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About this blog: I grew up in Los Angeles and moved to the area in 1963 when I started graduate school at Stanford. Nancy and I were married in 1977 and we lived for nearly 30 years in the Duveneck school area. Our children went to Paly. We moved ...  (More)

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Council Priorities for 2017

Uploaded: Jan 27, 2017
I thank everyone for the hours you put in to serve the city and look forward to coming to the priority session tomorrow.

My top four priorities are:

--reducing SOV use at peak periods

--working with Stanford on development issues on their city land

--expanding housing choices and new units

--expanding the great service the council and staff provide by having study sessions

I believe all of these will advance goals in the Comp Plan and lead to a better informed and better served city

Reducing SOV at peak periods

A lot of attention has been paid to RPPs and garage options. But numerically and in terms of policy reducing peak hour SOV use has the highest impact and makes the other choices easier and residents happier.

There is a wide menu of areas facing council in 2017 to make progress here including

--the TMA funding and operation--especially helping service workers with irregular schedules

--expanding peak hour service for PA workers on Caltrain and VTA and all the associated Caltrain issues

--the chance to weigh in on the Dumbarton corridor options

--an upcoming ballot measure in SM County that will also make it easier to get to PA by public transit

--PA shuttle options

Working with Stanford

Stanford lands in the city boundaries house the largest number of employees.

Potentially these lands contain large opportunities for housing

Stanford has the best TDM program and the employees on their lands provide additional opportunities to reduce peak SOV use

At the same time they need to make their regional assets--SRP, SHC and the medical complex competitive and up to date in an increasingly competitive world

A mutual and collaborative relationship can bring benefits to all

Expanding housing choices and new units

This has been a priority and more so in recent months

Council will make decisions in the Comp Plan and at the project level in 2017 and beyond.

Let's show ourselves that we really mean housing is a priority by reducing barriers and development, providing incentives and clarity as to location and type of units

More study sessions

My initial suggestions would be

--helping residents and council understand changing retail patterns and realistic options and the relationship between the number of customers, access and successful retail. hear from the business community in this endeavor and retail experts

--helping residents and council understand the fiscal outlook and issues and how Comp Plan and council choices affect the city budget

--understanding how the housing system for low income residents works and what choices are available.

In general focus in broadening information in preparation for when it is relevant to specific council decisions. Bring in experts to help us understand a rapidly changing environment for city choices

Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by T.B.D., a resident of Waverly Park,
on Jan 28, 2017 at 9:03 pm

SOV: Single Ocuupant Vehicle
RPP: Receivable Protection Program
SM: I am not going there
TMA: Transportation Management Association
PA: Parental Advisory
VTA:Valley Transportation Authority

I hope this helps.

Posted by Reader, a resident of another community,
on Jan 28, 2017 at 9:14 pm


Thank you for deciphering some of this unnecessarily jargon ladened post.

Too often Mr. Levy is writing to himself. The editorial staff at Embarcadero Media should be alert of such situations as it does not benefit their interest to have obfuscated bloggers.

Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde,
on Jan 28, 2017 at 10:18 pm

I believe this was addressed to City Council in anticipation of their special meeting this morning to set priorities for the coming year. Discussion of the 2016 National Citizens Survey was on the agenda. The public was welcome. Did anyone go?

Posted by developers thank Steve, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jan 29, 2017 at 10:48 am

More deciphering:
"reducing barriers and development, providing incentives"=
offer financial incentives to developers, reward millionaires with more million$.
"Bring in experts"= like me

Posted by stephen levy, a resident of University South,
on Jan 29, 2017 at 10:48 am

stephen levy is a registered user.

@ musical
You are correct, it was a letter to council

There were 40-50 people there though many came and some left

The largest number of speakers on priorities spoke of concerns about enrollment increases at Castilleja School.

The council adopted five priority areas

Fiscal Health (I do not remember the exact wording
Healthy City, Healthy Community

I am sure the Weekly will post an article soon in the meeting

Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde,
on Jan 29, 2017 at 3:49 pm

@stephen, a dozen Sky Posse people were there waving "Stop Jet Noise" signs before you arrived. Most of them departed after having their say in the first round of public comments. Didn't see any media reporters, but the show was live-streamed and archived, so yes we will probably see a recap soon.

Posted by Chandler , a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Jan 29, 2017 at 9:57 pm

Scharff led the charge to vote down code enforcement as a priority. Obvious that he supports Castilleja over the residents. Looks like another Maybell in the brewing. Hope Wolbach has the guts to stand up for residents. Fine is slippery. Can't be trusted to help residents.

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