News

Housing near Caltrain? Stanford's proposal nets mixed reaction

While some see the downtown station as a perfect location for housing, others express concern about height and parking impact of potential development

Commuters get off the train around 5 p.m. at the Palo Alto Caltrain station on March 13, 2020. Stanford University has proposed a concept for building up to 500 housing units near the downtown transit center. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

For decades, the transit center in downtown Palo Alto has served as a focal point in the city's ambitious plans for office developments, housing construction and railway improvement.

Now, with the city drafting a plan to accommodate 6,086 new dwellings between 2023 and 2031, the site is once again in the spotlight. Stanford University, which owns the property, had identified it as one of three sites that could collectively accommodate about 1,000 apartments, along with a site on Pasteur Drive, near the Stanford University Medical Center, and the property at 3128 El Camino Real, which is near Palo Alto Square and which currently houses a McDonald's restaurant.

Of the three, the University Avenue site that includes the Palo Alto Transit Center holds the most potential, given its role as a gateway between Stanford and downtown Palo Alto and its status as the city's most transit-friendly area. Yet it is also the biggest wild card, given the city's ever evolving plans for improving rail crossings, an effort that may involve realigning the Palo Alto Avenue crossing so that the street would no longer intersect with the tracks.

"This site is like a gold mine for us," Planning Director Jonathan Lait said at a recent discussion of adding housing to the transit center site. "It wants to do everything that we want to do in Palo Alto because of its proximity to transit. I think there are so many interests in how it might be developed — not just from the housing standpoint but the transportation and sustainability interests."

Yet any new development is guaranteed to stoke familiar arguments over height, density and parking restrictions. In presenting their concept for the transit center site, Stanford officials made it clear that any new development would go well above the city's 50-foot height limit and would likely require the city to relax its height and density restrictions. The most conservative alternative presented by Stanford calls for a seven-story building with a height of 75 to 85 feet in which the bottom two stories are devoted to parking and which would accommodate between 180 and 270 apartments.

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A slightly more ambitious concept includes a 105-foot-tall building — the same height as Hoover Pavilion — with between 360 and 425 apartments.

The most intense alternative would feature a 137-foot building with between 465 and 530 apartments.

In making their case to the city's Housing Element Working Group, a citizen panel that is helping the city craft its new housing vision, Stanford officials argued that the site is ideally suited for greater height and density.

"It's hard to imagine a more appropriate site for high-density housing," Jessica von Borck, director of land use at Stanford University, said during an Oct. 21 presentation. "It's located at the train station, it's next to downtown, it's across the street from Stanford Shopping Center and the Stanford campus, which are two major employment centers, and it's a place where it also makes sense to explore greater heights, potentially."

Yet city leaders also recognize that any major development would inevitably encounter opposition. That was the lesson that they learned in 2012, when developer John Arrillaga proposed to build four office towers — some of them taller than 100 feet — along with a theater and a host of bike improvements near the transit center. The City Council quickly scuttled the plan after a public outcry about the scale of the project and the city's lack of transparency in negotiating with Arrillaga.

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Now, staff are taking a considerably more cautious approach. Even as they acknowledged the site's tremendous potential, city staff and the majority of the Housing Element group indicated last week that they are in no rush to redevelop the transit center. In a decision that frustrated housing advocates, the panel voted 9-4 on Nov. 18 not to include the transit center site in the city's housing inventory for the 2023-2031 cycle. Members also agreed, however, that the city and Stanford should continue to collaborate on developing a longer-term plan for the site, which will likely involve housing.

The biggest issue for the majority of the panel was parking. Stanford University is suggesting that for the development to be financially feasible, the city would have to lower its parking standards, which typically require one parking space for each studio and one-bedroom apartment and two parking spaces for each apartment with two or more bedrooms. Stanford's plan calls for limiting all apartments, including those with two or more bedrooms, to one parking space.

