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Editorial: Facebook's proposed 'village'

Original post made on Jul 14, 2017

It's hard to imagine a better example of how messed up our region's planning processes and development policies are than Facebook's latest proposal.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 14, 2017, 6:48 AM

Comments (62)

13 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 14, 2017 at 8:14 am

As far as I can see, there is no way that the people who live in this "Village" will be Facebook employees anyway.

Stanford has its own faculty housing for those who are Stanford people and those homes are rigidly enforced to remain for Stanford people only and the price of these homes are well below the prices of similar homes elsewhere in Palo Alto.

As it is, these Stanford homes are only a fragment of the total number of Stanford people living in Palo Alto, Atherton, etc.

Is this a valid comparison?


43 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jul 14, 2017 at 8:24 am

Thank you thank you for speaking the truth about failed planning policies that just make millions and billions for developers.
it is important to add that we cannot possibly build housing for everyone who works here.
Residents need to rise up and demand change before it is to late.


WE are not an office park we are a diverse community of homeowners and renters.

WE are not a housing ghetto to provide beds for the worker bees of corporations to sleep in.

WE are proud to provide a place for startups and resident serving business to flourish in a balanced way.

WE do not welcome development and growth at at rate that is so out of balance that it ruins our city pollutes our planet and displaces members of our community


13 people like this
Posted by time to stir the pot again
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 14, 2017 at 9:24 am

The weekly, among others, like to complain (and stir up their readers) about companies not providing housing. Now we have a car of housing being provided and what do we hear from the weekly?
Bottom line, this is another cynical attempt by the weekly to generate traffic one their service by writing another biased, one sided "editorial".
Of even more importance Israel that this plan is in accordance with Menlo park's general plan. And of even greater importance is that we are talking about menlo park, so it is not any of the Weeklys business.


16 people like this
Posted by Allen Akin
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 14, 2017 at 9:35 am

"...housing development must far outpace and precede any new commercial development, and it must itself be preceded by transportation initiatives that reduce current traffic congestion and increase transit options."

Yes. This.


31 people like this
Posted by Tensions Rising
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 14, 2017 at 9:57 am

Zuckerberg thinks only of enriching himself, and then having so many billions that he can improve his image by donating millions.

However, that doesn't change the fact that he, Apple, Google, etc are ruining the quality of life for millions of people in an area that was population dense before he was ever born!!

The mantra in Meno Park is, "Go away, Zuck!". [Portion removed.]

So, either he is unaware of how miserable he and the other huge tech companies have made the area from Santa Clara to San Francisco-- or he just doesn't care.

By the way, those stack 'n packs they are putting up at Moffett Field for Google employees are quite miserable to actually live in; hot and claustrophobic, if warm in winter...
I doubt Zuck's village will be much better.

The bottom line, though, is that bringing in more jobs, even if they build more housing, does not mitigate the housing problems. It creates worse traffic congestion, even if employees are bussed-- they still go out to buy food, go to school, the doctor and dentist, and for entertainment.

This enriches NO ONE but the developers!


19 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 14, 2017 at 11:18 am

There are some important facts in this debate which need to be mentioned to ensure a balanced discussion on the topic of growth - 1) FB is one of the best 'types' of companies to have in this area i)It is a service industry, producing minimal pollution ii)It employs highly educated staff, a significant percentage of which are female with progressive employment policies for e.g. maternity iii) FB is a world leader meaning that employment is likely sustainable for the long tem future iv) It does make major 'extra-curricular' contributions to the community iv) Zuck is active with local philanthropic activities - would you rather have a local steel mill with low wage, low skill, mostly male jobs?


8 people like this
Posted by Todd
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 14, 2017 at 11:31 am

@Resident

The vast majority of malcontents complaining are retired, so I think they would prefer neither.


