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Senior housing or not, Maybell area ripe for redevelopment

Original post made on Jul 20, 2013

When Palo Alto officials agreed last month to rezone property on Maybell and Clemo avenues to enable construction of a senior-housing development and 12 homes, they issued a warning to the angry masses opposing the zone change: Be careful what you wish for.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, July 20, 2013, 10:26 AM

Comments (70)

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Posted by Carlos
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 20, 2013 at 12:05 pm

After how the city council and the Palo Alto Housing Corporation tried to deceive the residents with their iffy statistics and complete disregard for the neighbors' concerns, are we now supposed to believe that they are pushing this high-density development because it's the best choice for our neighborhood?

I hope these politicians realize that even South Palo Alto residents have enough brain cells not to trust them anymore.


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Posted by Margaret Fruth
a resident of Ventura
on Jul 20, 2013 at 4:05 pm

The City of Palo Alto is not required to change zoning for any project. The city is not required to facilitate developers' profits. If a project is not viable without government subsidies and accommodations, the developer is paying more than the site is worth, and asking the city to make up the difference with a hidden, indirect subsidy. Density increase is often just a gift to developers.

The government subsidies for operating existing housing for low income seniors have been almost eliminated. The secret about existing low-income housing for seniors is that in order to pay for the Iraq war, the Bush administration almost completely eliminated Section 8 funds for subsidizing operating expenses. For example, the last time I checked, the waiting list at Lytton Gardens was a few months for full-pay middle class residents, but five years long, & closed for all but two weeks of the year, for subsidized housing. PAHC insists it cannot build Maybell without the gift of a density bonus in the form of some market-rate townhouses. If that is true, they paid too much for the land. Before Maybell is approved, reliable, permanent source of funds for an operating subsidy (in addition to to start-up costs) should be secured before approving this project, unless PAHC wants to get into the market-rate housing business. They already plan to do so--the townhouses are just that. The corporation which owns Mabell has an extensive real estate portfolio; it should be able to find funds to cover start up and operating costs.

This project has been fasttracked by City of Palo Alto staff. There have been so many errors in the planning process that it may not be legally defensible. The City Council has already accepted the project in concept, by giving public funds to them in advance. The worst effect of this decision is not the giveaway of public funds, but the giveaway of advance approval of more intensive land use. If the news reports are accurate, the City Council comments so far are not credible, but instead insulting to Palo Alto's citizens.

These giveaways increase the likelihood that both decisions would not survive a court challenge; they may be decided in court or at the ballot box. To avoid these, the best option would be to figure out what the neighbors could be satisfied with.

Mayor Greg Scharff has insulted the electorate with his claim that the Council can make an "impartial" decision about projects they have already committed funds to.
The Mayor in particular should know better, since he is an attorney specializing in land use. His arrogance is one justification for keeping term limits.

Governance by lawsuits, referenda, and recalls is very expensive and time-consuming Because of the errors, the City would make better use of scarce resources by negotiating with the neighbors. In the case of Maybell, start by eliminating the market-rate housing, which has impacts far greater than senior housing. If PAHC wants to build the senior project, they should find outside funds to make the construction & operating budgets balance. Eliminating the market-rate housing entirely would reduce the impacts, especially traffic impacts enough to make the project more defensible. The City could require more comprehensive permanent project-based transportation. Existing senior housing varies greatly in number of trips and quantity of transportation provided. If the facility provides more transportation, the residents drive less, with younger, more qualified drivers. The project approval could require residents who drive to complete a DMV road test once a year as a condition of their residency.

Anyone who wants to keep Maybell as open space needs to start raising money now, to compensate the owner at fair market value. Of course, the property is not worth now what it would be worth with the gift of a zoning change.


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Posted by Margaret Fruth
a resident of Ventura
on Jul 20, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Show Me the Money

I have been following with concern the proposal for low income senior housing for seniors coupled with 12 units of market rate housing. Is this project worthy of receiving taxpayer subsidies from our limited funds?

We need low income senior housing in Palo Alto, because right now there is almost none. The secret about existing Section 8 senior housing is that Section 8 operating subsidy funds to subsidize ongoing operations, (as opposed to start-up funding) have been almost completely eliminated. As a result, existing complexes, like Litton Gardens, have been converted to middle class housing. This has created an artificial scarcity of low income housing for seniors. I have been unable to find out how PAHC plans to overcome this shortage of funding for operating expenses. Of course if there is no funding for actually operating low income housing, the approvals constitute a windfall for the developer getting increased density & a sweetheart loan from the City to build what will, in fact, be market rate housing.

What we do need is more funding for subsidizing operations. Then we can figure out whether we need new construction.

This is aside from any NIMBY concerns.


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Posted by Wondering?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 20, 2013 at 4:47 pm

> We need low income senior housing in Palo Alto,
> because right now there is almost none.

It would be nice to get some real data to back up these sorts of claims. It would also be interesting to determine the demand for low cost, or affordable, or subsidized, housing in Palo Alto. I suspect that the demand would be in the hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of applicants. Leaving us with the question--just how many such units can this city absorb? And how many such units do we have a moral obligation to accommodate through zoning, or direct subsidies?


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Posted by Don't be ridiculous
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 20, 2013 at 5:29 pm

Go to Web Link Type in 565 Maybell. See the footprint of the 4 existing ranch houses on Maybell, the orchard to the right of them, and the Tan Plaza footprint? Remembering that internal lanes and roads have a minimum width, do you think 45 houses would fit there, with the setbacks and limitations required by existing zoning? Or does it look to you like maybe a rational developer could put in 16-18 homes, like Joe Hirsch (former planning commissioner) has written?

Sure, maybe you could figure out how to pack a lot of units there in theory, if the houses were some unreasonably small footprint and size that wouldn't be salable. Just because you might be able to pack a certain amount of something in a space, doesn't mean it's going to happen, because doing so would be stupid. Because if height, setback, parking, and other limitations inherent in the zoning have to be met, to make money, a developer is going to build nicer homes, the way they did on the Glenbrook extension in Greenacres I.


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Posted by Margaret Fruth
a resident of Ventura
on Jul 20, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Dear Wondering,
As I wrote, the shortage of funding for operating expenses "has created an artificial scarcity of low income housing for seniors. I have been unable to find out how PAHC plans to overcome this shortage of funding for operating expenses. Of course if there is no funding for actually operating low income housing, the approvals constitute a windfall for the developer getting increased density & a sweetheart loan from the City to build what will, in fact, be market rate housing.

What we do need is more funding for subsidizing operations. Then we can figure out whether we need new construction."


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Posted by Wondering?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 20, 2013 at 5:48 pm

> the shortage of funding for operating expenses "has created
> an artificial scarcity of low income housing for seniors

Yes .. you wrote this .. but can you provide any data to back up the claim?

> What we do need is more funding for subsidizing operations.

Why do we need more funding for this purpose?

I asked specially: "how many people can the Palo Alto absorb in low-income/no-income/affordable/subsidized housing?" Can you answer that question?


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Posted by Don't be ridiculous
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 20, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Go to the June 9 staff report, look at page 9
Web Link

"In addition to retaining land use discretion over the project, the loan documentation provided financial safeguards in the event the City elected not to approve the project. The loan documentation contained detailed contingency provisions allowing the City to terminate the loan agreement if the Council denied the entitlements. Upon termination the loan permitted the City to request immediate repayment of the loan, foreclose on the property or exercise its right to purchase the property from PAHC."

In other words, the unlike situations where a private developer owns the land and the City can do nothing, in this case, the City's fingerprints are all over the loan agreement, and the City has complete and total discretion to elect not to approve the project and to buy the property any time it wishes.

The City and PAHC have incurred major liability by avoiding their responsibility to do a comprehensive traffic study involving current data and taking into account the thousands of school children who take already overburdened Arastradero and Maybell -- the only routes in and out of the project -- every school day (over a thousand by foot and bike, the impacts on them were never considered, even though City policy is of heightened scrutiny for developments that affect school commute corridors).

If the deal doesn't go through, and given the considerable disclosure on the property now, the City has a responsibility to the schoolchildren to honor its own policies, and to the taxpayers (given the liability they have incurred through so many safety failures in their eagerness to steamroll this rezoning through), to purchase the property and do the property traffic analysis.

If the infrastructure cannot support the traffic, then the City can turn that location into a community orchard - something they apparently considered anyway, and which would be a wildly popular option on this side of town. The site is across from an existing park, has 90+ fruit trees slated to be torn out for the new development, plus 2 of the 12 hundred year old oaks (which conveniently cannot be saved at the most needed spots for removal just in time for this development). This is a part of town with very little prior infrastructure investment, yet with several schools within short walking distance.

If the City were to auction the existing 4 ranch houses to high-end developers, especially knowing they would border a community orchard, it could make back $8-10 million and leave a pretty nice sized community orchard for a relatively reasonable cost as those things go. If the City were to take that route, the community would find ways to reduce or even match the cost to the City. We all live the traffic nightmare here during the year, and to us, the community benefit would not only be the community orchard, but also the permanent reduction of the very real safety problems inherent in that location.


