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Palo Alto to explore new laws to spur affordable housing production

Original post made on Sep 24, 2019

With housing production falling well short of their goals, City Council members clashed and compromised Monday over the best way to support residents whose incomes make it impossible to live in town.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, September 24, 2019, 9:57 AM

Comments (67)

49 people like this
Posted by Keep your eye on the ball
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 24, 2019 at 11:06 am

Keep your eye on the ball is a registered user.

Thanks to Kou and DuBois for getting council to finally set a timeline for the Palmer Fix and higher commercial development impact fees to support affordable, below market rate housing. The council majority sold us a “balanced” Housing Work Plan two years ago, but with only three months left in the HWP’s time horizon, almost all of the affordability strategies have lain dormant. Instead, they (like Sacramento) have focused almost exclusively on loosening all our building standards for the benefit of luxury housing developers.

Until the city enacts the Palmer Fix (that didn’t see the light of day until this memo), every new multi family rental project promised by Kniss, Fine, and State Sen Weiner will come **without a single affordable unit**.

Sad to see the Weekly fall for Kniss’s red herrings, dedicating 5 paragraphs to the “troubling” prospect of a 25% inclusionary rate. In fact, the Collegeagues Memo merely asked council to work quickly to consider a rate anywhere between 15-25% for market rate rental projects. (15% is the inclusionary rate the city has long required of For-Sale projects - extending that to For-Rent projects is hardly radical). Kniss and Fine tried to paint their colleagues as extremist, and the Weekly ate it up.


47 people like this
Posted by Impact fee adjustment overdue
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 24, 2019 at 11:33 am

Impact fee adjustment overdue is a registered user.

Kniss and Fine led the charge in early 2017 to lower the fees we charge office developers to fund the below market rate housing demand their projects create (from $60/sf to $35/sf). Even though the city's nexus study showed the taxpayer cost to subsidize that new housing need was $264 per square foot of office. That left us holding the bag for $229 for every square foot of new office space. 50,000 square feet of new office space? To keep up on housing it will cost the taxpayers $11,450,000.

When Santa Clara County Supervisors voted to raise their fees to $68/sf for the Stanford GUP, Stanford fought tooth and nail against it - citing Palo Alto's recently lowered fees!

Glad to hear that city council may be coming around to require office developers to pay more of their fair share. Let's hold em to it.


32 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Sep 24, 2019 at 11:48 am

Under photo at top of article; caption reads:
"The residential development at 195 Page Mill Road is one of only a handful to win approval in Palo Alto in recent years. File photo by Veronica Weber."

....is a little misleading, the city has approved three big projects with housing, the Former Olive Garden site, former VTA park and Ride site and Former Mikes Bike site all with a lot of housing the latter two with about fifty units each, plus more modest projects at former foot locker and former compadres plus on page Mill road near ECR.
Additionally many ADUs can't recall the exact number ( over 100?) which do count towards our housing allocation have been approved.
We saved the Buena vista affordable housing and approved the Wilton Court BMR project also around 50 units.
Infect as been pointed out many times by the Director of planning and CC members last night we are doing just fine on market rate housing but are sorely behind on BMR housing ( Buena vistas units did not count towards that astray were not new units)

As always Kou and Dubois are working for the people and a better Palo Alto!!!


11 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 24, 2019 at 12:27 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

A number of disturbing elements from last night. Rep from Silicon Valley Leadership Group which was recommending a spread the chunkey peanut butter approach - multiple dwelling units all over with no regard for residential zones. Think that was self - serving given the amount of new building for Google, FA, and Amazon in the Sunnyvale City / Moffet Park areas which never appears to surface with any notable housing issues. Does anyone ever point at Sunnyvale regarding housing issues? Are we expected to provide housing for new construction in that city?
Bad habits - talking about points in a unreadable power point presentation by number - not name of project. McCormack at fault - wants to know priorities of projects by number. People watching have no idea what she is talking about.

Always pointing at Mountain View as an example to make points - Mountain View is self serving - do not care what they are doing. Except that they expect to overlap our city housing requirements. And the rent prices - jaw dropping.

Wishy washy on height limits. Note that Redwood City is now in the papers for an anticipated make-over of the Sequoia Station which will have multiple high rises. That is where my Barnes and Noble book store is. And they are talking HIGH rises. No height limit in that city.
All in all I think Redwood City is a better example of city renewal. Go up and check it out.


48 people like this
Posted by Norman Beamer
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 24, 2019 at 1:12 pm

The source of the problem is overdevelopment of office space without corresponding development of housing. Developers who want to develop office space should be required to match the number of new employees that will be accommodated with the same number of new living spaces. That will at least prevent the problem from getting worse. And the big tech masterminds should be encouraged to start building offices in other areas that have housing availability.


15 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 24, 2019 at 1:56 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

I will applaud the Silicon Valley Leadership Group when they go out and champion a RR tie from the valley - Los Banos to San Jose. Los Banos is advertising a lot of new homes at very affordable prices. How about the big boy companies put satellite locations in the valley so their employees can buy a home and have their children in schools near to home and work. It makes sense to have the satellite locations due to reduced cost. The whole line up to the east side for ACE, etc. We have wasted money and time of the HSR.

New housing has to be out off 80 and 156. And companies need to make that happen. Every city on the peninsula does not need to turn itself into a pretzel because the "mover and shakers" - so they think - have not managed this whole scenario as well as they thought - it is now out of control.

You had "sprawl" in SOCAL for that very reason - they moved business out to the new housing areas and built new schools. I think that worked out very well for everyone. It has worked out well as new communities have emerged on 680. Now put some of the business subdivisions out there.


21 people like this
Posted by Resisting Affordability
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 24, 2019 at 2:45 pm

Resisting Affordability is a registered user.

The proposals by Council members Dubois & Kou help create housing for folks who cannot afford market rate housing. Thanks you! They faced continue to reluctance from the pro developer folks since their proposals come out of profitability of developers. When a developer says it doesn't pencil out, read that as they don't make enough millions and are anticipating more loosening of development standards.


21 people like this
Posted by Pencil Out
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 24, 2019 at 5:33 pm

Pencil Out is a registered user.