5 people like this
Posted by Marlene Glez.
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 14, 2017 at 1:05 pm

I don't have any benefits from "Silicon Valley ", Since Silicon Valley start working in the Bay Area, we have is a huge traffic, gentrification, some of my friends have to leave the area because the high rents, a lot of new buildings over parking spaces and and places that supposed to be a "green areas ". Overfilled schools and more riches people bragging around on expensive cars...
The only people who got benefits are renters, realtors, business and investments. What about the rest of people who live here..? This is not fair ! Specially for moms who have to ride kids to school twice at day on the most heavy traffic!
Will Silicon Valey fix at least something about the traffic?


25 people like this
Posted by Bill Leikam - The Fox Guy
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 14, 2017 at 1:59 pm

Not one mention as to how such a so called "development" will affect the wildlife living along the bay, including the gray fox population that inhabit the vicinity where they plan to destroy the landscape where these animals live and to date thrive. The Facebook gray foxes are in danger of being wiped out by this project and at the same time Mark Zuckerberg has hailed and supported the presence of these foxes on his campus. This project will produce wildlife "islands" where the young will be unable to disperse and when that happens inbreeding occurs causing depressed immune systems in most of the wildlife and that often leads to wiping out the wildlife through canine distemper and other viruses. We experienced that very thing at the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve in November and December 2016.

Why, with such so-called developments, isn't the wildlife considered? Are we blinded by our egocentric greed and think that the wildlife in the region don't truly matter? Let's turn that greed into compassion and vision. Let's make it so that all life can coexist on this planet.

Sincerely,
Bill Leikam – The Fox Guy
Urban Wildlife Research Project
UrbanWildlifeResearchProject.com

Alternative facts can be deadly. - wcl April 2017

We cannot call ourselves civilized until we freely give all living things on planet Earth their rightful place beside us. - wcl October 2015

“Failure is a wonderful professor.” From my book Autobiography of a Gray Fox, 2017 wcl



24 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 14, 2017 at 2:13 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@ time to stir the pot again - If you add office space that adds 10 commuters, and build 1 apartment, you aren't really "providing housing" - you are making things worse. If Facebook committed to zero employee growth, and added 1,000 housing units, then we'd see an improvement. But what is proposed here is bad for Menlo Park, and the neighboring communities that will be affected, thus the relevant editorial.


18 people like this
Posted by History Buff
a resident of another community
on Jul 14, 2017 at 3:46 pm

Let's not blame Facebook, Google, Apple et al. The fault lies squarely with our elected city councils, who are blinded by stars in their eyes. Menlo Park even held at least one council meeting at Facebook HQ. "Golly! I got to shake hands with Mark Zuckerberg."

Local officials don't know how to negotiate with billion-dollar companies. No matter how many "public benefits" offered, the company is getting way more benefit than the city.

As the editorial points out, the number of housing units is a drop in the bucket compared to the number of employees. Fat chance home prices will go down. The entire peninsula is already gridlocked and will only get worse with all these corporate "villages."


14 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 14, 2017 at 3:59 pm

In all honesty, I think that some of these mega companies should consider a campus in places like Gilroy or Tracy. They are still in sneezing distance of Silicon Valley and for those employees who choose not to move, they will at least have a reverse commute.

Google is planning to move to downtown San Jose with the backing of San Jose Mayor and CC. At least there is good public transportation to downtown SJ from the East Bay and Peninsula, but still not good from points further south.

The first one to move to Gilroy and then I am willing to bet that others will follow.


9 people like this
Posted by The Circle
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 14, 2017 at 5:42 pm

Just like the book The Circle. Live, breathe, work Facebook. Hysterical (not really). Makes a sad state of traffic far worse.


8 people like this
Posted by Bring it on!
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 14, 2017 at 7:40 pm

Marlene says"I don't have any benefits from "Silicon Valley ". By how much did the price of houses have gone up? By how much are salaries up (including teacher's salaries) (just to name a few) ? No benefits?

