Town Square

Post a New Topic

What is the construction on Charleston/Fabian Way/San Antonio Road?

Original post made by ?, Gunn High School, on Aug 5, 2008

It looks like a ton of townhomes, acc. to the sign, but I thought it was going to be a huge Jewish Community Center. What happened? Our schools are already overcrowded.

Comments (18)

Like this comment
Posted by Ask the School District
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Aug 6, 2008 at 5:38 am

The Campus for Jewish Life, Bridge/Build, Trumark and Echelon developments. The School District is well aware all these developments are being built. There is space available at Barron Park and Nixon.

Like this comment
Posted by Ask the School District
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 6, 2008 at 5:57 am

Gunn is full the overflow will be going to Paly.

Like this comment
Posted by Really?
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 6, 2008 at 1:39 pm

"There is space available at Barron Park and Nixon."
Space at Nixon? Really? Then why would they send Escondido's overflowed kids across town? It's bad enough that a school with only 350 neighborhood kids doesn't have space for all of them, but to send them across town instead of next door to Nixon adds insult to injury.

Like this comment
Posted by Ask the School District
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Aug 6, 2008 at 4:02 pm

Really: The School District is obligated to educate all children that apply to be educated in PA. It is convenient for both the parents, the student and the School District to educate that child in the nearest assigned neighborhood school but it is not a given.

If there simply is not room in the assigned neighborhood school, the School District can send a newly registering child to a school where space is available. This is particularly important when, at the request of PA parents, class sizes are kept to a specific size.

I live in the Fairmeadow neighborhood but children living near me go to both Barron Park and El Carmelo.

Like this comment
Posted by Parent
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 6, 2008 at 5:43 pm

And to think in other state's where the schools rival ours (Oregon and Washington State), new mini buses pick the kids up and bring them home. A relative on a cul-de-sac near Redmond, WA told me the mini bus pulls into the cul de sac to get her children.

Like this comment
Posted by Frank
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 6, 2008 at 7:32 pm

The homes are for senior citizens; thankfully the JCC won't clog up our schools. Unfortunately, the new apartments on El Camino and Charleston certainly will though.

Like this comment
Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 6, 2008 at 8:22 pm


The homes may well be for senior citizens, but where are they coming from. If these are indeed PA seniors, then they will be leaving their PA homes to either sell or rent to new families ready to use PAUSD schools.

Only if, and if is the biggie, these are outside PA citizens moving into the homes, will it have little impact on PAUSD. And, what sort of reason would an outside PA senior have to move here. Unless it is the JCC itself, I see no reason why a senior would want to retire in PA unless they have lived here for the last 50 years and not want to leave the area. These seniors are most likely going to be adding to PAUSD enrollment, but not in the most direct way.

Like this comment
Posted by Mom
a resident of Duveneck School
on Aug 6, 2008 at 9:15 pm

Yes, and how many seniors will move in so that their grandkids can use their address for Palo Alto schools?

Like this comment
Posted by Ask the School District
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Aug 6, 2008 at 11:40 pm

Parent: The housing units at the Campus for Jewish Life are indeed for Seniors. However behind the CJL complex on Fabian Way are all the new housing units being built by Bridge/BUILD. These are for sale condominiums, BMR units and Seniors.

If you drive down to East Meadow Circle at the end of East Meadow, you will see two other infill housing complexes being built, The Tumark Development and the Echelon Development, these are all condominiums and BMR units.

Together with the developments on Loma Verde Av and West Bayshore, Alma Plaza, Ricky's Hyatt, The Elks Club and now a new one just approved opposite Goodwill on East Meadow, there will be between 800 and 1,000 new housing units in South Palo Alto.

The good news is that condominium complexes don't usually generate many children.

Like this comment
Posted by Children at CJL
a resident of South of Midtown
on Aug 7, 2008 at 1:54 am

As you may have read on another thread, there are 103 private dwellings that are part of the Campus for Jewish Life in addition to the senior units. They very likely will have children.

Like this comment
Posted by Ask the School District
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Aug 7, 2008 at 6:49 am

Children at CJL: I just looked up the exact number of housing units in the Final Environmental Impact Report at both The Campus for Jewish Life and Bridge/BUILD. The Campus for Jewish Life sold 4 acres to a different developer Bridge/BUILD and they are not connected.

Bridge/BUILD (behind the CJL on Fabian Way) will have 103 condominiums and 56 Senior Housing Units.

The Campus for Jewish Life will have 193 senior housing units making an overall total of 352 housing units.

