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One Reason Why I am Voting Against Measure D

Original post made by Joe Hirsch, Green Acres, on Nov 3, 2013

PAHC has proposed senior housing on the Maybell site. Is it good housing? I don't think so!

The PAHC proposed building has virtually no senior-serving amenities, certainly no dining room where residents could congregate and enjoy a meal together, after all, they could be living there for a very long time. Thus, residents will have to go off-site for everything they need. Everything!

PAHC proposes to have a limited number of parking spaces on the belief that "seniors don't drive". (All the seniors I know, and I'm a senior, drive.) If, however, they really don't drive, how will they do all the things that can't be done on site?

City Council has required that a van service be coordinated with the residents of the adjacent Arastradero Park complex. There is no van service now for the people in that complex and apparently they have lived quite well without one for quite some time. Why do they have to be brought into this matter now?

Nonetheless, the proposed van service is intended to be coordinated for 68 apartments in the adjacent complex and 60 senior apartments, 128 in all. How many vans will be required? How many drivers will be required? How often will service be provided? What happens if a senior really doesn't drive and the van has just left? What happens when the senior is dropped off someplace (e.g., a medical appointment) and wants to be picked up on his or her return? How long a wait will be required?

This is getting pretty complex and has the potential to be pretty expensive. Will the low/very-low income seniors be obligated to pay for that? Or will we, the taxpayers, have to pay for that year after year after year?

In summary, there are few senior-serving amenities nearby and public transportation is sporadic at best. The location is not the best for seniors, the building itself is bare minimum housing with few amenities, and little is being provided to help seniors get to where they need to go and back in a timely manner. We owe our seniors more. Much more. This is one reason why I am voting Against Measure D.

Then, if D is defeated and PAHC is willing (the onus will be on PAHC to decide if they want to meet), maybe a better overall site plan can be devised in conjunction with the Barron Park/Green Acres neighbors that (a) has better senior housing (true housing, not just apartments) and (b) is consistent with the single-family character of our neighborhood.





Comments (6)

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Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 3, 2013 at 10:07 am

Jerry Underdal is a registered user.

"We owe our seniors more. Much more"

and we'll start by denying them this housing because it does not meet the standards of The Forum, Terraces and other fine accommodations for seniors in the area.


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Posted by Joe Hirsch
a resident of Green Acres
on Nov 3, 2013 at 10:12 am

Jerry,

I never suggested that it had to go to that extreme level, but within reason it can be made better - and should be made better. And, knowing you from our brief interactions this fall during the campaign, I sense that you know that.

Joe


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Posted by palo alto resident
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Nov 3, 2013 at 10:26 am

@jerry - I agree that this is a poor location choice for senior housing that does not have any amenities and like pretty much everything else recently built in Palo Alto, it is under parked. But as far as the shuttle is concerned, typically senior housing runs scheduled trips to the grocery store drug store, once or twice a week. The residents can plan around those trips. Medical and dental appointments are scheduled with the driver, the residents are dropped off then can call for a pick up when they are done with their appointments. The wait for pick up can be long or short depending on how busy the driver is that day.


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Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 3, 2013 at 11:39 am

Jerry Underdal is a registered user.

@palo alto resident

I honestly don't know the details of shuttle van service at Arastradero Park. But walking through the parking lot to check on student bicycle flow on Arastradero in the morning I have seen a shuttle bus waiting there. So there is at least some service already. You could inquire.

Joe's concerns about the difficulty of putting together a proper shuttle service seem misplaced. That's routine scheduling and budgeting. Trivial really compared with PAHC's concerns about being able to continue building affordable housing in Palo Alto if Measure D fails.

Please Vote Yes on D.


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Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 3, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Jerry Underdal is a registered user.

@ Joe Hirsch

My serious point was made with a rhetorical stretch. I know that you have floated several proposals. But a bottom line element in them all is that project must not be allowed to go forward. And you have not demonstrated a credible plan for doing a different affordable housing for seniors project. It's all been, let's get PAHC to modify what they do on the property they've purchased to meet our requirements.

"Vote AGAINST D" has gone on for months about how marketing mistakes at Moldaw, a luxury assisted living center, should be laid at the feet of PAHC. Bob Moss has spoken of vacancies at the luxury senior Vi as evidence that there's no real need for this affordable housing for low and moderate income seniors to be built.

Some Questions:

1) How does your position differ from theirs?

2) Can the orchard be saved and affordable housing built on the Maybell property?

3) Will "No on D" abide by the expressed will of the voters of Palo Alto if they vote "Yes on D" and allow the project to go forward without further stalls and threats so the two neighborhoods, mine (Barron Park) and yours (Green Acrres) can work together on issues like bicycle safety on Maybell?

Thank you for your engagement in the online discussion.




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Posted by Tom DuBois
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 3, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Tom DuBois is a registered user.

It's too late to mail in your ballot - drop it off signed at your polling place or vote in person on Tuesday! Vote Against D - let's get a better plan for this site.


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