Some people on this forum must think that because they don't like something others should be of the same opinion. But judging by the tiny percentage of people advocating against tech companies ,they are going to be the losers (though they will complain and whine from their very expensive backyards) -there is no stopping the march of time, the march of things to come. Complain all you want, many of us want a more vibrant city , not a sleepy suburb. So there ! the house that I bought in 1984 for 125 thousand dollars is now worth 1.8 million. It will afford me a very nice retirement somewhere else. It already does, with its very low property taxes. Stop complaining. We are not in Kansas anymore.


3 people like this
Posted by Retired Steelworker
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 14, 2017 at 9:35 pm

"...would you rather have a local steel mill with low wage, low skill, mostly male jobs?"

Sure. It's honest productive labor at good wages and with opportunities for all skill levels and genders.


16 people like this
Posted by Go Weekly!
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 15, 2017 at 12:03 am

Finally an editorial I can agree with.

Time to rally against development that is destroying the state and this area. Residents don't have to sit by and allow an expanding growth rate that supplies workers to large corporations while simultaneously destroying their own quality of life via traffic, pollution, poor schools and lack of infrastructure and housing. Time to demand all corporate growth move to high rises in cities with transportation infrastructure to support the workers coming to them daily. Or alternatively, we may just be full in this state. Water usage is maximized and our air pollution in the Bay area is some of the worst in the nation.

Time to elect no growth representatives to city councils and state offices!


11 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 15, 2017 at 12:38 am

@Resident,

The "service" Facebook provides is very low on Maslow's hierarchy of need. Facebook is basically a form of entertainment. The most popular TV shows have a run of 10-12 years before they jump-the-shark. Younger users are already feeling Facebook fatigue and drifting away.

I'm with Steelworker. I'd rather see a hi-tech steel mill producing something we actually need.


4 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 15, 2017 at 2:19 am

@Ahem, you sure about where Facebook fits the Maslow hierarchy?

I've seen it depicted at the apex -- self-actualization, creativity, acceptance.

But that's a whole 'nother topic.


6 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 15, 2017 at 8:00 am

The way Silicon Valley works is that when one company goes, another takes its place - geographically speaking that is.

Sun Microsystems was the company that was previously situated where both Google and Facebook are now. If anything causes Google and Facebook to move or disappear from their physical sites, I suspect another newbie will be ready to take over the sites.


12 people like this
Posted by Frugal
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 15, 2017 at 10:38 am

The Menlo Council richly deserves the criticism laid on them by the Palo Alto Weekly Editorial Board.

I wonder though where the same Board was when Stanford began its expansion effort starting even before the new hospital?


22 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 15, 2017 at 11:19 am

It is time for the Facebooks, Googles and Palantirs of this world to move out of this region. They are in the wrong place. The peninsula absolutely cannot provide housing for their employees, and their presence here is destroying any remaining quality of life, tranquility and peace.

There are many areas around the country whose economies and prospects of recovery are depressed and hopeless. They have the housing, space and desperate need for these companies. The Bay area is over saturated with employment and out of space and infrastructure to accommodate the ever increasing number of workers hired by such companies.


25 people like this
Posted by Pat Burt
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 15, 2017 at 11:22 am

The editorial rightly speaks to the severe disconnect between our pace of tech job growth and the rate of new housing and transportation improvements that would be needed to keep up.
They also touched on the critical ripple impact that our explosion in high paying tech jobs is having on undermining social/economic balance in our region, "Far from addressing the Valley's affordable-housing crisis, this will only add to it. Housing costs will rise, the existing semi-affordable home and apartments in east Menlo Park, East Palo Alto and Redwood City will be priced higher as leases renew and the gentrification of these communities will accelerate. Where will the thousands of lower-paid service workers required to support these new developments live?" Each of these 10,000 new software jobs has a four to one job multiplier impact, Web Link, primarily for workers who can no longer compete for the housing; nurses, teachers, retailers, business services, police, utility workers and others.
Up to a certain point, highly paid tech jobs are a strong plus to a local economy. Unfortunately, few among our regional planners, political leadership and business community have been willing to face the reality that we are proceeding on a trend line regionally that is unsustainable economically, socially and environmentally. Our leaders need to waste no more time tackling these issues objectively and responsibly if we are to maintain the health of our region.