Like this comment
Posted by Janis
a resident of Stanford
on Aug 7, 2008 at 10:26 am

Oh for heaven's sake people. "Children" are not a plague and "BMR" is not a disease! I understand concerns about overcrowded schools, but the fact that Palo Alto is a vibrant community where people want to live and send their children to school is a GOOD thing. Any family who can afford to live in Palo Alto is not likely to be a drain on public resources. Even BMR qualified residents have to make a decent income to get a mortgage or afford to rent here - AND are already living or working in Palo Alto as a qualifying condition for the Palo Alto BMR program. One of the reasons I chose to move to Palo Alto 4 years ago from Fremont was because of the opportunity for my daughter to attend a wonderful school closer to my workplace at Stanford. From the beginning of my search for our first apartment here, I was so impressed with the welcome into your community that we received. Please don't lose that spirit! Remember that a healthy community needs a population that represents diversity & tolerance in many areas - culture, income, race, religion and age.

Like this comment
Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 7, 2008 at 11:21 am


You are right, 100%.

The flip side of this though as that these wonderful schools, as you know, are finite in size. We don't mind newcomers, in fact we welcome them as individuals into our schools. But the problem is how big is too big.

If these developments could include some land for a school, or a park, or a playing field, or a basketball gym, or someway of helping the crunch, it would be great. Unfortunately though, the powers that be do not see that. They just say yes to housing and forget that one of the things that make it nice to live in PA are the schools, the parks, the sports opportunities for the kids and also adults, and there is no increase in these facilities. It isn't just the schools that are impacted, but AYSO, CYSA, Little League, Girls softball, NJB and so on. As it is, we use gyms til 9.00 pm in basketball season just so that every team gets a midweek practice. Of course, there are some outside courts, but they are dependent on weather and none of them are floodlit, remember basketballseason is midwinter.

Like this comment
Posted by Palo Altan
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 7, 2008 at 2:07 pm

people who are desperate to get into PAUSD will buy condominiums.

Like this comment
Posted by A parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 7, 2008 at 11:28 pm

We should have a special real estate transfer tax - as many other communities do - which specifically benefits schools.

The money should go directly to alleviating overcrowding, such as rehabilitating currently unused school sites to return them to service. Cubberly should be turned back into a high school - turned into some kind of magnet high school (avoids fights over redrawing paly and gunn boundaries but alleviates overcrowding at the high schools). A magnet school would also make a Foothill partnership at that location more advantageous to everyone.

Like this comment
Posted by Long Time Resident
a resident of Professorville
on Aug 7, 2008 at 11:52 pm

The development on Fabian Way is on the site of the former Ford Aerospace Corporation.

It was classified as a toxic Brownfield site.

They received several grants from the EPA to help with clean up.
Brownfield sites are chosen to help reduce urban sprawl by promoting infill, and help clean up toxic groundwater and/or soil.

The Taube-Koret Campus for Jewish Life at 901 San Antonio (the organization's new home) received a grant of $200,000 to clean up an 8-acre property tainted with volatile organic compounds.

The BRIDGE Housing Corporation in Palo Alto received another $200,000 grant to clean up the half-acre Fabian Way Senior Site at 901 San Antonio Way.

The minutes from the March 29th 2006 Planning & Transportation Meeting regarding this development may be read here.

Web Link.

Additional information regarding the volatile compounds on this site and the cleanup may be found by keying in the words "Fabian Way Toxic Groundwater" into Google.

Like this comment
Posted by Grandma
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Aug 8, 2008 at 12:20 pm

A Parent:

The PAUSD is not going to take their 27 acres of Cubberley back in the foreseeable future while the City continues to pay them $4 Million (rising to $6 Million) a year for use of the site.

The School District does have plans to build two story classroom pods at Gunn to increase capacity. Meanwhile, Paly has space available so overflow Gunn students will be sent to Paly. Over time they will simply increase the number of students at both Gunn and Paly, and use portable classrooms temporarily to accommodate the increased numbers.

Many High Schools in the Nation now have more than 3,000 students. There is a High School in Oakland with 3,500 students. Both Gunn and Paly have room to grow.

Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 13, 2008 at 11:53 pm

General appearance is that of a "monster development."

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

Burger chain Shake Shack to open in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 10 comments | 3,324 views

Eat, Surf, Love
By Laura Stec | 4 comments | 1,140 views

Couples: So You Married Mom or Dad . . .
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 1,094 views

The Cost of Service
By Aldis Petriceks | 2 comments | 748 views

One-on-one time
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 142 views