Will Ventura become the epicenter for new affordable housing? Probably not, council says | January 14, 2022 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - January 14, 2022

Will Ventura become the epicenter for new affordable housing? Probably not, council says

Palo Alto City Council balks at revising parking standards, adding offices to neighborhood

by Gennady Sheyner

When Palo Alto launched its effort to craft a new vision for the Ventura neighborhood, residents and city leaders expressed high hopes for turning the centrally located but underserved area into a vibrant neighborhood that includes more shops, park space and affordable housing.

This story contains 1774 words.

Stories older than 90 days are available only to subscribing members. Please help sustain quality local journalism by becoming a subscribing member today.

If you are already a subscriber, please log in so you can continue to enjoy unlimited access to stories and archives. Subscriptions start at $5 per month and may be cancelled at any time.

Log in     Subscribe

Email Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner at [email protected]

Comments

Posted by Local Resident
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 11, 2022 at 11:17 am

Local Resident is a registered user.

It's nice to have a council that focuses zoning exceptions on truly affordable housing and is not fooled into thinking building more office is the way to subsidize below market housing. A business tax, like pretty much every other city on the peninsula has is a better way to go. Thank you for your good work last night.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 11, 2022 at 11:30 am

Online Name is a registered user.

I agree with Local Resident. Good to see most of the CC asking Staff hard questions and calling them out for their unsubstantiated claims. To develop plans based on fairy tails about how many people will willingly give up their cars is absurd. Also odd is the claim that the lowest income people will give up their cars when they clearly need them to get to work.


Posted by NeilsonBuchanan
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 11, 2022 at 12:53 pm

NeilsonBuchanan is a registered user.

Don't underestimate the weak planning foundation in our city's planning and implementation processes. This Council has begun to discard vague aspiration and prayers; it is moving towards accountability for staff, developers and citizens.

For example, one component for a better future is realistic transportation demand management(TDM). Meaningful TDM is 100% impractical without an entirely new enforceable ordinance. Thankfully I think senior city staff realizes their implementation hurdles.


Posted by commonsense
a resident of Professorville
on Jan 11, 2022 at 2:07 pm

commonsense is a registered user.

Office will not be needed to subsidize residential if the height limit is raised enough and greated density is allowed. Furthermore, more density of housing with NO office will be a step in the right direction to getting the jobs/housing imbalance under control. The 50' limit is an arbitrary number set up decades ago that needs to be changed. What's the cost/benefit of increasing the residential height limit 20? A slightly larger shadow in return for more housing, more affordable housing and "less" office.


Posted by Cedric de La Beaujardiere
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 11, 2022 at 2:58 pm

Cedric de La Beaujardiere is a registered user.

I was pleased to see strong support among both the Council members and the staff report for the maximum restoration of this segment of Matadero Creek. I am hopeful that this will stay a priority, become funded and move eventually to implementation. For those interested in seeing the study that was done with plan-view maps and cross sections of the creek under the various concepts, you can find that here: Web Link
Pdf page 74 of that study has a handy rendering of the cross sections of the current conditions and the three main alternatives with brief descriptions of each.

I am thankful for Mayor Pat Burt's leadership and highlighting the importance of restoring our riparian corridors, and for the support several council members gave to that idea.

I think it is important to keep in mind that a naturalized creek which includes public access would be in itself a park amenity, a positive contribution to a broader park experience, not a detraction from the park. Parks are more than just play structures and playing fields. See for instance the photos of kids playing in creeks in these bay area parks, including our own Bol Park access to Matadero Creek: Web Link


Posted by JonnyK
a resident of Ventura
on Jan 11, 2022 at 4:57 pm

JonnyK is a registered user.

I hope they preserve the old historic cannery. If not the entire building, at least the original footprint.


Posted by Allen Akin
a resident of Professorville
on Jan 11, 2022 at 5:06 pm

Allen Akin is a registered user.

Building tall makes housing more expensive. Midrise at 6 to 8 stories is about twice as costly per square foot as detached single-family homes. Here's a good reference that explains the tradeoffs: Web Link (If anyone has more recent data, please pass it along.) This is one reason why the "teacher housing" project on Grant Ave is estimating a cost of about $800K per unit.

Of course you can always make units smaller, no matter what the height of the building. That improves affordability, though it will also make the units unsuitable for some tenants (like families).


Posted by tmp
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 11, 2022 at 9:06 pm

tmp is a registered user.

The vision for the bay area should be:
1) No more office space. There are too many jobs and people her for the environment, water supply and pollution level. More office space means more workers and more calls for housing.
2) Use this space for the people who already live in the area. They need a large park and community space. They city owes the residents of Palo Alto much more central park space then we have. The city has not added significant park space for the growing population for decades.
3) Do not upzone the area to help developers make more money. Leave the zoning as low as possible so if they decide to sell it will be at a lower rate based on what the area is zoned for.


Posted by Chris
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jan 12, 2022 at 12:42 pm

Chris is a registered user.

Common sense you obviously have no...

The arbiters of our great city from years past were staunch environmentalists and they realized how bad building underground is in this area. Which is why there are so many Iclers (sp?)

As you obviously do not know, Palo Alto's proximity to the bay makes the water table especially close to the surface. Building underground in this area is akin to filling in the bay. Which maybe you actually understand is bad

Did you know that living in an urban environment is unhealthy for human beings? What's a little more cancer, heart disease and dementia?


