News

City Council clashes over appointments to new housing panel

Vice mayor calls process 'inappropriate' as four colleagues vote as a bloc

A bicyclist rides past the Park Plaza apartments at 195 Page Mill Road in Palo Alto, a mixed-use development that features 82 apartments above office space. Embarcadero Media file photo by Veronica Weber.

Palo Alto's effort to craft a new housing vision got off to a rocky start Monday with the City Council at odds over appointments to a new citizens panel before approving the roster through a partisan process and a razor-thin vote.

With the council's recently empowered "residentialist" wing pitted against the rest of their colleagues, the elected leaders appointed the new Housing Element Working Group by a 4-3 vote, with Vice Mayor Pat Burt and council members Alison Cormack and Greg Tanaka dissenting. The group, which consists of 15 members and two alternates, will be charged with drafting Palo Alto's Housing Element, a state-mandated document that will lay out the city's strategies for boosting its housing supply and identify potential sites for new residential developments.

For those in dissent, the biggest problem was the appointment process. Faced with 80 applicants for the 17 positions, as well as specific criteria for membership, council members had different ideas about who should fill these spots. Any substantive discussion of the group's roster was curtailed, however, when three council members — Mayor Tom Dubois and council members Eric Filseth and Greer Stone — presented a list of their preferred appointments that they had put together over the weekend. Council member Lydia Kou, who frequently aligns with DuBois, Filseth and Stone on the council's slow-growth wing, added her vote to their list, giving them the majority that they needed to advance it.

The 15 members who were appointed to the panel are Anupa Bajwa, Sheena Chin, Aishetu Fatima Dozie, Hamilton Hitchings, Rahsan Hosqur Karahan, Kathryn Jordan, Arthur Keller, Sheryl Klein, Ed Lauing, Jennifer Liu, Pat Markevitch, Keith Reckdahl, Jean Snider, Jessenia Solorio and Randolph Tsien. The two alternates are Jessica von Borck and Dina Bartello. Consistent with the council's prior direction, members include representatives from an affordable housing provider (Klein of Alta Housing), Stanford University (Snider), as well as residents who are renters, school and community volunteers and neighborhood leaders.

Notably missing from the final list are any residents who have publicly supported state legislation that would have relaxed zoning rules in single-family neighborhoods. Raven Malone and Steven Lee, who both ran for council last year, did not get appointed. Neither did Stephen Levy, an economist who helps regional organizations develop housing methodology, nor Angie Evans, who works with Palo Alto Forward . Planning Director Jonathan Lait observed that the list also does not include any market-rate housing developers — an omission that none of the four supporters of the final list deemed to be problematic.

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"I don't think there's a problem with representation and market-rate developers," Kou said. "They know their way around."

Those in the council's dissenting camp acknowledged that there is no easy way to make real-time appointments, given the size of the applicant pool. Burt called it the "strongest group of applicants I've ever seen for any board commission, advisory body that we've had in Palo Alto." But while he said that he would likely have supported some of the candidates that DuBois, Filseth and Stone brought forward for consideration, he took issue with the take-it-or-leave-it tactics of his three colleagues.

"I think you pushed us into a circumstance where the rest of us will have to offer substitute motions that will probably fail and you're insisting that we vote up or down on your list," Burt said. "And I think this is really wrong."

Filseth said that he, DuBois and Stone had spent considerable time prior to the meeting going over each applicant's background and checking, among other areas, their social media posts to evaluate whether they would be a good fit for the group. DuBois said he was looking for "tone and civility and thoughtfulness" as key criteria in choosing candidates. Filseth said the group looked at the creation of the Housing Element as a "problem-solving exercise" that will consider each part of the city and its suitability for housing growth.

"This is an area where there's a lot of passion and advocacy around this," Filseth said. "But we viewed it that when you kind of set aside all the eloquence, the task itself is really an analytic thing. … It's about optimizing pragmatically within a fairly stringent set of constraints."

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Burt and Cormack strongly objected and tried to modify the list by adding other candidates that they should be considered, with the hope that the council would then vote on each candidate. Among the candidates they had tried to add to the list were Malone, architect Jessica Resmini, who specializes in accessory dwelling units, and Cara Silver, a Midtown resident and former assistant city attorney. Tanaka also proposed adding Levy to the roster, citing his expertise in economic modeling.

But with DuBois, Filseth, Kou and Stone holding firm, all attempts to modify the list or change the appointment process fell by a 3-4 vote.

Cormack joined Burt in strongly rebuking the way in which her colleagues went about constructing and presenting the list, including their use of social media posts as criteria for making appointments.

"I don't think this is a balanced list of people. … I just feel like we're been presented with a list that three people worked on," Cormack said.

Burt similarly argued that it's not right for three candidates to "do the thinking for all of us and limit the options to those that you had selected as a committee."

"You weren't given the mandate and yet you acted that way and it's coming to the council," Burt told DuBois, Filseth and Stone. "And I think it's inappropriate."

The new panel will hold its first meeting on May 6, with the goal of completing the Housing Element for the 2023-2031 period by October 2022.

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City Council clashes over appointments to new housing panel

Vice mayor calls process 'inappropriate' as four colleagues vote as a bloc

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Apr 6, 2021, 11:47 am

Palo Alto's effort to craft a new housing vision got off to a rocky start Monday with the City Council at odds over appointments to a new citizens panel before approving the roster through a partisan process and a razor-thin vote.

With the council's recently empowered "residentialist" wing pitted against the rest of their colleagues, the elected leaders appointed the new Housing Element Working Group by a 4-3 vote, with Vice Mayor Pat Burt and council members Alison Cormack and Greg Tanaka dissenting. The group, which consists of 15 members and two alternates, will be charged with drafting Palo Alto's Housing Element, a state-mandated document that will lay out the city's strategies for boosting its housing supply and identify potential sites for new residential developments.

For those in dissent, the biggest problem was the appointment process. Faced with 80 applicants for the 17 positions, as well as specific criteria for membership, council members had different ideas about who should fill these spots. Any substantive discussion of the group's roster was curtailed, however, when three council members — Mayor Tom Dubois and council members Eric Filseth and Greer Stone — presented a list of their preferred appointments that they had put together over the weekend. Council member Lydia Kou, who frequently aligns with DuBois, Filseth and Stone on the council's slow-growth wing, added her vote to their list, giving them the majority that they needed to advance it.

The 15 members who were appointed to the panel are Anupa Bajwa, Sheena Chin, Aishetu Fatima Dozie, Hamilton Hitchings, Rahsan Hosqur Karahan, Kathryn Jordan, Arthur Keller, Sheryl Klein, Ed Lauing, Jennifer Liu, Pat Markevitch, Keith Reckdahl, Jean Snider, Jessenia Solorio and Randolph Tsien. The two alternates are Jessica von Borck and Dina Bartello. Consistent with the council's prior direction, members include representatives from an affordable housing provider (Klein of Alta Housing), Stanford University (Snider), as well as residents who are renters, school and community volunteers and neighborhood leaders.