13 people like this
Posted by Ingeborg
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 15, 2017 at 11:37 am

Maurucio advocates throwing tens of thousands of people out of work because of his petty dislike of certain successful companies
Meanwhile the PALO Alto weekly can huff and puff all they want with their self serving righteous indignation. This is a Menlo park matter


22 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 15, 2017 at 12:19 pm

It's not a Menlo Park matter; it's clearly a regional and statewide matter. When MP restricts traffic on Willow that very same traffic backs up into PA and when PA does something similar, surrounding communities get hit. The exact same people in Menlo Park AND Palo Alto are on the commissions pushing for this growth.

The hyper-development advocates should really drop their laughable claim that all this office development helps affordability when it clearly does the exact opposite -- which is just what their well-funded backers want.

I'm so tired of saying good bye to friends whose rents and utilities have soared to the point that they have to leave for cheaper pastures to support the greedy developers and big companies that have packed all the city councils and commissions in PA, Menlo Park, the state legislature with their cronies. The same goes for home-owning friends who leave as soon as their kids graduate because they're tired of the gridlock and the plummeting quality of life.

And I'm testy that we have to sacrifice so many outings because you can no longer get there from here in a reasonable time.


13 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 15, 2017 at 1:39 pm

"Maurucio advocates throwing tens of thousands of people out of work because of his petty dislike of certain successful companies"

To paraphrase Mark Twain: Lies lies and more damn lies. A typical distortion and attack from the hyper development crowd. Moving companies to areas where they are actually needed, and desperately so, with proper infrastructure, space and affordable housing, while saving the Bay area from Florida-like overdevelopment and destruction is the exact opposite of throwing thousands of people out of their jobs.


4 people like this
Posted by Todd
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 15, 2017 at 1:50 pm

@Online Name

Sorry for not sounding sympathetic but "hyper-development advocates" (whatever the hell that means) aren't responsible for the housing shortage.


9 people like this
Posted by Only he matters
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 15, 2017 at 1:58 pm

Mauricio wants 3 large local companies to leave the area. Does he think that every employee of these companies will move? What about all the support employees that do work for these companies, but whose livelihood depends on these companies? Sorry but moving companies means local job losses. No Mauricio ingeborgs comments were not a lie. You just do not care about anyone except for yourself


3 people like this
Posted by Todd
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 15, 2017 at 2:10 pm

Keep in mind that to the person living the "areas where [the companies] are actually needed" (in Mauricio's own personal opinion), he's another out of towner advocating for them to deal with "hyper-development"... funny how that works.


14 people like this
Posted by Pat Burt
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 15, 2017 at 2:59 pm

Debates about large tech companies getting up and moving are pretty off point as are arguments that massive increases in high paying tech jobs, along with the resulting job multiplier for lower income jobs, is not a primary driver of our housing problem.
The more valid discussion is about what portion of the growth of these big companies needs to be and should be in one location. Historically, our big tech firms have elected to expand in other regions once they hit a certain maturity due to the sorts of constraints we are seeing today; high housing and other costs of living, commercial space availability and cost, and the high cost and diminishing availability of talent. Sharing these high paying jobs has been a boon for other regions, lifting their economies and often moving those regions to the left politically. That's a good things for everyone in my book.
It would be great if there could be more of a thoughtful and fact based discussion about what pace, type and amount of growth is sustainable.


14 people like this
Posted by Cash Cow
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 15, 2017 at 3:12 pm

Mr. Burt. we can "debate" all we want but it won't matter a single bit so long as we have representatives like Palantir disproportionately represented on the key commissions in Palo Alto and Menlo Park where they keep shifting the burden to paying for this growth from businesses to residents. Why a hyper development developer like Mr. Alchek is allowed to CHAIR the PA Planning Commission is another question.