When I hear that developers say it doesn't "pencil out" perhaps what they are really saying is, "I'm going to hold this over your head until you give me more concessions" so I can make more profit. Willing to hold out because they know the pressures the tech and building industries are channeling through Sacramento to legislate "by right" high density developments which will impact in all of Palo Alto's currently restricted R-1 residential neighborhoods.

The latest Sacramento legislation that has been approved and waiting to be signed has designated all of Palo Alto as "jobs rich" and thus gives developers "by-right" permission to build denser housing developments in all of Palo Alto's R-1 neighborhoods. Not just those R-1 zones in proximity to public transport as proposed in previous legislation.

Because Palo Alto's jobs rich status in this newest legislation is an exception, for most cities with a lower jobs/housing imbalances this legislation still only applies to neighborhoods in proximity to train and bus routes. As this is the norm, and Palo Alto the exception, this is what you will most likely hear about or remember from previously proposed legislation.


10 people like this
Posted by Long Time Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 24, 2019 at 5:48 pm

Norman is "spot on" correct regarding the over development of office space.
Couple this to the Stanford development (hospital and university expansion), and we are simply overstretched.

I know Facebook employees who commute over 1.5 hours (3 hours/day) to get to & from work (via Facebook bus).
Our own city employees have long commutes as well!



11 people like this
Posted by Kenny
a resident of University South
on Sep 24, 2019 at 5:51 pm

"With housing production falling well short of their goals, members of the Palo Alto City Council clashed and compromised Monday over the best way to support residents whose incomes make it all but impossible to live in town."

Then remove the 50-foot height limit where it exists and rezone some of the R-1 neighborhoods. R-1 neighborhoods have no place in Silicon Valley, and that includes Palo Alto. Build 6-7 story minimum housing complexes, some for low income residents and some market rate. Yeah, yeah, I know, the zero-growth faction will whinge about traffic and quality of life. Does having our streets clogged with traffic and people living in motorhomes everywhere improve your quality of life? How about losing all the longtime businesses in Downtown and Cal Ave? That is what you get for stalling housing and retail development.

You are going to have either high-density affordable housing development or a sea of motorhomes parked along our streets. Which is it going to be?


24 people like this
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 24, 2019 at 7:47 pm

Fine likes to think he’s not pro-developer, but he obviously is.


14 people like this
Posted by Logical
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Sep 24, 2019 at 9:15 pm

Not everyone can afford to live right here. It’s mostly built out. What about the huge area of San Jose? There is a lot of room for redevelopment , expansion, all a reasonable commute. I have commuted to/from various cities in SF Bay Area.


30 people like this
Posted by Don't Be EVIL Companies
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 25, 2019 at 1:01 am

People haven't been able to afford to buy a home in Silicon Valley, not just here, on an ordinary salary for as long as I can remember, more than 30 years. The same arguments have been used for all that time to get developer concessions that never, ever led to more affordability. Ordinary people got into homes with a long game of decades of substandard living to scrabble their way into housing markets and moving up every time possible, because the alternative of competing for rental housing meant certain dislocation and financial instability.

We frankly need to incentivize conversion of office space to housing. And we need, as Kou and Dubois have proposed, to focus on creating only low-income housing.

To focus on "large projects that are mostly market rate, and some portion of them can be subsidized." is so misguided and so 20th century. It just allows tech companies to keep ratcheting up the demand side of the housing equation -- which will only continue to be expensive, as it has been for as long as most people can remember here.

The highly paid tech workers are displacing ordinary people. Allowing more growth of market-rate housing only accelerates that, it only makes more demand for yet more luxury housing as tech companies figure they can expand more. And the problem is that all of those people need support services by working class people, but the traditional approach of mostly market rate housing with a small percentage of lower income housing only makes the equation worse for lower income workers. These large projects that are mostly market rate simply create more demand for low-wage workers without providing good housing.

IAccording to MIT researcher David Autor, "changes in the jobs available in cities has played a big role in the growth of inequality and polarization in the U.S.”
Web Link
Especially in tech-oriented cities, staying has become a bad deal for the working class. "Cities no longer provide an abundance of middle-skill jobs for workers without college degrees,” Continuing that housing model only exacerbates the inequality, it does not help. We must focus exclusively on low-income housing, and encourage conversation of office space to housing, while also placing a progressive head tax on companies.

Even the Weekly’s examination of who is living in the RV’s found that for many, it’s a home away from home — it turns out (and should be no surprise) that poor people want a reasonable quality of life, too, and don’t want expensive microunits in dense cities, but would prefer to commute to work from an area they can afford and even stay in substandard conditions during the week. This has also been true for decades.

Building more, predominantly market-rate housing for highly-paid tech workers just allows the big companies to keep dumping all over local residents and making them continue to pay for the demise of the communities they spent decades working hard to put down roots in. The infrastructure is maxed out, and quality of life is suffering.


32 people like this
Posted by Don't be EVIL Companies
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 25, 2019 at 1:09 am

"I know Facebook employees who commute over 1.5 hours (3 hours/day) to get to & from work (via Facebook bus)."

Most of the young people i know who commute by bus do so because they work here but want to live in the City, or they want to live somewhere they can afford a single-family home (which is what the majority of millenials actually want, not tiny microunits). This will get worse as the yuppie 2.0 wave grows up.

We simply must reduce the amount of office space, and the number of people who commute to Palo Alto.

We limit the size of grocery stores, why aren't we limiting the size of companies and the size of the transient workforce? It's not like an overabundance of workers here does anything positive AT ALL, and does a lot of negatives.

Kou and Dubois are correct. Kniss and Fine have been talking out of both sides of their mouths about housing, their true intent to just enable more luxury profit-making for big developers is all but clear here. There are low-income housing developers if we are willing to put a head tax on companies and put our money where our mouths are for low-income housing.


3 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 25, 2019 at 6:30 am

"The highly paid tech workers are displacing ordinary people."

What's an "ordinary person?"


13 people like this
Posted by Ordinary People
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 25, 2019 at 8:08 am

> What's an "ordinary person?"

