Guest Opinion: of house and home — Palo Alto style | February 2, 2018 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - February 2, 2018

Guest Opinion: of house and home — Palo Alto style

by Evelyn Preston

Of course, it had to be. We were overdue. Progress and change had finally penetrated my small, dual-named corner of Palo Alto. For more than half a century our wide street remained cul-de-sac quiet, enjoyed by bicyclists, school kids and several disappointed short-cut seekers.

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Evelyn Preston is a former Palo Alto teacher and a 25-year investment adviser who now writes.


23 people like this
Posted by III
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 4, 2018 at 8:23 am

Sadly this has been going on past 10 years. Mega Mansions in MidTown.
1) half the time I never see anyone who lives there roaming around.
Might be the off shore buyer, who simply lives 24/7 inside the home.
Might be me and my timing with my own work/career world and "holing" up inside my own home to watch Judge Judy :-----)...
2)My biggest fear, one side of my home, I grow spring/summer vegetables.
Mega Mansion will destroy what should be my right to light. Other side on my house is a wonderful 100ft 50-100yr old Redwood tree. Lots of live in that tree, wonderful shade during or 90 degree summer days, and most summer days. Mega House build, chops it down even if illegal, $15,000 penality. Nothing for a $5mm home build.
3) To be honest, done fabulous personal net worth with my Palo Alto home, Equity portfolio, Tax Free bond income portfolio and 401k/IRA portfolios. But I sure wish I had purchased one more home on my street in the $600k-$800k. Who knew home values would go from $1mm to $2.3mm midtown area in 7-8 years.
I am afraid we are not seeing progress. I am afraid we are seeing a home building freight train that will run over any political or neighborhood home owner association that tries to stand up to it. Its big money now, and our elected leaders, although trying, cannot stop Stanford's build outs much less the incredible amount of new commercial building going on. Traffic is all but a nightmare IMO on our 25mph streets, and half the time its Mom's taking kids to school because afraid to let them ride their bikes to school, before they then race off to their job to help pay for their Palo Alto home..... Choo Choo. I built a higher fence, better bbq area and improved our home entertainment infrastructure. Gonna become a 24/7 old man hidden in my home am afraid LOL.

8 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Feb 6, 2018 at 10:37 am

This change has been happening for decades and was/is as predictable as the sun rising in the morning and setting in the evening. What started with HP, Silicon Valley/Palo Alto is home or close to home for many of the largest companies in the world. I, for one, embrace it. It's a losing/lost battle to look at it any other way. This has become a magnet for technology that runs our planet. The excitement and diversity it has brought is here to stay. I don't love crowded highways but am confident that some day the technology and resources/money will make that better too. In the meantime, if it's too much, we have quite a large country that has thousands of smaller communities that all are free to move to any day. Sure, reminisce, but be happy and enjoy what is happening here now, not what was happening 50 years ago. Or just complain about it every day for the rest of your life.

11 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Feb 6, 2018 at 12:27 pm

Evelyn was one of the first people we met when we moved to Palo Alto 34 years ago. She has been a friend since then. There is a significant problem with building up. A second story house looks right into the backyard of their neighbors. We have a pool and often sit out in the sun. Could not do that with a second story next door. If houses go up, the law must say only windows on street side. No windows on side or back. People MUST have privacy in their own backyard.

16 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 6, 2018 at 12:55 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

We have a pool and the backyard neighbor used to have a weird teenage son who loved to hang out in their tree so he had an unobstructed view of us and our friends.

We learned that if he fell out of the tree craning his neck to watch, it was legally OUR fault under the attractive nuisance law!!

Yes, we need our privacy. Tell out uber-development CC that.

1 person likes this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 6, 2018 at 2:12 pm

Annette is a registered user.

Thank you, Evelyn Preston!