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Posted by Frank
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 20, 2013 at 5:50 pm

The efforts by Barron Park residents to stop this project are strangely similar to those of residents in the Edgewood area to disrupt the development there, and the protracted efforts of the Alma Plaza area residents to disrupt any development there.

Palo Alto residents seem to share one peculiar similarity, regardless of where we live: we like to dictate to others what they can do with their own private property, the law be damned. And we'd rather look at vacant, blighted properties for years than give an inch.

More often than not, we shoot ourselves in the foot.

And people blame our city leaders for the so-called Palo Alto process?


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Posted by Don't be ridiculous
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 20, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Since the City has the option to buy the property, it has a wide array of options to avoid a predatory developer putting an unsafe number of houses there. See staff report per the above post.


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Posted by Don't be ridiculous
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 20, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Frank,
The only resemblance this bears to the Alma Plaza area is the horrible chimney-like houses that will go on if the PC zoning is allowed to stand.

This is the first time anyone has attempted anything like this in Palo Alto, and such was admitted in the City Council meetings: The PAHC bought a plot of land with the help of public funds, peeled off a portion of it to sell to a market-rate developer who expected that portion to be rezoned for his maximum financial benefit. You could afford to put developments right in the middle of Old Palo Alto on such a scheme: buy the property using public funds, sell of a section to a market-rate developer, rezoned at a much higher density than the surrounding neighborhood and benefitting in value from the better neighborhood, and using the profit to put a high density project next to it. Since high density and affordable housing are deemed a "public benefit" and the character of neigbhorhoods counts for squat with this City Council, everyone in Palo Alto ought to care about stopping this precedent.


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Posted by Don't be ridiculous
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 20, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Can someone tell me why this project is even going forward? I thought it depended on a funding application that was due July 3.

The California Tax Credit Allocation Committee (TCAC) administers the federal and state low-income housing tax credit program. According to their website, any zoning of Maybell is supposed to be IN PLACE on the date of application, and applicants are supposed to fill out a verification of zoning form saying that the project "is zoned for the intended use, complies with the general plan" as of the date of application.

But the staff report (Web Link, page 6 of attachment A) rightly points out that the zoning ordinance "shall be effective on the thirty-first day AFTER the date of its adoption (second reading)." (caps for emphasis)

In other words, the zoning ordinance is not in place until the end of July, and perhaps not until much later if citizens hold a referendum -- PAHC has lied on its application for millions of dollars, and perhaps gotten the City to lie for them, too. They do not legally have the property PC zoned for their proposed use as of July 3.

That's not even counting that they were supposed to include any other expected blips, considerations, costs, on their application -- did they put down their expected costs to fight the referendum, because they have publicly stated their intention to fight a referendum (i.e., they knew it was coming and should have stated so on their application).

Also, they had to state that the project complies with the general plan, which is most certainly DOES NOT, except for one or two provisions, including the one the city council specifically inserted (putting the rezoning of Maybell in the general plan!) that residents have already submitted for referendum! City Council put the rezoning of Maybell in the general plan specifically BECAUSE the rezoning so violated all the zoning provisions of the general plan! But that provision itself was also not in place as of the date of the application.

Regardless of whether citizens hold a referendum, regardless of whether they prevail, as of their application date, PAHC did not legally have the rezoning, and if they said so, they are deliberately misrepresenting on their application that they have the zoning in place.

See Web Link
attachment 14, verification of zoning
And TCAC regulations, section 10325(f)(4) that the basic threshold for the application to be determined to be complete includes conclusive documented evidence at the time the application is filed that the project is zoned for its intended use and has obtained all applicable land use approvals.

Am I missing something?


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Posted by RogueTrader
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 20, 2013 at 7:18 pm

Bottom line: the previous owner was willing to let most of this parcel lie dormant and fallow for years. They no longer own the property. It's going to be developed now.

The current owner, Palo Alto Housing Corp, develops low income units. Low income senior units are much less disruptive that low income family units.

If PAHC cannot build, they will likely sell to a private developer, who under current zoning laws is allowed to build 46 condos/townhouses. These represent maximum profit per parcel size - look at all the new development - and this is very likely what a private developer would do.

So ... I have resigned myself to the fact that it's going to be developed, and the senior housing is likely one of the better options.

Arbor Real and Alma Plaza are recent examples where the original proposal was blocked by neighbors ... and the resultant development was much worse than the original proposal.


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Posted by Don't be ridiculous
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 20, 2013 at 8:30 pm

These ludicrous and false scare tactics of PAHC are getting tired. In Greenacres, opposition to the rezoning remains almost unanimous, higher even than in Barron Park.

Alma Plaza is PC-zoned. PAHC wants Maybell rezoned to be ... PC zoned. The eyesore at Alma Plaza was built under PC-zoning, as PAHC and the City steamrolled through on Maybell, not "low-density residential" as Maybell WAS zoned. (Well, if you read the above, technically, Maybell hasn't been rezoned as of today.) The nightmare at Alma Plaza will happen at Maybell BECAUSE OF the PC zoning, like at Alma Plaza. If our neighbors around town help us overturn the ordinance through the referendum, they will spare us what happened at Alma Plaza, regardless of what goes in.

Arbor Real is similarly NOT zoned for "low-density residential" as Maybell WAS zoned. The developer could not have built anything with such minimal setbacks such as Arbor Real under R-2 and RM-15 zoning as the Maybell property is. If you look at staff reports for some of that property, it eerily echoes what has been happening in the Maybell rezoning.

Zoning map: Web Link

Arbor Real and Alma Plaza could not be built on Maybell under the pre-existing zoning on Maybell, which provides for height, setback, daylight plane restrictions, parking requirements, and other limitations. If Alma Plaza bothers you, you should be against the rezoning, because that's what the PC zoning allows on Maybell and Clemo.

Furthermore, the staff report points out that there is no legal provision that the Maybell development has to be or remain senior housing, PAHC can build it and legally do whatever they want. They say they will put seniors there, but then they've said a lot of things that weren't true. The neighbors have not been blind to their unethical tactics so far, it destroys your credibility to the neighbors when you try to parrot their arguments, especially bringing up these ludicrous comparisons with Alma Plaza, when Alma Plaza is PC zoned!

The bigger difference between Maybell and the other examples is that the Maybell property is in the heart of a residential R-1 area, it is not on El Camino or Alma. The neighbors see the attempt to bring an Alma Plaza-like PC-zone development as an assault on the neighborhood. And given PAHC's and the City's blatant disregard for policy and the general plan regarding SAFETY and the very real problems here, we are and will continue to first and foremost act in the best interests of our children and our neighborhood.

Bottom Line: The City can completely prevent the overdevelopment of that parcel TODAY because it retains the right to take over that property. And given the liability that PAHC and the City have incurred because of their negligent disregard for the safety review their own policy demands, they probably should take over the property (in light of other litigation on the table today).




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Posted by Don't be ridiculous
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 20, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Ah, here's the link to the regulations cited above, p. 47:
Web Link

"Applicants shall provide evidence, at the time the application is filed, that the project as proposed is zoned for the intended use, and has obtained all applicable local land use approvals which allow the discretion of local elected officials to be applied."

But the city staff report on the Maybell project says the zoning ordinance is not effective until "the thirty-first day after the date of its adoption (second reading)," i.e., the zoning ordinance is not effective until around July 28. (Given the referendum, the ordinance will not be effective until much later, if ever.)

The application date was July 3.

PAHC is asking for millions of dollars. Did they misrepresent a critical fact to get it?

There are a number of pretty severe consequences if they did misrepresent anything on their application. They have to submit a performance deposit, and if are found to have misrepresented their application, they could lose their performance deposit (among other pretty severe penalties).

The neighbors in Greenacres at least are dead serious about defending against this overdevelopment/high-density spot zoning in the middle of a residential area, because the safety of their children is at stake. Just the looming nightmare of the construction (slated to begin October 2013!) is enough to motivate. The opposition will not stop with the referendum.

I want to state again, neighbors are not opposed to affordable housing, or having senior housing built in that spot WITHIN THE PRE-EXISTING ZONING.


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Posted by Bob Moss
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 20, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Actually the orignal proposals for both Arbor Real and Alma Plaza were far worse than what was built. Arbor Real was originally proposed to build both a hotel and housing with each project pretending it was the only occupant of the site and getting the maximum volume of development - twice, so there would be a 300 room hotel and almost 200 housing units.Neighbors objected and the project was cut by more than half. Same wth Alma Plaza which originally had over 50 housing units and a small retail store with little on-site parking. The housing was cut back and a requirement added for a grocer with 18,000 sq. ft. of store (there is a deed restriction put there by the previous owner that linits grocery stores to 18,000 sq. ft.)
As for the claims that building under R-2 and RM-15 will cause more traffic than the PC, the traffic projections for the Maybell project are based on outmoded models and omits many normal traffic analyese. We had a licensed traffic engineer look at the PC project and traffic predictions and he found 11 major errors and omissions in the traffic study and predicted impacts. Just one example, the PC used a traffic model created in 1998 and updated in 2008 predicting senior units generate 2.2 trips/day. The current 2012 model shows senior units generate 3.44 trips/day, more than 50% more. Any development on the orchard part of the site should be required to have entrance and exit on Clemo, keeping traffic from Maybell. THe total number of uniots actualy built is more likely to be under 30 than 46 because of street and open space requirements.


