Palo Alto Weekly

Cover Story - January 10, 2014

14 numbers for 2014

1 — The average number of days it now takes for the city to issue a permit for an electric-vehicle charger, down from 33 in 2012.

5 — The number of open seats on the City Council in November 2014.

17 — The number of firefighters now eligible to retire, suggesting significant department turnover this year.

21 — The number of months that have passed since the expected opening of the new Mitchell Park Library and Community Center, which should finally open this year.

30 — The number of years, combined, that Larry Klein and Liz Kniss will have served on the Palo Alto City Council. Klein will conclude his second consecutive term and will not be eligible to run again. Kniss will conclude her year as vice mayor and prepare for her third stint as mayor next year.

41 — The number of lane-miles that the city repaved in 2013 as part of an effort to fix damaged streets, which represents about 10 percent of the city's total of 403 miles. The council spent $5.1 million on street paving in 2013, compared to $1.8 million in 2011. The pace should continue in 2014.

$67.36 — The average monthly residential water bill in Palo Alto, after the city raised water rates by 7 percent in July. The city's rates, already much higher than those in neighboring jurisdictions, are slated to rise by another 7 percent in July 2014. This is largely due to the higher cost of water supply, local capital projects and the $4.6-billion effort by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (which supplies Palo Alto) to refurbish the aged Hetch Hetchy system.

76 — The percent by which Palo Alto's revenues from hotel taxes are expected to have increased between 2010 and 2014, bringing in $5.2 million more for the city in 2014 over 2010.

99 — Percent of respondents to the National Citizen Survey who rated Palo Alto "good" or "excellent" as a place to work.

1,366 — Downtown's parking shortage in 2014, after new developments such as Lytton Gateway and Epiphany Hotel come online. This according to an interactive projection model developed by Downtown North residents Neilson Buchanan and Eric Filseth.

2,860 — The number of housing units Palo Alto was directed to zone for as part of its 2007-14 Housing Element, which the council approved just last year. This year, the council plans to certify its next Housing Element, addressing the latest state mandate for more housing.

250,000 — The amount, in square feet, of nonresidential development in downtown Palo Alto since 1986, when the city established a downtown "development cap" of 350,000 square feet.

$4.7 million — The estimated cost of the California Avenue Streetscape Project, which is set to kick off in February and continue for much of the year. That's about $3 million more than what was projected in 2011, when the council agreed to reduce the number of lanes and replace street furniture on the commercial strip.

$15.3 million — The amount Palo Alto has in its steadily growing dark-fiber-optic fund, which could help pay for "Fiber to the Premise," an effort to bring ultra-high-speed Internet access to the city's masses. Utility Department staff and consultants will be putting together a master plan for the long-deferred program throughout 2014.

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