Notably missing from the final list are any residents who have publicly supported state legislation that would have relaxed zoning rules in single-family neighborhoods. Raven Malone and Steven Lee, who both ran for council last year, did not get appointed. Neither did Stephen Levy, an economist who helps regional organizations develop housing methodology, nor Angie Evans, who works with Palo Alto Forward . Planning Director Jonathan Lait observed that the list also does not include any market-rate housing developers — an omission that none of the four supporters of the final list deemed to be problematic.

"I don't think there's a problem with representation and market-rate developers," Kou said. "They know their way around."

Those in the council's dissenting camp acknowledged that there is no easy way to make real-time appointments, given the size of the applicant pool. Burt called it the "strongest group of applicants I've ever seen for any board commission, advisory body that we've had in Palo Alto." But while he said that he would likely have supported some of the candidates that DuBois, Filseth and Stone brought forward for consideration, he took issue with the take-it-or-leave-it tactics of his three colleagues.

"I think you pushed us into a circumstance where the rest of us will have to offer substitute motions that will probably fail and you're insisting that we vote up or down on your list," Burt said. "And I think this is really wrong."

Filseth said that he, DuBois and Stone had spent considerable time prior to the meeting going over each applicant's background and checking, among other areas, their social media posts to evaluate whether they would be a good fit for the group. DuBois said he was looking for "tone and civility and thoughtfulness" as key criteria in choosing candidates. Filseth said the group looked at the creation of the Housing Element as a "problem-solving exercise" that will consider each part of the city and its suitability for housing growth.

"This is an area where there's a lot of passion and advocacy around this," Filseth said. "But we viewed it that when you kind of set aside all the eloquence, the task itself is really an analytic thing. … It's about optimizing pragmatically within a fairly stringent set of constraints."

Burt and Cormack strongly objected and tried to modify the list by adding other candidates that they should be considered, with the hope that the council would then vote on each candidate. Among the candidates they had tried to add to the list were Malone, architect Jessica Resmini, who specializes in accessory dwelling units, and Cara Silver, a Midtown resident and former assistant city attorney. Tanaka also proposed adding Levy to the roster, citing his expertise in economic modeling.

But with DuBois, Filseth, Kou and Stone holding firm, all attempts to modify the list or change the appointment process fell by a 3-4 vote.

Cormack joined Burt in strongly rebuking the way in which her colleagues went about constructing and presenting the list, including their use of social media posts as criteria for making appointments.

"I don't think this is a balanced list of people. … I just feel like we're been presented with a list that three people worked on," Cormack said.

Burt similarly argued that it's not right for three candidates to "do the thinking for all of us and limit the options to those that you had selected as a committee."

"You weren't given the mandate and yet you acted that way and it's coming to the council," Burt told DuBois, Filseth and Stone. "And I think it's inappropriate."

The new panel will hold its first meeting on May 6, with the goal of completing the Housing Element for the 2023-2031 period by October 2022.

Comments

Angie
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Apr 6, 2021 at 12:56 pm
Angie, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Apr 6, 2021 at 12:56 pm

I just want to make one point of clarification. I do not consult for the renters association. There is no funding for the all volunteer group managed by an eight person steering committee. I asked the city to correct this and unfortunately it does not look like that correction went out.


Resident
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2021 at 2:20 pm
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Apr 6, 2021 at 2:20 pm

You do get paid by Palo Alto Forward though, correct?


Angie
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Apr 6, 2021 at 2:47 pm
Angie, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Apr 6, 2021 at 2:47 pm

@resident correct. I do get paid by Palo Alto Forward for outreach work, largely to increase underrepresented voices in housing. We are a 501c3 funded by member donations and philanthropic grants. I'm always open to sharing more about my work, other nonprofits I've consulted for, or my academic background. My email address is [email protected] I do not want to go back and forth with people making ugly comments so I won't be reading any new comments on this article, however you're welcome to email me if you'd like to talk more.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 6, 2021 at 2:48 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Apr 6, 2021 at 2:48 pm
Resident
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2021 at 2:56 pm
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Apr 6, 2021 at 2:56 pm

Also, you did recently delete some social media posts supporting Kelsey Banes’ Peninsula for Everyone flyers comparing Palo Alto’s single family home owners to Trump-supporting white-supremacist gun enthusiasts, correct?


Judith Schwartz
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Apr 6, 2021 at 3:00 pm
Judith Schwartz, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Apr 6, 2021 at 3:00 pm

Given the amount of interest in this subject matter, it seems like the applicants who were not chosen to be on the panel, as well as others who would like to participate, should be invited to form the nucleus of an online research panel and participate in community co-design activities. The selection will only be a problem if all the other voices are shut out.


Resident
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2021 at 3:01 pm
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Apr 6, 2021 at 3:01 pm
Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2021 at 4:37 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Apr 6, 2021 at 4:37 pm

The list of names means little to me although I do recognize some names.

What would interest me most is to know whether these people are homeowners or renters and how long they have officially resided in Palo Alto.

It takes more than a year or so living here to be able to fully see the Palo Alto those of us who have been here for many years, have had children in the local schools, have been part of the community and have weathered some of the Palo Alto storms.


Paly02
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Apr 6, 2021 at 4:42 pm
Paly02, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Apr 6, 2021 at 4:42 pm

Isn't this not allowed by the Brown Act? Someone can feel free to correct me here


felix
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2021 at 4:42 pm
felix, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Apr 6, 2021 at 4:42 pm

Advice to Angie Evans - stop shooting yourself in the foot.
No one mentioned you getting paid for your renter gig - you’re the one who brought that up.
And you made sure everyone reading this knew you were in the pay of Palo Alto Forward.
But what’s odd is that you didn’t let the City know you were when it asked for your employment on your Housing Element Application (pg 114 of the applications). Instructions are clear but you left it blank, indicating unemployed or retired.
No wonder you were not chosen.

As to those whom I know, chosen for this committee (many I don’t), they are smart and dedicated. Several have a lot of relevant knowledge. Arthur Keller was a much praised co-chair of the Comp-plan committee who has deep knowledge. I like the diversity.



Alex
Registered user
Barron Park
on Apr 6, 2021 at 4:54 pm
Alex, Barron Park
Registered user
on Apr 6, 2021 at 4:54 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 6, 2021 at 5:18 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Apr 6, 2021 at 5:18 pm

Many articles in the papers about housing in the CA coastal strip. Many very large investment firms are now focusing on single family housing as an investment. Single family housing in R-1 designated locations in the city is highly desirable. Yet the CA legislators from SF - Weiner and Chiu are working with a vengeance to eliminate it. They are preoccupied with dismantling that city set-up. Their city - SF- is the one that is not benefiting from the insurgence of the real estate market growth. Their business brain orientation runs backwards to what people want and are investing in now..
We saw that in the last election period - people ran on destructing the current use of R-1 neighborhood designations. Using every tactic to make a point, including racial inequality. Sorry - not applicable and not going to work.
A lot of big money at work here behind the scenes.
We are meeting our goals - lots of apartments are going up in the designated sections - San Antonio section, Caltrain section, ECR section. We are doing good here. This is what the city voted for.