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Posted by RussianMom
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 20, 2013 at 9:19 pm

'nonprofit developer' ?!
I want to meet one


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Posted by Don't be...
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 20, 2013 at 10:15 pm

I remember a time in Palo Alto when people would actually have tried to save the nearly 100 trees. It's NOT a vacant piece of land.

That piece of property is the last open space historical orchard like it, it sits across from a park, and would make an incredible educational asset to the many schools in the area, not to mention NOT adding traffic.

Go to Paloaltoville.com and scroll down to read more.


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Posted by Joyce
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 21, 2013 at 8:46 am

You want an orchard? Great. If you prevent the senior housing from being built, you will need over 16 million dollars to buy it given it surely has increased in value.

You do understand that an orchard is completely unrealistic, right? So why do you all keep promoting this fantasy? It is way past time to get reality based.

Part of reality is acknowledging that actions have conseqences - impact. This seems completely lacking in all that you opponents say to justify trying to stop affordable housing. You keep saying you "support" the senior housing but If you are successful, you will stop it from being built. You cannot have it both ways - you either can support maybell being built including its financing, or you can go ahead with your scheme to stop it. Preventing is not supporting - duh.


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Posted by Don't be...
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 21, 2013 at 8:50 am

That's a very good point made by Bob Moss. And note, previous owners can pla ce "deed restrictions" on properties.

In the case of the Maybell property, the City has the right to become the owner temporarily, do the traffic and heightened safety review its own policy demands, and place deed restrictions on the property. Given their responsibility to put safety first, especially for our kids (remember them?), and given the significant disclosure on that property around safety problems, and the huge liability they have incurred as a result of negligently refusing to properly review those safety problems - if they truly believe a "normal" development would be even worse, they have a duty to place those deed restrictions on the property.

The nightmare scenarios would only happen if the City were acting negligently and out of spite, both of which I think the neighbors would not take lying down.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 21, 2013 at 8:55 am

For me, the issue is rezoning.

I don't live in the neighborhood and my kids don't use it for riding to school. However, I am very concerned about the traffic issue in a neighborhood which should be a safe route to school.

I understand that the orchard has been sold and that something will be built, but I don't understand why the area has to be rezoned. Why can't a couple of houses be built on existing sized lot sizes? Large homes sell in Palo Alto and any families buying these homes on larger lots would more than likely be walking or biking to school and not generating school traffic and possibly any traffic in morning commute time would be a reverse of the school commute.

None of what I have read explains this to me.


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Posted by Don't be...
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 21, 2013 at 9:07 am

@Joyce,
Has the property increased in value for a developer? Given the amount of disclosure on it now - neighbors added their unprecedented number of letters to the property's record - and the unlikelihood of upzoning it now?

If the propert value has increased, then the value of those 4 ranch houses has too, especially if the city turns the adjacent property into a community orchard. Those houses alone are a over 2,000 sq ft, each, one is listed as over 3,000. Those are over $2million properties in this neighborhood (provided what's next door is community orchard or R-1, not giant 4-story high-density development). If the value has increased, then the City can get closer to $10million by selling those, leaving $5-6million, almost exactly what they loaned PAHC to buy the property in the first place.

If the City is willing to put in even half of that from the $40 million Stanford funds, which they have sad they want o go for just such visionary projects, that's only around 5% of the Stanford funds. The neighborhood would raise the rest.

PAHC should not be so anxious to dismiss the orchard possibility. If they indeed missed their application deadline because they didn't technically have either the rezoning or the general plan provision for it in place on the date of their application - and it appears they did not - and the property goes back on the market with all that disclosure, the sale price very well could be lower to a developer. The community orchard may be the best way for the City to eliminate the lability it has incurred, and to fully protect PAHC financially.


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Posted by Don't be...
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 21, 2013 at 9:29 am

@Resident,
Thank you for the thoughtful comment. But why do you think something has to be built there? The City enabled the purchase of the property with nearly $6million in public funds, before there was any input by the publc. The success of the scheme depended on them rezoning the property in part for the benefit of a market-rate developer.

The fact is, this isn't a case where a private interest has bought the land and the City has no control. The City has contractual ability tocontrol and own that property, and if Doug Moran is correct, even themselves thought of piutting a community orchard there.

The north side of town is rich in such amenities: the bowling green, Gamble Gardens, the art center, main library (i pay to use the one in los altos which is closest to me), lucie stern, children's theater, rinconada with its lovely pools and park space - we don't have anything like that over here, yet we're asked to take increasing density.

A community orchard, like Gamble Gardens only for trees, is not only realistic and desirable, it would be a unique asset for the whole city and an overdue one for this side of town.

If PAHC did indeed mess up on their funding deadline basic requirements, they would be much better off in terms of their future trying to heal over some of the mistrust and outright opposition to their organization that they've engendered through their unethical tactics. And a community orchard would be a way for the City to ensure they are protected financally. If PAHC keeps fighting, through a referendum and possible other legal actions, even though they didn't technically qualify for their appkication (if not technically having the rezone on the date of appkication is indeed a problem), they will only be making the property less and less desirable to a market developer.


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Posted by Don't be...
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 21, 2013 at 9:42 am

@Joyce,
Rather than placing the burden on ths neighborhood, why not push the City to fix the in lieu fee situation, so PAHC could afford to buy property better situated for seniors? (Like the property those senior slots were originally slated to go on, and which Councilman Schmid pointed out the developer apparently paid an inadequate amount to purchase equivalent property when he avoided building those slots on his deveopment?)

It appears PAHC may have made a serious error in submitting their application without the necessary rezoning in place (and assuming they didn't do it knowingly, i.e., fraudulently). They may be fighting a battle they will lose due to their own fault anyway. Wouldn't it be better to help them figure out how to fix the in lieu fee situation and find a better location nearer to services seniors need?


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Posted by Just the facts
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 21, 2013 at 10:58 am

Don't be--what bob moss conveniently forgets to mention is that originally a large supermarket was proposed for Alma Plaza, which would have maintained it as a neighborhood shopping center. First the neighborhood group lead by Jay Hammer led the opposition and then a new group (made of many of the same people but with a new leader so it would not look like the neighbors were opposed to everything) led by Len Filipu led the opposition. The deed restriction was added AFTER the plans for a large supermarket were scrapped.
I certainly hope that Mr Moss is not playing fast and loose with the facts about the Mayview avenue project as he is with Alma Plaza



Actually the orignal proposals for both Arbor Real and Alma Plaza were far worse than what was built. Arbor Real was originally proposed to build both a hotel and housing with each project pretending it was the only occupant of the site and getting the maximum volume of development - twice, so there would be a 300 room hotel and almost 200 housing units.Neighbors objected and the project was cut by more than half. Same wth Alma Plaza which originally had over 50 housing units and a small retail store with little on-site parking. The housing was cut back and a requirement added for a grocer with 18,000 sq. ft. of store (there is a deed restriction put there by the previous owner that linits grocery stores to 18,000 sq. ft.)

As for the claims that building under R-2 and RM-15 will cause more traffic than the PC, the traffic projections for the Maybell project are based on outmoded models and omits many normal traffic analyese. We had a licensed traffic engineer look at the PC project and traffic predictions and he found 11 major errors and omissions in the traffic study and predicted impacts. Just one example, the PC used a traffic model created in 1998 and updated in 2008 predicting senior units generate 2.2 trips/day. The current 2012 model shows senior units generate 3.44 trips/day, more than 50% more. Any development on the orchard part of the site should be required to have entrance and exit on Clemo, keeping traffic from Maybell. THe total number of uniots actualy built is more likely to be under 30 than 46 because of street and open space requirements.


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Posted by Just the facts
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 21, 2013 at 10:59 am

Sorry in my last post I had copied and pasted Moss' original post as a reference. My post ended after the fast and loose comment


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Posted by Don't be...
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 21, 2013 at 1:27 pm

@just the facts,
How about then you stick with the facts in the MayBELL situation, starting with the name of the affected street? (your slip on the name is not something anyone who lives in the neighborhood and familiar with the facts and sitation would make).

Alma Plaza is PC zoned. PAHC wants to rezone Maybell to be PC zoned, up from "low-density residential." The only correlation is that PAHC is trying to give us Alma Plaza in the middle of a residential area. It's going too far, and taking advantage of the fact that ths neighborhood already has more affordable developments than any residental neighborhood in Palo Alto (save downtown, which is a more appropriate place for density). We neighbors would appreciate the support of others across Palo Alto to stop the overdevelopment of our neighborhood.

PAHC may have sunk themselves anyway if they represented that they had the rezoning in place at the time of application for funding, a basic requirement, because they did not.

The staff report said PAHC has no binding legal obligation to put or keep seniors there. Given the City's role in this, it's looking sspiciously like they could be using the seniors as the front man for the developers. How else could they get away with bulldozing almost 100 established trees, including two ancient oaks (suddenly too sick to be saved at just the right time and convenience for the developers) in this town, on a location so perfect for parkland? How else could they get away with spot zoning such high density in the middle of an R-1 residential area? I hear the City pushed PAHC into this... (Did they push PAHC into making false representations about the zoning being in place on their application?)


