Editorial: A backwards process on Maybell project
Original post made
on May 17, 2013
Imagine making a substantial family investment in something before determining its value, how other family members felt about it and deciding if it was the best way to meet your family goals?
Read the full story here Web Link
posted Friday, May 17, 2013, 8:44 AM
Posted by Grass Roots
a resident of Green Acres
on May 18, 2013 at 11:03 am
Someone has already taken video and has been putting together something for the website. Still, the worst situation is when it rains. Then a larger percentage of the kids get to school in cars and it's a nightmare. Even if you go see the mess we have while school is in, it doesn't begin to approach what will happen in an emergency or a wetter year -- or when construction vehicles start blocking off Maybell or Arastradero to build.
@worse off with existing zoning,
You're not really from the neighborhood, are you? This is a small, close-knit neighborhood, and neighbors have been going door-to-door -- and the Weekly has your IP address even though you are anonymous. Weekly, if I have gotten it wrong, and somehow this person is from Greenacres, then I'm fine with deleting this charge. If not, please leave it, people shouldn't represent they are from the most affected neighborhood if they aren't.
"Data from existing comparable senior affordable housing projects" - Which affordable senior housing project do you mean that has no nearby services at all, not even medical or grocery?
The existing zoning is R-2 and Rm-15, low density residential and low density multifamily. RM-15 allows 8-15 units per acre. If we follow the zoning guide in the city's Comprehensive Plan Land Use guides, it says, "Density should be on the lower end of the scale next to single
family residential areas."
The area in question, the Tan/Arastradero/Maybell block is surrounded by R-1. Tan/Arastradero were built under county rules and grandfathered in. The Maybell zoning is clearly a transition zone from them to the R-1 neighborhood that wraps around and surrounds them. So if we were to do something as quaint as follow the Comprehensive Plan (instead of developer desires), the RM-15 would be built to the lower end of the scale, 8-10 units per acres, i.e., the whole property would be 20-24 units under existing zoning.
Compare 20-24 units under existing zoning to 75 units, including 15 of them market rate, packed in a narrow, tall strip with little setback on mostly Maybell (where currently 4 houses sit). You're the one who is being misleading and uninformed if you think that's going to mean less traffic.
Secondly, under current conditions, it's possible even building under current conditions would create hazardous conditions at that location. The point is, the City hasn't done due diligence in studying the situation, and they are required to given that the only outlets/inlets for the project are on congested "safe routes to school", one of them not even a full-wide street. Since people moving into the high-density development would not be from the neighborhood, they wouldn't know the hazards, increasing the likelihood of serious injury or death to a child.
Senior drivers are also the most likely to hit pedestrians/bicyclists of any demographic, most likely (except teens) to have a collision at an intersection, and most likely to be hit themselves as pedestrians. Has the city looked at how the actual risk to the children on bikes and pedestrians would increase because of the demographic, where there are NO nearby services? Remember, PAHC only decided to make it seniors for political reasons, not because it was a good place to put seniors. A lower number of trips with a higher risk per trip needs to be viewed differently, particularly since none of the data are comparable to sticking seniors way out where they have no accessible services or grocery.
Lastly, more evidence you are not from around here is your last paragraph. 40% of kids going to Gunn HS and Terman already bike. In the next few years, Gunn will house hundreds more students, meaning hundreds more bikes and cars. They come from a very large swath of Palo Alto, and the routes are definitely not all "safe". Even when Maybell isn't crowded, it's often effectively a one-lane street. I find myself driving on the opposite side of the road to share it with bicyclists, parked cars, etc at least once a day. The bicyclists themselves can be a hazard for pedestrians, and that's another issue that hasn't been examined. We have made many attempts in the last few years to get packs of bikes to stop at signs, to no real effect. I've seen large packs of bikes swarm elementary kids crossing in the middle of the street, rather than waiting for them to cross. A collision between a small child and a bike could be serious or fatal to the child. As Maybell becomes more dangerous, more older kids use the elementary school as part of their "safe route", another safety issue that has not even been considered in the plan.
Thank you to the Weekly for taking a look at the facts, rather than just being an arm of the Planning Commission, where they seem to know as little about what is going on in this neighborhood as "worse off".