ALB
Registered user
College Terrace
on Apr 6, 2021 at 5:50 pm
ALB, College Terrace
Registered user
on Apr 6, 2021 at 5:50 pm

I want to commend Mayor Tom DuBois, Lydia Kou, Greer Stone and Eric Filseth for thoughtfully examining the many applicants' cvs and choosing a sharp and experienced roster for the housing element group. These four council members expedited the process because after careful reflection chose a diverse and
experienced group to work on the city's pressing housing issues.


Jerry Underdal
Registered user
Barron Park
on Apr 6, 2021 at 6:47 pm
Jerry Underdal, Barron Park
Registered user
on Apr 6, 2021 at 6:47 pm

Regarding the Brown Act question, my understanding is that because the number of participants (3) was not a majority of the seven member council it would not be considered a Brown Act violation.


Palo Alto Resident
Registered user
Downtown North
on Apr 6, 2021 at 8:24 pm
Palo Alto Resident, Downtown North
Registered user
on Apr 6, 2021 at 8:24 pm

I'm confused, what was the problem? A like-minded group of council members got together (less than a quorum, so perfectly fine) and worked out their preferred approach. It was a task that would have been a mess without some starting proposal - how can they sort through 80 candidates in a formal council session? All council members had a chance to change the slate, by amending the original motion and getting a majority to agree - it sounds like they couldn't muster a majority, so they failed. Oh well - that's how democracy works.

Next time, maybe another group will put together a straw man and earn a majority. Or they can think ahead, and appoint an ad-hoc committee to do the initial work. But don't belly ache because other members hustled and did their job.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 6, 2021 at 8:33 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Apr 6, 2021 at 8:33 pm

Major cities like SF, Oakland, San Jose, LA have to wrestle with their housing issues from a big city POV. They have a role to play. They have a big tax base and different income sources to manage - airports, ship ports, rail central connections.

Suburban cities have a role to play as locations for family growth. Do not confuse the two. Different tax bases, different roles to play, different city functions.

People from the major cities trying to legislate the whole state population does not make sense. And you have to question their motivation, state of mind, and connections to big money. There is no benefit to the state in total by their actions.


rita vrhel
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Apr 6, 2021 at 8:44 pm
rita vrhel, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Apr 6, 2021 at 8:44 pm

Wait! Did i miss something?

Voters soundly rejected the PRO-GROWTH candidates patterning themselves after Wolbach, Kniss, Fine, et all.

NONE of the "progressive" Democratic ticket candidates were chosen by VOTERS to be on the City Council. Every candidate endorsed by Fine, failed in a democratic process.

So after years of 5-4 or 4-3 pro-growth votes, there is now concern, even outrage when the tide has turned? Seems again like a democratic process. It is rich with Allison complaining of being in the minority when she had no problem being in the majority, and consistently voting in a block.

Honestly, some of the names on the applicant list are so pro-development any sense of a reasonable discussion would be questionable.

The majority has spoken; a democratic process. Works for me.


Resident
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2021 at 9:13 pm
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Apr 6, 2021 at 9:13 pm

“I do get paid by Palo Alto Forward for outreach work, largely to increase underrepresented voices”

Paid to increase those voices … where? Presumably in political and Policy bodies such as city councils and state legislatures? Similar to the job description, “lobbyist.”


Paly02
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Apr 6, 2021 at 9:36 pm
Paly02, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Apr 6, 2021 at 9:36 pm

Thank you, Jerry, I appreciate the clarification


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 7, 2021 at 4:51 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Apr 7, 2021 at 4:51 am

Yes - we have the "residents" pop in with well-written opinions and go down to city hall to beat on their heads. And they change their designated city location as they travel down this road - some times in the same blog. And they actually display disgust that what ever they are selling was not taken up by city Hall.

Time to start making a chart on all of the aspirational POV's to track who is funding what POV's. I start with the SFC since Mr. Weiner influences their opinion pieces. The SJM/BAN likes to interject the NYT opinion writers. At least they include the LA Times writers who come in with a different POV. A lot of the POV's have very big money behind them.

Big money is staging a lot of activity so need to pay attention to what direction they are trying to push on this relatively small suburban city. Comments we are seeing from people who do not live in this city are very telling as to who tracking their "investments".


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 7, 2021 at 5:29 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Apr 7, 2021 at 5:29 am

@Resident1-Adobe Meadows, exactly re the long-standing tactics. On the one hand, in the suburbs they preach density as a solution to "racism" and on the other they're destroying ethnic and minority neighborhoods when they're really pushing gentrification for the deep-pocketed backers.

We all remember the articles/newscasts about the anger in SF at the Google buses and destruction of neighborhoods around the time Mr. Weiner was getting started.

Fascinating article on their backing by high-tech and their angry tactics.
Web Link


Local Resident
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 7, 2021 at 8:17 am
Local Resident, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Apr 7, 2021 at 8:17 am

One correction to the article: "Notably missing from the final list are any candidates who are affiliated with Palo Alto Forward"

Actually Sheryl Klein is on the board of Palo Alto Forward and was appointed.


Gennady Sheyner
Registered user
Palo Alto Weekly staff writer
on Apr 7, 2021 at 8:22 am
Gennady Sheyner, Palo Alto Weekly staff writer
Registered user
on Apr 7, 2021 at 8:22 am

@Local Resident. You are right. Sorry for the error, which I corrected. Thank you.


anon1234
Registered user
College Terrace
on Apr 7, 2021 at 8:37 am
anon1234, College Terrace
Registered user
on Apr 7, 2021 at 8:37 am

I think the Cc purposely appointed a lot of people that have no leadership affiliation with PAF and other such groups, on purpose to achieve balance.
The only PAF leaders I noticed among the eighty applicants were Steve levy and Angie Evans both of whom are paid by advocates
For big growth so have a built in bias.
Must have been hard to whittle down the list but I think the resulting group will offer a variety of thoughtful viewpoints. Hopefully more of the group will remain engaged in the process than the membership in the NVCAP which suffered from a declining participation from the members as timer went on.
Let’s hope that the staff does not micro manage the process and control the outcome as they did with The NVCAP process.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 7, 2021 at 8:45 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Apr 7, 2021 at 8:45 am

In today's SJM/BAN 04/07 - "Homeless Advocates criticize council for inaction on housing". I am noting:
1. Comparison to other cities - MV - which has a different city set-up relative to Shoreline Park and Moffett Field. The criticism simply compares the funding allocated to projects - not the available land. Has anyone compared us to Los Altos? Picking and choosing without clarification. The tax base of the cities is totally ignored - a critical factor.
2. Church parking lots - always in the Middlefield section of South PA. There are church parking lots on Alma in South PA. There are church parking lots in north PA. Why are the churches on Middlefield targeted? That focus is questionable. The lots on Alma are out of the way and not infringing on residential streets. A better choice.
3. Do the complainers run down to the newspaper and ask for stories that include their names? Or does the SJM seek these people out?

Bottom line is that these newspaper articles are insulting due to incomplete comparison and facts.


Jason Whitman
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Apr 7, 2021 at 9:14 am
Jason Whitman, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Apr 7, 2021 at 9:14 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 7, 2021 at 11:59 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Apr 7, 2021 at 11:59 am

I have seen this sentiment before by another Crescent Park resident. Has Lee flown the coop? As pointed out before the majority of the SRP buildings are south of Oregon Expressway. Does that mean that SU is it's own entity and not considered North PA?
Just asking.