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Posted by Just the facts
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 21, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Don't be--I never stated that I live in the neighborhood in question and I am sorry for the mistake with the street name.
That said my comments dealt with Moss' claims regarding Alma Plaza and his erroneous statements about that location.


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Posted by Don't be...
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 21, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Just facts,
That's fine. As long as you understand that Alma Plaza and Maybell are two different places, and Alma Plaza has those horrible lack of setbacks, overdensity, etc, because of PC zonng, which is precsely what neighbrs are fighting against being done to their residentl neighborhood at Maybell.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jul 21, 2013 at 3:25 pm

It is going to be more high income housing for more tech people. They will come in and drive high end cars, rushing off to see some office.

I am out of California in few years.


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Posted by Don't be...
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 21, 2013 at 3:41 pm

@Garrett,
Are you talking about the residents of the 12 tall narrow houses on the property PAHC up zoned for the benefit of a for-profit developer? Or the still-working residents in the 60-unit complex (even at 11% of units, that's still up to 14 people, could be more)?

If people called for a community orchard, there would be an educational resource for kids and no extra traffic.

It's probably realistic to start thinking of alternatives, because Palo Alto Housing Corporation appears to have missed a key deadline n their funding application, to have their zoning in place by the date of application. They did not. If they represented that they did and don't withdraw before the government finds the misrepresentation, they face a number of serious sanctions that affect them in future funding cycles, too.


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Posted by RogueTrader
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jul 21, 2013 at 4:17 pm

There are numerous posts about "not allowing the city to change the current Maybell zoning to PC zoning."

But according to the article, under current, existing zoning for Maybell, a developer is allowed to build up to 46 homes on the parcel, "and there is nothing the city can do to stop it." These would likely be townhouse style, to fit them all in.

46 townhouses. If that were to occur, it would be jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.


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Posted by Margaret Fruth, Geographer
a resident of Ventura
on Jul 21, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Dear Wondering, et al,

I would like to locate additional operating funds to subsidize returning existing facilities (Litton Gardens, Stevenson House, etc) to full low income housing for seniors, instead of mostly middle class full pay units. I seen little point in building additional low income housing structures until we fully utilize what we already have. That's what I meant by artificial scarcity. Please see my previous posts for further details.

I hope that anyone who wants to preserve the orchard has started fundraising, which I also advised before.


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Posted by Margaret Fruth, Geographer
a resident of Ventura
on Jul 21, 2013 at 5:32 pm

The City of Palo Alto is not required to change zoning for any project. The city is not required to facilitate developers' profits. If a project is not viable without government subsidies and accommodations, the developer is paying more than the site is worth, and asking the city to make up the difference with a hidden, indirect subsidy. Density increase is often just a gift to developers.


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Posted by Don't be...
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 21, 2013 at 10:06 pm

@Rogue,
Your last post is yet another example of why residents feel they are getting the shaft, and the City is utterly failing in its duties, especially to safety, even lying to residents to push this development. What you have repeated is a scare tactic that simply is not true, for so many reasons. For one, in this case, the City has total discretion to ensure nothing bad gets put there, they even have the ability to turn the property into a community orchard. Because of their involvement in the loan to buy the property, putting up almost $6 million for the purchase, they retain the right to buy the property, foreclose on PAHC, etc.

To repeat my post above:

Go to the June 9 staff report, look at page 9

Web Link (see the above post for the active link to the staff report)

"In addition to retaining land use discretion over the project, the loan documentation provided financial safeguards in the event the City elected not to approve the project. The loan documentation contained detailed contingency provisions allowing the City to terminate the loan agreement if the Council denied the entitlements. Upon termination the loan permitted the City to request immediate repayment of the loan, foreclose on the property or exercise its right to purchase the property from PAHC."

In other words, the unlike situations where a private developer owns the land and the City can do nothing, in this case, the City's fingerprints are all over the loan agreement, and the City has complete and total discretion to elect not to approve the project and to buy the property any time it wishes.

The City and PAHC have incurred major liability by avoiding their responsibility to do a comprehensive traffic study involving current data and taking into account the thousands of school children who take already overburdened Arastradero and Maybell -- the only routes in and out of the project -- every school day (over a thousand by foot and bike, the impacts on them were never considered, even though City policy is of heightened scrutiny for developments that affect school commute corridors).

If the deal doesn't go through, and given the considerable disclosure on the property now, the City has a responsibility to the schoolchildren to honor its own policies, and to the taxpayers (given the liability they have incurred through so many safety failures in their eagerness to steamroll this rezoning through), to purchase the property and do the property traffic analysis.

If the infrastructure cannot support the traffic, then the City can turn that location into a community orchard - something they apparently considered anyway, and which would be a wildly popular option on this side of town. The site is across from an existing park, has 90+ fruit trees slated to be torn out for the new development, plus 2 of the 12 hundred year old oaks (which conveniently cannot be saved at the most needed spots for removal just in time for this development). This is a part of town with very little prior infrastructure investment, yet with several schools within short walking distance.

If the City were to auction the existing 4 ranch houses to high-end developers, especially knowing they would border a community orchard, it could make back $8-10 million and leave a pretty nice sized community orchard for a relatively reasonable cost as those things go. If the City were to take that route, the community would find ways to reduce or even match the cost to the City. We all live the traffic nightmare here during the year, and to us, the community benefit would not only be the community orchard, but also the permanent reduction of the very real safety problems inherent in that location.


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Posted by Eric Van Susteren
digital editor of Palo Alto Online
on Jul 22, 2013 at 10:18 am

Eric Van Susteren is a registered user.

The following comments were moved from a duplicate post:


Thanks to the Weekly for finally publishing a more balanced article on this issue! The opponents of the project have been cited over and over with their non-factual but strongly held opinions. When someone tries to explain that what could be built on the Maybell site under existing zoning, with no discretionary review by the city whatsover, opponents freak out and call this a "threat." This demonstrates their total lack of understanding of how zoning works. Thankfully, the City Council members who voted unanimously in favor of the project understood the real zoning issues. By the way, under better late than never approach, there's now a summary of proposed project and FAQs which effectively responds to the fears and exaggeration of the opponents. Link: Web Link One request: Please add the map that's included in the print copy of this story to this online version. It's important for newcomers to this issue to understand that the senior housing is at the back of the site, next to a 8 story high apartment building and existing low income housing for families (with whom they will share an exit driveway).
by resident Jul 19, 2013 at 5:10 pm

>According to city planner Tim Wong, project manager for the Maybell proposal, a developer would be allowed to increase density by 35 percent if 10 percent of the development is devoted to housing for residents at the "very low" income level or if 20 percent is built for those earning a "low" income. Once again, we see the shakedown by the BMR crowd. My view is to just call their bluff. This property in Barron Park is not guaranteed to be anything, other than what it already is, until final negotiations are completed. If the PAHC-driven fiasco is defeated at the polls, there will be plenty of time to consider options. Perhaps 10-15 tasteful market rate homes, with a small orchard open space for the public? We should be very aware of the property tax situation...market based homes pay them, while subsidized homes do not pay nearly as much.
by Craig Laughton Jul 19, 2013 at 5:43 pm

I suggest you read the story , Craig, instead of once again engaging in wacky rhetoric ( shakedown) .: "Senior Assistant City Attorney Cara Silver confirmed that the city would not be able to prevent a developer from getting the density bonus, which is guaranteed by state law." As for your comments regarding what may happen if the referendum passes, the story clearly states that the parcel is zoned for 34 homes. But since you are always wanting to spend moneyNot elections, why don't you start a campaign to get the state law changed regarding the density bonus, instead of accusing people of being shakedown artists.
by Not an issue Jul 19, 2013 at 6:21 pm

> the parcel is zoned for 34 homes. If the developer can make more money by building 10-15 homes, with consideration for some orchard open space (to increase the value of each lot), then what makes you think that 34 homes will be built? Also, there are some deep pockets around here who might want to buy the parcel and preserve some orchard lands (just for the heck of it). The main point, at this point, is that PAHC/PC rezoning should be defeated. Then Barron Park and the property owner(s)can step back and decide what they want to do. There could be a real win/win here.
by Craig Laughton Jul 19, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Well, with the density bonus the developer could build more than 34 homes. But what I think is irrelevant. Maybe you and your friends in CT could buy the parcel. I am sure your home is worth a pretty penny-- you and your Ike minded associates in CT could sell their homes, pool the money and buy the parcel. Time to walk the talk and step up to the plate. Actually Barron park really should not have much to say on the fate of the parcel if the referendum is passed. The story is clear on that. While this is palo alto and many people feel that they should have a say n property that they do not own, I think Barron park may have burnt their bridges, as the story mentions. Anyway, I have a solution-- reverse the road diet on arestadero, that will solve the traffic issue on maybell. And that being the major problem( per the residents) , problem solved.
by Not an issue Jul 19, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Rejection of the Maybell Senior housing project by neighbors reminds me of both Arbor Realty and Alma Plaza. Both of these developments came about because the neighbors rejected what was first proposed. A boutique hotel and some apartments at Arbor Realty; at Alma Plaza a 29,000 sq. ft. supermarket, both were rejected by the neighbors. Then they were forced to accept massive condo developments on both sites. If the senior housing is not built on the Maybell site, masses of BMR units will be built to comply with ABAG. If you think senior housing generates a lot of traffic wait until condos are built on the site. There is a lesson here, if you don't accept what is first proposed, you will end up with something a lot worse!!!
by South PA Neighbor Jul 19, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Court ruling boosts low-cost housing laws By Bob Egelko June 9, 2013 A state appeals court has strengthened the legal case for "inclusionary housing" laws in more than 150 California cities and counties - including San Francisco, Berkeley, Richmond and San Jose - that require a certain number of low-cost units in each new housing project. Web Link
by pat Jul 20, 2013 at 3:53 pm