Several working group members, including Kathryn Jordan and Keith Reckdahl, questioned the premise that residents at the transit-rich site would not buy cars. Working group member Randolph Tsien said he was concerned that adding housing to 27 University Ave. could require some of the transit services to relocate. Another working group member, Hamilton Hitchings, said the city should figure out its grade-separation plans before considering a significant housing redevelopment at the transit center.

"I don't know how we can do this while we're doing grade separation," Hitchings said at the Nov. 18 meeting.

Hitchings and Reckdahl also argued that the residential development should be 100% affordable housing, a stipulation that is at odds with Stanford's plans. And they noted that even if the city doesn't include the site in its next Housing Element, that doesn't mean it can't plan for housing here.

Others characterized the decision of the group not to include the site in the city's Housing Element as a lost opportunity. Working group member Sheryl Klein, who was one of four dissenters, said she was disappointed by the group's decision not to include the site in its housing plans.

"Given the city's environmental goals, this is such a perfect site for some sort of housing," said Klein, who serves as chief operating officer at the housing nonprofit Alta Housing. "We don't have to commit to the height, but I think this is a great site for housing and it's in a great location — people can walk to downtown stores and amenities. I can't believe that we're taking it off and we're going to push it off into the future."

While the panel also endorsed including the Pasteur and El Camino sites that Stanford owns in the new Housing Element, its decision to punt on transit center plans frustrated some residents and housing advocates. Robert Chun, a board member at the advocacy group Palo Alto Forward, noted that the working group had endorsed at previous meetings the concept of building housing near Caltrain stations. Given that position, he urged group members to include the transit center in the city's housing plans.

"No matter what this Caltrain site looks like, we can't let Palo Alto's most popular option for housing die so quickly," Chun said.

The decision on whether to include the downtown transit center in the city's housing plans will ultimately fall to the council, which is scheduled to adopt the Housing Element in fall 2022. Early signs suggest that Stanford's proposal will be a hard sell. A council ad hoc committee made up of Mayor Tom DuBois and council members Eric Filseth and Greer Stone has considered the university's housing concept and generally agreed that the city's 50-foot height limit should remain in place, according to a report from Tim Wong, who is leading the Housing Element update. While this position would effectively kill Stanford's proposal, Lait suggested that the city and the university will continue discussing ways to increase residential development in the area.

"I think we're all interested in seeing housing here," Lait said. "It's a great place for housing, but it might be a great place for other things too. So how well do those things come together? I don't think we're going to solve that immediately."

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Housing near Caltrain? Stanford's proposal nets mixed reaction

While some see the downtown station as a perfect location for housing, others express concern about height and parking impact of potential development

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Nov 24, 2021, 9:15 am

For decades, the transit center in downtown Palo Alto has served as a focal point in the city's ambitious plans for office developments, housing construction and railway improvement.

Now, with the city drafting a plan to accommodate 6,086 new dwellings between 2023 and 2031, the site is once again in the spotlight. Stanford University, which owns the property, had identified it as one of three sites that could collectively accommodate about 1,000 apartments, along with a site on Pasteur Drive, near the Stanford University Medical Center, and the property at 3128 El Camino Real, which is near Palo Alto Square and which currently houses a McDonald's restaurant.

Of the three, the University Avenue site that includes the Palo Alto Transit Center holds the most potential, given its role as a gateway between Stanford and downtown Palo Alto and its status as the city's most transit-friendly area. Yet it is also the biggest wild card, given the city's ever evolving plans for improving rail crossings, an effort that may involve realigning the Palo Alto Avenue crossing so that the street would no longer intersect with the tracks.

"This site is like a gold mine for us," Planning Director Jonathan Lait said at a recent discussion of adding housing to the transit center site. "It wants to do everything that we want to do in Palo Alto because of its proximity to transit. I think there are so many interests in how it might be developed — not just from the housing standpoint but the transportation and sustainability interests."