Carol Scott
Registered user
Evergreen Park
on Apr 7, 2021 at 12:30 pm
Carol Scott, Evergreen Park
Registered user
on Apr 7, 2021 at 12:30 pm

I strongly approve of the composition of this new group. It is time that residents define what they want our city to be — and then seek the parties that can best help us implement that vision. Developers who, by and large, do not live in Palo Alto, are not ‘stakeholders’ on par with residents (voters). They are only interested in making as much money as possible. They are not community members who will live with the consequences.

There is nothing to prevent this group of quite thoughtful and talented residents from seeking the advice and counsel of any other group that will be helpful to them. In fact, I am sure they will.

Good job, Council. To the Council members who are crying foul because of a 4-3 vote, please take a look at the last four years when they had the majority. So many 4-3 decisions without a bit of remorse. I think the voters spoke loudly in the last election, and everyone on the Council should listen. If pro-growth advocates want to lead, they need to find ways to communicate with the rest of us and work with us to find a solution we can all support.


community member
Registered user
University South
on Apr 7, 2021 at 12:55 pm
community member, University South
Registered user
on Apr 7, 2021 at 12:55 pm

>Vice Mayor Pat Burt and council members Alison Cormack and Greg Tanaka dissenting.<

Finally Pat Burt votes his real values, supporting development, and supporting developers.
Or, maybe he saw a parade that didn't choose him as their leader and that was upsetting
The list is an excellent representation of this community, with knowledgeable and experienced people. Cheers to our advocates for fairness and representation.


Jason Whitman
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Apr 7, 2021 at 1:22 pm
Jason Whitman, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Apr 7, 2021 at 1:22 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


mjh
Registered user
College Terrace
on Apr 7, 2021 at 2:28 pm
mjh, College Terrace
Registered user
on Apr 7, 2021 at 2:28 pm

Gennady Sheyner writes,

"Notably missing from the final list are any residents who have publicly supported state legislation that would have relaxed zoning rules in single-family neighborhoods."

Gennady, is this an accurate statement?

Since relaxing R-1 zoning is one of Palo Alto Forward's goals, if not the main goal, how likely is it that PAF would appoint Sheryl Kleiner to a PAF leadership position if she has not publicly advocated for relaxing R-1 zoning to allow at a minimum duplexes?

And if Sheryl Kleiner has publicly advocated for relaxing R-1 zoning rules, then your statement could be construed as trying to misrepresent the intent of the council members who supported her appointment to the group.


Art Liberman
Registered user
Barron Park
on Apr 7, 2021 at 9:37 pm
Art Liberman, Barron Park
Registered user
on Apr 7, 2021 at 9:37 pm

Petulant Pat. The scene of Pat Burt complaining about majority decision of the Council that he didn’t like was unfortunate, unpleasant and undignified. And his comment, calling a majority Council process of selecting members for the Housing Element Working Group “inappropriate” is itself inappropriate. It’s as though Burt believes that only his views can possibly be correct, so that those who disagree with him are necessarily wrong . To this, I say to Pat Burt what you said to Mayor DeBois: "And I think this is really wrong."


tmp
Registered user
Downtown North
on Apr 7, 2021 at 10:47 pm
tmp, Downtown North
Registered user
on Apr 7, 2021 at 10:47 pm

I'm glad that Mayor Tom DuBois, Lydia Kou, Greer Stone and Eric Filseth saved the city's residents untold hours of useless bickering and instead adopted a group that had been carefully vetted and selected to represent a cross section of parties interested in PA development. No they didn't choose the loud mouths or the crazy "ban single family housing" types, but they do have development interests and renters and moderate types in the mix for this committee.

Going through a list of 80 candidates and looking at their qualifications and their interests took time and effort and was done by a small committee of the council. They did a great job and their overall committee composition is balanced. Only those council people with favorite political appointees (Cormack) or those who think they have to comment on every decision to make it relevant (Burt) are whining.

Good detailed work by a small group to get the job done. We need more of this type of work.


Name hidden
Downtown North

Registered user
on Apr 7, 2021 at 11:02 pm
Name hidden, Downtown North

Registered user
on Apr 7, 2021 at 11:02 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


Carol Scott
Registered user
Evergreen Park
on Apr 7, 2021 at 11:17 pm
Carol Scott, Evergreen Park
Registered user
on Apr 7, 2021 at 11:17 pm

The focus here should be on the quality of the individuals selected to serve on this commission. Haven’t heard any of the opposition say that the people who were supported by the majority of the Council are not qualified, are biased one way or the other, or are otherwise poor choices.


Native to the BAY
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Apr 8, 2021 at 12:47 am
Native to the BAY, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Apr 8, 2021 at 12:47 am

This was the worst, egregious, highly suspect un-transparent “uncompetitive” process I have witness in this city. No public notice, as far as I know. No extended app deadline because of Pandemic emergency. CC used a “select” invitational email list only. If you were not on this special list, one had to beg, borrow and practically steal to get a hold of the application. Fully paid city staff & working from home, out right ignored emails, voice mails messages. Both the planning and city managers office w no follow up with resident inquires. The entire CC has been in violation of the Brown Act, COVID conveniently used to delay or quicken decisions — all voted from living room couches. Alta Housing is a City contract partner. A conflict of interest? Jean Snider from Stanford Real Estate. HUD S8 vouchers holders not allowed to rent there. The chosen guests at this table came into the room w menu and table already set for the three very special hosts: DuBois, Filseth, Kou and Stone. It’s a metaphoric,”The last Supper” for PA’s resurrection from back to the future. Two HEWG alternates? And how come the full list of “The Chosen” not published. Filseth once again, insulted PA residents with a patronizing tone , aggrandizing himself by a mere aside to all the very good oeopke in the 80 apps. Shame on him. The online version of it’s former self, “Palo Alto Weekly” did not get the word out — Is it not obligated to do so since the process was supposed to be open to the public? Instead the city shifted their public adds to “The Post” everyone in Menlo knew or those in the we know

For this city the future is not about housing it’s citizens in decency and rights, but about land acquisition, private property and money churning through the hand of those in power. Pots of gold at rainbow’s end. The whole process of putting together the HEWG was a sham. Yes the city that’s nothing but the same: nothing. Trump exited the WH yet his ideology stealthy entered our CC council.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 8, 2021 at 4:57 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Apr 8, 2021 at 4:57 am

I am a fourth generation CA resident. What I know historically is cities are laid out with designated concentrations of housing, apartments balanced by Single family homes on a residential lot. The underground sewer systems, water system, gas supply systems are all planned out along with the street grids to provide access to safety and fire protection. That is what city planning is all about. It requires a lot of civil engineering. When people use comments regarding white supremacist and Trump to make their points then that is saying they have no in-depth recognition of city construction and planning. It has no relevance to the subject at hand - like people flailing around. People go to school to learn how to construct new cities. And major companies do that very well - Bechtel. It becomes political when people pop in from other states like New Jersey to try and mandate what CA is suppose to look like. We are not suppose to look like the east coast - we are the west cost.