Someone who is not absorbed in the Millennial/techie world of worldly nothingness & who is not devoted to keeping various obscure (and overpriced) downtown restaurants afloat.


9 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 25, 2019 at 10:11 am

"Someone who is not absorbed in the Millennial/techie world of worldly nothingness & who is not devoted to keeping various obscure (and overpriced) downtown restaurants afloat."

I think this says more about you than the people on which you're hating.


6 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 25, 2019 at 12:59 pm

Ordinary People: Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch, Timothy Hutton.


3 people like this
Posted by Kenny
a resident of University South
on Sep 25, 2019 at 1:50 pm

"Not everyone can afford to live right here."

That is because the NIMBYs restricted housing development in order to boost their home values. They claim quality of life and traffic issues are the reason, but those are just red herrings. They gained greatly by harming many others, a moral transgression that is about to be remedied.

"It’s mostly built out."

But not built up. Urban sprawl, especially over fertile agricultural land in South San Jose, was shameful and counterproductive. Urbanized areas, particularly those near mass transit corridors, should have built up instead of out. We now have the opportunity to rectify faulty urban planning from times past. Indeed, we have little choice. Even without SB50, Palo Alto is still on the hook to develop housing as per ABAG requirements. Local control over development can be taken away if we fall too far behind.

"Someone who is not absorbed in the Millennial/techie world of worldly nothingness..."

Ah yes, when we run out of zero-growth straws to grasp, just blame the Millennials. For anyone who does not like high tech, Palo Alto became the wrong place to live about 40 years ago.

"What about the huge area of San Jose? There is a lot of room for redevelopment , expansion, all a reasonable commute."

San Jose has already been built out, as anyone who has been here any length of time knows. Just as Palo Alto has lots of room for development, so too does San Jose. And they are using that room for development by building up. So are Redwood City, Mountain View and many other local cities. Palo Alto is about to do the same, whether the zero-growthers like it or not.


2 people like this
Posted by George
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 26, 2019 at 8:30 am

The CC which authored our half billion dollar city pension deficit is over it's head when it tries to solve global warming, energy issues, transportation, homelessness - just about all of the big issues. The cost of this meddling has been high without much gain. The city should NOT be trying to gimick-manage real estate. The region needs better, faster, higher capacity mass transit to provide substantially more housing out of area. The region needs to come together on this. Palo Alto will get no where trying to manage traffic and parking without better regional mass transit. At the same time as more housing options out of area the city should encourage building way up - high rise residential- along main corridors, such as El Camino.
The city center, everywhere, has always been the place where new commerce and new jobs thrive. With growth and without surpluses residential real estate availability and affordability always lags behind demand for commercial space. Palo Alto alone can't solve this but it could push for better regional transit and housing options. Until the fully integrated, mixed use 21 century urban architectures ( now beginning in some Euro and Asian cities) are built, the peninsula, and Palo Alto, should focus on good transit out of the core and some significantly higher residential in the core.


21 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2019 at 11:12 am

Posted by Kenny, a resident of University South

>> "It’s mostly built out."

>> But not built up.

Sure, up, as in RM-30 or, done right, RM-40. High-rises are -not- the solution because high-rise construction is very expensive. And, we don't need more luxury housing. As has been documented many times in references posted here, new high-rises mean higher rents, not more affordable housing. It takes decades for new housing to become old, affordable housing.

>> So are Redwood City, Mountain View and many other local cities. Palo Alto is about to do the same, whether the zero-growthers like it or not.

There really isn't a "nice" way to say this: The way things are right now, developers will only build high-end housing. They have said so many times, in public. It isn't a secret, and, if you read the posted references, you will understand why. Instead of blaming NIMBYs, try to understand the economic forces at work.


33 people like this
Posted by Don’t be EVIL Companies
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2019 at 12:08 pm

“That is because the NIMBYs restricted housing development in order to boost their home values.”

Completely ludicrous and false lie promoted by developers to get housing advocates to do their dirty work. Somehow the housing advocates are willing to lap up the crumbs and don’t notice how the zoning changes they enable only accelerate and ratchet up costs. The only reason Buena Vista Mobile home park could even be saved was because of the citizens ability to protect zoning. If not for that, Prometheus would have a big luxury development there right now, instead of pulling out right after the referendum vote (and no other developer taking their place) ironically using density bonuses to evict existing low-income tenants for luxury units and replace far fewer BMR units that the evicted residents could never afford.

If zoning were stronger, the residents at the President Hotel would never have been evicted. The attack on zoning and on longtime residents who typically made enormous sacrifices over decades to get into that housing themselves is what is ratcheting up costs and allowing developers to push out ordinary people

Ordinary people is like the African Americans living in SF through many booms but had to leave as the overdevelopment pushed up costs, SF going from 15% black to 5% in that time.

It’s truly ironic the way people buy the developer Trojan Horse talk about “NIMBYs” by changing the meaning. NIMBY was a social justice term coined to describe people who claim they are for certain things like African American neighbors but don’t want to live next to anyone black. The developer water-carriers misuse the term now to disparage anyone who is against senseless overdevelopment. This the developers kill two birds with one stone, they destroy the real power of the word while rolling over any objections to overdevelopment/coopting supposed housing advocates.

In this area, anyone who cares about affordable housing should support strong zoning and focus now only on adding affordable units. Given the negative reaction to that by people like Kniss shows their true colors — people like Kniss and Fine are the true NIMBYs who talk a big game about wanting affordable housing, but not if it means actually supporting affordable housing as Kou and Dubois are trying to do now.



32 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 26, 2019 at 3:18 pm

“That is because the NIMBYs restricted housing development in order to boost their home values.”

This particular comment is too ludicrous and sophomoric to comment on, but for those wondering what caused the incredibly high prices of Palo Alto real estate, the list goes as follows;

1. Runaway commercial development.
2.Allowing companies to move in and hire as many employees as they want regardless of the housing situation and not putting any pressure of those companies to house their workers.
3. Allowing overseas investors and oligarchs to move, shelter and launder their money by parking it in Palo Alto real estate, pushing prices sharply higher.