It's a rigged game and something must be done. There's no accountability from our city officials or our commissioners. Report a problem, any problem, and they're still "monitoring" it. Try writing and asking WHY they allowed the drought surcharge, for example, to continue for months and WHY we're not getting credit for the 4 or 5 months since February. You won't get answers to THOSE questions even if you do get a response.


12 people like this
Posted by Pat Burt
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 15, 2017 at 3:33 pm

@Cash
I agree that too often our political institutions are influenced by people overly driven by self interest and/or rigid ideology. However, I remain convinced that more thoughtful discussion, analysis and debate moves us toward better decisions and better representatives. That doesn't inoculate us from representatives who mislead or who are backed by powers driven by personal gain, but it's the key foundation for trying to approach agreement on what is the common good.


5 people like this
Posted by Marie
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 15, 2017 at 3:51 pm

Marie is a registered user.

Housing first! Any new office space that does not meet current zoning should be built only after housing sufficient for the new office workers is complete. Low income housing must be included - no longer should developers be able to donate inadequate sums of money instead of providing low-moderate income housing.

Where is the provision for schools? None of the mammoth housing developments being built today (Carmel Village, the apartments across the street, the Facebook development, the Google village - none make any provision for land for new schools. Mountain View, Bullis Charter and Los Altos elementary school districts are bursting at the seams. And the only site that the city of Mountain View is looking at is a superfund site far from Los Altos.

The Safeway site across from the latest development on CA avenue in Mt. View is right in the middle of much of the new development. Why can't this be used for a new elementary school? Why doesn't Google and the other housing developers help find and fund new school sites? The continual disregard for critical infrastructure, particular schools, for the new housing must change.


10 people like this
Posted by love it
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 15, 2017 at 4:29 pm

Personally i love this. More jobs, more demand for my house when my kids are done with high school and i rent or sell it and get the heck out of dodge.$$$$$


5 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 15, 2017 at 5:23 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

"Debates about large tech companies getting up and moving are pretty off point"

No, they are absolutely not off point. This is the point, and it's the only direction that might save Palo Alto and the Bay area. It is a point politicians like you should've presented tech companies beginning years ago, and didn't.


4 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 15, 2017 at 5:28 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Yes Todd, those area where the local companies are needed have practically become third world areas inundated with poverty, hopelessness and despair, and they need an economic boon very desperately, unlike the Bay area.


2 people like this
Posted by Todd
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 15, 2017 at 6:29 pm

@mauricio

Where are you describing? Name an actual place you think these companies need to relocate to


4 people like this
Posted by Cash Cow
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 15, 2017 at 6:49 pm

@Todd, any state that voted RED in the last election and that are now working so hard to undermine scientific education and replace it with "creationist science" would be obvious candidates.

Mauricio's opinion may of course differ.


7 people like this
Posted by Time to stir the pot again
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 15, 2017 at 6:57 pm

Todd- maurucio Is actually describing palo alto. Go back and read some of his comments about downtown palo alto - he claimed it was full of crime, poverty, filth -- sounds like he was talking about here. And as others have stated, he cares not for all the people that will lose their jobs here.
What I also find annoying are people and publications from outside the city telling a city what they should do


7 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 15, 2017 at 7:18 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Not one place, Todd. Many areas in the US are now third world and would be saved by hubs of high tech.

I am a progressive, to the left of the Democratic party, but not everybody in the states that voted for Trump in November deserve to wallow in poverty and unemployment for the foreseeable future.

The fundamental question is why should local residents solve and subsidize the housing problems that tech firms have created? This is the classic socialism for the rich, capitalism for the rest. The founders of Palantir, for example, whose e so proudly Libertarian, seem to enjoy socialism very much.


3 people like this
Posted by Time to stir the pot again
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 15, 2017 at 7:23 pm

Maurucio - will then, name one. What local residents should or should not do doors not apply to you any longer.