Seth A.
Registered user
another community
on Apr 8, 2021 at 9:36 am
Seth A., another community
Registered user
on Apr 8, 2021 at 9:36 am

In some ways, the southernmost section of Palo Alto bears little resemblance to the older northern sections of town.

And the same can be said of the Palo Alto neighborhoods immediately south and/or adjacent to Oregon Expressway.

I went to Jordan/Palo Alto High and the northern neighborhoods of Palo Alto are distinctly different from the former Wilbur/Cubberley sections of the city and even the Terman/Gunn designated enrollment areas.

Northern PA seems to have more character, more interesting and varied residential architecture with a small-town feel whereas south PA is more like Campbell with it's array of tract housing, strip malls and traffic congestion.

Two different worlds and perhaps further development is better suited in south PA.


Bill Bucy
Registered user
Barron Park
on Apr 8, 2021 at 9:42 am
Bill Bucy, Barron Park
Registered user
on Apr 8, 2021 at 9:42 am

The Palo Alto City Council acted on an important issue without endless hearings, blue-ribbon commission reports, yet more hearings and delays for staff and consultant studies? Have we entered an alternate universe? I must call my therapist.


Carol Scott
Registered user
Evergreen Park
on Apr 8, 2021 at 9:56 am
Carol Scott, Evergreen Park
Registered user
on Apr 8, 2021 at 9:56 am

Wow, Seth. That sounds a bit off kilter to me. Does this mean that you want to put all affordable housing for 'those' folks in someone else's neighborhood because yours is too nice? I hope you didn't really mean it the way it sounds.

I believe that Palo Alto is really committed to affordable housing when it agrees to find places for it in all Palo Alto neighborhoods. Otherwise, it is the ultimate YIYBYism . . . "Yes, in your backyard."


Al Dennison
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Apr 8, 2021 at 11:03 am
Al Dennison, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Apr 8, 2021 at 11:03 am

The older neighborhoods in Palo Alto should be preserved and the more mundane sections of town designated for redevelopment as they lack a certain character. Why should Professorville, Old Palo Alto and Crescent Park be forced to alter their traditional landscapes?

Sections like Ventura, Midtown, Barron Park could use a facelift. Tract housing has no character and most of the homes (including Eichlers) are cheaply built.

The poorly built Midtown area Brown and Kaufmans will never become historical preservation landmarks.

As for Eichlers...seen one, seen them all as these ubiquitous designs will never be designated a historical landmarks. Too many of them.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 8, 2021 at 11:21 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Apr 8, 2021 at 11:21 am

The SFC has their Opinion today 04/08/21 - "The uphill battle to build housing". And of course the regular culprits are Mr. Weiner and Mr. Chiu. What the SFC Opinion does not tell you is that people are fleeing the city of SF because the city does nothing to protect the citizens. There is a recall for the DA because he keeps letting people loose. Stores are closing because the city will not prosecute people who take stuff out of the store without paying and know they will not get caught. They have housing but it is overpriced. Young families are escaping to the suburban locations in the east bay, Marin, and south bay because they can get cheaper housing and a yard for the kids and a dog. That is what people want right now - a single family home with a yard for the kids and a dog.

Housing tracts are going up everywhere - the papers are filled with ads for the new developments. There is no lack of housing for people who can pay for it.
The bay area is the most expensive section in NORCAL. The city of SF can tear itself apart to accommodate that contingency of residents - go for it. But do not dictate to suburban cites to uproot their neighborhoods to satisfy a city centric idea that they cannot control. Why don't they work to make the SF city more safe?


Pete Newley
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Apr 8, 2021 at 1:32 pm
Pete Newley, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Apr 8, 2021 at 1:32 pm

>>Crescent Park occupies a very small section of the overall city and probably has houses passed down through the families - low property tax. The city lives on property taxes.

^ A generalization. And if so, the key is to develop the southside even further to generate a larger municipal tax base.

There nothing quaint about South Palo Alto.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 8, 2021 at 1:56 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Apr 8, 2021 at 1:56 pm

WOW - this whole discussion is establishing the snob factor which I never thought about before. But it is there and people put their names on it. It becomes clear why this city gets racked over the coals on a regular basis by the papers and is a target for all type of fringe people with their grievances. What a sorry situation that some people are pitting sections of the city against each other. What is worse is that they have no intention of working as a city unit to make this a better place to live.
Got it! Do not expect any sympathy for issues which display such lack of education in city planning.


Consider Your Options.
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 8, 2021 at 2:00 pm
Consider Your Options. , Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Apr 8, 2021 at 2:00 pm

DuBois, Filseth and Kou's votes are unsurprising. They campaigned on protectionism. They voted for committee applicants who are protectionist. They are acting on the values they shared with voters before they were elected. The 4 "yes" votes were cast by PASZ-endorsed people.

Cormack is the developers' friend and Stanford's new champion on Council, our new Greg Scharff, for better or for worse, depending on your perspective. When I revisit her campaign, I see platitudes, but no real plan on housing and development. She blows with winds her developer funders send her way. She rarely challenges proposals or staff recommendations.

Tanaka consistently supports development, but often appears confused about what is going on in meetings. He has already served four years on Council and still doesn't seem to understand how to properly frame and move a motion. This is very basic stuff.

Pat Burt's action aligned with values he laid out during his campaign. He supports balanced, thoughtful land use and transportation planning that prioritizes affordable housing and moves toward a balance of housing and office development, partly by limiting office development. See his web site. Web Link He was completely transparent about his vision, values and intent in his campaign. I am not at all surprised by his position, and I support it.

Greer Stone, on the other hand, did surprise me. During his campaign he shared values that appeared to strongly support affordable housing. Web Link His swing vote in support of protectionist committee applicants is disappointing.

I wish this committee were more balanced. There were a few really good, moderate candidates who were overlooked, who I view as strong analytical thinkers, capable of grappling with complex problems with lots of moving parts--who also have powerful math skills to dig into the data. That is what this committee needs.


Native to the BAY
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Apr 8, 2021 at 3:09 pm
Native to the BAY, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Apr 8, 2021 at 3:09 pm

@Carol @ Busy u suggesting that multi family housing is unsafe for kids and or dogs? The only unsafe neighbors are the ones with attitudes like yours, Klaus “residential” parking lifts fall into this category too. Q: Can someone give a definition difference between “developer” and a developer? Hot button kneeagitative words, thrown out like the difference between a conservationist and a environmentalist. Where is our housing Julia Butterfly? Oh yeah they are living in tents under HWY84 and banks of local creeks. I believe Alta housing falls into one of the above “developer” definitions. This is no housing test. However. Creating poor people’s hamlets in ugly, unhealthy sections along the Bayshore, ECR and San Antonio is not a answer — only a quik fix solution to a problem created 50 years ago with P13, and a massive ongoing crisis up into the next Century. Trust and hope in a Neighborhood’s “character and charm” kills society, community preservation & responsibilities in a larger context. In other words: it’s a phrase used to psychological assassinate progress using metaphoric racist firing squads. Or rather killing the elephant in the room. Denial of a self inflicted (city of affordable PA housing crisis) wound does not make the boo boo all better! My teenaged son (which the city is behaving immaturely like)would call this draconian reaction to — the anti housing people movement — as hiding behind a bunch of, “Karens”! Jewish people residing in their place of birth were shunned, shuttered and then ... Please show me that will never happen again.