Yet any new development is guaranteed to stoke familiar arguments over height, density and parking restrictions. In presenting their concept for the transit center site, Stanford officials made it clear that any new development would go well above the city's 50-foot height limit and would likely require the city to relax its height and density restrictions. The most conservative alternative presented by Stanford calls for a seven-story building with a height of 75 to 85 feet in which the bottom two stories are devoted to parking and which would accommodate between 180 and 270 apartments.

A slightly more ambitious concept includes a 105-foot-tall building — the same height as Hoover Pavilion — with between 360 and 425 apartments.

The most intense alternative would feature a 137-foot building with between 465 and 530 apartments.

In making their case to the city's Housing Element Working Group, a citizen panel that is helping the city craft its new housing vision, Stanford officials argued that the site is ideally suited for greater height and density.

"It's hard to imagine a more appropriate site for high-density housing," Jessica von Borck, director of land use at Stanford University, said during an Oct. 21 presentation. "It's located at the train station, it's next to downtown, it's across the street from Stanford Shopping Center and the Stanford campus, which are two major employment centers, and it's a place where it also makes sense to explore greater heights, potentially."

Yet city leaders also recognize that any major development would inevitably encounter opposition. That was the lesson that they learned in 2012, when developer John Arrillaga proposed to build four office towers — some of them taller than 100 feet — along with a theater and a host of bike improvements near the transit center. The City Council quickly scuttled the plan after a public outcry about the scale of the project and the city's lack of transparency in negotiating with Arrillaga.

Now, staff are taking a considerably more cautious approach. Even as they acknowledged the site's tremendous potential, city staff and the majority of the Housing Element group indicated last week that they are in no rush to redevelop the transit center. In a decision that frustrated housing advocates, the panel voted 9-4 on Nov. 18 not to include the transit center site in the city's housing inventory for the 2023-2031 cycle. Members also agreed, however, that the city and Stanford should continue to collaborate on developing a longer-term plan for the site, which will likely involve housing.

The biggest issue for the majority of the panel was parking. Stanford University is suggesting that for the development to be financially feasible, the city would have to lower its parking standards, which typically require one parking space for each studio and one-bedroom apartment and two parking spaces for each apartment with two or more bedrooms. Stanford's plan calls for limiting all apartments, including those with two or more bedrooms, to one parking space.

Several working group members, including Kathryn Jordan and Keith Reckdahl, questioned the premise that residents at the transit-rich site would not buy cars. Working group member Randolph Tsien said he was concerned that adding housing to 27 University Ave. could require some of the transit services to relocate. Another working group member, Hamilton Hitchings, said the city should figure out its grade-separation plans before considering a significant housing redevelopment at the transit center.

"I don't know how we can do this while we're doing grade separation," Hitchings said at the Nov. 18 meeting.

Hitchings and Reckdahl also argued that the residential development should be 100% affordable housing, a stipulation that is at odds with Stanford's plans. And they noted that even if the city doesn't include the site in its next Housing Element, that doesn't mean it can't plan for housing here.

Others characterized the decision of the group not to include the site in the city's Housing Element as a lost opportunity. Working group member Sheryl Klein, who was one of four dissenters, said she was disappointed by the group's decision not to include the site in its housing plans.

"Given the city's environmental goals, this is such a perfect site for some sort of housing," said Klein, who serves as chief operating officer at the housing nonprofit Alta Housing. "We don't have to commit to the height, but I think this is a great site for housing and it's in a great location — people can walk to downtown stores and amenities. I can't believe that we're taking it off and we're going to push it off into the future."

While the panel also endorsed including the Pasteur and El Camino sites that Stanford owns in the new Housing Element, its decision to punt on transit center plans frustrated some residents and housing advocates. Robert Chun, a board member at the advocacy group Palo Alto Forward, noted that the working group had endorsed at previous meetings the concept of building housing near Caltrain stations. Given that position, he urged group members to include the transit center in the city's housing plans.

"No matter what this Caltrain site looks like, we can't let Palo Alto's most popular option for housing die so quickly," Chun said.