14 people like this
Posted by George
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 15, 2017 at 7:35 pm

Silicon Valley may have a critical mass of talent ready to code Facebook and other forms of entertainment but it's not evolved enjoyable, affordable, and well integrated places to live. The gig economy of short duration careers encourages the short stay but is not so friendly to settling in and settling down. Failing to plan transit, housing, sufficient schools, and budgets is reaching crisis proportions robbing the Bay Area of the full potential of residents who can afford to stay and provide strength and continuity to the community. We all love SV but gosh, what a mess the roads, the high density barracks developments, housing, and what hardships are posed in the simple day to day. Indeed, increasingly there is too much greed but for most, its a race to just keep up.
FB, for one, should decentralize - build North and East where employees can afford to live and not have to commute so far. It doesn't all have to be on one campus that grows and consumes the neighborhood. It's hard to think that FB's village is serious urban planning or more than a rationale to leverage their land for gain. Anyone who knows the area knows endless ribbons of traffic and the mega box developments that are almost devoid of anything except squeeze as many units on the land as possible punctuated with strip malls. Is this really California's future?
It's certainly possible that the enlightened Bay Area, by valuing liviability last, is creating it's own demise. The solution is not building dormatories for the company workers but good communities. The future of sucessful places is not the concentration of it's wealth or talent but the quality of it's day to day community.


7 people like this
Posted by Abitarian
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 15, 2017 at 9:56 pm

Detroit comes to mind be a prime spot for technology companies to expand.

The city is desperately in need of renewal and surely would be very accommodating to arriving businesses and workers. While Detroit may not currently be rich in potential technology employees, large numbers of unemployed workers would welcome jobs that provide services to support the new arrivals. An increased tax base would help the city rebuild infrastructure and amenities. Both office space and housing would be available at very reasonable costs.


4 people like this
Posted by Bring it on!
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 16, 2017 at 9:06 am

It's cold, very cold in Detroit in the winter, gelid and gray and muggy and stormy all summer long. Who wants to move to Detroit?


12 people like this
Posted by Pat Burt
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 16, 2017 at 10:57 am

For the past 35 plus years Silicon Valley companies have expanded to other locales, spawning many smaller versions of Silicon Valley to the benefit of those regions in the U.S. and beyond. These new tech centers have often been driven by the talent pools produced by their universities. Despite our great weather and other attractions, most people would rather pursue opportunities near their home locales, provided that there are good opportunities.
The greatest strength of Silicon Valley is its ecosystem that produces new ideas and new companies. Unfortunately, the massive local expansion of very successful companies is increasingly choking off many of the business support services and start-ups in Palo Alto and other cities. Google, Facebook and LinkedIn all had their first offices within yards of each other in the creative environment of downtown Palo Alto and the service companies supporting them were within walking distance. today, a couple of big companies with the financial resources to do so have decided to turn the downtown into their tech campus, driving out much of the start-up and business service community. These changes have benefited developers in the near term to the detriment of the community and its economic balance.


2 people like this
Posted by Todd
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 16, 2017 at 12:39 pm

Mauricio, I know you're thinking in grand terms with lots of hand waving, but I don't see why its so difficult for you to name one place, an actual specific location, that you feel is "third world".


16 people like this
Posted by Baron Parker
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 16, 2017 at 1:14 pm

Our old neighborhood has become much more transient. Houses that just 8 short years ago held families that our kids went to school with, are now filled with unrelated non-family renters and what appear to be incubator housing (hacker houses and start-ups much like what we see on the show "Silicon Valley").

We take a walk every morning along the streets that were once walkable even though we have no sidewalks, but now the same streets are completely lined with cars (due to the overcrowding of the houses) and it's getting really unsafe to walk on the street (past all the parked cars) due to the increased volume of the speeding traffic (which I can only assume due to apps like Ways re-routing the El Camino traffic onto side streets like our neighborhood.)

Its sad.

We decided to leave.
Its not a good place to live anymore.
I wonder what this area will become like when you lose families like ours and you replace them with the transient rental and pack-em-in occupancy. The road congestion is no longer limited to 101 and El Camino. Kids can no longer walk to Gunn or Terman safely.

