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Embattled Page Mill Road project up for fresh hearing

Original post made on Jun 4, 2012

After years of disputes, appeals and revisions, a developer hoping to construct a three-story building on Page Mill Road and Park Boulevard will return to the City Council tonight in hopes of finally getting the green light for his contentious project. ==B Related stories:==
• [Web Link Hohbach gives Palo Alto an ultimatum]
• [Web Link Page Mill Road development hits another snag]

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, June 4, 2012, 9:20 AM

Comments (12)

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Posted by Fed Up
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2012 at 10:40 am

Wow. Palo Alto deserves the mess it's in. Have a revenue issue City of Palo Alto? Want to raise taxes or cut services? Instead, why don't you actually make it possible for people to get projects done? I wonder how much tax revenue would come from vacant lots and eye sores that have proposed use...hotels, mixed use, etc.


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Posted by grant
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 4, 2012 at 10:43 am

enough is enough let him build


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Posted by Follow the rules,
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 4, 2012 at 11:05 am

Actually, he hasn't presented anything to date that is compliant with code. Council could not approve the previous projects without breaking the law. I support their decision on this one.

Hohbach needs to read the Comp Plan, municipal and zoning codes and comply as developers and individual property owners are required to do all over the country. Mr. Hohbach should stop asking for special treatment.


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 4, 2012 at 11:43 am

Too massive when viewed from the outside and would not appeal to pedestrians?? Hasn't stopped other recent projects.


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Posted by James
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 4, 2012 at 11:54 am

Why do we have zoning ordinances?

When should Council require a project to comply with existing zoning? When should exceptions be made?

The answers to these questions tells you whether a project should be approved, or not.


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Posted by Marie
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 4, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Marie is a registered user.

Enough is enough. Turn him down flat as he has shown no interest in complying with PA zoning or its comprehensive plan.


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Posted by senor blogger
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 4, 2012 at 12:54 pm

ALL:
If you want to know why everything in Palo Alto is so expensive.... This is why.

Its not the School district, the QUALITY of Life, the INTELLIGENT people or any thing else.

Its because of this kind of senseless backwardness.

Enjoy.....


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Posted by Horrific
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 4, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Let's face it we have an obsolete Comp Plan. A Comp Plan that encourages new urbanism eg buildings right up to the sidewalk like the Rickey's Hyatt development should be hanned in Palo Alto.

Until the Comp Plan is changed no new commercial or apartment housing should be approved. Dump new urbanism!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 4, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

Developer Holbach has abused the process from the very beginning. For example, in the first go round, he wanted the City to close the adjoining section of Page Mill Road (between Park and the tracks) and _donate_ the land to him. He would then re-pave it for parking spaces and a basketball court for his tenants. But he declared this to be a "public benefit" that would entitle him to grossly exceed the zoning ordinance. A statue in an inner courtyard was also called a "public benefit".

This has been a long process because developer Holbach has repeatedly overestimated how many exceptions to the zoning ordinance he could bully the City Council into giving him. Any "hardship" for him has been self-imposed.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 4, 2012 at 3:56 pm

"Its because of this kind of senseless backwardness."

Right on, friend. Holbach could have had his project years ago if he had been reasonable.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by concernedcitizen
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 4, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Hohbach should be given no benefit of the doubt.
He said that open space would be maintained for the public in his last development, then he sealed it off and rented it to Cafe Riaci.
Hohbach has attempted to intimidate the City repeatedly, including a law suit. He is an attorney who has used legal bullying in the past and now is playing the "old man" card.
Insist that whatever he promises be iron-clad and insist he follow the rules.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by common sense
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 4, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Compare what Holbach has gone through versus what the council & city staff did with the Lytton Gateway... They want less density from Holbach, and grant a huge variance in density for the Lytton Gateway.

Holbach's mistake is he didn't hire Jim Baer; when Jim Baer is involved, comp plan & higher density doesn't matter to the city council & staff.


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