The decision on whether to include the downtown transit center in the city's housing plans will ultimately fall to the council, which is scheduled to adopt the Housing Element in fall 2022. Early signs suggest that Stanford's proposal will be a hard sell. A council ad hoc committee made up of Mayor Tom DuBois and council members Eric Filseth and Greer Stone has considered the university's housing concept and generally agreed that the city's 50-foot height limit should remain in place, according to a report from Tim Wong, who is leading the Housing Element update. While this position would effectively kill Stanford's proposal, Lait suggested that the city and the university will continue discussing ways to increase residential development in the area.

"I think we're all interested in seeing housing here," Lait said. "It's a great place for housing, but it might be a great place for other things too. So how well do those things come together? I don't think we're going to solve that immediately."

Comments

Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 24, 2021 at 9:58 am
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Nov 24, 2021 at 9:58 am

The truth is that any new development always increases parking problems. Regardless of whether there are 1 or 2 spaces per unit, there will always be visitors, nannies, house cleaners, overnight guests, daytime guests, etc. as well as delivery vans for Amazon or for furniture.

Any of the recent (10 years) new developments have seen parking impacts on local streets. Residential or commercial areas will see impact of parking for these new housing units.

I am not against new housing, I am just being realistic.


Local Resident
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 24, 2021 at 10:51 am
Local Resident, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Nov 24, 2021 at 10:51 am

Several key points. Most importantly, the sites being included in the RHNA are the sites the group thinks are most likely to be developed in the next 8 years. Regardless, Stanford can bring a development proposal for this site to city council at any time.

In addition, this site is public facilities, which means it can only be developed for the greater good. Thus Stanford's proposal to include office space and market rate housing does not meet that criteria. Instead it should be 100% below market since it is Public Facilities zoning. Also, staff recommended waiting and gave grade separation as one of the reasons. I do think given how strategic this site is, it should be carefully designed to maximize its value to the community.


Chris
Registered user
University South
on Nov 24, 2021 at 1:37 pm
Chris, University South
Registered user
on Nov 24, 2021 at 1:37 pm

The advantage here is that the site has one owner who is a willing builder of housing in the next 8 years. Many of the other sites are going to be more difficult to entice builders.

RHNA is looking for housing across all affordability levels. The city does not have to make all of its new housing for the lowest income level.

Once the state Sue’s the city for an inadequate RHNA plan, the city will have to beg Stanford to develop this site. The city has more leverage now than it will later when the state really has it under the gun.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 24, 2021 at 1:47 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Nov 24, 2021 at 1:47 pm

This as a great location for housing. Go up to Redwood City - huge apartments next to the tracks at the shopping center. It looks really well done. A new developement now in process at Woodside Road and Industrial. There are tracks that go down to the end of the bay where there will be a ferry system connecting with SF, Oakland, etc. That development supports the new SU campus in RWC. Every other city is building major structures near the tracks and stations- we are behind the times.


dorbir
Registered user
Downtown North
on Nov 24, 2021 at 2:34 pm
dorbir, Downtown North
Registered user
on Nov 24, 2021 at 2:34 pm

It seems dumbfounding not to utilize this site for high rise housing. High rise will block no housing views, cast no shadows on anyone's dwelling, or impinge on any persons privacy. People who live there and work downtown can walk to work, those who work at Stanford can bike, use Marguerite shuttle, or walk to work, and those who work at a distant site can take bus, Cal Train, or Marguerite to work. The need for auto parking should be minimal and help our desire to decrease the use of fossil fuels. The city council and any groups involved in housing issues should reconsider their opposition and not delay in utilizing this site.
Birt Harvey


Marian Beck
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Nov 24, 2021 at 3:00 pm
Marian Beck, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Nov 24, 2021 at 3:00 pm

A residential site situated near the CalTrain station seems reasonable though it could get noisey with the passing trains.

The only thing going out there is MacPark and no real epicurean seriously dines in a chain establishment.