Who would want to live here now that homes have become nothing more than a roof over a desk with internet and a bed ?

So Long, Palo Alto.



6 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 16, 2017 at 1:43 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Around Detroit, around Indianapolis, around Buffalo, to name just a few. The entire Rust Belt could be the grounds for new high tech hubs. Locals who aren't computer science engineers would comprise the service sector. it would rejuvenate their economies, it would increase their house value while still keeping it significantly lower than the Bay area, so tech workers would find it much easier to find housing. Mortgages would be lower than rent in the Bay area. A Win-win for everybody.


6 people like this
Posted by Time to stir the pot again
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 16, 2017 at 1:55 pm

Maurucio- except for the tens of thousands of wieners that will lose their jobs here. Or do you think the entire work force will pull up stakes and move to these new locations? If that is the case how will that help the people who stay live in these locations.
Also nice that pat burt cab sit one the sidelines and criticize. What exactly did pat accomplish in his 8 years one the council? And those companies that pay rails against are legal tenants that have valid leases with their landlords. The city has no place interfering with this.


2 people like this
Posted by Time to stir the pot again
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 16, 2017 at 1:56 pm

Workers not wieners, above.


2 people like this
Posted by Todd
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 16, 2017 at 2:23 pm

Now mauricio, this may be hard, self awareness is rarely easy, but imagine what you sound like as a Californian to someone sitting outside of Buffalo:

"Tech has ruined Palo Alto with the crowding the density the skyrocketing prices, but because you are so third world, so undeveloped, you'll gladly take these changes in the hopes that you might get a job cleaning up after, or selling food to, all the highly paid tech workers moving here."


5 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 16, 2017 at 2:34 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

So you would rather they stay unemployed. Service doesn't mean only selling hotdogs or cleaning toilets. It also means new and more upscale restaurants, car dealerships, Home Depot type stores, better schools, etc. All that would regenerate their economy. And it might very well encourage many young people there to get better educated, so they can be part of the whole thing.


8 people like this
Posted by Pat Burt
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 16, 2017 at 2:44 pm

@Todd
At the risk of getting pulled into your spat with Mauricio, Buffalo has a tech hub initiative with an incubator. They are pursuing their own native grown start ups and others who are interested in moving there. Like many cities, they have a bunch of colleagues and universities producing strong tech talent who are looking for local employment rather than having to leave the area for jobs.
Spreading the tech wealth is good policy. It is not clear to me why otherwise smart people refuse to look objectively at these issues.


4 people like this
Posted by Bring it on!
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 16, 2017 at 2:54 pm

no, I don't want to move to Buffalo. In the winter the ice is thick and the Lake effect snow blizzards give you cabin fever. In the summer bad weather, even tornados means you can never venture outside and be sure of your day. Nah, if you like Buffalo, Detroit, Indianapolis etc, so much YOU move. Nice digs YOU can buy there for a fraction of your income/housing here and you could possibly be happy with the prices and weather. YOU move I'm hopeful that will be "en masse" and never mind the tech effect there. I quite like it here. I'll stay. Traffic, prices, weather and all.


6 people like this
Posted by Abitarian
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 16, 2017 at 4:07 pm

Bring it on --

The argument for tech companies expanding into other areas such as Detroit is not limited to Silicon Valley workers relocating from here to there.

With a solid job base and high quality living, for example, people who are already from those locales might prefer to stay there instead of coming here.

Also, let's not forget, people from around the country (and even the world) relocate to Detroit to work in the auto industry. So why not the tech industry, too?

Finally, good weather is not a requirement for business success or a happy life. Boston, for example, is freezing in winter and humid in summer. Still, it offers a thriving tech economy and nice lifestyle.


