Town Square

High Density Housing

Original post made by pares, Barron Park, on Apr 24, 2013

The high density housing that is going in, en masse all at once, is breathg taking here in south Palo Alto. Coming home on El Camino, after shopping at San Antonio, I passed the very dense housing going in in the shopping center. OK that's Mt. View and at the shopping center it makes sense. But there's more -- across the street there is a huge dense housing project going in. Coming home, on El Camino to Arastradero, there's another huge dense housing project going in next to Lozano's car wash. Next block, it's the old Palo Alto Bowl site, then, close to the intersection at Arastradero and El Camino and across the street from the Palo Alto Bowl site, another huge hole and huge dense housing going in there too. When all these projects are finished, what will happen to traffic at our end?

PAWeekly, how about an article describing the number of units going in at all these projects?

Does this concern our city leaders?


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2013 at 1:48 pm

The housing developments, which do look dense, are in several different cities and school districts. One would imagine people will move in this children - upscale, new, top school districts although high density style. I take that to mean people will be driving in various directions (I sure can't see small children crossing El Camino Real on their own to attend a prime Los Altos elementary school)! I except traffic to get really bad around there in all directions. I guess there has not been any coordinated effort to look at traffic in a multi-city sense around there.

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Posted by neighbor
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Sorry, several typos:
One would imagine people will move in WITH children...
I EXPECT traffic to get really bad around there in all directions...

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Posted by anon
a resident of Santa Rita (Los Altos)
on Apr 24, 2013 at 2:01 pm

The hole next to Lozano's - also in Mtn View - will turn into 193 apartments.

The PA Bowl site will be 26 4 br three story townhouses plus a four story, 140(?) room Hilton hotel.

The hole across from Arbor Real is for another Hilton Hotel, also four stories and around 140 rooms.

The expansion of the retirement community on El Camino Way is under construction.

And yesterday I noticed some of the those double debris/dirt trailers heading down towards Park near Frys ..must be some digging going on there too.

Los Altos is busy too..

46 new condos at the corner of San Antonio and Loucks - one block in from El Camino

and soon-to-be 167 1&2 br apartments plus 38 townhouses at the old Marie Calendar/Los Altos supply site on El Camino.

Mountain View is also considering a 200(?) unit apartment building on El Camino across from the Sears site... plus the old Safeway site on California will be up for grabs and the owner of the Target site is planning redevelopment.

I'm less worried about future traffic than about staying out of the way now of the construction trucks that decide they want to be in my lane.

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Posted by anon
a resident of Santa Rita (Los Altos)
on Apr 24, 2013 at 2:09 pm


Three different cities but all of the housing units I listed (not the retirement units on El Camino Way) are in the Los Altos School District (LASD). All of the many children in that area currently do cross El Camino to get to Santa Rita, Almond, Covington or Bullis elementary.

The apartment developers are claiming they are building for young,single professionals who won't be bringing additional children. The expensive new apartments in San Antonio Center will have a dog park but no playground.

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Posted by neighbor
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Palo Alto bowl is in Los Altos school district? I would have thought in Palo Alto.
Don't kid yourself, brand new, 4k/month apartments at the new San Antonio Center are going to include children. They might not be small children, so who cares about the playground issue, instead they want to get into the high schools without paying property tax, which has been a problem in PA (although since I live in PA and pay high property tax, I don't really know about your school funding in Los Altos - although I assume even if it isn't all property tax like PA, with various school bonds, a family living in a fancy apartment with high rent may still come out way ahead....)

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Posted by anon
a resident of Santa Rita (Los Altos)
on Apr 24, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Oh I'm not kidding myself - I frequently see ads for small apartments on Del Medio (next to Lozano's) highlighting the LASD schools. The developers and Mtn View City Council chose to ignore that.

In contrast, the PA Bowl townhouse developers are consciously targeting families with kids. See their web site -
Web Link

Both the Palo Alto and MV sections of Monroe Park are in the LASD. The district was formed in 1909, before the incorporation of all of the surrounding towns.

LASD funding is a combination of property tax, bonds and a couple of parcel taxes totaling $790. And the densely developed NEC area pays quite a bit in parcel.

For some reason, the fee that developers have to pay to the district is at a lower rate in LASD than in PAUSD. That is the money that is supposed to be used to supply additional classroom space.

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Posted by PaloAltoHousing website
a resident of University South
on Apr 24, 2013 at 3:32 pm

We have been keeping rack of multiple housing construction in Palo Alto for about 10 years. See Web Link
Please let us know if we are missing anything at:
The effects of overbuilding are on all schools, on traffic, on road rage, on parking, on overbearing architecture, on playing field shortages, on zoning violations, on just about everything around us.
Developers fees are a bandaid on a serious wound and can't substitute for solutions to the problems overdevelopment causes.

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Posted by Employeeeeeee
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Apr 24, 2013 at 4:02 pm

I used to work for Allstate Insurance, up to 2009. One of the formularies they had for assessing homeowner's insurance was, "High density = Low Value + High Crime". That was the justification for charging more money to insure a condo or townhouse than a single family detached home with a decent space between houses. The affordability means that many will be bought by investors and rented out; the crowding is often causative of crime; therefore, the homeowners will have excessive claims.