Native to the BAY
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Nov 24, 2021 at 5:10 pm
Native to the BAY, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Nov 24, 2021 at 5:10 pm

It was grotesque to hear Randolph Tsien insult fair housing practices. The current escalation, out of this Universe rental housing costs and he gripes of a potential scourge of city center full of “HUD” families and having an unsightly “public housing project” In his opinion the potential idea was like that of “Buena Vista Mobile Park”. I am appalled he’s on the HEWG committee and should be removed, immediately. Report his obvious personal prejudicial and clearly, bigoted comments about poor people who have life circumstances preventing single home ownership — it’s unbelievable he was selected to serve Palo Alto RHNA cycle and sits at the HEWG table. Again, GS does not list upcoming HEWG meetings for public commentary for added public participation. Apparently Net Zero, sustainability, and climate change is somewhere else — 2500 multi family homes at ROLM GM area in the direct path of sea level rise and flooding is okay for local R1 NIMBYS. Look to East Petaluma. Hugely built out in late 1960’s 1970’s with new public K-12 schools, strip mall shopping centers — it floods from upper San Pablo bay river water.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 24, 2021 at 5:35 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Nov 24, 2021 at 5:35 pm

So where will all the commuters and other train travelers park if the station parking lot becomes housing?


Native to the BAY
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Nov 24, 2021 at 6:01 pm
Native to the BAY, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Nov 24, 2021 at 6:01 pm

We’re will commuters park? In their driveways . On the East Coast suburbs commuter rarely park at train stations, they walk to home or take a bus or someone picks them. Since when does one commuter get one designated car slot for all day parking? The argument that because one commutes by train that individual w a carbon fueled car is rewarded a “free” parking space at a rail station is really absurd . Even in Oakland’s Bart station commuters pay for parking. Now yellow safe bike lock up storage boxes sit empty at Cal Train station. I will absurdly suggest converting those to sleeping boxes for affordable housing. Apparently car parks are more important than the 50 year in the making housing hole . Perspective is 20/20. Apparently parking a car that sits empty yet is a size to seat 5 people is superior to housing one individual w no car needs.


blah
Registered user
another community
on Nov 25, 2021 at 10:00 am
blah, another community
Registered user
on Nov 25, 2021 at 10:00 am

Hey Shallow Alto, did we not just have a discussion about affordable housing on the story about the NYT op-ed? You can talk the talk all day, but until you walk the walk, you are not credible.

If you would like your property values to stay high, you should consider making affordable housing available to those in this community who help educate and care for your children, staff the local stores, and do the low-paying-but-necessary jobs that nobody else wants to do. Just because you might work at some fancy buzzword company and make a lot of money does not mean you are somehow more important or valuable. Life is not a zero sum game, and in fact, the fact that ANY of us are here at all is a complete accident since our conception depended entirely on whichever sperm made it to the egg first.


Chris C.
Registered user
Community Center
on Nov 25, 2021 at 12:27 pm
Chris C., Community Center
Registered user
on Nov 25, 2021 at 12:27 pm

This housing proposal just plain makes sense, and the opposition to it from city council is downright embarrassing.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 25, 2021 at 12:39 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Nov 25, 2021 at 12:39 pm

"If you would like your property values to stay high, you should consider making affordable housing available to those in this community who help educate and care for your children, staff the local stores, and do the low-paying-but-necessary jobs that nobody else wants to do."

That sounds like a threat. I'm sure you didn't mean it that way, did you? I'm sure you're telling the residents of Atherton, Los Altos Hills, Portola Valley etc. the same thing, aren't you?

"Just because you might work at some fancy buzzword company and make a lot of money does not mean..."

The key word here is MIGHT. Not all PA residents are wealthy and/or are working.

You sure make a lot of unfounded assumptions. How about lobbying the companies pushing the gig economy to pay living wages? How about lobbying the "fancy buzzword companies" to stop hiring contractors -- often foreign contractors -- who outnumber full-time employees and are paid less and get no benefits while the community is forced to house them and put up with all the congestion resulting from adding tens of thousands of new people?

