Town Square

Revised 'Park Plaza' wins staff endorsement

Original post made on Jun 21, 2012

A controversial quest by Harold Hohbach to build a three-story development on Page Mill Road could finally reach its terminus Monday night, when Palo Alto officials review the latest revisions to his Park Plaza project.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, June 21, 2012, 9:14 AM


Like this comment
Posted by jm
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jun 21, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Last minute changes that didn't go through the Planning Commission?

Sounds like Alma Plaza and the JJ&F all over again.

How come a developer is allowed to make last minute changes that are substantive enough to be deemed okay by Amy French but is not sent back to the Planning Commission review?

Here's the new "zoning" rules for developers to build huge buildings that don't comply with the zoning rules the rest of us have to comply with.

1) Present an application to the Planning Department for a massive new building with a vague proposal there will be a public benefits, that the city doesn't enforce anyway. Be prepared to have to bargain down some square footage.

2) Keep going back to the Planning Commission (who review all requests for exceptions to zoning requirements) and refuse to cut back on the square footage. Instead make minor tweaks and go back to the Planning Commission again.

3) Repeat enough times and then blame the Planning Commission for punitive delays and abusing his right to build what he wants.

4) Circumvent the Planning Commission and go right to the City Council who will cave because he knows they always do.

5) Congratulate self for manipulating City Council for getting more than he expected in the first place anyway.

Like this comment
Posted by Tired of Palo Alto Whining
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 21, 2012 at 4:11 pm


If you think that the City or Hohbach has violated the law, explain your concerns in writing to City. Be specific; cite the sections of the code that have been violated and provide the facts to support your argument.

If you're not willing or able to do that, stop whining.

Like this comment
Posted by curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 21, 2012 at 5:04 pm

"Councilwoman Nancy Shepherd and Vice Mayor Greg Scharff both cited the lack of rental housing in Palo Alto in voicing their support for Park Plaza."

They are hopeless naive or very eagerly gullible. They ought to visit the "residential" units that the developer of 499 University promised as "public benefits," but which somehow wound up being luxury office suites.

Warning: don't try this kind of thing at home folks. The Planning Dept will get ya.

Hohbach knows full well he can promise anything, and nothing will happen if (when) he renegs. Our city government gets curiously spineless in the presence of wealthy developers.

Like this comment
Posted by jm
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jun 21, 2012 at 8:07 pm

To tired of whining

I never said this developer broke the law. This is a comment about how the city council caves on requests to exceed allowed zoning requirements.