Those claiming to champion housing have been instrumental in allowing the three items above to take place, and never met a commercial development they didn't love. They and the corrupt and hubristic politicians working for the real estate development industry are to blame. The only innocents in this fiasco are long term residents who have watched their down being destroyed and corrupted.


9 people like this
Posted by george drysdale
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 27, 2019 at 11:53 am

There is no conspiracy going on. Just the workings of the marketplace. Inclusionary zoning is bad as it impedes construction. In the capitalistic developed world money is king. Intelligence gets money. It is better to be smart than rich. Palo Alto's land prices are too high for "affordable" (welfare) housing. I'm dong my best with the San Jose Property Rights Initiative to get a vast amount of land into development in San Jose. I believe the initiative in front of Newsome is now preventing the disaster of AB 1482 from being signed. Ideas will overcome any vested interest.

Geroge Drysdale land economist


9 people like this
Posted by Hong Kong
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 27, 2019 at 3:52 pm

Ken De Leon's latest monthly high end brochure arrived yesterday in which he informs us that he has identified a rich source of emerging buyers in Hong Kong. Accordingly, he is very actively establishing his firm's Hong Kong presence to add to his successful offices in China and India. It seems as if the competition for property in Palo Alto is only going to get evermore expensive. Will new legislation coming down from Sacramento to overrides local R1 zoning to incentivize developers to build multi-units instead of single homes result in this happening? Or will the current model of building large and incredibly expensive luxury housing continue to be more profitable?


3 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 27, 2019 at 10:44 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

I have not seen the document you are referring to but the idea that there is a whole business model that is addressed to foreign buyers is at this time very disturbing. We have multiple resources in attack mode from the CA state government, and county/ city goals that are not being met. Someone has to prioritize these "requirements" that are being impose by the state and county.We are losing our competitive advantage and negotiating position due to time moving on and other qualifiers to requirements moving up the priority list.


5 people like this
Posted by MVresident2003
a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 28, 2019 at 8:56 am

MVresident2003 is a registered user.

@ Don’t be evil.......control the language and you control the masses right?


5 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 28, 2019 at 10:30 am

Annette is a registered user.

All this talk about building but not a single word about utilities. Surely those who hand out development approvals and those like Fine who push for more and more development are aware of the many failures of PG&E. Utility failure is a hard truth with impacts from which Palo Alto is not immune even though not a PG&E customer. California needs to get its utility act together; pushing development without fixing that aspect of infrastructure is foolhardy.


14 people like this
Posted by george drysdale
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 28, 2019 at 11:57 am

If there is one thing economists and historians hate it is rent control. San Francisco is the biggest rent controlled joke around. The democrats want rent control in California with Newsome out of San Francisco leading a Pickett's charge. California (along with Palo Alto's inclusionery zoning being part of the charge into an ambush). Good thing you have all social studies teachers standing for the republic beating back the rebs. Stanford, show no respect for the board of supervisors who gave you: The Buena Vista boondoggle.

George Drysdale social studies teacher and land economist


3 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 29, 2019 at 1:05 pm

"Ordinary people is like the African Americans living in SF through many booms but had to leave as the overdevelopment pushed up costs, SF going from 15% black to 5% in that time. "

Revisionist history to bolster a narrative, I see. No, the African American community was pushed out by redevelopment led by Justin Herman, which started in the 60s. Had nothing to do with "overdevelopment costs." You're co-opting a really difficult and sad part of San Francisco history and twisting it.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

"In this area, anyone who cares about affordable housing should support strong zoning and focus now only on adding affordable units."

Uh, right. This is what's been going on in San Francisco for decades. The result is that the middle class ("ordinary people") were pushed out to the Manteca and Gilroy. It leads to an area where only the "rich" can afford to buy along with the service workers that nanny and clean their houses.

The middle class are the ones who never qualify for "affordable housing" and can't buy.

What you're proposing actually hurts, not helps, so-called "ordinary people."


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Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 30, 2019 at 7:01 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

I appreciate that there is a lot of interest in Hong Kong since they are in the news on a regular basis. They also have provided whole page advertisements as to the value of working with Hong Kong. What is disturbing is that we have a new governor Newsome who is trying to implement a program regarding housing. Yes -former gov. Jerry Brown is out now working with China on Climate Change but that is not the same topic as housing. We appear to have conflicting goals within the state which are not creating the best outcome.

What we need to do is stabilize the housing market to address the needs of each city. In this city we have already determined that we need housing for our teachers and service workers. Since they are at the low income spectrum then any housing that Hong Kong is proposing is out of reach. And why is a foreign country working in our sphere of concerns regarding our priorities? We have a city government and city planning staff that is suppose to approve any new building in the city. Why is the Real Estate market working against the priorities of the city and state? The Real Estate groups are a political power group that needs to get more visibility as to what they are up to.

This city needs to establish the priorities and work to get both state and federal funding to make those priorities happen. Unfortunately both the city, county, and state continue to disparage the federal government and still expect that funding will be provided for it's priorities. But the state itself is not working on it's priorities - just blaming everyone else for lack of direction.


6 people like this
Posted by eileen
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 30, 2019 at 10:19 am

eileen is a registered user.

@Hong Kong's statement above is correct! Expect most, if not all, new housing to be high end. Developers are in the
business of MAKING MONEY. Stoping thinking otherwise. Many of these new housing developments will go to overseas buyers! Web Link


22 people like this
Posted by george drysdale
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 30, 2019 at 10:26 am

Resources are scarce. The first thing you hear in an econ class. Did you forget? The first thing forgotten by cynical politicians like Newsome. It's terrible that some asians do better in math, do we try to level this fact? "Affordable housing" is not affordable in the most expensive urban area in the U.S. Look at the numbers: "Affordable housing" in Silicon Valley is now costing around $750,000 to build. Where's the money gong to come from, a state which is already bankrupt with over a trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities? Teenagers in econ classes are studying this right now. Your assignment: get on the internet and review economics. You don't want teenagers looking down on you.

George Drysdale intitiator and educator


3 people like this
Posted by Hong Kong etc.
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 30, 2019 at 12:48 pm

Hong Kong etc. is a registered user.

