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Residents seek more services, fewer cars for Ventura

Original post made on Feb 6, 2019

Palo Alto's effort to redesign and ultimately redevelop a large portion of the Ventura neighborhood is stoking hopes among local residents about new parks, bikeways and housing developments, as well as anxieties about more cars cutting through the eclectic neighborhood just south of Oregon Expressway.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, February 5, 2019, 10:24 PM

Comments (9)

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 6, 2019 at 9:57 am

From this article it is very evident to me that from the participants who attended, quality of life issues are very important to the residents.

I can't speak about the heights although I think it will add to the ambience if tall buildings without setbacks will make for darker streets as well as adding to the stack and pack atmosphere of new developments.

However, more retail, more open spaces, more recreational amenities, all come under the quality of life issue that adds neighborhood and community rather than a sardine can environment. It is easy to talk about adding park space without actually defining what is meant. Is this proposal for a park with green grass, space to play with frisbees, have a birthday party for children, or just a climbing frame and a grill? These are very different types of park in my mind and a better definition of open space, park space or community space needs to be invoked to make the plan understandable.

However, the real thing I see is that the community wants to be heard. They don't want more cars clogging up the streets making it more difficult for everyone. This obviously means that any housing must be designed with adequate parking for its residents as well as their visitors.

We are talking about quality of life issues for all of us in Palo Alto. We are all affected by increases in traffic, increases in more residents wanting to utilize the infrastructure and services, and the lack of things like public transportation as well as the impact on schools and children's services.

It is getting increasingly difficult to find recreation in town. Packing more population into town will not help unless plans are made that will take this into account. We need to be able to do more than work and sleep with some upscale restaurants. We need to be able to live our lives without having to depend on Amazon and Doordash becoming indispensible to how we live our lives.

This is not funny anymore.

Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Feb 6, 2019 at 11:06 am

The plan needs to be careful with retail and services. The whole Ventura area is close to El Camino, where there is a lot of retail. Retail in general is struggling and the last thing the merchants on Cal Ave and El Camino need is more competetion.

I f the new retail needs to attract outsiders to survive, it will inevitably bring more cars to Ventura. Let's see what type of transit they can put into Ventura first. They seem to have trouble putting transit into areas of PA that need it more.

Posted by Less-Development-Needed
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 6, 2019 at 1:22 pm

The last thing Palo Alto needs is more parks. There are already about 4,000 acres of park and dedicated space in this tiny town. What's needed is moving businesses out of town, and convincing Stanford to open a second campus somewhere so that the traffic it generates will be reduced here in Palo Alto.

Posted by Redevelopment Is Good
a resident of Los Altos
on Feb 6, 2019 at 2:54 pm

Ventura = not much of a PA neighborhood. When I went to school in Palo Alto during the late 1950s to early 1970s, no one thought much of the area as MaxiMart was about the only reason to venture out that way...later Fry's & Gryphon.

The East Charleston corridor from Alma>ECR is another PA eyesore with some of the worst-looking front yards in the city.

Redevelopment of the entire area would be a godsend to Palo Alto providing the city planners allowed adequate spacing and lot sizes as no one wants to see wall to wall Lego architecture.

Posted by Make it a large urban park and community area.
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 6, 2019 at 5:30 pm

Despite what one commenter stated above, Palo Alto needs more urban park space. (The Bayland and Foothills park aren't urban park space). According to the comprehensive plan's guide for park space per thousand residents - Palo Alto is over 100 acres behind in providing park space for the city's residents. The Fry's site is a large open area that gives residents a break from the constant push to build massive high rise buildings and it should remain mostly the same.

This area should be maintained as an open and relaxing oasis from the massive buildup of this city. The Ventura neighborhood is also an area that needs a large park for residents to have open space and community space. Large open spaces also provide a place for resident to collect during emergencies (like earthquakes) to receive services and news.

The planning for this space has been put mostly in the hands of the property owners and developers who will push to maximize development and housing for their own gain and minimize the needs of the city residents. They need to be watched closely and the needs of Ventura residents and all PA city residents should come first, before their profits.

This area IS NOT currently zoned for housing and the massive development that they will be asking for. And there is NO REASON TO REZONE the area just so they can make multiple millions of dollars as they overcrowd and blight the neighborhood with their massive developments.

Tell our city council not to rezone to profit developers, but to demand large open park spaces and community buildings and keep the housing element small and neighborly - not massive, intrusive and industrial. We don't have to keep destroying Palo Alto just because the areas businesses and developers are demanding it.

Fight back and demand open urban space, good quality of life and a livable community.

Posted by John
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 6, 2019 at 6:20 pm

Connected developers have the last say about what happens in Ventura.

Posted by Another Giveaway
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 6, 2019 at 7:06 pm

Redevelopment is Good... for real-estate developers. Residents, not so much.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 7, 2019 at 12:10 pm

VTA is reducing its service in Palo Alto.

I think when something like this is talked about we need to see a list of the public transportation options that are already available in the area. These need to be the present options, not the whimsical idea of future possible options.

I remember when the JCC was being planned, there was a lot of talk about public transportation to Caltrain stations and other amenities. I am still waiting to see how the residents there get to Caltrain, downtown Palo Alto or Mountain View, or anywhere else by public transport!

Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 8, 2019 at 12:15 am

Mark Weiss is a registered user.

I would say turn the entirety of the former Frys site (and it’s district) into a park, then let the developers build at the former Ventura schools site.
Don’t do anything until we decide on Cubberley.
Plan Cubberley and Ventura in tandem.
Here’s one: evict Pinewood school and build dense housing there, bitches.
I think I’m gonna run for school board and council simultaneously on that platform.
Someone smart who has lived here 100 years said Casti could move and then we could use that for housing.

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