Bryce In Old Town
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Apr 8, 2021 at 3:26 pm
Bryce In Old Town, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Apr 8, 2021 at 3:26 pm

@ WOW - this whole discussion is establishing the snob factor which I never thought about before. But it is there and people put their names on it.

It's called location, location, location. Ask any RE agent.

The houses are worth more on the Northside and South PA is better suited for mixed-used buildings and housing designs to accommodate newer residents with more available space and tear-down options.

North Palo Alto is like Wrigley Field in NORTH Chicago.

South PA is more akin to Candlestick Park or the old Comiskey in SOUTH Chicago.

Big difference.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 8, 2021 at 3:46 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Apr 8, 2021 at 3:46 pm

@Native, what you say about the increase in homelessness is true but the "developers" aren't developing BMR or real affordable housing; they're simply densifying and gentrifying. Even those much-touted Google projects have at most 15% "affordable" units and only 5% bmr units.

Instead of blaming residents for the homeless problem, how about forcing the employers who've lobbied so hard to hire under-pay contractors and gig workers with the latter being denied benefits, minimum wage and stock options. Ask why SLV and Stanford and big tech and the Chamber of Commerce keep fighting to cap foreign contractors pay at $85K a year while they continue their huge growth rates that keep pushing up housing costs for EVERYONE.


Christian Soldier
Registered user
another community
on Apr 8, 2021 at 5:27 pm
Christian Soldier, another community
Registered user
on Apr 8, 2021 at 5:27 pm

@ Instead of blaming residents for the homeless problem,

Why should residents be blamed for the homeless meth-heads and mentally-ill?

These transients brought it upon themselves.


Native to the BAY
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Apr 8, 2021 at 10:47 pm
Native to the BAY, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Apr 8, 2021 at 10:47 pm

Single family home owned properties are bringing in the tax dollars for city salaries and services (including full medical and stipends for CC). Those are of course are the owners who purchased after Prop13 was passed. These city tax cows are in control. No biz tax?! Wow! with 1:4 ratio of residents to workers too! Who’s in charge? Renters make up near 50% of PA residents, are charged untenable rents by property owners and management co’s and we get nothing - zero in return except cheesy slum lording behaviors! I trust not one of the sitting council members! I voted for-none of them and I am glad for that. R1 is a virtual gated community of snobbish, exclusionary club members who don’t understand (nor wish to) about equity and equal access. HUD fair housing here? Nah. Illusion. Alta Housing has to bend to the wheel & wind (metaphoric whip) of its forefather — the city. Alta stand up for housing! Stand up to the City 4 fairness and equal access / housing for all . Oh and consolidate, update and open up your waiting lists too from its current 10 year wait to ...?


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 9, 2021 at 4:02 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Apr 9, 2021 at 4:02 am

Equity and equal access - social goals but no explanation for where people work - what jobs are available in the locations. Major cities have a huge number of job types and are the logical locations for all of the social equity POV's - that is where the jobs are. San Mateo County has the SFO airport, San Jose has the SJ Airport - locations for multitudes of job types. Oakland has a major port and airport. Suburban cities tend to be single focused - this area is tech oriented. Locating a bunch of people here who are not candidates for employment in this single focus location makes no sense. The city is not handing out money and is short of money to run the required services.
Let Mr. Weiner and Mr. Chiu manage their social justice POV's in their legislative city of SF - they need to clean up their city and create jobs in that city -it is falling apart. They can hand out money up there and create locations so people can shoot drugs. They can create bathrooms on the streets. But not their skill set - they are not paid to fix their city. Our job is to make sure that we do not get run over and our city totally ruined and ransacked. Based on other blogs here that appears to be happening.


Consider Your Options.
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 9, 2021 at 11:27 am
Consider Your Options. , Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Apr 9, 2021 at 11:27 am

Prop 13 is at the root of the problem. It protects long-term residents and businesses from paying their fair share of taxes and creates unfair imbalance in taxes paid by newer residents. I didn't live here when it was passed, but I am a 30-year homeowner in Palo Alto who would both vote and advocate for a good measure to roll it back gradually to avoid chaos in real estate markets. But Scott Weiner won't touch the "third rail". Why is that?

There are better ways to protect fixed income folks from rising property tax costs. My previous state of residence offered property tax relief based on means testing, so that it was not ageist. Means testing can protect people of all ages who struggle under the weight of increasing property tax costs without tax protecting wealthy seniors, like Warren Buffet, who has said he thinks Prop 13 needs to go--even though he benefits from it. Well said.


Get Real
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 9, 2021 at 11:47 am
Get Real, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Apr 9, 2021 at 11:47 am

> "In the SJM today - Victor David Hansen - "What it means to be wealthy and woke in today's America". The writers for Palo Alto have proved that point here."

∆ No INTELLIGENT person takes anything that Victor Davis Hansen (of the conservative think-tank Hoover Institute) says or writes, either seriously or of note.

He is an ardent Trump supporter using pseudo-erudite editorials to further illustrate his misguided perspectives.


>"Prop 13 is at the root of the problem. It protects long-term residents..."

∆ Residential Prop 13 is OK and grandfathered in. Business/commercial Prop 13 should be revised or rescinded.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 9, 2021 at 12:34 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Apr 9, 2021 at 12:34 pm

While you all are throwing stones Hawaii 50 is on ION TV - Channel 16 until 3AM, with a break for Magnum PI. CBS - all know that Friday is Hawaii day and night. And if that is not your cup of tea then the Friday Wall Street Journal has the Mansions section where you can read up on all of the people who have moved on to greener pastures and left this veil of tears behind.
Include in the travelers to HA are the Michael Dells, Pelosi's, Zuckerman's, The Larry (Oracle), Bill and Linda Gates, etc. all major land holders on the islands.
There is more to life then pondering the Wokiness of PA.


rufus demery
Registered user
another community
on Apr 9, 2021 at 1:30 pm
rufus demery, another community
Registered user
on Apr 9, 2021 at 1:30 pm

There should be a BLM and LGBTQ member on the board as well as a representative from homeless advocacy.

Palo Alto should establish a homeless sector in town along with affordable housing considerations for impoverished members of the black and LGBTQ communities.

It is time for Palo Alto to step-ups and become a part of the progressive evolution of all mankind.


William Hitchens
Registered user
Mountain View
on Apr 9, 2021 at 4:47 pm
William Hitchens, Mountain View
Registered user
on Apr 9, 2021 at 4:47 pm

Ignorant, "save the poor" politicians and bureaucrats in Palo Alto (and my home city of Mountain View) have acted VERY STUPIDLY for far too long. They MUST STOP creating new housing in established residential neighborhoods --- forever. No in-law units, not home subdivision into apartments, no "affordable housing developments", and no more huge rental units. It's time to realize that our suburban "hoods" are being destroyed of their charm and value to long-term residents by an insane desire to "save the world". What fools these ignorant, idealist fools are. Well --- let other, lesser desperately poor communities do that. Where??? Maybe somewhere out of the Bay Area? Like 'way out of the Bay Area and CA? Like all of the Red States in the USA??? The Red States elected Monster tRUMP. They deserve to be punished by taking people that no one else wants.