According to Ken de Leon Palo Alto returns "an average profit of 39% for speculation homes built by developers" which is among the highest rate of return on investment in all local cities.

Think about whether the return on investment for building multi-residential units on R-1 lots will "pencil out" with a comparable profit to building single high end homes for the wealthy international market. A huge market that for various reasons is jumping at the opportunity to invest in a first or second home here plus willing to pay with cash.


5 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 30, 2019 at 1:34 pm

Posted by Hong Kong etc.

>> A huge market that for various reasons is jumping at the opportunity to invest in a first or second home here plus willing to pay with cash.

Hypothetically, if I wanted to sell a single-family home, why would I care whether the buyer had 100% cash, or, was financing part of it? Either way, it goes through escrow, and -cash- goes into my bank account. We keep seeing some kind of odd excitement about "cash" buyers. Who cares? Why should anyone care?

In the meantime, some of us who care about this community would like to see affordable low-income and middle-income housing built here on already RM-30 zoned land. But, for some reason, builders tells us that it won't pencil out. I assume that is because the property owners paid too much for the already-zoned land, and, the only way they can make money is through breaking the existing zoning. Why should -we- have to pay for -their- mistake?


5 people like this
Posted by Hong Kong etc.
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 30, 2019 at 1:37 pm

Hong Kong etc. is a registered user.

Apparently a cash purchase is much simpler and can be finalized within days.


12 people like this
Posted by Hong Kong etc.
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 30, 2019 at 1:58 pm

Hong Kong etc. is a registered user.

"I assume that is because the property owners paid too much for the already-zoned land, and, the only way they can make money is through breaking the existing zoning. Why should -we- have to pay for -their- mistake?"

That was the case for AJ Capital. After the city manager informed the council he had told AJ there was no problem with turning their new building into a hotel (and evicting the residents) "by right" and they bought the building for $65 million, the city jumped through hoops to change the wording of the regulations to allow this conversion, and the council majority caved. Also the case for the old VTA parking lot on the corner of El Camino and Oregon/Page Mill intersection which was zoned Public Facility. However, the new owner paid a considerable amount more than it was worth zoned "Public Facility" so the council gave the him preferential treatment and changed the zoning to allow a private multi-unit residential building.

However, I believe that in multi unit zoning developers cannot build less than the land is zoned for. With the exception I believe of allowing an owner of an "existing" single house on an R-2 lot to replace it with another single house.


15 people like this
Posted by george drysdale
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 1, 2019 at 9:49 am

Politics over reason. If you want a lot of subsidized (welfare) housing you have to find the money. Many if not most residents on the Peninsula can't even be sure their children can afford to live in place. They're supposed to subsidize the few winners of the lottery for "affordable housing". Resources are scarce.

George Drysdale initiator and educator


2 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2019 at 4:39 pm

This paper is not an easy read, but, if I understand it correctly (perhaps I don't), then, the state legislature is *fundamentally* wrong in attacking zoning -per se- (e.g. SB4) because, in fact, zoning and "supply and demand" are not the root of our current housing affordability problem.

Web Link

"The affordability crisis within major urban areas is real, but it is due less to overregulation of housing markets than to the underlying wage and income inequalities, and a sharp increase in the value of central locations within metro areas, as employment and amenities concentrate in these places. We posit that this school of thought is simultaneously diverting attention from the real problems of other, lagging regions, while overestimating the potential demographic, income distribution and productivity effects of less restrictive zoning on prosperous regions"

Posted by george drysdale, a resident of Professorville

>> Politics over reason. [...] Resources are scarce.

I would be interested in what you think of the above paper.


Like this comment
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 2, 2019 at 9:27 pm

Thanks for the link to the paper. I'm not George, but I did take a look at the paper.

Papers like this make me wish that economists also have to take English classes to get their degree.

The paper seems to spend a lot of time answering a question that we're not asking, which is does deregulated housing lead to more economic growth and less segregation. There is an underlying belief (assumption?) that permeates the paper, which is reducing income segregation ("spatial-economic segregation") is the most important public policy that should be pursued, and that blanket upzoning and liberalizing regulations won't solve that.

It is in effect arguing for public funding of affordable housing, which, as we've seen, hollows out the middle class. But really the point of the paper is making the argument that politicians and interest groups are oversimplifying the situation cause-and-effect, and that we need to listen to economists (like them) more.


8 people like this
Posted by george drysdale
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 4, 2019 at 10:15 am

It's really psychological. The strongest indicator of income is your I.Q. We'll always have inequality because of the I.Q. distribution. Sound deterministic? I.Q. tests are the pride and joy of the science of psychology. The U.S. military have the biggest data bank. In the peace time service officers must have an I.Q. of 120 or above (the talented tenth). Equality will never happen while we wait for our AI replacement.

George Drysdale initiator


7 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 4, 2019 at 10:49 am

Posted by george drysdale, a resident of Professorville

>> It's really psychological. The strongest indicator of income is your I.Q.

In your opinion, the only thing that matters with respect to economic success is IQ. I disagree. In my personal experience, "conscientiousness" is more important than IQ. Nobel prize-winning economist James Heckman agrees with me: Web Link

But, that is -irrelevant- to this discussion anyway, because, the issue is "affordable housing". The question is, why do we continue to have a "sharp increase in the value of central locations within metro areas, as employment and amenities concentrate in these places"? Are the most desirable employees those with the highest IQs, or, the most conscientious? For this discussion, it does not matter. The question is, "Why concentrate employment further?"

I believe employers have already answered this question. As expensive as labor is right here, employers believe that is cheaper to have a very large pool of at-will employees at their disposal, than to make an explicit or implicit commitment to employees who live in more distant, limited labor markets. IOW, the "HP Way" is more expensive than at-will hiring/firing from a giant labor pool. The old HP had satellite campuses in places like Santa Rosa, Corvallis, OR, Loveland and Ft. Collins, CO, and other college-campus communities with amenities. But, HP had an implicit commitment to those employees.

I think it is dumb for California to encourage continued concentration of employment in a few small areas. I would like to find ways to discourage it. I think the massive long-distance auto commuting that we have now is bad for both families, the local environment, and will eventually be fatal to life on Planet Earth.

