News Digest | September 17, 2021 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - September 17, 2021

News Digest

Developer threatens lawsuit over Fry's site

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Posted by David L Hirsch
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 15, 2021 at 5:55 pm

David L Hirsch is a registered user.

Four new ideas for the Ventura/Fry's site:

The concept:
To create a super block that answers community requests for a major common space while providing a placemat for a significant amount of housing to respond to the pressing need; to respect the historic context; to create a unified vehicular circulation pattern that allows the car-free community space; and to accept the need to satisfy the financial requirements of Sobrato, the property owners.

The implementation:
1. Recognize that the Fry's building is not a noteworthy structure, even though it is culturally significant. Accept that a reduced section of Fry's can be retained to memorialize its history while providing a place for local community and retail uses, and that by reducing its footprint would create a large land parcel for housing development. Rezone the area PHZ to allow a greater housing density surrounding a major interior courtyard. Insist that a significant proportion of the housing is marketed at affordable rental levels.

2. Work with the owners through incentives including the up-zoning to shift their focus from retaining Fry's to accepting the housing alternative. Consider zoning increases for a potential mixed-use commercial buildings on the lots facing El Camino, also partially owned by Sobrato. Assist in the relocation of the existing Fry's R&D tenants to alternate locations.

3. Connect the separate sections of Ash to provide a through access from Lambert to Page Mill and (via the cut off to Park) California Avenue which will allow for the reduction of additional traffic on El Camino at the Page Mill intersection.

4. Provide a public bike/pedestrian path from Boulware Park through the new landscaped court to Park Boulevard so that this public space is shared by the Ventura community, the new residents and the neighboring commercial users. (Consider a Bike Bridge over El Camino to connect to Baron Park, the Research Park and beyond.)

Dreams by rationalists can become realities.

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