Steve Dabrowski
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 9, 2021 at 5:25 pm
Steve Dabrowski, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Apr 9, 2021 at 5:25 pm

My mother had to sell her house because the constantly increasing property taxes in California during the sixties became too much for her. She could afford the mortgage but taxes before prop 13 forced her to become a renter. Prop 13 saved the elderly and middle class homeowners and I wager that even with it in place California has had more property tax revenue than was ever considered possible by politicians even in their wildest dreams.

What is seldom mentioned as an issue on affordable housing is the old home buyers exemption that allowed a person to move up from a starter home and invest all their profits in a larger home without a tax penalty. Since that was abolished in favor of a fixed amount of profit allowed the starter home market has ceased to exist. People do not sell their houses now because it is virtually impossible to purchase even a like residence with the money from a sale since taxes on the sale generally take half the value, leaving one unable to buy anything anywhere near, much less more expensive move up.

With this (probably well meaning) change housing availability at the lower end has largely dried up making supply non existent. Therefore prices have continued to rise without limit since only the wealthy can meet today's market.

Affordable housing in this market is a fantasy and it is unlikely that sufficient housing is possible in these areas of the Bay Area to affect price without completely destroying the quality of life. Business relocation and limitation on jobs is the only real hope for any balance. I also predict that all the dancing in the street around "working from home" will soon fade away as workers begin to miss the social aspects of working in the presence of others and offices once again become places of vitality and social value after the current crisis is passed.

The roads will fill and all the same problems will reemerge, only worse!


Jason Whitman
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Apr 10, 2021 at 7:49 am
Jason Whitman, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Apr 10, 2021 at 7:49 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Preserve American Society
Registered user
another community
on Apr 10, 2021 at 8:19 am
Preserve American Society, another community
Registered user
on Apr 10, 2021 at 8:19 am

# "There should be a BLM and LGBTQ member on the board as well as a representative from homeless advocacy."

^ When key BLM leadership assume wealth and prosperity, they will most likely abandon their views and comfortably settle-in to a more mainstream lifestyle.

Web Link

The BLM movement will then gradually fade away along the same lines as the former Black Panthers of a previous generation.

Disillusioned followers watching their leaders sell-out will be the recipe for ending this disruptive movement.


Lester Devins
Registered user
Barron Park
on Apr 10, 2021 at 9:22 am
Lester Devins, Barron Park
Registered user
on Apr 10, 2021 at 9:22 am

# When key BLM leadership assume wealth and prosperity, they will most likely abandon their views and comfortably settle-in to a more mainstream lifestyle.

According to CBS, the BLM Foundation is doing quite well financially.

Web Link


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 10, 2021 at 12:52 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Apr 10, 2021 at 12:52 pm

What city does Rufus live in? Why is he lecturing us on what we are suppose to de doing? What is his city doing? WE can we get straight here that this city has a lot of problems without people from other cities lecturing us? Rufus - first start with what your city is doing.

Hey progressives - your job to get your children through school and into college - maybe community college. This is year 2021 - not 1945. We have people painting a horrible pictures of groups of people which in today's theme of everyone being equal does not equate. Mr. Weiner of SF is of the LGBTQ community - is all of his legislation payback? I am beginning to think so. How is Atlanta doing? Chicago? SF? Oakland? No lack of locations with progressive leadership that is digging itself into holes and going broke. Applying the social equity theme to every action out there needs to be rethought.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 10, 2021 at 1:35 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Apr 10, 2021 at 1:35 pm

The lecturing is one thing; the hypocrisy of the YIMBYs and Weiner systematically destroying minority neighborhoods in the rush to densify / gentrify to do the bidding of their corporate backers is quite another!

Read up on Google's $200,000,000 in "community benefits" it's offering San Jose for its "massive transformation" of downtown that will add 20,000 new jobs. Guess how many low-income / BMR units will be built out of the measly 1,000 units of "affordable" housing units. But hey, people are going to gets tours of its huge new campus until it AGAIN closes it to outsiders.

The details are enough to make PT Barnum blush.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 10, 2021 at 4:36 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Apr 10, 2021 at 4:36 pm

The papers said that Google is going to build low-cost housing in the location of the Shark Tank. The Sharks in previous comments are not happy that their location is being targeted with density. Where are the fans going to park? The Shark Tank is a major revenue generator for the city. People come and stay in hotels and eat out at restaurants when they come to the games.

In Oakland the sports people want to put a coliseum and a giant apartment complex in the port section which is going to interfere with the shipping industry which is a major revenue for the city. And a major employer for the diversified residents.

Why do cities allow this type of manipulation of the established resources in cities which are the revenue generators? It is like there a whole bunch of groups which want to destroy existing cities.

Atlanta - the games there bring in people that stay in hotels, eat out at restaurants, rent cars, fly in to airports for the games. So the Mayor helps to shut down all of the revenue that is generated for the city? That is what they all voted for- that is what they get. And then we will be asked to help bail out cities that create their own problems.


Ramona Fernando
Registered user
Professorville
on Apr 11, 2021 at 8:51 pm
Ramona Fernando, Professorville
Registered user
on Apr 11, 2021 at 8:51 pm

I live in Professorville, in North Palo Alto, and would like to point out that it is full of apartments, low-income housing, community housing which was and is useful for Stanford students with room for 4-6 individuals or groups.

Low Income housing exists in several complexes: on Bryant across from Heritage Park (Oak Court Apts.), on Addison across from Addison school (Webster Wood), on Alma in a modern apartment complex. The neighborhood north of University has lots of apartment buildings and group housing.

The thing with Professorville is that many of the houses were built when Stanford was first opened, around 1890. I think it is wrong for people to want to tear these homes down as they are historic, and built to last, and all have interesting stories.

The low income apartments are really nice and attractively designed. They are near transportation, shopping, schools and parks, and they blend in well in their environment.

I get tired of people accusing folks living north of Embarcadero of being "Not in my neighborhood" types. There are plenty of smaller homes, too.


Diane Becton
Registered user
Palo Alto Hills
on Apr 12, 2021 at 8:51 am
Diane Becton, Palo Alto Hills
Registered user
on Apr 12, 2021 at 8:51 am

My neighbors will probably beg to differ but why not develop the Palo Alto Hills area to maximum residential capacities?

There is plenty of acreage and the main access route would be Foothill Expressway @ Manuela (near Gunn) and @ Page Mill Road for public transit.

And if the existing PAH residents want to reside in a more bucolic setting, they can easily resituate to Los Altos Hills, Portola Valley or Woodside because they will be receiving top dollar for their properties.

This revised residential zoning measure would pacify both the NIMBYs and pro-developer factions at the lower Palo Alto elevations as population-related congestion and potential traffic gridlock would now be out of sight and out of mind.

Plus, it would allow newer residents to reside where other PA residents can only dream about.

We have about 2.5+ acres and if a developer offered us cold hard cash for the property, we would sell no questions asked and move to Woodside.