We can do better.


7 people like this
Posted by george drysdale
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 5, 2019 at 12:35 pm

Anon you're coming along. Price theory: if the price is too high leave the area which is what Facebook is thinking about. While Facebook lasts that is. Beware ruinous compassion. Each Panamanian baby will cost the taxpayer how much? With the baby boomer tsunami we are getting many babies every hour in the form of second childhoods. How is Trump solving this problem? He can count. No illegal aliens the pressure on housing will ease off a lot. Most Mexican immigrants are illegal to say nothing of those from Central America, Africa and even Asia. Is demography as well as history and economics to be classified as forbidden subjects in rent controlled California? Stay tuned.

George Drysdale initiator and educator


2 people like this
Posted by george drysdale
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 7, 2019 at 11:25 am

I told you so. In textbook fashion they want to tear down and develop Mountain View's rent controlled apartment houses. The correction will begin in Silicon Valley with all the students of economics now in the majority. Go to a "group" meeting and all you'll hear is give me a housing subsidy. Rent controlled San Jose tried to get a bond passed for welfare housing and it failed. The problem: people buy to the max when they buy a house and they don't want to subsidize with a thirty year bond wrapped around their mortgaged property. The barbell effect. San Francisco with it's cynical presence the poor get subsidized and the upper middle class (wife works too) can pay the tab. When Newsome signs ab1482 the investors will abandon California. I'm seeing it now. Remember the Buena Vista.

George Drysdale teaching basic economics (accounting)


7 people like this
Posted by Jason Moy
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 7, 2019 at 7:45 pm

Everything that has been built in Palo Alto since 2000 is an eyesore. Too much traffic, too many buildings. I want ZERO growth, not more growth.


Like this comment
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 8, 2019 at 8:26 am

"Everything that has been built in Palo Alto since 2000 is an eyesore. Too much traffic, too many buildings. I want ZERO growth, not more growth."

You forgot to add:

"Get off my lawn!"


3 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 8, 2019 at 10:12 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

We have city, county, and state legislators complaining about the interference of foreign countries in the governmental dealings within the federal government. So here we have a foreign government poking into the US housing market and interfering with our attempts to provide the required housing dictated by the state, and city desires to provide housing for our local teachers and service people.

Note to Hong Kong - you are not doing yourselves any favors here - you are just putting everyone on notice that interference is going to continue.

Note to Hong Kong - at this point in time we need to address the housing imbalance
and need to create BMR housing and low income housing.

What is notable from the news that a lot of the new building up in SF is apartments and condos bought by commercial corporations for the use of their employees and people who are visiting their businesses. Many complaints in new buildings where a percentage of the apartments are unoccupied.

So the SF legislators are now busy imploding rules on every other city when in fact they are not managing their resources in their districts. That is getting very old. What is also old is our local leaders always showing up in pictures with these people. That means that those theories are trickling down to PA so we can become a poster child for whatever failings have occurred up in SF?

Can we lease stop being a poster child for every idea generated by other city leaders? At this time we are very clear on what we need to do create the city that we want that can point to reaching certain goals. And we do not need the SF legislators interfering, or the Silicon Valley Leadership Group trying to influence our residential zoning and turning it into a crunchy peanut butter spread with no identity.


2 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 8, 2019 at 11:11 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Another note here - the Silicon Valley Leadership Group kept pointing to the arrival of BART in San Jose as a rationale for much of the new building in that sector. It became the excuse for emptying whole residential areas for what was perceived as an eminent arrival of BART. So now we find out that BART is WAY beyond schedule and will not arrive until much, much later. That is similar to HSR which was an excuse to use eminent domain to take over family farms held for many years.

So is now Transportation the calling card for what can be used to use eminent domain over areas so that new housing can be placed in an older area? Is that the same argument that will be used for CALTRAIN to empty residential proximity to the tracks? And Caltrain is suppose to become electric powered?
So is our power going to be shut down for days now? ALL electric is not going to work in that scenario - we need diesel/electric power to move those trains. If you have your car hooked up to an electrical outlet at your home then assume that you have no electricity and no car.

Big money moves all of these strange decision which have multiple endings which need to be measured with some risk management ratio.


8 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 8, 2019 at 4:12 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

"If you have your car hooked up to an electrical outlet at your home then assume that you have no electricity and no car."

Not true. Unless you plan on going on long distant trips, you can drive your EV locally and to your job for several days, and if you have a larger capacity battery, for several weeks. Why confuse and scare people by making statements on subjects, not just on electric cars, one apparently knows little about?


1 person likes this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 9, 2019 at 11:01 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Mauricio - I do not have an electric car. What I have is access to the local news in which people who do have electric cars are very busy trying to hook their cars up now and are expressing concern over their ability to keep the car going. So the people who own the cars are the people who are concerned. But that tells me that having an electric car sounds like a massive inconvenience.


6 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 10, 2019 at 6:16 am

mauricio is a registered user.

Wrong again I'm afraid. Obviously, in case of protracted blackouts, charging becomes a concern, as is pumping gas, since gas pumps wouldn't work either, but as an owner of two EVs, I can tell you that you are wrong. It is definitely not a massive inconvenience, definitely no more than running out of gas while gas pumps don't work.


11 people like this
Posted by Don't be EVIL Companies
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2019 at 11:30 am

"Revisionist history to bolster a narrative, I see. No, the African American community was pushed out by redevelopment led by Justin Herman,"

You are the one living in the past and trying to ignore what has been happening over the last decade. But, ummm, you've kind of just destroyed your own argument by pointing out another circumstance of rapacious development (i.e., destroying zoning) caused displacements.

The numbers of African Americans in San Francisco actually climbed throughout the '60s, not declined. But in case you hadn't noticed, it's been almost 60 years since 1960 and a lot has changed. Conditions today are completely different in many ways and while you may be able to pull some isolated things from the distant past that make a point, the dominant problem today is that people with a lot of money are moving into California in droves and pushing out everyone else, and they are getting away with using arguments that claim to support affordability to accelerate displacing people.