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Posted by J Wren
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 22, 2013 at 10:47 am

Opinion letters to Palo Alto newspapers, lead one to think that the residents of Barron Park and Green Acres (BP-GA) are opposed to low-income housing for seniors. This perception would be totally false.
We are not opposed to low-income housing, especially for seniors. The Buena Vista Trailer Park has been a part of the neighborhood for many years. Many are quite upset that Mr Jisser has decided to evict the trailer park residents so that the property can be developed for more lucrative purposes.
When I first moved to BP, it was not part of the City of Palo Alto. We negotiated many times to maintain the relaxed, semi-rural atmosphere before voting to join the City. This struggle continues.
The purpose of the petitions is to inform the City that changes in the Comprehensive Plan and/or zoning regulations (CP-Z) are very important to the residents and we should be able to vote on them. The petitions address this change in CP-Z for the property to allow a high density development by fiat instead of vote. This represents a huge change in the character of the neighborhood. The area immediately abuts a city park and an R1 neighborhood. Nearby traffic is impossible morning and afternoon whenever schools are in session.
The petitions do not oppose senior housing. They oppose the CP-Z change by fiat. Changes on Arastradero Rd. have impacted our traffic problems significantly. Cut-through speedsters are far too common.
Be careful, your neighborhood could be next. Our petitions only seek a vote of the residents of Palo Alto regarding changes to the Comprehensive Plan and Zoning. We ask for a vote.
Some threaten that if we do not accept the CP-Z changes the developer may put more homes that will generate more traffic in the area. This is not necessarily true. Proposed developments can be changed, especially if residents object to the density, until final approval. The original developer of Emma Ct wanted to put nine homes on that site. The neighbors wanted one or two, we finally settled for four. The resulting homes now blend better with the existing R1 neighborhood.
The proposed development on Clemo at Maybell immediately abuts an R1 neighborhood and a small neighborhood park. Traffic at the Amaranta-Maybell intersection is impossible now in the morning, afternoon, and evening whenever school is in session. The one morning I wanted to use Arastradero it took me over 15 minutes to get through the intersection. The traffic in that area changed dramatically as soon as the configuration of lanes on Arastradero was completed.
Palo Alto may want people to walk, take busses, or ride bicycles for small errands. Unfortunately busses along ElCamino in that area do not go anywhere useful. Seniors should not be expected to walk over 1.5 miles to shop, nor should they be expected to carry groceries on a bus or bicycle.
The petitions presented by the Barron Park neighborhood address only a request to vote on the CP-Z change.


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Posted by R. Evans
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 22, 2013 at 12:48 pm

It would be great if when the zoning change is defeated the city foreclosed on the parcel and through the right of ownership limited the density of the future development. The city should also strongly discourage PAHC from selling out to a profit maximizing developer instead of surrendering the parcel to the city through a deed in lieu of forceloser. Once the city is owner, the city can prevent high density development on the site and prevent the density bonus from being awarded. My concern is that the city will be so focused on its ABAG commitment and the desire of some in planning and some on the council to remake South Palo Alto a high density, urban area, that even if it has the power as landowner to dictate the nature of the development of the Maybell parcel, it will try to maximize density rather than retain the character of the neighborhood and mitigate the traffic impacts on the Safe Routes to School critical Maybell corridor.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jul 22, 2013 at 1:47 pm

I am talking snot the single family homes that could be built.

We have so much open space that no housing could be built. Yes you could build just the senior housing with a orchard. I don't see anything wrong with this idea.

We have hundreds of people going to hit senior age soon. One thing I also want to bring up that might have to be planned for.

Nursing Homes.


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Posted by Don't be...
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 22, 2013 at 9:10 pm

R. Evans,
I agree with you. The worst part is that this senseless density at all cost is creating exactly the emissions and congestion it is ostensibly supposed to help.

Have you looked at the new housing element of the comprehensive plan? The City Council inserted a provision to focus on South Palo Alto for increased density....

Interesting, given that only two of them live south of Oregon, while 50% of Palo Altans live south of Oregon...


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Posted by Don't be...
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 22, 2013 at 9:35 pm

I was just speaking with a relative who does a lot of work housing the homeless in another California city, and he reacted very negatively to PAHC trying to concentrate so much affordable housing stock all in one place. That immediate area already has 4 major affordable housing developments, more affordable housing developments than any residential part of Palo Alto (save downtown, which is more appropriate for density).

PAHC's website used to prominently point out that they were not trying to concentrate affordable housing in one place but to spread it throughout the city. I can't seem to find that anymore on their site, anyone? Did that major goal of the affordable housing program go out the window with this rezoning?

Regardless, if they built the affordable housing under the existing zoning, that's not really that many fewer units, but it provides for height, setback, parking and other restrictions that would help maintain the neighborhood character.


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Posted by resident who pays attention
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 22, 2013 at 10:53 pm

For J Wren and other PAHC project opponents, sounds like you need to read the actual FAQs rather than the fantasy you keep spreading. See Web Link

RE the amendment to the Comp Plan that you are referending: Somehow your legal advisors misled you terribly. The only reason for the amendment was that EXISTING zoning on the parcel (R-2 and RM15) was not consistent with building R-1 housing. Translation: The parcel is zoned for duplexes and multifamily units up to 15 per acre. Single family homes can't be built on that parcel without the Comp Plan amendment. The council member who warned "be careful what you wish for" does happen to have it right on this subject.

Remember also that the impact of 60 tiny apartments (600 square feet) for low income seniors (30-50% of county median income and 12 single family homes would be much less than 34+ market rate units with 3 or more bedrooms. For example, every single low income housing project in this town generates alarm among opponents about "traffic" -- but when the projects get built, the actual daily traffic counts are lower than what the traffic studies that opponents denounce for being too low.

In June's City Council hearings, these traffic fears were heard and responded to with facts. ACTUAL data about traffic counts at PAHC senior housing projects was presented -- and it turns out these numbers are NOT higher than the Hexagon traffic study (as fearful opponents assert without a shred of evidence) but significantly LOWER. PAHC has documented that 55% of the low income seniors don't even drive, and the trips by the PAHC vans that take people to medical appointments etc are tallied in the traffic counts.

In any case, peak hour peak direction traffic caused by this project would be very small, especially compared to the traffic generated by the with 34+ family units which the owner could build under existing zoning by right (with no discretionary approvals needed). Be careful what you wish for, indeed.

And why are none of the opponents taking up the Council's suggestion to bring the PAUSD into the discussions of reducing congestion on Maybell. Switching Gunn start time from 7:55 to 8:25 as of August 2011 means that hundreds of Gunn-related cars now going through the Terman (starts at 8:10) and Briones (starts at 8:15) areas in the midst of their peak traffic rush. What if only 1/100 of the energy being put into the referendum would be put into fixing this fixable problem?


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Posted by Kenneth Scholz
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 22, 2013 at 11:17 pm

I understand that at the negotiation session between PAHC and members of the Barron Pk and Green Acres neighborhoods, which was moderated by the mayor, PAHC rejected a proposed compromise whereby the neighborhood would accept the 60 Sr. units in exchange for a reduction of the full market rate houses to 8. This is a shame because it looks like it could have allowed everyone to realize their most important goals and avoided the messy referenda - PAHC and the City Council would have gotten the Sr. housing, which most neighborhood people with whom I've spoken and those signing my petitions also support, even at this site, and the private element would have contributed no peak traffic increase on Maybell if 4 of those houses exited to Clemo. And the city would have been spared more "stove pipe" houses which few love.

Given today's housing market the financial benefit to PAHC of zoning for 8 "normal" homes appears to be comparable to what they had originally planned (during a weaker market) to receive for property zoned for the 15 taller and narrower homes they proposed - the original houses being valued by PAHC at ~$1.3M (if memory serves) on their application to avoid having to sell any at below market rate vs. $2.25M (and possibly a lot more) for new, typical homes in the area. The larger houses, with 7 fewer kitchens, driveways, sewer hook ups and other more expensive features also would cost less per sq. ft., possibly allowing the private developer of that portion a larger margin as well.

If both referenda pass, I'm hopeful that all parties - PAHC, the community, and City Council - will make a sincere effort to work together to achieve a new compromise plan that gives all what they need, though prehaps not everything they want.


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Posted by Don't be ridiculous
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 23, 2013 at 2:23 am

Resident who pays attention is really resident who keeps spreading the same lies and scare tactics.

