Amid backlash, city to reconsider decision on Comp Plan | March 17, 2017 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - March 17, 2017

Amid backlash, city to reconsider decision on Comp Plan

Citizens committee blasts City Council's vote to remove programs from land-use guide

by Gennady Sheyner

Palo Alto officials will revisit on Monday their controversial January decision to strip all programs from the city's guiding land-use document, the Comprehensive Plan — a move that some characterized as a "formatting" change and others decried as a betrayal of public trust.

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Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner can be emailed at


Posted by resident
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 16, 2017 at 10:13 am

This was a good move. The previous system was stuck for many, many years. This will allow the comp plan to be less complicated and actually get done so some other planning issues can get the attention they deserve.

Posted by Dan
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2017 at 11:00 am

I might have missed it, but I don't see anything in this story stating that the five council members who voted for this summary motion would be willing to reconsider it. So while it would be hopeful that they back away from this path, I would not hold my breathe waiting for it. Keller is right about the proposed compromise being window dressing hiding the fundamental goal of eliminating formal elements from the Housing Plan that the council would later have to publicly repudiate in order to further their agenda.

Posted by 6Djockey
a resident of Green Acres
on Mar 16, 2017 at 12:56 pm

I'm glad that so many are as shocked as I am about stripping the programs out of the Comp plan in such a devious manner. Obviously the programs carry little or no weight if they are in the appendix of the plan. The five development-minded council members that voted for this can now simply ignore the programs they don't like, no matter how strongly the CAC recommends them or how much time citizens and staff have worked to develop the plans. Clearly the majority of citizens, whether they voted for the pro-developers or not, think this action is anywhere from dubious to disgracefull. I think the response of the five council members to this outcry will make it clear if they want to serve the citizens or the developers who helped fund their campaign (to a greater extent than we ever knew).

Posted by Sense
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2017 at 3:07 pm

Residents can referend to change any action of the City. They also have rights visavis rejecting a comp plan that doesn't retain consistency and doesn't involve the public. Throwing out the CAC wotprk makes a strong case for residents who want to counter what the CC dis. It would surely start another land use battle.

Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 16, 2017 at 3:57 pm

"I might have missed it, but I don't see anything in this story stating that the five council members who voted for this summary motion would be willing to reconsider it."

They have to do something; they've been busted beyond any option to just arrogantly dismiss the protesters.

But their intentions almost certainly remain the same. Watch out for Plan B.

Posted by Arthur Keller
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 16, 2017 at 4:22 pm

I believe I referred to the Land Use element in the last paragraph, not the Housing element. The motion was to remove the programs from the Land Use element. They were already going to be in the Implementation chapter, just as they are in the current 1998 Comprehensive Plan. So either they are in the Land Use element or they are not.

Posted by Amazing
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 16, 2017 at 7:18 pm

Agree with the comment to "Beware Plan B". The autocratic five will surely want to present something that sounds "balanced" but in fact follows up on their attempt to cherry pick programs.

The CAC members deserve commendation - they really captured what happened

"belittles the effort, subverts the balance and invalidates the consensus. "

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