Richard Calhoun
Registered user
another community
on Apr 12, 2021 at 11:31 am
Richard Calhoun, another community
Registered user
on Apr 12, 2021 at 11:31 am

Having resided in the Palo Alto Hills (as a one time home renter), there is plenty of room for residential development.

Build where there is space and PAH has it.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 12, 2021 at 11:37 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Apr 12, 2021 at 11:37 am

I get mailers all of the time from people who want to buy my home. There is Jason at Pacific Financial; the Gluhaich Group; Jess at Visionary, San Mateo; Pacific Financial in Redwood City; Trident Equity Group, Redwood City. My feeling is that they are consolidators who are trying to buy a block of homes so they can build a massive apartment complex. Maybe the Cato Group who is busy destructing College Terrace. SU is trying to build housing in Portola Valley and that city is fighting it.
Lets be clear here - for more than a century artists, builders, gardeners, educators, and a city government have been working to create a beautiful city. Stanford is a work of art - on campus. PAHS is a beautiful school. My relatives went there, worked there, and contributed to the end results which are beautiful.
And then tacky RV's sit in front of it - that is what greets people. That is suppose to be Social Equity. On ECR this is the only location for Social equity - other cities do other things to meet their goals.

Along comes the Progressives who want to tear down all of the work that has gone into building a beautiful set of campuses and call it social equity. It is like any war you remove all of the great pieces to tear down a city. This is a war. And your Governor is pushing it forward.

SU is trying to build housing in Portola Valley and that city is fighting it. Look at maps - most of the hills area is designated Open space. There is a reason for that. Fire Protection is a problem.



In The Zone
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Apr 13, 2021 at 6:51 am
In The Zone, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Apr 13, 2021 at 6:51 am

° for more than a century artists, builders, gardeners, educators, and a city government have been working to create a beautiful city...And then tacky RV's sit in front of it -

• Though beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it would be safe to say that not all parts of Palo Alto are excessively beautiful, especially the southernmost part of the city with its various motels, gas stations and small businesses along ECR.

Page Mill Road to San Antonio Road is an eyesore and buried somewhere in-between is even a county-sibsidized trailer park.

So why not just focus redevelopment in that area as ECR also provides plenty of mass transit options.

And the recently discussed area near Fabian Way and San Antonio Road is also a viable site for further residential development.

There is even enough room for transient RVs to park in either section of Palo Alto.

Now your vision of a pristine Stanford-older Palo Alto section of town remains intact.

To summarize...(1) redevelop the "non-beautiful" commercial sections of both Barron Park and Fabian Way, (2) let the "tacky" RVS park in those areas and (3) oula' problem solved.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 13, 2021 at 10:54 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Apr 13, 2021 at 10:54 am

I do not understand why there is that tacky section on ECR. Who owns that land? Someone who is paying the lowest property tax possible. Those ancient building will fall down in an earthquake. They are not up to Spec. Someone with a lot of money is protecting those buildings - let's flesh out who they are. If buildings are not up to spec then exercise some control over why those buildings are there.


Ruben Marquez
Registered user
another community
on Apr 13, 2021 at 12:36 pm
Ruben Marquez, another community
Registered user
on Apr 13, 2021 at 12:36 pm

~I do not understand why there is that tacky section on ECR.

Are you referring to ECR in Barron Park?

If so, you have a point.


chris
Registered user
University South
on Apr 13, 2021 at 3:27 pm
chris, University South
Registered user
on Apr 13, 2021 at 3:27 pm

Many owners on ECR are not going to redevelop until the city makes the rules more attractive. Why upgrade now when you will get a much better deal later?

There are some new projects on ECR going up now but it takes deep pockets to deal with the current schizophrenia in Palo Alto.


Lauren P.
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 14, 2021 at 9:55 am
Lauren P., Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Apr 14, 2021 at 9:55 am

>> I do not understand why there is that tacky section on ECR.

>> Are you referring to ECR in Barron Park?

^ Barron Park along ECR remains tacky because the area was not an original part of Palo Alto. It was unincorporated for many years and allowed to remain tacky/commercial by Palo Alto following annexation.

The entire south of Page Mill Road > San Antonio Road portion of Palo Alto along El Camino Real is a visual eyesore and should receive priority for any/all housing redevelopment in the city even if the boulevard becomes a three mile high-rise version of the recently revised San Antonio Road section between Alma and El Camino Real.

The Barron Park/ECR section of Palo Alto is a civic embarrassment and an ongoing reminder of visual blight.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 14, 2021 at 10:21 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Apr 14, 2021 at 10:21 am

the ECR section from San Antonio to the Charleston Road is filled with hotels and new multistory apartments. That should satisfy the "numbers" that the city keeps hyping. Yes - we have a lot of new building going on. However as you travel towards Oregon you see small, old buildings which have no business in them. What are they waiting for? The Big Kahuna to come along and buy it all up so they can make their fortune? How can there be old, empty buildings in this city?
Someone needs to do a title search on that whole section to find out the who and why that is happening. That is the area to focus on for new housing.


Sidney Rothstein
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 14, 2021 at 11:16 am
Sidney Rothstein, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Apr 14, 2021 at 11:16 am

Tear down the commercial section of Barron Park along ECR and build something far more aesthetic.

95% of the motels and small businesses
along that strip of ECR will not be missed.


paul whitaker
Registered user
another community
on Apr 14, 2021 at 11:36 am
paul whitaker, another community
Registered user
on Apr 14, 2021 at 11:36 am

Nobody actually lives along Barron Park-ECR so demolishing the existing buildings makes perfect sense.

Barron Park-ECR is an embarrassment to the rest of Palo Alto.


Justine Paul
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Apr 14, 2021 at 11:49 am
Justine Paul, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Apr 14, 2021 at 11:49 am

To many of us older Palo Alto residents, the Barron Park/commercial district along El Camino has always been the armpit of our otherwise attractive city.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 17, 2021 at 10:42 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Apr 17, 2021 at 10:42 am

Thank you for the Palo Alto Weekly April 16, 2021. This is a massive Real Estate publication and includes the projected apartment complexes that have been approved and are in the planning and production stages. If any one thought nothing was happening then look again. I think we can meet our numbers with the new builds.

Included in the offerings, including POST - are college Terrace homes from the historic period which are beautifully refreshed. When you look at what is happening and the styles of architecture offered in the locations across the city a person can chose their preferences. When you look at the prices you have to know that buying a home is a huge investment. No one wants to make a huge investment in a home then have some political retribution action come along and discombobulate that investment.

Note on the Cato plan - architecture - it has nothing to do with the location of College Terrace. College Terrace is distinctive in it's architecture. Any further development must conform to the general ambiance of the location.

Note on Barron park - move off ECR and you are looking at a lot of new, big homes and a more rural set-up. A stream, a great park in the back and a rustic feel. Barron Park is no slouch in housing. Fix up ECR with some trendy restaurants and new buildings then you are in the gold.


Harvey Wong
Registered user
another community
on Apr 17, 2021 at 11:55 am
Harvey Wong, another community
Registered user
on Apr 17, 2021 at 11:55 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


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