Posted by commonsense
a resident of Professorville
on Jan 12, 2022 at 12:46 pm

commonsense is a registered user.

Ouch! However what does the water table have to do with a building's height? Underground parking is a problem? Shall we move all cars parked under ground to the streets?


Posted by Chris
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jan 12, 2022 at 12:48 pm

Chris is a registered user.

Dude, try and actually know something before you start acting like you


Posted by Chris
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jan 12, 2022 at 12:48 pm

Chris is a registered user.

The higher the building, the lower the foundation....


Posted by commonsense
a resident of Professorville
on Jan 12, 2022 at 12:50 pm

commonsense is a registered user.

kajshd


Posted by commonsense
a resident of Professorville
on Jan 12, 2022 at 12:51 pm

commonsense is a registered user.

And that's a problem because?


Posted by Chris
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jan 12, 2022 at 12:51 pm

Chris is a registered user.

That was your most sensible comment so far


Posted by Chris
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jan 12, 2022 at 12:53 pm

Chris is a registered user.

Because you're filling in the water table

Thanks for ignoring the cancer, heart disease and dementia you're wishing on everyone.


Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 12, 2022 at 2:41 pm

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

Filseth is such a downer, how addictive is that ? Prop13 homeowners are addicted to thier low property tax rates and pro R1 zones. The unhoused at the bottom of the human pool chain and the wealthiest earners, sucking every drop to the top. Our most vulnerable bi-pedal human mammals are suffering the oppression of home price gauging, a very limited existing housing supply chain crisis and climate change. iRemodel and even relocate the said "historic" cannery. Make it into a community center with a gym and indoor pool. Sobrato "has no apatite for housing"?! Yet they look good by giving to local low-income non-profits except in the housing sector. the no apatite argument as "ruining the character of the neighborhood". I love how the city always pushes back or says no to affordable housing yet has endless visionary ideas about Matadero Creek's "naturalization" (millions of dollars and probably coming from the infrastructure bill) and preserving a underutilized, empty warehouse and property into something which could feed everyone's soul. North Ventura is a great solution to an endemic and historic crisis -- local housing for all incomes. I'd say the City is exacerbating and prolonging our unhoused epidemic by the actions taken in their endless motions, welcome and unwelcome...


Posted by commonsense
a resident of Professorville
on Jan 12, 2022 at 3:13 pm

commonsense is a registered user.

Haha! Filling in the water table. That’s pretty funny. I’ll give you that!


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 12, 2022 at 4:19 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

" Prop13 homeowners are addicted to thier low property tax rates and pro R1 zones. The unhoused at the bottom of the human pool chain and the wealthiest earners, sucking every drop to the top"

Funny how you ignore the fact that Prop13 COMMERCIAL property owners also have even lower property tax rates and "live" much longer than homewners who either sell off or die off much sooner than corporations which are also RICHER than individual "mammals." As for the "wealthiest earners, sucking every drop to the top," where's your outrage at the big corporate lobbyists who spend HUNDREDS of MILLIONS of dollars lobbying in the last election to deprive gig workers of basic benefits and a living wage?


Posted by local gurl
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jan 13, 2022 at 5:53 am

local gurl is a registered user.

Don’t kid yourself. The last thing Palo Alto wants is “an inclusive neighborhood with residents of all income levels.” They’ve proven it for decades.


Posted by PaloAltoVoter
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 13, 2022 at 8:20 am

PaloAltoVoter is a registered user.

Local girl, what are you talking about? Palo Alto has more affordable housing than most cities in Santa Clara county and ranks even higher when you look per capita! Where are you getting your facts?


Posted by Chris
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jan 13, 2022 at 8:40 am

Chris is a registered user.

She's getting her facts from the unbridled fury that is her existence. Looking for someone to blame.
Palo Alto is the most inclusive community in the world. So many projects and well meaning people have worked to help the less fortunate. You are a delusional bitter person local gurl

This native to the Bay...you have the worst ideas I've seen ...anywhere! I'd call you a downer but it's more like a clowner


Posted by Chris
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jan 13, 2022 at 8:44 am

Chris is a registered user.

Common sense you are pathetically undermatched for this. You're already out of things to say. You don't care about the environment or other people. Have a good laugh you disgusting miser


Posted by commonsense
a resident of Professorville
on Jan 13, 2022 at 9:20 am

commonsense is a registered user.

Chris,
You are clearly more knowledgeable than I so please explain how deeper foundations “fill in the water table” and how someone who doesn’t understand this point wishes cancer and dementia upon all others and is a miser. And how is it that whatever foundation your home rests on or any building you visit is the “proper” depth and anything deeper is an environmental disaster? Thank you!


Posted by Cedric de La Beaujardiere
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 17, 2022 at 2:21 pm

Cedric de La Beaujardiere is a registered user.

This flame war is making people hot under the collar. In case of conflagration, harumphitude filter masks will deploy into the cabin. Please secure your own mask before helping others with theirs. Take a few deep breath to recenter, and proceed with a cool head and a warm heart. If we each make an effort to debate facts and opinions, and leave out the ad hominim attacks, we'll improve the experience for all readers of and contributors to the discussion.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Palo Alto Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

 

Register today to support local nonprofits

The 38th annual Moonlight Run and Walk is Friday evening, September 9. Proceeds go to the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund, benefiting local nonprofits that serve families and children in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. Join us under the light of the full Harvest Moon on a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon. Complete your race in person or virtually to support local nonprofits.

Register Now!