5 people like this
Posted by Cash Cow
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 16, 2017 at 4:43 pm

The tech industry is getting a very bad rap for blithely ignoring the effects it has one the rest of the country. How many millions of truck drivers will be thrown out of work by the self-driving trucks? By having robots make and deliver pizza? By outsourcing? By using contractors instead of full-time employees? By replacing Americans with cheaper Visa employees? By pioneering the "gig" economy that denies workers full-time work with benefits to benefit the exec suite?

How resentful do you think workers are at all the behavioral tracking software that limits how many times long-distance truckers can take a break on a 3,000-mile trip, that denies them A/C because some MBA figured out the savings and times FEDEX workers for how long they make stops? (One guy recently got fired for helping someone who was injured so his "timing" rating suffered. (There's a reason all those FEDX trucks are double-parked.)


2 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 16, 2017 at 5:35 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

@Bring it on, I don't need to move to Buffalo, I'm financially secure and own two multi million houses. However, if I were a young tech worker unable to buy a house in this area, perhaps not even able to afford rent, I would seriously consider relocating to places like Buffalo or Detroit.


10 people like this
Posted by love it
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 16, 2017 at 7:22 pm

I'm surprised the angst in this post directed towards tech companies. They have provided thousands of high paying jobs to this area. It's a free country if you don't like it here move! You expect social utopia please consider Cuba, LOL!

As for me I feel fortunate that i bought a house 20 years ago for X$ and now worth 3X$. I will put up with the traffic a few more years.


10 people like this
Posted by Barron Park-er
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 16, 2017 at 7:42 pm

@love it
We're a good tax paying family that supports the community and schools (PTA, PiE, Volunteering, etc.). We raised our kids here and would have loved to stay.
We really didn't like it in Palo Alto anymore with all the crowding, traffic, shift away from families and homes to rentals and techs pushing out the long time mom and pops downtown.
We advocated and lobbied the CC for support to maintain our community and homes but we mostly heard folks say "If you don't like it, then leave"
It got really unfriendly and it felt almost hostile towards us.
So, we moved away.
Is that what you really want the other good community oriented folks like us to do ?
Do you think you win if people just pack up and leave?


11 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 16, 2017 at 7:53 pm

Palo Alto and Menlo Park used to be places that people wanted to move to, build a life, and build a community. Over-development has destroyed that culture and replaced it with the culture of "I will put up with traffic for a few more years" and then get the hell out.

Even ordinary homeowners have been infected with the real-estate developer values of get yours and get out, and let everyone left behind figure out how to clean up the mess.


2 people like this
Posted by love it
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 16, 2017 at 8:16 pm

@ barron porker

To answer your last question- yes!

I've raised two kids here, my wife and i have volunteered our butts off at school and youth athletics. When they move on in life so do we and open a house for a new family with kids (and pocket !$$$$) . What's wrong with that I'm providing future housing.


5 people like this
Posted by Bring it on!
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 17, 2017 at 8:11 am

You don't look around. There is no lack of people wanting to move to Palo Alto. I also see a lot of young professionals that want something different than what's offered. By and large they just don't want or need what us older folks want. They don't want or need the picket fence or the lawn. They want an urban environment. Gee, some of them don't even want to have children! And they can pay for what they want .
There is nothing wrong with a city changing which seems to be what the naysayers are saying. But the world doesn't revolve around these old timers. Is it sad? For them yes. But please don't impose your "vision" on others. We are not in Kansas anymore. Run with it. Or get out of the way. To Buffalo,NY, to Detroit , MI or wherever you feel you have kindred souls. There is nothing wrong with wanting a more parochial existence. But you are not going to get it by complaining or staying around. It's a different time, different people and a world that has changed. I do remember the eighties in PA. Lovely time. But it has gone.


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2017 at 8:24 am

Moving across country because your job moves is a big deal to most people. Someone may move here for their first job when they are straight out of college, but as soon as they have put down a few roots, formed relationships, married, had kids, the ties are strong. A spouse may not be willing or able to cross country as easily.

I still would prefer to advocate for SV companies to move to Gilroy or Tracy rather than across country.


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

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