There is NO amount of building "microunits' that will make things affordable in an in-demand job center like this, as Hong Kong found out. But continuing to hold out the carrot and blaming "zoning" gets housing advocates doing the dirty work and never understanding why displacements and affordability only get worse.
Allowing the luxury development attracts more luxury development.

There is a lot of money at the top in the world right now, and real estate is where it likes to go. Here's an article about trends in the East Bay over the last FIFTEEN YEARS (not 60).

It's not just a trend in SF of the last 15 years.
Web Link
"By 2030, if trends of the past 15 years continue, Oakland's Black population could fall to as few as 70,000 people from 140,000 in 2000, declining from roughly 35 percent of the city's total population to a mere 16 percent."

"...Even in Richmond, there's been a rapid exodus. One third of Black residents have left over the past 15 years, dropping from 35,000 to 23,000. If this continues at the same rate, Richmond's Black population might drop from 35 percent of the total population to just 11 percent by 2030."

"the involuntary displacement of Black residents, especially in the last few years, is also a very real phenomenon.”"That proximity [to San Francisco] has been played up by landlords and realtors, and the result is a dramatic shift in some neighborhoods as new white residents with higher incomes replace the Black population that was once in the majority.”

"To understand the East Bay's changing demographics, Tony Samarra, a researcher with Urban Habitat, said it's necessary to view them in a global context. "For the San Francisco region, what we're seeing is that it's being brought into harmony with the global model, which is largely shaped by the demand for consumption of affluent residents and the labor that requires.”"


Attacking the zoning which is the only thing protecting ordinary residents and hasn't in any way stopped overdevelopment (have you seen the SF skyline? compare it to 15 years much?) If you look at Palo Alto, the loss of Casa Olga, the loss of the President Hotel, the near loss of Buena Vista -- stronger zoning protected the ordinary residents, and the ability to destroy that zoning is what enabled the developers to push out ordinary residents.

Times have changed. We're in the 21st century, not mid-20th century. Stop living in the past. The big companies do not care what they do to everyone here. Look at Google building at NASA. They first planned something that took into account the impact on the windtunnel facilities, but they didn't like the location so they found a way to move it closer, the negative impact to a national research asset be damned. And they will find a way to connect those headquarters across the Bay, so they can continue to take over and ignore the rest of us.

The only way to improve this situation is to STRENGTHEN zoning, while also investing in creating a few more attractive job centers so that a multiplying of job centers reduces the black-hole densification of this one. Taxing the companies to help do that would help, too, they are not paying back for the public investments that enabled their success, they seem to feel that availing themselves of those free to become successful entitles them to just take them away from everyone else. The infrastructure is maxed out.


12 people like this
Posted by Don't be EVIL Companies
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2019 at 11:39 am

@ Me 2,
Since you have trouble reading anything longer than a few lines, here's the relevant points. I am discussing trends of the last 10-15 years:

It's not just a trend in SF of the last 15 years.
Web Link
"By 2030, if trends of the past 15 years continue, Oakland's Black population could fall to as few as 70,000 people from 140,000 in 2000, declining from roughly 35 percent of the city's total population to a mere 16 percent."

"...Even in Richmond, there's been a rapid exodus. ONE THIRD OF BLACK RESIDENTS HAVE LEFT OVER THE PAST 15 YEARS [emphasis added], dropping from 35,000 to 23,000. If this continues at the same rate, Richmond's Black population might drop from 35 percent of the total population to just 11 percent by 2030."

"the involuntary displacement of Black residents, especially in the last few years, is also a very real phenomenon.”"That proximity [to San Francisco] has been played up by landlords and realtors, and the result is a dramatic shift in some neighborhoods as new white residents with higher incomes replace the Black population that was once in the majority.”

"To understand the East Bay's changing demographics, Tony Samarra, a researcher with Urban Habitat, said it's necessary to view them in a global context. "For the San Francisco region, what we're seeing is that it's being brought into harmony with the global model, which is largely shaped by the demand for consumption of affluent residents and the labor that requires.”"

See MIT economist David Autor, whose work shows that this situation of enabling the ever denser clustering of highly paid tech workers has destroyed the long-standing phenomenon of job opportunity for ordinary people in cities like SF, where mostly what's available to people with less education is more ever more poorly paid care and feeding of the (mostly white) tech influx.

This region and it's infrastructre were never designed to handle this kind of overdevelopment. This is a VAST country and even state, so unlike Hong Kong, we can actually solve the problem by increasing the number of job centers so people and companies have more choices, and stop treating the Bay Area like it's some kind of clown car of endless capacity.


Like this comment
Posted by Charlie Sims
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 10, 2019 at 11:43 am

We needs new laws.
The old laws aren’t working anymore.


15 people like this
Posted by Don't be EVIL Companies
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2019 at 11:45 am

@ Me 2

"Everything that has been built in Palo Alto since 2000 is an eyesore. Too much traffic, too many buildings. I want ZERO growth, not more growth."

You forgot to add:
"Get off my lawn!"

No, Me 2, I think the poster meant "Don't be EVIL Companies - stop running roughshod over the existing residents who have spend decades of their lives sacrificing to try to put down roots here."

Your snide comment about lawns is just another example of people trying to co-opt what was once an important social justice concept to try to wipe away resistance to rampant and destructive overdevelopment, killing two birds with one stone: inactivating the affordable housing advocates and getting them to work against their own interests, and destroying the power of what was once an important social justice concept to use it in the service of development profits.


14 people like this
Posted by george drysdale
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 10, 2019 at 1:20 pm

Modern (popular) cities: the survival of the fittest in terms of education and therefore brainpower. How else? Those individuals or groups that study the most have better locations to work in. I prefer trees to buildings myself but where are the good jobs? Social Darwinism on the march with the Malthusians gettng the last laugh with global warming. Rent control has been checkmated in California with the San Jose Property Rights Initiative. Only a fool would build apartment houses in California with the San Jose Property Rights Initiative sure to pass. 57% of housing is owner occupied in San Jose.