Check out all the recent successful lawsuits against buzzword companies like Facebook and Google for their discriminatory practices! They still have enough money and clout to fund the YIMBY's, PAF, Peninsula For Everyone, etc etc. and their lawsuits and their pr campaigns.


Allen Akin
Registered user
Professorville
on Nov 25, 2021 at 1:54 pm
Allen Akin, Professorville
Registered user
on Nov 25, 2021 at 1:54 pm

Housing at two sites seems to have plenty of support, so that's promising. And the same number of RHNA sites has to be identified whether or not the Transit Center site is used, so it's not a showstopper if we don't use it to meet the RHNA target.

Hamilton Hitchings mentioned that grade separation is an issue. How many of you are aware that one of the ideas for grade separation Downtown involves closing Alma at Palo Alto Ave, then building an underpass at Everett Ave? That would have a massive impact on what could be built at the Transit Center. Conversely, approving a large housing structure at the Transit Center now could rule out that grade-separation option, and possibly others that we know nothing about. Waiting a little while before deciding what to do with the site seems reasonable to me.


Marie
Registered user
South of Midtown
on Nov 25, 2021 at 9:27 pm
Marie, South of Midtown
Registered user
on Nov 25, 2021 at 9:27 pm

I don't see how anyone can plan anything near train stations until Caltrain and HSR have finalized their requirements. The University Train Station is the busiest, I believe, except for San Jose and San Francisco. Train platforms are supposed to be lengthened - sometime. After Palo Alto spent millions designing grade crossings in South Palo Alto, it all ground to a halt because Caltrain said they really didn't favor any plan that did not provide for 4 tracks, even though that decision is yet to be made. I don't think the situation is any different for the area around the downtown train station.

I agree that it is a perfect spot for housing. I don't think any more offices should be built until we have reduced our housing imbalance to at least to 3:1. Let's get HSR and Stanford together to come up with a plan. In the past, HSR wanted increased parking. Who knows what they will want when they get their infusion of money from the latest federal infrastructure bill.


blah
Registered user
another community
on Nov 26, 2021 at 12:56 am
blah, another community
Registered user
on Nov 26, 2021 at 12:56 am

@Online Name: I was not aware that making observations about how communities generally work was considered a threat. Without the people who perform essential-but-not-highly-paid jobs like teachers, grocery store workers, gardeners, the people who collect your trash every week, your Starbucks barista, etc., how will this community function? If Shallow Alto is populated by only homeowners and these homeowners do not want to teach their own children, work in a grocery store, do their own yard work, drive a garbage truck, or make their own coffee, who do you think is going to commute 4+ hours per day to work at some low paying job in a town where they are not appreciated?

You seem to have never worked for a fancy buzzword company. I have worked for some fancy buzzword companies and I have learned that most of the people I worked for and with are actually very bad at their jobs. I signed an NDA so I can't say the details, but surely storing a private key on the same physical device as the data being protected by said private key is a horrible idea, yet this is happening.

Your logical reasoning skills also seem to be pretty bad since you claim that our community is forced to house thousands of foreign contractors who are paid less and get no benefits. If these foreign contractors are paid less, how can they afford to live in Shallow Alto?

Perhaps you should familiarize yourself with the general requirements for obtaining an H-1B visa, which is the type of visa that many foreign tech workers possess. The H-1B requires at least a bachelor's degree and its intent is to help US employers find skilled workers in specialty occupations when the supply of qualified US workers is too low to meet demand.

Since you seem to be pretty good at making inane comments on the internet, you obviously know how to use the internet. Did you know that using the internet to look up factual information is really a thing?


blah
Registered user
another community
on Nov 26, 2021 at 1:01 am
blah, another community
Registered user
on Nov 26, 2021 at 1:01 am

Regarding the Caltrain plans: I do not know the entire plan, but I do know that Caltrain has already started their electrification project. If they were going to increase the number of tracks or move tracks around, they probably would have done that before starting to install the electrification equipment.