This document is just digging the City staff into a deeper hole with the community. Let's take one important issue to the neighborhood on Page 3:

"Will emergency access (fire, ambulance) be impeded by the project?
No, the Palo Alto Fire Department has reviewed the project and does not anticipate
any adverse impacts on emergency services."

Makes it seem like the fire department reviewed the traffic and impacts on emergency response times to the neighborhood because of the development, doesn't it? Didn't happen.

Neighbors met with the Fire Department and were told the fire department only reviews emergency access TO THE DEVELOPMENT ITSELF which is right across the street from a station. Furthermore, they were told fire department personnel do not independently assess traffic, they rely on Planning and Transportation to tell them if there is a traffic problem. And as PTC twisted themselves into pretzels to avoid taking a proper look at traffic in order to approve the rezoning, they have even gone to the extent of compromising the safety of all Palo Altans here.

Neighbors expressed concern about emergency response times being affected, and here CITY STAFF are misrepresenting what the fire department did in their eagerness to advocate for this project. In so doing, they are negligently avoiding their responsibility to safety of our citizens. Shame, shame, shame.


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Posted by Don't be...
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 23, 2013 at 2:29 am

I'd like to school communities to take especial note of the arrogance of City staff who want to move the start time at Gunn back to earlier again, blaming the traffic problems on the later Gunn start time. Apparently city staff thinks the school district's change of start time for Gunn was a frivolous and poorly thought out act that should be moved back in order to smooth the way for their overdevelopment of the area.




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Posted by Don't be...
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 23, 2013 at 2:30 am

When I read the comprehensive plan, I saw only one provision that supported the rezoning and about two dozen that conflicted with it. That's why the City put the rezoning in the comprehensive plan. It gave them the ability to take the neighbors to court if they held a referendum to overturn the zoning, because the referendum would conflict with the general plan. But now it won't.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2013 at 3:04 am

From my experience, these new townhouse developments around town cause parking problems offsite because the developments do not theoretically expect the residents to own cars or have guests with cars. The fact is that there is not enough space on the narrow private roads for parking, the tandem parking garages do not suit the owners, and the consequence is that the neighboring streets are used for parking.

Look at many of these new sites, Rickeys, East Meadow, Loma Verde, and look at what parking is now on the streets where there was never parking on streets before.

The fantasy is that new housing will be near the jobs is a fallacy. Even if the residents are in walking distance to work it doesn't mean that they won't have cars. Any new housing must have adequate parking.


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Posted by Don't be...
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 23, 2013 at 3:07 am

Here's another one that needs addressing:

"Can the property be preserved for a park or playing fields? What are the
implications?
The property could be used for parks or playing fields if the City were to purchase
the land (at an estimated cost of $16 million+).
...
 The site is too small to accommodate a full‐size playing field, and would have
potentially significant traffic, parking, lighting and noise impacts to be
considered.
 The City does not currently have funds allocated for purchase of this property.
...

Rebuttal:
1) There are currently 4 perfectly good ranch homes on that parcel, at over 2,000 sq ft each, which could make back around $10million if auctioned separately. That leaves ... hmmm.... almost exactly the amount of money the City loaned PAHC to buy the property in the first place. The City RETAINS THE RIGHT IN THE LOAN CONTRACT TO PURCHASE THE PROPERTY IF THEY WISH. They have the ability to make that same loan to the community and give the community a chance to save the orchard. They have $40 million in Stanford funds, if they could commit just $3million to the orchard, the neighbors would come up with the rest. They're just choosing to bend over backwards for developers, but not to the community and not for safety or quality of life.

They know darned well that raising money for something like that is not like political fundraising, individuals inclined to donate for a community orchard are not going to come forward until the zoning controversy is over and it's clear they aren't stepping into an acrimonious battle.

(The City also has the ability to temporarily take over the property and make deed restrictions that eliminate the overdevelopment they are holding out as a scare tactic. If it is such a terrible thing, then they have a RESPONSIBILITY to spare the community that outcome. They can keep repeating the scare tactics, but if the worst happens because they allow it, because of their negligent disregard for student safety, lawyers are not going to ignore that the City had complete and total control over what happened there, should the deal fall through.)

As for a playing field, it's not as popular an option as a community orchard in the community, but the site is something like 113 yards by 103 yards -- well large enough to make a medium-sized regulation field, a baseball field, and many other sports fields, and if it were limited to student leagues, with those in the immediate area given priority, there would be no more traffic issues than the peewee games already going on at JB park that don't particularly cause problems.

A playing field is not as feasible as a community orchard because it would be difficult to realize the playing field without tearing down the 4 ranch houses, which could make back much of the purchase price. The community orchard could be realized without needing the ranch homes property, would be much more environmentally friendly (if those homes weren't torn down but instead were renovated), especially if the nearly 100 trees didn't have to all be torn out as they will be for the development or would be for a field.

Regardless of what you think of John Arrillaga, he has said he will move Hostess House there if the City wishes. That would mean the Julia Morgan building could be put into service again as a community center (it was historically the 1st community center in the nation), would be in a beautiful setting where it would be a cherished resource for the many school children in the area, and would sit across from the existing park, facing the hills.

It's simply not true that this takes away senior affordable housing spots, since Councilman Schmid said in his vote that those spots were slated to go in a downtown location, but the developer paid to avoid putting them in. He proposed having developers pay more so that equivalent property, much closer to amenities seniors needs such as downtown, could be purchased. Forcing the Council to go back to the drawing board, fix the in lieu fee situation, would actually be better for affordable housing in the long-term. On the other hand, a spot with ~100 existing trees in such a perfect location -- THAT won't happen again when it's gone.

So if you want a community orchard and wish to save the trees, please write the City Council: city.council@cityofpaloalto.org

Fundraising cannot realistically begin for such a project unless the property is no longer in a zoning battle.


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Posted by Don't be...
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 23, 2013 at 3:34 am

I wonder if the school board, Kevin Skelly, and Project Safety Net realize that in their eagerness to push this rezoning, the City Council and staff are blaming them for the traffic problems on Arastradero and Maybell, and placing the burden of solving the overburdened infrastructure on school personnel by moving school start times back to what they were before all that soul searching about how to prevent student stress and suicide?


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Posted by seriously
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2013 at 10:56 am

From the Weekly article regarding the Planning Department:

"Commissioners Wednesday night marveled at the lack of opposition to the project, given the proposed senior complex's height and proximity to single-family homes. Alcheck told the applicants that the lack of opposition "speaks a lot about your reaching-out process." Tanaka was more skeptical and surmised that people didn't show up to criticize the project because they didn't know about it.

"I think if the people in the (neighborhood's single-family houses) really knew what was being built across the street, there would be more of an outcry there," Tanaka said."

Need we say more.....


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jul 23, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Michael Alcheck is a terrible commissioner. He's well suited for the task the city council had in mind for him when they appointed him, though, which is to rubber stamp any giveaway the council wants to bestow on its developer friends.

Given his grandstanding style (he seems to love hearing himself talk, which he does in a maddeningly slow passive aggressive mumble into the microphone) and his constant kissing of developer butt, I imagine he fancies himself a future council member.

I suspect he's kissing up to the developers now in the hope that they'll back him for a city council run, but I think he miscalculated by thinking that ramming the Maybell project down the citizens' throats wouldn't leave him stained. Watching him cow tow to the PAHC at the show trial was sickening.

We need new blood in city government in 2014 (or hopefully sooner, if the council keeps ignoring the public). Tim Gray, please run again. I think more people are paying attention now, and the more people pay attention, the more fed up they become.

To the residents who ran the referendum: your grass roots organization is impressive. Please get yourself behind some good candidates in 2014 so we can throw Scharff, Price, and Sheppard off the council and get some people elected who listen. The voters are ready!


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Posted by JerryL
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 23, 2013 at 12:37 pm

As smart as Palo Alto residents feel they are, why did they decide to build their schools on the very edges of the city? This guarantees huge flocks of cars and bikes clogging up main roads and endangering our students. Maybe we are not so smart after all.


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Posted by Don't be...
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 23, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Given how the City Council has so alienated and disgusted such a large segment of Palo Alto -and seem unaware of just how deep the mistrust and they have engendered goes - this next election would be an excellent time for good candidates, especially for balance from South Palo Alto.

Resident, as someone here amid the grassroots, I have really been astonished myself. I wouldn't even call it organization so much as groundswell.

City Council doesn't seem to have any idea of how strong the sentiment here is against overdevelopment in this neighborhood, despite the historic input and turnout to PTC and City Council meetings. Neighbors showed up at all those meetings and wrote those letters to give the Council the chance to show they hadn't rigged the game, and to give the democratic process a chance, but they were already resigned that a referendum and other steps would be necessary. I have just been in awe of how so many neighbors, and so skilled and intelligent, have been willing to pitch in and continue to do so.


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Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 24, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Jerry Underdal is a registered user.

@Don't be ridiculous, a resident of the Green Acres neighborhood

"I wouldn't even call it organization so much as groundswell."

I don't think you're giving yourself enough credit here. This is an extremely well organized campaign and has been from the outset. PAHC's project in Barron Park turns out to be a perfect means for focusing community-wide discontent with the permitting processes for all sorts of projects. You've been able to castigate and demean them for weeks on end and they don't seem able or willing to fight back.