George Drysdale the San Francisco nemesis


6 people like this
Posted by george drysdale
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 11, 2019 at 9:23 am

Already in Oregon there's an investor's strike over building new rental housing in the state. It's just begun: California 40 years ago when California first price fixing of rents. Now there's the internet for people to remind themselves what they should have remembered in their high school economics class (a required subject). Newsome just made bitter enemies of property owners and worse of all: all social studies teachers. Here's how production works: whether in the production of bananas or rentals the cost of production must equal or exceed the present price of completion. The horror of this is that rents on older buildings must rise to the high cost of new production otherwise no new apartment houses for rent. Understand. The arguments against rent control go on and on: check the internet if you are curious. Newsome is ripe for a recall because he is a high school drop out or flunk out and Palo Alto voted for him.

Geroge Drysdale educating the forgetful


4 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 11, 2019 at 2:33 pm

Posted by george drysdale, a resident of Professorville

>> The horror of this is that rents on older buildings must rise to the high cost of new production otherwise no new apartment houses for rent.

Finally, we are getting somewhere. Your comments highlights why we can't build enough housing -here- to catch up with all the office space development. Stop building office space now-- it is driving up rents for everybody. Build office space over by Tracy where there is plenty of housing.


7 people like this
Posted by george drysdale
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 12, 2019 at 10:52 am

Land valuations determine usage. It should in a free economy which does not exist now in California. Palo Alto land is too expensive except for the well to do. I'm trying to knock a great deal of land in San Jose into apartment houses except the land is held by the conspiracy of rent control. The main item is that California rent control is headed for the first pages of econ textbooks as an example of rotten government. Economics is checking the numbers about human behavior which is predictable. I'm afraid Newsome and his henchmen (the Democratic Party) are going to look like destructive clowns. Already in economics classes this is being taught. Wait till the numbers arrive. Investor's strike almost for sure.

George Drysdale the tireless social studies teacher


3 people like this
Posted by Nancy
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 13, 2019 at 2:01 pm

Why not partner with East Palo Alto and build there plenty of affordable housing? It is close to PA and yet land is more affordable there.


Like this comment
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 14, 2019 at 11:18 am

"No, Me 2, I think the poster meant "Don't be EVIL Companies - stop running roughshod over the existing residents who have spend decades of their lives sacrificing to try to put down roots here.""

No. The poster clearly states that she/he doesn't like change.

And by the way, who gets to determine the baseline for zero growth? Maybe zero growth should have happened before Silicon Valley? When Santa Clara Valley was the Valley of Heart's Delight? Before the tract housing of Eichlers sprouted that trampled over the farmland? Before an ugly dish was constructed on a hill? Before 101 and 280?

It's arrogant (and selfish) to assume that you are the one to determine what the zero growth baseline is. Get over it.


Like this comment
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 14, 2019 at 11:44 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

We have logical locations for additional housing.
1. ECR - Oregon to Charleston. Whole blocks of ancient one-story commercial buildings. They need to go - that is where you have logical space. The property tax value must about -0- due to their age.
2. FRY's - quit using Sobrato as an excuse. Give them funding for about 4 towers on that property. Property value is probably -0- due to age of buildings.

If you go after established R-1 neighborhoods when you have logical places then you will see a law suit. People are building new homes and adding stories to existing homes. The R-1 property owners are the ones upgrading and fixing and paying your salaries. We pay the city to function so start functioning.


3 people like this
Posted by george drysdale
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 15, 2019 at 9:51 am

Sobrato is probably going to pull back from development. With statewide rent control the inmates are now in charge of the asylum. Who does that leave? Nobody except for a civil war. On one side the San Franciscan's: chairman Chui and crazy boy Newsome and the Democrats. On the other side the property owners, people who can remember their high school economics and most powerful of all: the social studies teachers. A civil war.

George Drysdale initiator and educator


Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2019 at 10:13 am

Posted by george drysdale, a resident of Professorville

>> Sobrato is probably going to pull back from development. With statewide rent control the inmates are now in charge of the asylum.

I will try to restate what you said to see if I understood it. I think what you are saying is this:

Sobrato will sit on the Fry's property because it is making more money now, using that RM-30 zoned land for office space, as has been allowed for a while. So, Sobrato will just hold it until it can strongarm property upzoning from the city. Is that what you are saying? I really can't tell.


3 people like this
Posted by george drysdale
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 16, 2019 at 9:24 am

Developers wait for land to become available. Always the land. They're not in it to receive brownie points. Profit makes the world go around. Palo Alto has to be the dumbest town in America with the Buena Vista boondoggle which I predicted would happen in the year 2000 (internet). Driving past a 1940s trailer park you have to wince. That should be a half a billion dollar luxury condo project with very expensive townhouses with two million dollar luxury units with his and hers full sized parking spaces for full sized SUVs. It would probably sell out in a couple of months with tax paying residents. The prediction I also made: There will be a crash regarding rent controls. Only a fool would build rental units in California with rent controls. It's happening, investors are abandoning the construction of apartments in the previous golden state. And Palo Alto voted for Newsome and his Democrats. Palo Alto should not keep the idealistic school girl mentality of a college town. World history in the making. George Dryssdale with the number one lesson plan in economics/politics in the making. Follow the San Jose Property Rights Initiative (internet).


Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 16, 2019 at 1:14 pm

Posted by george drysdale, a resident of Professorville

>> That should be a half a billion dollar luxury condo project with very expensive townhouses with two million dollar luxury units with his and hers full sized parking spaces for full sized SUVs.

"Should"? Why -should- "we" feel some sort of moral imperative to placate and fawn over the 1%? They really don't need our help fulfilling their wishes. "Should" -- what an idea.



1 person likes this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
11 hours ago

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Once Fry's officially closes then that parking lot will become the new RV destination. That ought to be a big motivator to everyone. Hopefully by that time "the city" will talk to our governor to get funding to pay-off Sobrato to sell to another developer who will be happy to build. If you have not noticed RWC has massive building going on next to the Caltrain tracks - that is residential housing. Obviously there are builders who want to build. And Sobrato does not need to be the end game - if you go to their site they build a lot of buildings that they sell. They can build and sell to an organization that will manage the towers for their intended use. They will make a profit. No need to hang our hat on their organization. They will not want this site once it becomes empty. Organiztions get penalized for non-productive property.


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