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Palo Alto looks to industrial sites to address housing shortage

Original post made on Nov 23, 2021

Few Palo Alto neighborhoods reflect the city's shifting housing politics on East Meadow Circle, a historically industrial area that is now increasingly viewed as a prime location for residences.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, November 23, 2021, 9:37 AM

Comments (8)

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 23, 2021 at 10:09 am

Bystander is a registered user.

It was not until more than half way through the article that Google was mentioned. From my memory, this circle was being eyed by Google for expansion into Palo Alto and mentioned many times in respect of funding of the new foot/bike bridge.

When the JCC was first opened we were told that new public transport would service this area. This has not been the case and parking is already difficult for anyone other than those who work at the offices on Fabian. I suspect that street parking is already a problem near E. Meadow Circle and this will only make it worse. The new bridge and any type of shuttle will do very little to alleviate traffic/parking concerns in the area regardless of any new developments.


Posted by Carol Scott
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 23, 2021 at 11:23 am

Carol Scott is a registered user.

Thank you, Commissioner Lauing, for understanding and advocating for neighborhoods and not just any kind of housing. Creative thinking is needed to provide not just housing, but housing and a city that people will actually want to live in. I appreciate thought being given to all of the infrastructure that is needed, including not just transit, but also schools, parks, electrical grid capacity, sewer system improvements, etc.


Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Nov 23, 2021 at 11:36 am

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

GS no mention of the far distance from Cal Train. Will there be an hourly shuttle? We are talking about a small sub-city. The ROLM GM is wedged between a noisy freeway and Mountain View. Bay land is not a place I’d send my 10 year old, across a freeway, to kick around a ball. I would be hesitant to have my 86 year-old mother cross Charleston to shop for cleaning supplies at hardware store. Except for Costco, it’s a fresh food desert as well as lacking in good near public transit . Look to Windsor Calif for that planned community. It would be nice to have let your readers know when up-coming meetings are held: Council, PTC, HEWG and its ad hoc take place — for public added comment and discourse. After-all it’s everyone’s future.


Posted by Steve
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 23, 2021 at 11:55 am

Steve is a registered user.

I’m against any development unless we have a perfect community with schools, libraries,shopping, and workplaces close enough to walk to, but far enough away so that the associated noise, parking , and traffic congestion are in somebody else’s neighborhood.
East Meadow Circle is a 6 minute bike ride from Fairmeadow school which is way to long for our very busy children. Dos Ramos park is a distant 11 minute walk away which will discourage all but the super fit.
It’s clear from the declining home prices in Palo Alto that no one would want to move into a new neighborhood unless it has ideal amenities.
Let’s make sure new homes are as expensive as possible by creating a perfect environment. That’s the Palo Alto way!


Posted by rsmithjr
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 23, 2021 at 5:23 pm

rsmithjr is a registered user.

Has the city thought about what the owners of these properties might think about this proposal? They might start by watching the tapes from the Buena Vista and Hotel President hearings.


Posted by JB
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 27, 2021 at 9:00 pm

JB is a registered user.

Hello, Native to the Bay and others. The next Palo Alto Housing Element meeting is on December 2. You can find the link below. It's good to be part of this process!

Web Link


Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 28, 2021 at 7:40 pm

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

It’s more efficient for the City to waste time volunteer resources on bad , futuristic ideas than it is to expand for economic and social good. Case in point. Keep underutilized parking structures near empty than it is to work to confront real solutions like : building affordable homes in transit rich areas like Cambridge Ave. It’s the grease that keeps automobiles king and R1 NIMBY homeowners happy — Mayfield Place has a parking robot that houses 195 small to medium sized cars. Unsafe for children, pets, unloading groceries and very bad for busy, busy working, on the go families. Yet. Might be Perfect for employees, retail parking. 8 residents store autos on a long term basis there. The machines is NOT designed for residential purposes but for long term parking (like at airports) . Rip it out and put apartments in the now wasted, hollow space or, hire human valets 8am-9pm for Cal Ave retail shopping or commuting workers. Even better lease it out for Sunday farmers market. My vote is better housing solutions. ROLM and MF is a climate disaster in the making. The PA Fire Department is not the Operational Emergency Services or OSHA even if there is a bit of cross over duties.


Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 28, 2021 at 8:54 pm

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

@JB. thanks. I have been listening to said, HEWG meetings. Counting every time the word “parking” has been raised by each over and above the word “ “Housing”. It’s about a 3 to 1 ratio so far, three public parking spaces for one person potentially housed. Ironically the same as the pre-pandemic, 3 jobs to every one person housed. Clearly parking a car in retail, commercial, on the street is far superior and critical, controllable to this group than climate change or housing one human being. The group is more of a PEWG (Parking element working group) than anything else. I have the chicken scratch to prove my findings. Listen in and see what you find. To me, the group is 75% about id’ing parking stalls for thier automobiles to 25% of the group id’ing sites for feasible housing solutions. I am not speaking to the state mandated reduced residential ratio of parking, either. It appears not only do PA R1 residents not care for affordable multi family homes on thier streets, they also want a assurances of a guaranteed free parking space for themselves, anytime anywhere in the city. The fear that Transit oriented affordable housing will suck up thier perceived auto space is pervasive and wrong. BTW the word bicycle travel is near non-existent w the group, unless it has to do w the $23 Million Bike Bridge to Google. With said group, The notion of local bike travel has nothing to do with mixed use, climate friendly, sustainable affordable housing for people. My count above: 8 homes for every 6 car slots. Not bad, eh?!


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