And yet you speak as though PAHC should act responsibly and generously and give the neighborhood everything you want if the referendum succeeds and blocks them from building the project they've moved through the Planning and Transportation Committee and the City Council while making changes that addressed community concerns.

What if there were a way to just let the process rewind to before PAHC intervened to buy the property out from under commercial developers in order to provide housing for low-income seniors. Let the developer do what he could within the existing zoning. You believe the city council and PAHC would cave and are working hard to make sure that blame would go their way if we did in fact get 34-46 single family homes with the attendant traffic problems in our neighborhood.

Maybe you're right. Maybe, though, whatever resources they have (they are limited, you know), would just look for another way to accomplish their task of providing more affordable housing in Palo Alto.

You mentioned in an earlier post that "in Green Acres, opposition to the rezoning remains almost unanimous, higher even than in Barron Park." Thank you for acknowledging what has long seemed to me to be the case. Ironic, isn't it, since the project is in Barron Park, not Green Acres.



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Posted by Don't be ridiculous
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 24, 2013 at 4:47 pm


@Jerry,
You, too, seem not to get that there is a huge amount of opposition. I haven't been online for much of the past few weeks, so I'm not sure what you think I been doing "for weeks on end". The core list of neighborhood volunteers constantly sharing news who will do things at the drop of a hat seems nearer 100 than 50, and that's just in Greenacres. I get dribs and drabs every once in awhile that make it clear there are active conversations going on all over the neighborhood. This isn't a classic "organization" it really is a groundswell of almost everyone affected.

Internal polls in Greenacres show almost unanimous opposition to the rezoning. Not to PAHC building under the existing zoning, just their forcing this rezone and a development of such massive size and scale at that location. Although after PAHC's dishonest tactics so far, I'm not sure I support they're doing anything here at all anymore.

PAHC not willing to fight back? Are you kidding? Them who rolled out that machine for the rezoning? They have spent significant resources trying to hammer the neighbors, good people who are genuinely concerned about affordable housing AND safety, especially for kids. A neighborhood that already hosts more affordable housing than most, PAHC continues to outright call NIMBY and worse.

One neighbor recently said of PAHC's tactics, "The noble ends don't justify the sleazy means."

The people pushing this project at PAHC have done real damage to PAHC's position in the community through their sleazy tactics in the rezone, and appear willing to damage themselves even further to get what they want in this development. They have shown ZERO outward interest in the concerns of neighbors around safety, and have treated the safety concerns like some kind of warped NIMBY cover.

If their resources are limited as you claim, perhaps it's time they listened to what the neighbors have been trying to say, for once, considering that what the neighbors are saying is sincere, and maybe be willing to consider that they made a mistake in trying to overdevelop that property.

If they had really, really done the outreach they needed to in the beginning, they would have not only realized the mistake early on, they could very likely have gotten some of this neighborhood energy to help them find a way to make something work. Instead, they treated the neighbors like enemies, and got pushback, but I think PAHC frankly got treated a lot more nicely than they gave or deserved, because many of us have been reticent to "castigate" them as you say. The people pushing project don't seem the types to "work with" the community, they seem to have been hired for their stubborn traits, as Larry Klein even admitted he'd never seen such "stonewalling" from an applicant.

Maybe you need some reminding, too, but City Council has actual duties to the citizens of this city, and Priority One is safety. Knowing what they know now about the safety problems in that location, yes, they absolutely have a duty to do what is in their power to evaluate the safety issues properly and solve them.

That's their priority. Since in this case, the City has the power to take over the property - which they tout staff report -- they could do that and place deed restrictions that prevent the nightmare scenario you propose before reselling the property and making their money back. No net cost to the City, and problem solved, but if there were costs, it would be for safety and justifiable as a City duty for improving safety for schoolchildren and reducing future liability for taxpayers.

Or City could allow citizens to work on a low-traffic community asset like an orchard, which I have no doubt they would accomplish at no or low ultimate cost to the City, if the City were willing to go in that direction. Given the disclosure on the problems in that location now, this would be a healing direction for everyone, and would give the City a way to protect PAHC financially from potential loss of value because of the discovery/disclosure of liability and safety problems. PAHC should have done the legwork beforehand, and might not have ever gotten into this. Frankly the City is to blame because I think there's evidence they pushed PAHC on this, and have been too eager to avoid revisiting the Arastradero restriping. But both take blame and have incurred significant liability by ignoring the safety problems and steamrolling the rezoning through.

The neighbors are going to fight this hard because children's safety and the neighborhood character are at stake. The referendum is only the start. It's probably not too late for PAHC to get some neighbors to help them push the City to switch gears and develop the senior units closer to downtown where the services for seniors are nearby. Or to refocus the energy on doing something at Buena Vista to help those residents. I would have been one of those people who would have invested significant time in such an effort at one time, but no more, not after PAHC has ignored neighbors concerns and engaged in such lowball tactics.




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Posted by Don't be ridiculous
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 24, 2013 at 5:00 pm

@ Jerry,
Whether the project is technically in Barron Park or in Greenacres -- I don't really know, honestly -- people in Greenacres II are the most seriously impacted by the overdevelopment of that parcel, as well as people on the border of Barron Park with Greenacres on that side. Depending on who you ask, Maybell is a street that divides Greenacres from Barron Park, or is partly in Greenacres and partly in Barron Park.

Which is why people in both Greenacres and Barron Park are so strongly against this rezone and the overdevelopment of the Maybell orchard.

But there are people all along Arastradero who are really concerned, too, including in every neighborhood along Arastradero where they can only exit the neighborhood via Arastradero, which is pretty much everyone between Foothill and El Camino who backs onto the creek.

And people in all of the school communities of the 4 schools in that area, Gunn, Terman, Juana Briones, and Bowman, are all concerned about the addition of a major development in that location where there is currently almost no traffic generated because of the orchard. (last I checked, none of the 100 trees there now drive).

I'm not sure anyone even bothered to reach out to the companies on the south side of Foothilll yet.

There is a strong sentiment that the City should do a comprehensive traffic study that involves more than just the Maybell area, and halt all PC zoning giveaways until they do.


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Posted by Voter & Mother
a resident of Juana Briones School
on Jul 25, 2013 at 9:04 am

Jerry's accusations in his above post are insulting, to say nothing of grossly inaccurate. I have some very simple motivations for being interested in this process. I do not want either of my children to get hit by a car, and as such, I do not feel safe letting them bike to school on the "safe route to school" mess that is Maybell.

The PAHC paid for a traffic study that pretended there were no bicycles or pedestrians on Maybell. When I added my voice to the outraged parents and neighbors, PAHC's response: "You're a NIMBY opposed to affordable housing."

Now Jerry comes on here and insinuates that I'm part of some well organized political hit squad dead set on battering the poor, defenseless PAHC. Absolutely ridiculous.

I am so thankful that the neighborhood worked as hard as it did to get the referendum submitted. Our foremost responsibility is and always will be keeping our children safe, and the city council was so wrong to ignore that core responsibility as flagrantly as they did.


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Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 25, 2013 at 11:06 am

@Voter & Mother

I share your concern about traffic safety on Maybell and on other streets in the neighborhood. You are entirely right to push hard to get action from the city and the school district so that parents can confidently see their children off on their bikes in the morning.

But I don't see how this referendum helps. In fact, I'm in the camp of folks that think that traffic may actually be worse, not better, if the rezoning is blocked. Most people in Barron Park and Green Acres do not believe the traffic consultant's findings that there would be insignificant impact on rush hour traffic and are eager to derail the project precisely for traffic safety reasons. There you have it. We disagree.

But we should still work together to make sure that the heightened attention by the city to our student cyclist concerns brought about by resistance to the Maybell/Clemo project results in safer streets in both our neighborhoods, Barron Park and Green Acres. Please watch for a notice from the city for a meeting soliciting community input on what the specific problems are.


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Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 25, 2013 at 11:20 am

Apologies for bad editing in my post yesterday. Here's a clearer version of paragraph 4.

"What if there were a way to just let the process rewind to before PAHC intervened to buy the property out from under commercial developers in order to provide housing for low-income seniors. Let the developer do what he could within the existing zoning. You believe the city council and PAHC would cave and build with 4 homes on Maybell and 40 or so units of senior housing, but are working hard to make sure that blame would go their way if we did in fact get 34-46 single family homes with the attendant traffic problems in our neighborhood."


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Posted by Don't be ridiculous
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 25, 2013 at 12:23 pm

@Jerry Underdahl,
Are you really, truly concerned about traffic and the safety of our kids, first and foremost? Because if you are, as the neighbors are, then you can understand why neighbors have put forward this referendum to put the overdevelopment/high-density PC zoning of that parcel to the vote.

That particular parcel is just in a bad spot. The City has had an "everything goes" attitude toward growth on this side of town in the last few years, and has even put focusing on density in South Palo Alto in the new comprehensive plan. That particular location has a significant impact on the school commute traffic, and there's no way around it. There's no way to put in a lane or a driveway to get traffic from that location to El Camino without going first onto Maybell or Arastradero, very close to 4 schools.

