locations that have a larger variety of economic opportunities. That is where the Opportunity Zones are. We are not an opportunity zone unless you have a job - or the qualifications for a job in this area. And by qualifications I mean white, Asian, or black. Your educational focus and degrees. That is what we do here. More housing means nothing if you do not have a job here.
The whole story line starts with a JOB. Then location, Then Housing. We already know that - we know where the jobs are, where the housing for those jobs are. WE know who is hiring, where they are hiring, and for the most part that is in the San Jose area and South SF area. So that is where the housing needs to go and people who want jobs need to go.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 2, 2020 at 1:55 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2020 at 1:55 pm
3 people like this

Sam Liccardo was interviewed by Fox News today concerning HP which is moving to Houston. Sam indicated that the high cost of housing was an issue. Isn't HP in SRP - Palo Alto?

Then he said that they need to build more housing for the homeless.

The people at HP are high level tech people. Building more homes for the homeless is disconnected from the people moving to Houston. How about the high tax rate? How about the poor management at the state level?

On national TV a total disconnect between cause and effect. Sam - build the houses for the homeless on all of that Open Land in San Jose and going south to Gilroy.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Dec 2, 2020 at 2:17 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2020 at 2:17 pm
3 people like this

An HP recruiter I know has been complaining for years if not decades about how it's impossible to recruit high-level techies for jobs here when the housing costs keep soaring BECAUSE of the jobs / housing imbalance.

You don't have to be a genius to know that if you keep adding 4 times as many jobs vs housing units you'll have 4 times the competition for housing which pushes up the cost of housing.

Naturally the highly paid Build Baby Build crew will keep denying the obvious as they keep pushing for dense small housing units DURING a pandemic in spite of the fact that all the real estate articles talk about the move AWAY from that type of housing to bigger, more remote homes.

As for the growing number of homeless, some honesty about the proliferation of poorly paid gig workers with no benefits, no sick days etc. would be special. Housing the homeless in hotels is costing San Francisco close to $8,000 a month -- which gets pushed off to us the taxpayers.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
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Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 2, 2020 at 8:44 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2020 at 8:44 pm
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There is a food fight in Milpitas where the city wants to buy a hotel for the homeless and the neighbors say no way. Not in their neighborhood. So if any one is accusing us of being exclusionary it is a general trait across the board.

They have also talked about putting some homeless at the San Jose Fair grounds. That is a good idea. Except groups that rent buildings there say no way - if you put homeless in they will never leave and they cannot rent those buildings for their events. Their events are probably not going to take place and you have to house them during the cold, rainy months. Yes - it is a predicament. The San Jose area in general has more large, warehouse type buildings - many which are now empty.

Palo Alto does not have much in the way of large warehouse type buildings. We are not the answer to this problem. The problem has to be solved in the lower county area that has a lot of open land.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 3, 2020 at 11:29 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Dec 3, 2020 at 11:29 am
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Back to HP = story in today's papers today is that HP will consolidate a number of their activities in north San Jose. They expect up to 1,000 workers growing to 2,300 in that location.

Okay North San Jose - you are now the major "Opportunity Zone" for Santa Clara County. So you can add all of those workers along with the Google growth in that city. Next time someone comes along and tells you that WE HAVE A REQUIREMENT to build more housing here then tell then that the algorithm relative to jobs and housing keeps shifting with the speed of light and they - the State ABAG people - cannot keep up with the surge of the population moving to the North San Jose Area. That is where the new building is going on - the new apartments, new housing.

Read the Real estate Section of the paper - new apartments, new housing - it is all going up in the south end of the county.


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