Allen Akin
Registered user
Professorville
on Nov 26, 2021 at 10:05 am
Allen Akin, Professorville
Registered user
on Nov 26, 2021 at 10:05 am

@blah: "If they were going to increase the number of tracks or move tracks around, they probably would have done that before starting to install the electrification equipment."

Unfortunately, those are separate projects. Electrification is already underway (though delayed and suffering cost overruns). The new 4-track segments are part of the 2040 Service Vision ( Web Link ). If I understand the Caltrain documents correctly, management believes they'll need the new segments, but they haven't decided exactly where those segments will be built.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 26, 2021 at 11:16 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Nov 26, 2021 at 11:16 am

"Perhaps you should familiarize yourself with the general requirements for obtaining an H-1B visa, which is the type of visa that many foreign tech workers possess. The H-1B requires at least a bachelor's degree and its intent is to help US employers find skilled workers in specialty occupations when the supply of qualified US workers is too low to meet demand."

Its intent is to help US companies boost their bottom lines at the expense of US workers just like the gig economy companies spent HUNDREDS of millions of dollars lobbying to deprive their workers of living wages WHILE charging restaurants 30+% and while DoorDash's CEO is the 2d highest paid in the US.

Web Link

Facebook pays $4.75 million in discrimination suit that favored temporary visa holders over U.S. workers for jobs

Web Link

The Department of Justice has sued Facebook, alleging it discriminated against U.S. workers by reserving positions for temporary visa holders, the agency announced Thursday.
The DOJ alleged that Facebook did not consider “qualified and available U.S. workers” for more than 2,600 positions with an average salary of about $156,000, according to the release.


blah
Registered user
another community
on Nov 26, 2021 at 11:47 am
blah, another community
Registered user
on Nov 26, 2021 at 11:47 am

[Portion removed.] If the H-1B visa program was intended to "help US companies boost their bottom lines at the expense of US workers", why is the DOJ—whose job it is to enforce the laws of the United States—suing Facebook for allegedly discriminating against US workers?


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 26, 2021 at 12:13 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Nov 26, 2021 at 12:13 pm

[Portion removed.]

You might try researching the big Silicon Valley institutions like Stanford, Silicon Valley Leadership Group etc. who've lobbied long and well to CAP the compensation of foreign workers to give the companies using them an advantage.

Or how about the lobbying expenses of DoorDash, Uber, Lyft, etc who are all contributing homelessness and shifting the costs of to taxpayers?

You may have heard about the cost-savings from outsourcing and using gig workers?


Ryan
Registered user
Barron Park
on Nov 27, 2021 at 8:37 pm
Ryan, Barron Park
Registered user
on Nov 27, 2021 at 8:37 pm

We need LESS housing, not more housing. Pollution, traffic, noise, all get worse with more housing.


Observer
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Nov 28, 2021 at 12:14 pm
Observer, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Nov 28, 2021 at 12:14 pm

Ryan said we need less housing. Actually we need less people. That would go a long way to solving a heck of a lot of the world's problems. Including housing, climate change, parking, noise, pollution - all mentioned in the comments.


Observer
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Nov 28, 2021 at 12:27 pm
Observer, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Nov 28, 2021 at 12:27 pm

Well now down to some concerning issues - property tax, schools, fire and police. Will Stanford as usual try to avoid property taxes as they're doing on their former auto row project on ECR in Menlo Park. Thus insufficient funds for schooling all the new kids, not enough funds to cover additional fire and police needs just to name a few of the things property taxes pay for. Also the possibility of 8 to 15 stories high - can the ladder trucks handle that. Also the impact of these tal buildings on local climate - blocking and changing cool air flow from the bay.
The Big Four weren't called the Robber Barons for nothing. And at least one of them is still around.


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