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Former Historic Resources Board chair faces city scrutiny over home remodel

Original post made on Feb 16, 2022

Palo Alto architect Martin Bernstein found himself in an unusual position last month when the city informed him that he was violating city code pertaining to work he was performing on his home.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, February 16, 2022, 9:49 AM

Comments (5)

Posted by Skip
a resident of Community Center
on Feb 16, 2022 at 10:45 am

Skip is a registered user.

The article states that Marty's house is on High St between Emerson and Ramona. All 3 are parallel to one another, so the description of the location is clearly incorrect.


Posted by Gennady Sheyner
Palo Alto Weekly staff writer
on Feb 16, 2022 at 10:52 am

Gennady Sheyner is a registered user.

@Skip. Sorry for the error, which has been corrected.


Posted by Rebecca Eisenberg
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 16, 2022 at 11:59 pm

Rebecca Eisenberg is a registered user.

Was this architect and former chair of the historic resources commission unaware that permits are also often required for renovations on the inside of structures, and not just for renovations of exteriors?


Posted by George
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 18, 2022 at 8:09 am

George is a registered user.

This architect is a lucky man. He has [portion removed] violated [rules] that in the recent past he was enforcing through his position on the historic resources board and he is going to face no penalty. He gambled that he could save the cost of a permit application but it didn't work out. He's no worse off, it was worth a try and only an insider like him would have known the system well enough to play it this way. When did honor and integrity in public life meet its death?


Posted by Carol
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 18, 2022 at 8:46 am

Carol is a registered user.

This news article just came to my attention. I am Martin Bernstein’s sister. It saddens me that a member of my family should behave in this manner and I will not let myself be complicit by remaining silent. Martin is mistaken about the dates of events. The demolition of the project began in October 2020, not fall 2021 as he has stated, a full year before our father’s health failed and he passed away. I was my father’s caretaker and Martin did not participate. [Portion removed.]

Martin often invited me and other family members to come and look at the progress of his project so we have seen it. Martin was well aware that a permit was required [portion removed.] He used some unlicensed labor, worked slowly and stealthily and believed he could get away with nobody noticing. A job that could have been finished quickly has now been running for eighteen months. But he is right, he will get away with it in the sense he will face no penalty because he knows how to play the system. All talk over concern over our father’s death is nonsense [portion removed.]


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