So first of all, knowing there were serious problems there especially in the last two years, the City somehow inexplicably outlined a study that didn't involve current data from much of the last two years or the impact on the student bicyclists and pedestrians who make up much of the traffic in that area.

You don't build first and figure it can all be worked out later, especially since Maybell is of such substandard width and has already been the subject of one major six-figure safety overhaul in the last few years. There is only so much that can be done. The infrastructure hit its limit before this rezoning came up, and residents are aware of it.

Marc Berman, who couldn't have twisted himself harder to try to justify the rezoning, still admitted after coming out to the neighborhood that Maybell is not safe for the students. And he was even out here during a relatively low-traffic time - I was noticing myself because of the unusually dry weather, that traffic was better in the spring than in the fall, though still terrible. When it rains, it's an utter nightmare, but planning has to take the worst scenarios into account, because it usually rains most of the school year in this area.

But you and Marc Berman keep using that nightmare situation as justification for rezoning Maybell for this monstrosity, saying the monstrosity is safer than some nightmare alternative they keep making worse in the telling, so it improves safety, which is ridiculous.

But here's the thing. That alternative nightmare they/you propose is not realistic, and the City has full power to prevent it. In fact, given the disclosure and their responsibility to the students, they have a RESPONSIBILITY to prevent it. (This comment, by the way, will be available for any lawyer suing on behalf of an injured - or worse - student if the City continues to ignore that responsibility.)

You keep saying a developer could put in 34-46 single family homes, and because that's worse, you say, than 12 packed-together market rate homes plus a 60-unit, nearly 50-foot-tall high-rise apartment with only 47 parking spots for employees, residents, and visitors, it justifies the upzoning of that property. That's nonsense. Here's why:

1) The City made sure in the loan agreement that they have the right to take over the property, either to foreclose or to buy it at any time. This is not like a situation where a private developer owns the property and the City has no choice. The City had a choice to do a proper traffic study before and did not. They can remedy the situation, should the deal fall through, by taking over the property, doing the traffic study, and reselling it to a developer with deed restrictions that preclude the nightmare they keep holding over the neighbors' heads.

The City and PAHC keep saying it will sell for even more money (to counter criticisms that they overpaid because they were counting on the profit from upzoning the property for the market developer's benefit). So they won't be out any money, will they? And they can completely prevent any of the dire circumstances you claim to be worried about being developed on that property. They could even subdivide and sell off the parcels individually -- auction them to high-end developers to maximize the return and maybe even profit from it -- thus ensuring there would be only so many houses built there, contributing little more traffic.

2) The City has the legal ability, in the loan agreement (since they loaned more than $7million in public funds for PAHC to purchase the property), to take over the property should the deal fall through. The City Council talked about preserving the existing orchard before they even considered overdeveloping that parcel. Should a legitimate traffic study that takes into account all the other developments City Council had already approved in the area, such as the VMWare expansion which will significantly increase business traffic along the Arastradero corridor, find that the infrastructure cannot safely take another large development right at that critical juncture without endangering schoolchildren, the City has the option - the duty - of choosing a low-traffic use like a community orchard. A community orchard also has a significant public benefit and allows the City to retain nearly 100 established healthy trees.

3) The neighbors don't believe a market developer could/would put in that many houses, because under the existing zoning, there are height, setback, daylight plane, parking, internal lane width, and other restrictions. I invite others to go to Google maps and look at 567-595 Maybell. That's the address of the 4 existing ranch houses on Maybell. Look at the orchard to the right. Could you put 45 houses there next to those 4? With internal lanes? With existing setback and other limitations inherent in the zoning, what you could put in in theory isn't going to be what a developer will put in, because a 1200 sq ft 2-bedroom home just isn't that marketable, especially when over 2,000 sq ft in this neighborhood brings such a premium (that's a $2million+ home).

And it doesn't matter anyway, because in this case, if the deal falls through, it's completely within the City's power to take over the property first and place deed restrictions to prevent any scenario they think is unsafe, as they say they believe 35-45 homes would be. You/they think such a scenario is unsafe? Then they have a duty to prevent it -- they have the ability to because of the loan contract, and it won't even necessarily cost them anything. At this point, they're on record saying it's so unsafe, just the liability they incur on behalf of taxpayers if they do nothing is reason enough that they must, if they don't feel any responsibility to the safety of the kids as the residents do.


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Posted by Build It Already!
a resident of University South
on Jul 25, 2013 at 12:25 pm

The most feasible and least impactful use for the land is the project that was approved. The referendum process in this case is misguided.


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Posted by Don't be ridiculous
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 25, 2013 at 12:33 pm

A 72-unit development that significantly exceeds the existing zoning is not by any stretch of the imagination less impactful than preserving the orchard, and luckily in this case, such an alternative is not only feasible, the community would put significant volunteer energy into realizing it if allowed.

Please see the above post for other points.


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Posted by Build It Already!
a resident of University South
on Jul 25, 2013 at 12:43 pm

@Don't be ridiculous - Why didn't you buy the land and then you could have preserved it as an orchard or done whatever you wanted with it? An orchard is not a feasible alternative in this day and age. Get with it! Grandma needs a place to live.


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Posted by Stop upzoning
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 25, 2013 at 12:52 pm

This referendum is long overdue. The tone deaf arrogance that PAHC and the
the council showed throughout the process must have developed over time in an environment where the public was in sufficiently mobilized to stop the dirty political dealings. I'm glad this process has finally had a light shone on it: the city's deployment of taxpayer dollars (6 million, given to PAHC to help buy the property) before any public input was in direct conflict with its status as guardian of public interest.

The council should be recalled for abuse of power if not for outright foolishness. Who creates a "safe passage to school" and then rezones to high density along it without even insisting on a traffic study that acknowledges the presence of kids walking and biking to school?

Absolutely ridiculous. I've heard the phrase "less than worthless" used to describe the current city council but I think that is too generous. Being on the referendum and the 2014 elections. And Larry Klein, good luck getting your self serving term limit removal past the public now.


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Posted by Don't be...
a resident of Green Acres
on Aug 7, 2013 at 9:30 pm

@Build it already,

An orchard not only is a feasible alternative, it is a wildly popular one in the neighborhood. The orchard land itself, if the 4 ranch properties are auctioned, will end up being less than the City's loans under the loan agreement, and the City has the right to take over the property in the agreement, so the City can either give the neighborhood a year or two to pay it back, or give the residents even a modicum of the consideration they gave PAHC and consider putting in at least a small fraction of the Stanford funds which they say they want to go for just such visionary projects.

This side of town has many affordable developments already, but none of the public investments and amenities of other parts of town. The 100 fruit trees on the property, across from an existing park and facing the foothills, are an irreplaceable asset that can be made into a public good, and not just anywhere. On the other hand, the PAHC planners have more than shown their persistence and will dust themselves off and find Grandma an even better place to live.

If PAHC was so desperate to help Grandma anyway, why did PAHC allow 20 out of 24 senior BMR units at Moldaw to go unfilled for 3 years, and only now with this controversy, renegotiate to fill them? Why did they let another developer downtown avoid putting senior units there? They didn't even originally conceive this location as a senior complex anyway, they only did so because they decided it would be politically easier. "Grandma" is their front man. The staff report says they don't even have a legally binding obligation to keep it a senior development.


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Posted by Fred Balin
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 15, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Until at least the referendum, the zoning continues as R-2 (for the 0.32-acre parcel), and RM-15 (for the 2.14-acre parcel). If the referendum succeeds in keeping it that way, any future proposal which seeks to "up-zone" or combine the parcels and is approved by the council, could again be met with a referendum.

On the other hand and under current zoning, single-family homes will remain on the R-2 parcel. On the RM-15 parcel, a developer can still build a senior and/or low-income housing development, and, yes, would be entitled to a density bonus of up to 35% and up to 3 concessions (such as a change in the zoning's floor area, height, or a setback) as required by California's Density Bonus Law (Government Code 65915), just as it can be done in any other multifamily zone or in any commercial area (thereby changing it to "mixed use") within Palo Alto or in any city or county in this state.

The Density Bonus Law in its current form has been in effect for about 8 years, and has been called upon by applicants several times, but never for density, just concessions. But that may change as Palo Alto completes its own implementation (consistent with state law) and word gets around further.

So in the RM-15 parcel, maximum density under current zoning and if a project meets the threshold requirements of the density bonus law is: 15 (units per acre) x 2.14 (acres of the RM-15 parcel) x 1.35 (maximum density bonus), or 43.335 units, and under the density bonus law can be rounded up; therefore 44 units.

And it is 16 units less than what was put forward by the city for senior units, and it maintains the single-family zoning next door.

The argument advanced by advocates for the PC zoning that matters will be worse if you do not accept the PC, is hard to swallow, not only because of the history of misuse and abuse of the PC in Palo Alto, but because under the major changes to the state law in 2004 and 2005 referred to above, the incentives for building senior and affordable housing have never been greater.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 16, 2013 at 5:12 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Nasty CT resident
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 16, 2013 at 5:19 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 16, 2013 at 5:36 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Nasty ct resident
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 16, 2013 at 5:45 pm

[Post removed.]


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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